Music: BA, BM
The bachelor of music degree is offered through USU’s Music Department, which fosters a small, close-knit environment and provides students with the opportunity to receive private instruction, where they work one-on-one with professors to improve their performance skills. All music majors must pass an audition to be admitted, making the program competitive and challenging which produces the highest quality musicians and music teachers. Students can also take advantage of scholarship funding exclusive to the Music Department.
There are many performance opportunities available for students, including concerts, operas, recitals, and numerous music ensembles. Students benefit from performances and master classes, which are small workshops in a private classroom setting given by visiting professional musicians from around the world.
The Music Department is housed in the Caine College of the Arts, which is headed by Craig Jessop, longtime director of the world-renown Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Music Department is also home to the Fry Street Quartet, the region’s only professional string quartet in residence. The group works as faculty and mentors in the department in addition to regular performances on campus and international tours. USU’s Music Department boasts 100% job placement in public, private, and charter schools for its music education majors after graduation. Students in all emphases are also qualified to teach private lessons.
- Music Performance: This emphasis prepares students for careers in music performance. Students can focus on piano, string instruments, voice, wind/brass/percussion, guitar or organ. Students should check with the department for more information on the options available.
- Music Education: Students in this emphasis prepare to become music educators. In addition to music classes, they learn teaching techniques through classes taught by the College of Education. Students in this emphasis can focus on band, orchestra, choral, guitar, or piano education. Students should check with the department for more information on the options available.
This is for the music education emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Music Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.
Students in the music education program are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.
With a degree in music, students may pursue the following careers:
Music Performance Emphasis:
- Private studio instructors
- Corporate positions in the music industry
- Studio musicians
- Touring musicians and recording artists
- Music dealership owners and managers
- Recording engineer
- Sound technician
- Music journalist
- Music arrangement
Music Education Emphasis:
- Private studio instructors
- Music teachers in secondary schools (band, choir, etc.)
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the music program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as pre-majors.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions need a 2.75 cumulative GPA to qualify, and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 cumulative GPA in order to qualify for this major.
To become a music major, students must complete the following:
- A required audition, which usually takes place the February before the student’s freshman year
- Other prerequisite coursework as determined by the department
STEP Requirements (music education emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
It is recommended that students have their own instruments. It is also recommended that students have a laptop computer and be familiar with music software (Finale), which they can access in university computer labs.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
American Choral Directors Association: This is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives to elevate choral music's position in American society.
Music Education National Conference: MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC's activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.
Music Teachers National Association: MTNA is a nonprofit organization of more than 24,000 music teachers, independent and collegiate, who share the vision of furthering the art of music through programs that encourage and support teaching and performance.
National Association of Schools of Music: This organization consists of hundreds of schools of music, primarily at the collegiate level, but also includes postsecondary schools of music. It is the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines. The association also provides information to the public and produces statistical research, allows for professional development for music school leaders and engages in policy analysis.
National Band Association: This is the largest professional organization for band directors in the world. It was organized for the purpose of promoting the musical and educational significance of bands and strives to attain a high level of appreciation for bands and band music. The association is open to anyone and everyone interested in bands, regardless of the length of their experience, type of position held, or the specific level at which they work.
Utah Music Teachers Association: UMTA, a chapter of Music Teachers National Association, is a nonprofit organization of hundreds of music teachers across the state. Through monthly meetings and workshops, members are able to create a support network and exchange ideas about how to improve their teaching.
Kappa Kappa Psi: This fraternity was founded on the campus of Oklahoma State University in 1919 to serve college and university band programs. Its goals are to provide bands with organized and concentrated service activities and to give members valid and wholesome experiences in organization, leadership, and social contacts.
Tau Beta Sigma: This national honorary band sorority, provides service to collegiate bands, encourages the advancement of women in the band profession, and promotes and enriches an appreciation of band music through recognition, leadership development, and education of its members.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Caine Lyric Theatre: The Caine Lyric Theatre is located in downtown Logan. The 378-seat proscenium theatre, listed on the Utah State Historical Register (1913), is home to the Old Lyric Repertory Company and hosts USU Opera program performances.
Kent Concert Hall: The Kent Concert Hall, located in the Chase Fine Arts Center, seats 2,168 patrons in five orchestra sections and five balcony sections. It has a proscenium stage and an apron that can be removed to reveal the orchestra pit at the front of the stage. The Kent Concert Hall is most specifically designed for orchestra programs and features a full-stage acoustical shell as part of the standard-stage setup.
Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall: The Performance Hall is a 20,000-square-foot building that serves USU, the Cache Valley community, and the Intermountain region. The venue features a 400-seat performance hall, a stage for up to 22 performers, and a lobby with glass windows overlooking a plaza. The hall’s intimate scale is ideal for small acoustical performances, such as chamber music, vocal and instrumental concerts, recitals, readings, and lectures.
Morgan Theatre: A 670-seat thrust theatre is used for plays and small concerts and performances. The Morgan Theatre is the main performance venue for the USU Theatre Department. It also serves as a wonderful venue for music, dance, or conferences that want a more intimate performance venue.
Youth Conservatory: The Youth Conservatory serves as a lab program for USU piano pedagogy students to hone their teaching skills and receive faculty guidance in applied teaching situations. More than 300 pianists, ages 4–18, of varying abilities and backgrounds, come to the Chase Fine Arts Center for piano lessons and musicianship classes each week.