Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I become a music major or minor?

The first step is to apply for admission to UWSP through the admissions office. The second step is to contact the music office through our web page or by calling 715-346-3107. We will send you the necessary application forms and information and will arrange a time for you to audition for admission.

 When do I audition?

Our regular audition dates are in February, March and April. The specific dates can be found on our Audition web page. Contact the Department of Music through our web page by calling 715-346-3107 to arrange for your audition. Individual times can be scheduled for those who cannot come on our regular audition days.

 Can I be a double major?

The easy answer is yes, either within the Department of Music (music education and performance, for example) or in other fields (Spanish or mathematics, for example). Some majors work more easily with music than others. Humanities and Social Sciences seem to work better than the hard sciences, because science labs often conflict with our ensemble rehearsal times.

 Do I need to audition to be a music minor?

Yes, all music majors and minors must audition to be admitted to the program.

 What are the chances of me getting a job with a music degree?

Your chances are quite good. Very close to 100% of our music education graduates find teaching positions, and our performance majors are regularly admitted to excellent graduate programs. Our performance graduates hold positions in military ensembles, full time professional symphony orchestras, and as studio musicians, university teachers and private teachers. Our Bachelor of Arts degree graduates hold positions in music related careers in music publishing, music management, music technology and software development, music merchandising, music manufacturing, etc.

 What if I play two or three different instruments?

You can continue to play more than one instrument as a music major or minor, but all music majors and minors must decide on one instrument to be their primary instrument. You can play your other instruments in ensembles or sing in a choir in addition to playing in a band or orchestra, and you can even take lessons on your secondary instrument or instruments if there is room in the schedules of the professors who teach them. While there are exceptions, most music majors find that the amount of time and effort it takes to achieve the required proficiency on their primary instrument makes it difficult to continue serious study of a secondary instrument. The most frequent exceptions are students who play a band or orchestra instrument or sing and also play the piano.

 Can I still be a music major even if I haven’t studied piano?

Yes. There are four levels of group piano classes ranging from beginning to moderately advanced, and each music major whose primary instrument is not the piano is placed in the class that is best for him or her. More advanced piano students are placed in private lessons even if piano is not their primary instrument.

 Can I major in music and Musical Theater?

Not usually. The musical theater degree is offered by the Department of Theatre and Dance, which is separate from the Department of Music and has its own admission policies.

 Should I still audition even if I haven’t been admitted to the university yet?

Yes, you should still audition at your scheduled time even if you have not been admitted to the university. However, it is important to understand that you cannot be admitted to Department of Music until you have been admitted to the university.

 How do I know which ensemble to register for?

Your advisor will help you register for an ensemble. Auditions for the ensembles take place during the first week of classes. New music students sometimes have to change their ensemble after the audition results are posted. This is an easy process, and your professors will help you.

 How many credits should I take?

Your advisor will help you decide. Most freshman music majors take 9-10 music credits and 5-6 credits of General Degree Requirements (GDR’s) for a total of 14-16 credits.

 Can I just take lessons without being in an ensemble?

No. Every music major is required to be in a large ensemble every semester. Non-music majors who takes lessons are also required to be in a large ensemble.

 Can I rent a school instrument like I did in high school?

The Department of Music has more expensive instruments, such as tubas, euphoniums, horns, bassoons, oboes, percussion instruments and string basses available for rental. Instruments such as tenor and baritone saxophones, piccolos and bass clarinets are also available for students who are assigned to play them in an ensemble. It is expected that music majors will plan to purchase their own instruments at some point.

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