College of Fine & Performing Arts


The Department of Music is proud to offer an individualized education focusing on undergraduate opportunities and success. 

We offer one general and four professional undergraduate programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in music. We also offer three minors that focus on general music, jazz studies, and Arts Enterprise & Cultural Innovation. 

Programs of Study

Undergraduate Majors 

Undergraduate Minors

Graduate Degree

Advising support and General Information

Declaration and Audition Process

All students who are interested in becoming a major or minor must complete an audition on their primary instrument or voice during primary audition dates. These dates are scheduled every January, February and March and are for students intending to start the major or minor the following fall term. After primary audition dates have passed, the music department accepts auditions on a space available basis. Please visit our auditions page for further information regarding requirements and primary audition dates. After a student has completed an audition they will receive an official email from Lee Anne Frahn regarding their audition results and degree status. Students will be asked to confirm their intention to enroll in the music major or minor. Please note, our confirmation deadline will be before the general university deadline of May 1st . This allows us to grant the studio placement to students who are wait listed so they may be able to confirm their enrollment by the university deadline.

Once admitted to the music program, incoming freshman are required to attend either Summerstart or fall advising where they will receive specific music advising and register for classes. Please note, it does not matter which session students attend as a music major or minor, admitted music students will have a spot reserved in each music course. Transfer students are strongly encouraged but not required to attend their summer orientation, Transitions. If a transfer students chooses not to attend this orientation they are required to email Lee Anne Frahn to schedule an in person or phone advising session to register for classes. This advising session should take place in early August to receive overrides before registration opens again for all Western students.

Graduation Timeline: Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts, Music Minor

Due to the sequential nature of our core curriculum, we strongly recommend that all students considering a Bachelor of Music degree (BMus) in Performance, Composition, History & Literature, and Music Education begin our core sequences the fall quarter of their first year. These majors are designed around a curriculum that takes approximately four years to complete. Additionally, the Music Education degree has an approximate graduation timeline between year four and five. Please note, the approximate graduation timeline does not apply to all students and is dependent on each student's incoming status, eligibility for placement exams, and academic progress within the department.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA) is designed around the same core curriculum but takes approximately three years to complete. The BA can be completed within a four year timeline if started fall quarter of the second year at Western. Please note, the approximate graduation timeline does not apply to all students and is dependent on each student's incoming status, eligibility for placement exams, and academic progress within the department.

The music minor is designed around the first year of our core curriculum in theory, aural skills and keyboarding. Students can complete the core sequence in one year and complete the additional elective credits concurrently or in separate years. Students who intend to complete the music minor must register for theory, aural skills and keyboarding each quarter for one full academic year. Students will not be permitted to take these courses in separate years or out of sequence. Students who are accepted into the minor, but cannot fit our sequence into their schedule will have to postpone the completion of the core sequence. Please note, this does not apply to all students and is dependent on each student's incoming status, eligibility for placement exams, and academic progress within the department.

Mid-year applicants 

Due to the sequential nature of our core curriculum and studio availability, mid-year applicants are not recommended. However, if a student is eligible for placement exams they may be able to start our core curriculum out of sequence. If you are considering a mid-year application, please reach out to Lee Anne Frahn.

Placement Exams

Transfer students and incoming freshman who have successfully completed college courses in theory, aural skills, and keyboarding may take our placement exams in the corresponding subject. Additionally, transfer students and incoming freshman who have also completed the AP Theory Music Exam with a 3 or above may also take the theory and aural skills placement exam. Placement exams are scheduled at the beginning of each academic year before school begins. Please email Lee Anne Frahn to determine your eligibility.

Incoming students with a background in piano lessons are not eligible to take our keyboarding placement exam unless they have completed a class piano course at another institution. Those with a substantial background in piano will be placed into an advanced keyboarding section along with piano majors to complete a shorter keyboarding sequence.

Students should be advised that they are not guaranteed to enter at their expected level. Students must complete the entire core curriculum either through the placement exams or repeated courses as a pre-requisite to all upper division core requirements and the music history sequence. All credit transferred in theory, aural skills and keyboarding skills will be accepted at the level in which it was earned and may apply towards fulfillment of elective and general graduation requirements.

Double Majors

Students intending to double major should be prepared for possible scheduling conflicts with our core sequences. Once a student has reached the upper division courses scheduling may be more flexible. Students should also be aware that completing a double major can lead to larger course loads each quarter, a large homework load, scheduling conflicts and a possible extended graduation timeline. If a student is considering multiple degrees we strongly recommend meeting with advisors from each department to determine the initial course load, pre-requisite requirements and graduation timeline. 

Waitlist Policy

The Department of Music reserved the right to prioritize students on any class wait list based on graduation date or program. If you have been wait listed for a class and are concerned about its effects on your graduation date, please contact Lee Anne Frahn.


two students playing music, viewed from behind, seated. One holds a flute.