NMSU branding
New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog


Professor Lon W. Chaffin, department head

Professors Alt, Borchert, Kaplan, Klein, Romero, Shearer; Associate Professors Bugbee, Hughes, Joy, Spitzer; Assistant Professors Arruda, Espinoza, Martinez-Rios, Pierce, L. Van Winkle, Vega-Albela College Assistant Professors Taylor, Larragoity; College Instructor Brennan

phone: (575) 646-2421

website: http://music.nmsu.edu/

Music Course Descriptions

Mission Statement

The mission of the Music Department at NMSU is:

  1. to prepare students for careers in music education, business, and/or performance;
  2. to give the student body opportunities to perform, study, create, and experience music;
  3. to enhance the cultural lives of our constituency by performance of superior music; and
  4. to create an artistic environment which fosters the development of personal realizations we believe to be essential to the fabric of a healthy society.

All students are required to meet the State Common Core as well as the College of Arts and Sciences general education requirement as listed in earlier sections of this catalog. Please see a Music Department advisor for a specific list of courses.

Admission into the Program

For a student to be officially accepted as a Music major or minor, he/she must do the following:

  • perform an audition for a panel of no less than three Music faculty members
    • one of whom must be the director of his/ her program area
    • one of whom must be the applied teacher of the student's principal instrument
  • provide recommendation letters from at least two music professionals
  • take a Music Theory placement exam

Any student declaring Music as his/her major may be accepted for a one-semester probationary period. During that first semester, the Music faculty will determine if the student has the necessary skills and work ethic to continue as a major. The student's course work, ensemble participation, and applied jury will be the basis for the decision to allow the student to continue or not.

Departmental Requirements for all Bachelor’s Degrees (Music Core)

A student must earn a grade of C- or better in all departmental requirements for any degree in the Department of Music. All students wishing to pursue a music degree must audition and take the theory placement exam. Contact the department for current audition requirements.

Students enrolled in this department’s major(s) or minor(s) may count credits in required applied courses toward their degrees beyond the normal maximum of 9 credits allowed in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, if students change major(s) or minor(s) or do not complete the requirements for the minor at the time of graduation, they may only count a maximum of 9 credits of the applied/occupational credits toward graduation.

Recital Requirements for all Music Degrees

Bachelor of Music

All performance majors are required to give a half recital (30 minutes of music) in the junior year and a full recital (60 minutes of music) in the senior year. Students taking the Music Business option will give a half recital in their major performance area.

Bachelor of Music Education

All music education majors will give a half recital (30 minutes of music) in their major performance area.

Applied Music Requirements for All Music Degrees

All Music degrees require at least two semesters of applied music study at the 430 level.

All students enrolling in applied music will audition and obtain permission from an applied teacher before enrolling for applied music credit.

Students may obtain further information by contacting the music department.

Other Music Requirements, Fees, and Regulations

  1. A Piano Proficiency Examination is required of all music majors. Each student must enroll in Functional Piano or Applied Piano every semester, until the Proficiency is passed. Detailed requirements may be obtained from the Department of Music office. Students must pass the piano Proficiency Exam before presenting a Senior Recital.
  2. Qualitative grade-point average for graduation in music is 2.0 or higher. All grades in required music courses must be C- or better.
  3. A Music Theory Placement Examination is required of all entering freshman and transfer students.
  4. An instrument rental fee is charged each semester for students using university instruments. Consult the music department concerning these fees.
  5. All applied students pay an additional fee. Consult the music department concerning these fees. 
  6. Outside groups and individuals must have special permission to use music department facilities. Contact the music office for additional information.

Music Ensembles

All students majoring or minoring in Music, must enroll and participate in the ensemble appropriate for their particular degree plan. The appropriate ensemble will be determined by degree requirements in consultation with the student's advisor and ensemble directors. The student must enroll each and every semester he/she is considered full-time until the degree requirements are met, for a minimum of 8 semesters (7 semester for Music Education majors). Any student receiving any kind of financial assistance through the Music Department must enroll each and every semester while he/she is attending NMSU. For more information, contact the Music Office.

Music Scholarships and Awards

A limited number of performance stipends and other music scholarships are available to any full-time registered student and are awarded through the department. Amounts awarded will reflect excellence and achievement in performance, determined by audition—either in person or by a recording—and references.

For more information on performance stipends and other music scholarships and awards, write to: Department of Music, PO Box 30001, MSC 3 F, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8001 or e-mail music@nmsu.edu.

DEGREE: Bachelor of Music

  • MAJOR: Music
    • OPTION: Instrumental Performance
    • OPTION: Piano Performance
    • OPTION: Vocal Performance

DEGREE: Bachelor of Music Education