FAQ Wells School of Music

How do I apply to the Wells School of Music?

It’s easy! Apply to the University through the Common Application. After your university application has been submitted, you will be able to register for an Audition Day in your Admissions Portal. Attending an Audition Day is required for admission to the Wells School of Music. You will hear back after completion of your Audition from both the University and the Wells School of Music.

Can I audition on multiple instruments? 

All prospective music majors must complete an audition on their Primary Instrument only. 

Can I double major? 

Yes, after a semester of successful study at WCU but you can only enter with 1 declared major! You

will need the permission of your advisors and department chairs in order to add a second major after your first semester.

How do I audition for ensembles? 

Ensemble auditions are open to any university student, regardless of major. Auditions for the fall

happen the Sunday before classes through the first week of classes in August. Audition materials will be sent out and posted over the summer. See the Ensemble FAQ section below for more details!

What do I have to do to be considered for a music scholarship? 

Complete a successful WSOM audition, be admitted to the University, and fill out your FAFSA.

Scholarship offers will be communicated mid-March. Scholarships offers are based on audition score, instruments of need, and demonstrated financial need.

Do I need to have my own instrument?

No! The Wells School of Music has an instrument rental program. The instruments we have range from student to professional models, and while we are partnered with Yamaha, we offer a variety of brands for these instruments. For ensembles and lessons, the cost of renting an instrument is free. For other classes there will be a $20 a semester charge, per instrument. if something happens to them while in your possession, bring it back to this window and we will fix and clean it for you at no cost.

Can I take minor lessons? 

All performance majors are required to take 4 semesters of minor lessons. Any other student may request minor lessons, but they are dependent on the studio teacher's load (schedule). 

Can I play/sing in multiple ensembles? 

Yes! All ensembles are open to any student. Please see our Ensemble FAQ below for more details!  

Can I test out of theory, aurals, or piano? 

Yes. All matriculated students must take online placement tests for theory and aurals in May before they are scheduled for classes. Any students wishing to test out of piano can do so during summer first year student orientation. 

I'm a transfer student, which of my classes will transfer to WCU? 

You can check out the transfer equivalency page on the Registrar's website. If you still are unsure you can always reach out to Dr. JC Dobrzelewski, our Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for Music specific questions. 

Do you accept AP Music Theory test scores? 

We accept the credits toward graduation, but it does not replace any theory classes. Taking AP Music Theory will give you a solid base knowledge and might prepare you well enough to test out by your placement test. 

Do I have to be accepted to the University before I audition? 

No. You need to apply to the university, and then schedule and pass your audition. After that, you will hear back on your academic acceptance from the University 

Voice & Keyboard

What does the first few semesters course work look like?

Voice: Lessons, Piano class, Music Theory/Aurals, IPA, Choir, First Year Experience, 1-2 General Ed courses

Keyboard: Lessons, Music Theory/Aurals, IPA, Choir, Keyboard masterclass, First Year Experience, 1-2 General Ed courses

What types of resources are available for students?

Every student is assigned an advisor who mentors you through your degree. In addition, students can utilize the Music Theory and Piano tutors, as well as the resources in the LARC (Learning and Resource Center) on campus.

What do opportunities outside the classroom look like?

The Wells School of Music or WSOM often gets requests for teachers, performers, etc. Students can be recommended (by their studio teacher) to be part of the list of performers/groups who are sent into the community. Upper level students can teach through the Wells School of Music Community Music School too (must be recommended by the studio teacher).

What types of performances are hosted each year?

The Wells School of Music hosts hundreds of performances each academic year. Students regularly participate in ensemble performances, ensemble tours, opera productions, and honor’s recitals. Faculty also participate in recitals open for students to attend too!

What study abroad opportunities are there in this department?

The Vocal and Keyboard Department does not have a music specific study abroad program; however, students can participate in WCU study abroad opportunities.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

Vocal and Keyboard graduates go on to graduate programs in Performance, Music Therapy, Music Education, and Collaborative degrees at renowned universities such as Julliard, Indiana, Eastman, and the Curtis Institute. Additionally, many begin apprenticeships with opera companies and symphonies, and go on to major performing careers. Still others become private and college-level teachers.

Music Ed

What does the first few semesters course work look like?

