Undergraduate Music Programs

In preparing for a career in music, whether you want to be a performer, teacher, composer, researcher, or whether you wish to pursue other non-traditional career objectives, the requirements are basically the same; reasonably well-developed technical skills, and apparent scholarly potential.

You will be required to develop your skills and to expand your knowledge of music. You will also be required to broaden your knowledge in related areas of the sciences and humanities. Hence your decision to major in music, or utilize music to reinforce other interest areas, should be based upon a seriousness of purpose and a wish to continue consistent development of your talent.

As a music major or minor, you will be required to declare a major performing area (voice, clarinet, violin, etc.). Please be aware that an audition is required in any case for admission into a particular studio. This is typically done at the Music Awards Days, but if you are not planning on auditioning for a scholarship you will still be required to play for the professor of the particular

studio (of your primary performing area).

Preparing to Become a Music Major
In addition to being proficient on your instrument, music majors at Kansas State University (and elsewhere) must demonstrate a knowledge of music theory. Students who have a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of music theory when they enter an undergraduate music program are much more likely to succeed in all fields of musical study. Therefore, it is highly suggested that students planning to become collegiate music majors gain the essential awareness and understanding of the following elements prior to entering a collegiate music program.

1. Reading music in both treble and bass clefs
2. Scales (major and three forms of minor)
3. Key signatures (major and minor)
4. Intervals
5. Triad and seventh chord quality, inversion symbols
6. Rhythmic values, rhythmic notation in simple, compound, and mixed meters
7. Tempo markings
8. Roman numeral analysis
9. Figured bass symbols

   ► contact us 

        prospective students
        information for k-state students
        information for k-state faculty
        music degree programs


keyboard studies
        graduate studies
        music education

        bassoon studio
        clarinet studio
        flute studio
        oboe studio
        percussion studio
        tuba-euphonium studio

        music program
        music, theatre, and dance
        college of arts and sciences



New undergraduate music students at K-State are tested on this material during the first week of class in the fall and spring semesters. The examination is divided into two sections: 1) written skills and 2) aural skills. Those who exhibit adequate knowledge will be placed in Music Theory 2 and Aural Skills 1. Students deficient in this knowledge will be placed in Music Theory 1. Students extremely deficient in this knowledge will be required to take Music Fundamentals.

Private piano study is strongly recommended for anyone contemplating a career in any musical endeavor. Keyboard skills are essential for every musician and facilitate musical understanding and competency. (As an example, the principal conductors of thirteen of the top twenty orchestras in the U.S. are or have been concert pianists.)

The following free website is recommended for preparation of collegiate music study:

Musictheory.net: http://www.musictheory.net/index.html
lessons = text (as in a book) that explains the material.
trainers = interactive exercises to practice material learned in the lesson.
Remember to explore all possibilities for each trainer exercise. You can control how easy/difficult the questions will be.

The following programmed theory books may also be used for preparation of collegiate music study. These are listed in order of recommendation. As a reference point, these prices were recently found on barnesandnoble.com.

• Manoff, Tom. The Music Kit. 4th edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000. Includes CD and computer software (with interactive exercises that return personal feedback and scores). ($67.75) The software is Macintosh and Windows compatible.

• Clough, John and Joyce Conley. Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm, and Meter. 3rd edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. Includes CD. ($49.75)

• Steinke, Greg and Paul Harder. Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programmed Course. 10th edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, 2002. ($72.00)

• Feldstein, Sandy. Practical Theory Complete: A Self-Instruction Music Theory Course. New York: Alfred Publishing Co. Inc., 1997. ($9.95, which is quite inexpensive!)

Surmani, Andrew, Morton Manus, and Karen Farnum Surmani. Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory: Complete. New York: Alfred Publishing Co. Inc., 2000. ($12.50)

Surmani, Andrew, Morton Manus, and Karen Farnum Surmani. Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory, Teacher’s Answer Key Book. New York: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. ($18.50)

Music Degrees at K-State
The Music Program of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University, a program fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, offers three degrees: 1) The BACHELOR OF MUSIC DEGREE; 2) The BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION DEGREE; 3) and the BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE. A minor in music is also possible.

Music Program Information in the K-State Undergraduate Catalog

1. The BACHELOR OF MUSIC DEGREE is structured for those students who wish to emphasize performance or prepare for private or college level teaching. This degree could lead to graduate study. Students may take additional courses so that upon completion of the requirements for the BACHELOR OF MUSIC DEGREE, they are eligible for Independent Music Teacher Certification by the Kansas State Department of Education. This credential is intended for independent teaching situations, NOT public school music. The emphasis in Theory and Composition is for students who wish to become composers, arrangers, or teachers of Music Theory.

2. The BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION is intended for those student- musicians who plan to teach music in elementary, middle and/or secondary schools. It also prepares one for graduate work in the field of Music Education. A majority of music students concentrate in this rewarding and important career program.

3. The BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE follows the broadest aspect of a college education with an emphasis in Music. The student entering this program will be expected to take more courses in liberal arts than those in either the BACHELOR OF MUSIC or the BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION programs. The degree can prepare one for graduate study leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as careers based on cultural concerns. This degree can also be oriented toward pre-professional or social and/or business opportunities.

4. Careful counseling and extra time in residence can lead to other and combination objectives.

5. Various cross-relations are possible in the programs of emphasis. Careful counseling and willingness to spend additional time in residence may be considered as a basis for special career and curricular objectives. Such interests can result in dual-degree programs.

6. A MINOR IN MUSIC is also possible and requires 20-21 hours of music courses.

Music Scholarships
Students having an interest in applying for a University scholarship should submit an application for admission and request that their high school send a transcript of their credits for the first seven semesters to the Director of Admissions, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

A number of strictly music scholarships are available to Music Majors. They are awarded on the basis of successful performance achievements and scholarly potential. The awards are renewable throughout the undergraduate tenure pending suitable Grade Point Average and performance levels.

Please contact specific areas for more information:

Band (Dr. Frank Tracz)

Choirs (Dr. Julie Yu-Oppenheim)

Keyboard (Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski)

Orchestra/Strings (Dr. David Littrell)

Voice (Dr. Reginald Pittman)

Winds and Percussion (Dr. Steven Maxwell)

Music Awards Days
High School Seniors interested in attending K-State as a music major or minor and in applying for scholarship consideration are encouraged to participate in one of the several Music Awards Days. The purpose of the Music Awards Days is to allow students, parents and teachers to view our new facilities, meet our faculty, and discuss career and curriculum objectives. Students who wish to do so may audition for our artist faculty on Music Awards Days. The results of this audition will be used as the basis for the applicant’s admission into a particular studio, and for the applicant’s candidacy for music scholarships.

High School students who are in their junior year may opt to audition for the music faculty as well. Although scholarships are only offered to incoming K-State students, the experience of playing a scholarship audition in front of university faculty can be quite valuable. The music faculty will provide commentary on areas in which students should focus their study as they they prepare for college.

Information about the dates of these Music Awards Days and music scholarships may be obtained by contacting the K-State Music Program, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, 109 McCain Auditorium, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Call the office at (785) 532-3800, or e-mail Teri Breymeyer at mus@ksu.edu.

last updated august 16, 2013
copyright kansas state university
pages maintained by tod kerstetter