Missouri State University
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Department of Music  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5648
Fax: 417-836-7665
Email: Music@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

The Department of Music serves as an agent of the University for the stimulation and motivation of creative and professional work in music. Graduates may select careers as elementary music teachers, band, orchestra, or choral directors, or as private music teachers. Some choral and keyboard majors select careers as ministers of music in churches. Performance majors and composition majors often prepare for careers as professional musicians or continue graduate studies in music that may lead to university or college teaching positions.

The job opportunities for Music majors are bright, especially for music educators. There has been a constant demand for music educators in Missouri public schools over the past few years, and trends seem to point to a continued demand for qualified people to fill positions as band directors, orchestra directors, choral directors or elementary music teachers.   

Academic Program

The Department of Music offers several degrees to meet the desires and needs of serious music students. The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for the student wishing a liberal arts background with a major in Music. This degree requires 38 hours of music credit.

The Bachelor of Music degree offers two choices for students. One track is designed for those who wish to be employed as performers or to pursue advanced degrees in preparation for college or university teaching. This degree requires that students acquire a high degree of performance skill, either as vocalists or instrumentalists. A composition track also is available for students who desire to pursue careers as composers or arrangers. Advanced degrees in theory and composition also might lead to university teaching. Each of these tracks requires a minimum of 70 credit hours in music.

The Bachelor of Music Education degree is designed for students who seek careers in public school teaching in the area of instrumental, vocal or elementary music. This 127-hour teacher preparation program requires 60 hours in music education and 19 hours in professional education courses.

The Department of Music offers incoming students the option of testing out of certain degree requirements. Students who successfully complete the exam(s) may be exempt from one or more of the following courses: Theory and Musicianship I, Theory and Musicianship II, Piano Class I, Piano Class II, and Piano Class III.  To register for the exam(s), please call the department number listed below

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, jointly offered by the Departments of Music and Theatre and Dance, is designed for students seeking careers in that field. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog for course descriptions.


The following is a representative list of the nearly 200 courses offered through the Department of Music. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course descriptions.

Theory and Musicianship (4 semesters)
Applied Lessons (vocal or instrumental instruction)
Large ensembles (choirs, concert bands, orchestra)
Chamber ensembles (string orchestra, jazz bands, flute ensemble, percussion ensemble, etc.)
Introduction to World Music
Techniques courses (group instruction on brass, guitar, percussion, strings, and woodwinds)
Music Education courses
Jazz Improvisation
Piano Class
Music in Western Culture and Society I & II



The Department of Music, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, employs 30 full-time faculty and 16 part-time faculty. The department employs specialists in the areas of theory, composition, music history, conducting and music education, and offers individual instruction in voice, violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, percussion, harp, organ, piano, guitar and carillon. Applied faculty frequently present recitals and concerts both on and off campus, and many are principal players in the Springfield Symphony and perform with other professional ensembles in the Springfield area.


Music instruction takes place at several sites on campus. Teaching studios and classrooms are located in Ellis Hall, which also contains a large instrumental rehearsal room, a 300-seat recital hall with a 47-rank Casavant pipe organ and individual practice rooms. In addition, Ellis Hall provides a 33-station listening laboratory, a 16-unit class piano laboratory and a state-of-the-art computer-assisted instruction classroom with 12 student stations and a complete multi-media based teacher’s station. The Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts (HHPA) houses teaching studios, a large rehearsal room and the electronic music studio. The Composition, Choral and Orchestra programs are all located in HHPA. Wehr Band Hall is the home of the Pride Band program and the Music Education program, and includes additional teaching studios.


Scholarships ranging from $75 to $1000 per semester are available to both residents and non-residents of Missouri.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
MUS 103 Theory and Musicianship I 3
Applied Music 2
Band, Orchestra or Ensemble 1
MUS 137 Piano Class I 1
General Education 9
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
MUS 104 Theory and Musicianship II 3
Applied Music 2
Band, Orchestra, or Ensemble 1
MUS 138 Piano Class II 1
General Education 9
Total Hours 16