2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 29, 2023  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Music

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David Reynolds, Department Head
Department of Music
Lincoln Music Hall 204
Box 2212
E-mail:  paul.reynolds@sdstate.edu


Professor Reynolds, Head; Professors Crowe, Diddle, Lis, Toronto, Walker; Professors Emeriti Canaan, Colson, Hatfield, Johnson, McKinney, Piersel, Walker; Associate Professors Brawand, Ragsdale, Walsh; Assistant Professors Robinette,Wallace, Yonce; Instructors Kessler, Spaethe.


The South Dakota State University Music Department is shaped by the university’s Land Grant status and the spirit of the Morrill Act. Within that context, it is the mission of the Music Department to musically serve the university, state, and region through teaching/advising, research/creative activity, and outreach/general service.

With three degree options, a marching band, three choirs, three concert bands, a symphony orchestra, and two jazz ensembles, there is a musical outlet for everyone in the Department of Music. The department focuses its attention on undergraduate learning, research, creative activity, and service to the discipline of music.

Department Objectives

  • To serve the university, state, and region by delivering an approved and well-defined undergraduate music curricula
  • To engage in scholarly and creative musical endeavors which illuminate the underlying principles of the mission
  • To provide musically enriching public service outreach activities, both on and off campus
  • To provide a musical learning environment where students develop personal interests and leadership skills necessary for the full appreciation of life, empowering them to contribute deeply to the human experience through a wide range of endeavors, and
  • To be proactive regarding equity, ethnicity, and cultural diversity


The Music Department has full membership in the National Association of Schools of Music.


Music (B.A.) - Music Studies Specialization  
Music (B.A.) - Music Entrepreneurship Specialization  
Music Education (B.M.E.)  
Music Minor  

Music Program Application Requirements

  1. Admission as a music major in any of the music degree programs requires the successful completion of an audition in the student’s major area of applied instruction.
  2. Music majors in all degree programs must choose one area of applied instruction in which to specialize. Further, students must meet the applied proficiency standards of the Department in that area. To that end, students must:
    1. successfully complete a jury examination each semester.
    2. apply for and be granted approval to advance to upper level applied study (300-400 levels).
    3. complete a minimum of 6 hours of upper level (300-400) applied study
  3. Piano proficiency is required of all majors. Several approaches to meeting the requirements are available. See the Student Handbook published and available from the Department for more specifics. The piano proficiency must be passed before the senior recital may be scheduled.
  4. Voice or instrumental proficiency is required of all keyboard majors.
  5. Ensemble Requirements:
    1. All music majors must participate in at least one major ensemble each semester they are enrolled as a regular university student (Internship and Student Teaching semesters excepted). See the Student Handbook for more details.
    2. Participation in small ensembles is strongly encouraged for all majors and minors.
  6. A minimum of five pedagogy courses is required for students in the B.M.E program, and while the required pedagogies develop proficiencies within the areas of specialization for B.M.E. students, a functional knowledge of instrumental or vocal techniques outside the specialty is also essential. For instrumental B.M.E. majors, this must include one semester each of string, woodwind, brass, and percussion pedagogies. Six semesters will assure the broadest preparation through multiple levels of woodwind and brass pedagogy. In addition, instrumental B.M.E. majors must take MUS 270/ 271 general voice for instrument majors. For vocal B.M.E. majors, the four required semesters of vocal pedagogy are augmented by MUS 270/271 general instrument for voice majors.
  7. Recommendations for enrolling in student teaching will be issued by the Music Education Coordinator following an interview with the student and his/her advisor.
  8. Recommendations for music entrepreneurship students wishing to enroll for the Internship experience must be issued by the program Coordinator.
  9. A senior recital is required of all music majors.
  10. Majors and minors must enroll for Recital Attendance (MUS 185) each semester they are enrolled for applied music lessons.

Facilities and Services

The department enjoys excellent facilities including historic Lincoln Music Hall and the new, state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center. The Performing Arts Center is the location of the 1000-seat Larson Concert Hall, which plays host annually to some of the world’s most important Classical and popular performing artists.

Student Support and Engagement Opportunities

The department provides students the opportunity to explore the widest variety of musical experiences and thinking through academic study, performance, student organizations, and travel. All SDSU students are welcomed to participate in music ensembles, applied lessons, music appreciation classes, and in some music literature and history offerings. The department also sponsors several clubs and organizations.

  • National Association for Music Education
  • Music Teachers National Association
  • American Choral Directors Association
  • Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma

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