Special Music Education at WSU is celebrating its 43rd year!


The Wichita State University Special Music Education program trains teachers to provide music education services using adaptations for learners who have special needs. This program was designed in the 1960's and began with work at the Institute of Logopedics in Wichita, Kansas under the direction of Betty T. Welsbacher (1925-2008). Mrs. Welsbacher developed an approach to music education that we currently call "special music education". Her work fostered music education programming for students in the Wichita Public Schools and the Institute of Logopedics (now Heartspring). As a tribute to her legacy, her students have continued those programs and expanded programming to include many other sites. Among those are the iSLP preschool program at the WSU Cassatte Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, and ENVISION, Inc. Degree concentrations for Special Music Education are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. The BME is eligible for MSEP tuition rates for participating states. Contact Dr. Elaine Bernstorf for more information at elaine.bernstorf@wichita.edu or 316-978-6953.


Undergraduate program: Fulfills PK-12 Music requirements for Kansas licensure, which transfers easily to most states.

Graduate program: Participants may pursue individual specializations through guided study and research. The program is flexible and also may include electives in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Special Education, Psychology and other inter-professional education options.

Graduation Requirements

The following program fulfills both the university requirements for graduation and the Kansas licensure requirement and must be taken by all Bachelor of Music Education candidates. In completing the BME program, the student must meet the general education program requirements of the university given in the Academic Information Requirements for Graduation section of the Catalog.