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Music Education Programs

Programs Home | Music EducationDr. Bret Smith | Audition | Admissions


The Music Education major has three general categories of courses required for the Bachelors degree:
  1. Music courses: core courses in history and theory, applied music (lessons), ensembles and music education courses. 
  2. Courses in the Professional Education sequence 
  3. Courses in General Education. The courses in General Education are called “Basic Skills and Breadth” courses, and they form the liberal arts component of a liberal arts education.
There are three different specializations leading to K-12 Certification: 
  1. Vocal/Choral Music and General Music - catalog requirements
  2. Instrumental Music and General Music - catalog requirements
  3. Broad Area, which leads to certification in all three areas. - catalog requirements
General Music is classroom education about music for all students, as opposed to classes specifically oriented towards performance. In the fall of 2000, this became one of the three endorsements for teaching in the state of Washington. 
Cello music student
For more information please see the Online Electronic Catalog
The Online Electronic Catalog (OEC) is the university's official compilation for all curriculum. The OEC serves as the basis for major, minor, specialization, certificate, and program requirements for the academic year. For current policy and specific curriculum requirements refer course catalog requirements links above. You may choose the catalog that is appropriate for your program requirements, based on the quarter that you were accepted into your program. Some students may be using more than one catalog to meet general education and major requirements. 
A student should expect to meet the specific requirements of the departments listed in the OEC that is current at the time he or she is accepted by the department into the major or minor program. Graduate students admitted to the master's degree program may use the catalog they are admitted under or the current one. A student should expect to complete general education requirements as listed in the OEC current at the time of first enrollment at either Central or a community college in the state of Washington provided he or she transfers directly to CWU from the community college and has not attended another four-year institution.

Here is a list summarizing the credit loads in each area:

The total number of course credits for the Music Education degree varies with the Music Education specialization and the courses chosen within the other two categories. 

  • 91 credits of music for the Vocal/Choral specialization 
  • 92 credits of music for the Instrumental specialization
  • 97 credits of music for the Broad Area specialization 
  • 52-56 credits for the Professional Education sequence 
  • 57-67 credits for the Basic Skills and Breadth courses 
Details about the courses in each of these areas can be viewed in the University Catalog, (linked from the home page of the university): in the Music section for the Music courses, in the Curriculum and Supervision section for the Professional Education courses, and in the General Education section for the Basic Skills and Breadth courses. 
With totals of 200 to 220 credits, these are among the most credit-heavy degrees in the university. While it is possible to graduate in four years, most Music Education majors plan on a five-year career as an undergraduate. In this way they can take more than the minimum required courses and experience the many opportunities for added musical study, growth and performance provided by the department, such as continued applied music (private lessons), the ensembles listed above and academic courses in various areas. 
Interested? Still have questions? 
Contact Professor Mark Lane, or Dr. Bret Smith, Music Education faculty specialists, Dr. Todd Shiver, Department Chair, for more information.