The metropolitan environment of the Wichita State University campus offers music education students an ample variety of opportunities for hands-on teaching experience. There are many opportunities available for students to observe and teach students with and without disabilities in Wichita area schools. Many experienced teachers are available to share their wisdom with students who are interested in expanding their experience beyond the college classroom. WSU faculty and teachers from area schools are in frequent communication about ways to help WSU students get the experience they need to become successful teachers. Student organizations (Collegiate Music Educators National Conference, Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa KappaPsi, and Mu Phi Epsilon, to name a few), campus lectures, and workshops are other excellent ways for students to get involved while they are in school. The education experience at WSU offers students the best of both worlds -- the academic side of education and the hands-on experience necessary to expand what is learned in the classroom to real life.
"All children should have the opportunity for musical growth experiences...." This philosophy espoused by Betty Welsbacher, professor emeritus of music and special music education at WSU sums up the philosophy for Music Education at Wichita State University. Our faculty believe that all students can learn when the message is presented at their own level. Since music is nonverbal, it becomes a vitally important medium for all students, including those who have exceptionalities. If a child can understand through music, the concepts of long and short sounds, duration, loud and soft, high and low, pitch, and rhythm patterns, he can transfer that knowledge to other areas. If a child has the experience of moving her body up and down through music, then up and down come to have meaning.
Our music educators strive for a structure which allows for different learning stages through which the child progresses and which allows for various styles of learning. Non-verbal and verbal responses are equally important and lessons in music must be presented so that there is something for every learner in every style at every age in any music medium. Music is our universal language.
As student gain experience, we structure music instruction toward literacy, musicianship, and integration. We strive for ALL students to develop their musical understandings using techniques informed by research and demonstrated success. Our faculty strive to bring proven ideas to modern teaching realities.
Students receiving the BME must meet the state requirements for licensure. Students may select from three options within this degree:
1. Instrumental emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students whose chief performing medium is instrumental or keyboard and who plan to enter the field of instrumental music teaching in the public schools;
2. Vocal emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students whose chief performing medium is voice, piano, or guitar and who plan to enter the field of vocal and general music teaching in the public schools;
3. Special music education emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students, either vocal or instrumental specialists, who plan to enter the field of music education for special education children in the public schools.
Admission into the student teaching semester requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.500; a minimum grade point average of 2.500 in music courses; senior standing (90 hours, 200 credit points); a grade of ENGL101 or its equivalent and ENGL 102,
All students must have an application on file with the music education area and receive its approval. Students must file applications with the director of music education.
College English I and II, COMM 111, Public Speaking, and MATH 111, College Algebra; completion of prerequisites in educational psychology; foundations of education and music education methods; successful completion of the piano proficiency exam and all other music requirements (including senior recital); successful completion of a physical examination; and a recommendation by the music education area. Transfer students must satisfy education requirements for prerequisites not taken at Wichita State.
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.