Students in all music major degrees have a very similar first few semesters of course work as they work to develop their personal musicianship. Students can expect to take private lessons, ensembles, music theory and ear training, piano, and general education courses. Additionally, music education majors take some beginning education courses and get early experiences in school systems.

What types of performances are hosted each year?

Music Education majors are part of and perform with all the major ensembles here at WCU. Please check the ensemble page to see what kinds of performances are available for music majors.

What does student teaching look like & other opportunities in the classroom?

Every semester students can expect to spent time in classrooms and working with children. These experiences increase in time as the curriculum progresses and culminate with the student teaching capstone in one of the last semesters. Student teaching involves co-teaching with two different mentor teachers for 8 weeks each placement.  

What study abroad opportunities are there in this department?

Currently, we do not have specific Music Education study abroad opportunities. We plan to continue this exploration as soon as possible to offer these experiences to our students. In the meantime, students are still able to study abroad and can find many opportunities through the study abroad office on campus.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

Graduates from music education do a variety of professions including teach at private and public schools around the country, attend graduate school, and even starting their own businesses. West Chester and the Wells School of Music is very well known for the strength of our Music Education Program.

Music Therapy

What does the first few semesters course work look like?

Students in all music major degrees have a very similar first few semesters of course work as they work to develop their personal musicianship. Students can expect to take private lessons, ensembles, music theory and ear training, piano, and general education courses. Additionally, music therapy majors take some beginning courses and get early experiences in music therapy.

What types of performances are hosted each year?

Music Therapy majors are part of and perform with all the major ensembles here at WCU. Please check the ensemble page to see what kinds of performances are available for music majors.

What do internships look like? Where are they?

Early opportunities for hands on experience with a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). Internship opportunities including university affiliated regional internships and American Music Therapy Association National Roster internships. Student will have the ability to work with a variety of clinical populations through the clinical observation, pre-internship, and internship experiences.

What study abroad opportunities are there in this department?

At this time we do not have separate Music Therapy study abroad opportunities. There are study abroad options for students through the American Music Therapy Association. We plan to continue this exploration as soon as possible to offer these experiences to our students. In the meantime, students can find many opportunities through the study abroad office on campus.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

This program provides students with the experience and skills required to become a candidate for music therapy board certification. Once a candidate, you may take the certification examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Upon passing this examination, you will earn the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC), and thus attains professional status as a music therapist. Graduates are also pursuing advanced study (master and doctorate degrees) in Music Therapy and related fields.

Music Theory, History, and Composition

What does the first few semesters course work look like?

Students begin with the First Year Experience course alongside first levels of Theory of Music, Aural Activities, lessons and ensembles. Gradually other types of courses are added, such as piano, general education courses, and eventually upper-level courses in music. For composers, these include class and private lessons in composition, classes in counterpoint, analysis, conducting, computer music, and orchestration. For music history majors, this includes a rotating series of courses that encompass the periods of Western music history, jazz, rock, and world music.

What types of resources are available for students? 

Resources of special interest to composition majors include the Center for Music Technology, elective courses in music production, technology and media scoring, the Presser Music Library, a weekly seminar in theory and composition, recording sessions of student works each semester by professional ensembles, recitals at the end of each semester and for graduation.

What do opportunities outside the classroom look like?

Many composition majors participate in the NOW Music Society: a student group dedicated to fostering community and collaborative opportunities for our students. Majors in music history often collaborate with professors on research and are attend academic conferences. The MCH department also hosts a concert series called “New Music at WCU” that includes performances of cutting-edge music by guest ensembles, faculty and students.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

Besides composing for film, media, stage and education, composition graduates have gone on to a variety of professions, including those in recording technology and production, music publishing, education, and performance. Many pursue graduate degrees before making their way professionally, and some of our recent graduates have followed up study at WCU at institutions like Yale, Princeton, the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Southern California, University of North Texas, University of South Carolina, Cleveland Institute of Music, and others.

Students who graduate with a degree in music theory or history usually progress to graduate school, and often continue studies to complete a master's or doctoral degree in music history, or a master's in library science. With graduate studies, music history and theory majors can prepare for several career options, such as being a music historian, college professor, and music librarian. These degrees are often sought by our students as part of a dual major, complementing their work as a composer, performer, or music educator.

Instrumental

What do the first few semesters of course work look like?

Our music performance majors take several semesters of core music courses (e.g., music theory, aural activities, music history, piano, etc.) in addition to a variety of general education courses. Performance majors also take a weekly private lesson on their primary instrument and they perform in a variety of WSOM ensembles.

