The School of Music, housed in Duerksen Fine Arts Center, has developed programs in music education, music performance, pedagogy, history/ literature, conducting, and theory/composition which are significant in size and quality and are highly acclaimed throughout the nation. In part, this is due to Wichita State's urban setting, affording cultural diversity with excellent opportunities for faculty and students.
Piano and organ students may pursue one of three degree programs which will prepare them to become concert pianists, private or public school teachers, church organists, or accompanists. Piano majors have multiple options within the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Music Education, and the Bachelor of Arts in Music, with an emphasis on liberal arts courses. Degree plans offered: performance, pedagogy*, accompanying*, music education (with emphasis on special education vocal, or elementary music). The Bachelor of Music program also has an organ emphasis. Public graduation recitals are required in all degree programs in which the piano or organ serves as the major instrument (optional for the Bachelor of Arts).
Music performance graduates of Wichita State have the basic credentials for graduate-level performance programs and for successful music performance careers. Keyboard music education graduates are prepared for teaching opportunities in pre-schools to high schools. Graduates with the BA have a generalist degree, combining a music emphasis with a background in traditional liberal arts.
Faculty members in the School of Music are artist-teachers who have significant teaching and professional experience. Their successful careers span all facets of the professional world. Moreover, they are committed to the personal musical development of each individual student.
Facilities at Wichita State enable keyboard students to experience extraordinary instruments. Wiedemann Recital Hall houses both Steinway and Bosendorfer grand pianos, and a Marcussen organ, the first to be built in North America by the Danish firm. The Phelps practice organ is located in Duerksen Fine Arts Center.
At Wichita State, all incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to audition for admittance into the School of Music. All Kansas high school graduates are eligible to apply for admission into the brass programs. Applicants must have adequate performance backgrounds. The audition will decide placement within the selected program. Transfer students must satisfy music performance and academic expectations at the time of transfer.
Undergraduate audition requirements may be found here.
Graduate Students should refer to the audition requirements for Piano or Organ here.
There are many work-related opportunities in the city of Wichita for students to earn extra income and gain valuable experience as musicians and teachers. Included are part-time positions in accompanying, church organist, or private instruction.
Students are encouraged to participate in organizations such as Collegiate Music Educators National Conference and Student Music Teachers Association, as well as Sigma Alpha Iota, Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi, or Tau Beta Sigma.
*Wichita State is the only university in the Kansas Regent's system offering programs in piano pedagogy and accompanying.