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Music Education, B.A.

Whitworth's music education program will welcome you into a talented, caring community, elevate your musicianship and develop your teaching skills, expose you to renowned performers, composers and conductors, and show you how disciplined musicians can be serious about music without forgetting to have fun. Whitworth values music, and our music professors teach the value of music education.

Our supportive faculty, drawn from the nation's finest conservatories and universities, provides each student with a meaningful and enriching arts education. Through theoretical and practical study of the discipline, Whitworth's music education major develops in students a strong foundation in music theory, ear training, music history, conducting, and choral and instrumental techniques, as well as technical skill in both individual and ensemble performance. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Why major in music education at Whitworth? 

  • Practice, rehearse and study in the new Cowles Music Center – beautiful, modern and tailored to support students.
  • Learn from our talented faculty who perform with top artists and ensembles, and who provide their students with dedicated teaching and mentoring inside and outside the classroom.
  • Gain a strong background in music theory, ear training and music history, which are essential for teaching.
  • Be mentored by master teachers in elementary, middle and high schools through hands-on practicums and student-teaching experiences.
  • Learn how to articulate your knowledge as a teacher, share your love of music with your classes, and create an inspiring learning environment for your students.
  • Tour and perform regionally, nationally and internationally, and perform at music festivals and competitions.
  • Engage in unique performance opportunities such as the annual – and much-loved – jazz ensemble concert with an acclaimed guest artist, and the Christmas Festival Concerts in Spokane and Seattle.
  • Connect your faith or worldview commitments to your vocation in music.
  • Take master classes – and converse one-on-one – with Grammy-winning, chart-topping, and world-class visiting musicians, conductors and composers. Recent guest artists include Grammy-winning jazz artists Pat Metheny and Branford Marsalis, noted South African ethnomusicologist Johann Buis, and internationally renowned composers Gwyneth Walker and David Maslanka.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our music ed grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Whitworth music education majors excel in competitive graduate programs and in careers as music educators at all levels of public, private and parochial schools, both nationally and internationally. Careers also include music education supervisors for schools or school districts, and private instructors.

Recent job placements include:

  • Bryan Swenland, band director at Mountainside Middle School in Spokane
  • Savanna Jenkins, music teacher at IES Skärholmen in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Cathy Bronson, choir director at Cashmere High School in Cashmere, Wash.
  • Natalie Cominiello, orchestra director at Salk Middle School in Spokane and teacher liaison for Music Innovates.
  • Alexander Hancock, band and choir director at Selah High School in Selah, Wash.
  • Tyler Kruse, music teacher at McGee Elementary School in Pasco, Wash.
  • Sarah Butler, band and choir teacher at Cascade Middle School and band teacher at the Arts and Academics Academy in Seattle.

Our recent music education grads further their studies in top programs at institutions including: 

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston Conservatory of Music
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Indiana University
  • Louisiana State University
  • New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
  • North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Peabody Conservatory
  • University of Washington

Play well with others

Whitworth's acclaimed ensembles include:

  • Wind symphony
  • Jazz ensembles
  • Jazz combos
  • Whitworth Choir
  • Women's choir
  • Men's chorus
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Chamber winds
  • Piano ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Concert band
  • Chamber ensembles

Pack your bags!

Our wind symphony, jazz ensemble I, choir and symphony orchestra perform regionally, nationally and internationally. Recent locales include Italy, Thailand, Costa Rica, Spain, New York City and Norway.

Students can also participate in Jan Term international study programs, including:

  • Power and Politics of Art: Rome, Florence, Vienna and Berlin
  • The Arts in Christian Worship: Geneva, Paris, London, Rome and Florence

Ask our faculty

Ask Debbie

Associate Professor Debbie Hansen advises all music education students and teaches courses in music theory, conducting and choral literature, and she conducts the Whitworth Women's Choir.

Ask Richard

Professor Richard Strauch, director of the wind symphony, teaches courses including General Conducting, Music History II, and Wind Literature.

Ask Dan

Professor Dan Keberle, director of the jazz ensemble, teaches courses including Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging, and Contemporary Jazz Methods.

Ask Marc

Marc Hafso, director of the Whitworth Choir, teaches courses including Advanced Conducting, Choral Techniques & Materials, and Private Voice.

Tracks*

Choose one of two tracks, based on your interests and career goals:

  • Choral/General
  • Instrumental/General

*Students take their professional education courses from the School of Education.

What related majors can I explore?