The School of Music, housed in Duerksen Fine Arts Center, has developed programs in music education, music performance, pedagogy, history/literature, conducting, and theory/ composition which are significant in size and quality and are highly acclaimed throughout the nation. In part, this is due to Wichita State's urban setting, affording cultural diversity with excellent opportunities for faculty and students.
The School of Music offers degree programs for those who wish to become concert pianists, private or public school teachers, church organists, or accompanists. Piano majors have multiple options within the Bachelor of Music (B.M.), the Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.), and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree plans offered: performance, pedagogy*, accompanying*, music education (with emphasis on special education vocal, or elementary music). The BM program also has an organ emphasis. Public graduation recitals are required in all degree programs in which the piano or organ serves as the major instrument (optional for the BA).
Music students are able to hear world-class keyboard performers as they appear either with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra or as a WSU Guest Artist. Students often meet and play for them in masterclass situations.
Music performance graduates of Wichita State have the basic credentials for graduate-level performance programs and for successful music performance careers. Keyboard music education graduates are prepared for teaching opportunities in pre-schools to high schools.
Facilities at Wichita State enable keyboard students to experience extraordinary instruments. Wiedemann Hall houses both Steinway and Bosendorfer grand pianos, a Phelps practice organ, and a Marcussen organ, the first to be built in North America by the Danish firm.
Faculty members in the School of Music are artists/teachers who have significant professional training and experience. Their successful careers span all facets of the professional world. Moreover, they are committed to the personal musical development of each individual student.
All incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to audition prior to acceptance. All Kansas high school graduates are eligible to apply for admission into one of the keyboard programs. Applicants must have adequate performance background. The audition will provide for placement in the program. Transfer students must satisfy music performance and academic expectations.
There are many work-related opportunities in the city of Wichita for students to earn extra income and valuable experience as musicians and teachers. Included are part-time positions in accompanying, church organist, or private instructing.
Music majors are encouraged to participate in Student Music Teachers Association, Collegiate Music Educators National Conference, and professional music societies.
*Wichita State is the only university in the Kansas Regent's system offering programs in piano pedagogy and accompanying.