What types of resources are available for students? 

Students receive academic and career preparation advice from their academic advisor. The Presser Music Library offers an expansive collection of audio recordings, printed musical scores, and sheet music. Students also have access to an extensive array of streaming audio catalogs and music databases through WCU’s libraries.

What do opportunities outside the classroom look like?

Many of our performance majors perform and teach throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Students often perform with community bands and orchestras, local theater productions, choirs, etc. Our performance majors often benefit from teaching opportunities with school music programs and local music studios. Students also have numerous opportunities to see our outstanding WSOM faculty perform off-campus with the region’s top professional ensembles.

What types of performances are hosted each year?

In addition to our extensive calendar of on-campus faculty recitals, student recitals, and ensemble concerts, WSOM students benefit from a variety of guest artist clinics and masterclasses. Recent guest artists include members of world class orchestras (Paris Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, etc.), members of prominent chamber music ensembles, and faculty members from a variety of renowned universities and conservatories.

What study abroad opportunities are there in this department? 

Some of our performance majors participate in and attend international summer music festivals and seminars. Students also benefit from international performance opportunities with our WSOM ensembles, including past tours to China, Costa Rica, and throughout Europe.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

Our music performance graduates perform with a wide variety of professional musical organizations (e.g., symphony orchestras, military bands, chamber music ensembles, etc.). Some of our graduates enjoy active recording careers, and some work for prominent companies in different sectors of the music industry. Our music performance graduates are often accepted to prominent graduate schools and some go on to pursue doctoral degrees. Some of our graduates now teach at universities throughout the country, and some maintain thriving private teaching studios.

Ensembles & Conducting

How do students join ensembles?

Any WCU student is eligible for participation in university musical ensembles.  Contact Dr. Andrew Yozviak for links to audition materials and specific requirements at ayozviak@wcupa.edu

  • Auditions for fall instrumental ensembles are held the Sunday before classes begin.  Auditions for spring instrumental ensembles are held the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
  • Choral auditions are held during the first two days of the fall semester. 

All auditions are for placement in ensembles.  Every student who auditions will be included in an ensemble.

How do students join the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band?

Any WCU student is eligible for membership in the West Chester University INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band!

  • All Prospective Members should express their intent to Audition by completing the RamBand Member Interest Form
  • The detailed 2021 Audition Packet will be posted in January. In the meantime, Prospective Members should follow the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band on Facebook and Instagram (@WCURamBand) to receive the most up-to-date information!
  • Auditions for RamBand take place during the summer months. Prospective Members must attend at least one Audition Camp (attendance at both is recommended). Prospective Members with conflicts on all available dates must email goldenramsmarchingband@gmail.com to coordinate an alternate audition experience.  
    • Color Guard Audition Camps 2021 – June 6th, June 27th, July 11th (9am – 5pm @ Swope Music Building)
    • Winds and Percussion Audition Camps 2021 – June 27th, July 11th (9am – 4pm @ Swope Music Building)  
  • 2021 Winds and Percussion Audition materials can be accessed through the RamBand Shared Dropbox.
  • The 2021 Cast List will be announced by July 18th. New Members should plan to attend an Orientation Mini-Camp on August 1st (9am – 4pm @ Swope Music Building) and prepare for RamBand Training Camp (August 20th – 28th)!

What types of performances are hosted each year?

University ensembles enjoy a full schedule of performances on and off campus.  Ensembles perform regularly in state, national and international festivals, and conferences. Recent performances have seen groups performing in Dallas, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

What types of travel opportunities outside of study abroad with Ensembles & Marching Band?

University ensembles have enjoyed regular opportunities for travel abroad. Recent trips have seen tours to China, Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, England, Germany, and Austria. The Marching Band has been able to travel to several conferences and play at different venues such as a Philadelphia Eagles game in 2019.

What are graduates doing with this degree or training doing?

West Chester University graduates have achieved success in all its degree offerings. Students who have participated in Ensembles and the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band become educators, dominating faculties in regional school districts.  Performers achieve admittance into the country’s most distinguished graduate programs and are noteworthy fixtures in our nation’s professional orchestras, military bands, and choruses. Composers are employed in the film and video game scoring industries.  Graduates from all areas regularly find their way to teaching and administrative positions in higher education.

 

 

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