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Music Programs

From Stage to Studio and Beyond

For students who love music and are seeking a career in this diverse and challenging field, the UW Oshkosh Music Department offers a number of music degree programs including Music Education, Performance, Composition, Music Business, Audio Production, Bachelor of Arts or Science in Music, and several minors and certificates. All majors and the music minor require a playing audition in order to be admitted to the program.

Bachelor of Music Education

(Kenneth Liske) Music Education Program Coordinator





We are a vibrant community of passionate young musicians and adept professional educators helping everyone to become active music makers. Teaching music offers a richly rewarding career in a field with great need, and the importance of arts education in the lives of children and youth has seldom been as well understood as it is today. In fact, Wisconsin’s present shortage of licensed teachers virtually guarantees a position for the best and brightest music educators. UW Oshkosh has a heritage of preparing successful teachers who make a difference in the communities they serve. Contact us to schedule a visit or to learn how you can join us!

Students study in their major performing area with skilled faculty instructors in applied music, they choose from a wide range of large and small performing ensembles, and they are enriched though a remarkable annual schedule of resident and visiting performing artists. They receive core music instruction and select from a variety of required and elective course options. Specialized professional coursework and school-based field experiences give students a broad foundation for success. Special opportunities include international, urban/tribal, and out-of-state field placements and internships. Field work is supervised by university faculty members and a network of cooperating teachers with extensive teaching experience and a strong commitment to student success. As students, music education majors regularly fulfill leadership roles in school and community music-making, including working as teaching assistants in area schools, teaching music in early childhood care centers and youth centers, directing church music, summer music camps, and leading special groups such as the VSA Arts Choir. The UWO ArtsCore program for arts integration provides immense opportunities for internships and special experiences.

At UW Oshkosh, a complete curriculum prepares music educators in areas of professional knowledge, skill, and musicianship, within the framework of a liberal arts education. Bachelor of Music Education graduates are licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to teach PK-12 (EC-AD) choral, instrumental, and/or general music. All music education students complete the requirements for the general music license in complement to the instrumental or choral music license. This offers full preparedness and places graduates in a strong position as job seekers, since school hiring preferences favor music teacher candidates with multiple licenses and specialty areas.

Graduates from UW Oshkosh are highly regarded in the teaching profession. Many successful music education graduates have gone on to earn advanced degrees, serve in state and national leadership roles, and contribute as authors, composers, and teacher educators. They are employed in schools across Wisconsin and the nation. The Professional Education Program in the UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services is among the largest and most progressive in the state, with thousands of graduates teaching worldwide. First job profiles for music education graduates include a wide range of teaching configurations in early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary school music settings.

The UWO Collegiate Chapter of NAfME: The National Association for Music Education has received five annual membership growth awards since 2004 and has been among the state’s largest and most active chapters. The chapter hosts numerous campus events, organizes member attendance at conferences, encourages professional development, partners with area schools and businesses to promote music education, and contributes to the Department of Music through a variety of student-led initiatives. Leadership skills developed in NAfME Collegiate enhance students’ abilities to succeed in many other settings and jump-start professional networking opportunities. Students also hold membership and leadership roles in other professional associations including the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Band Association, the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, and Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.

UW Oshkosh hosts special events and programs related to music education including an ongoing series of workshops and guest presenters on every topic. Each April the Department of Music partners with The Wisconsin School Music Association as one of twelve regional sites of the Wisconsin State Music Festival, bringing 3,000 talented middle and high school musicians to our campus. A statewide leader in teacher licensure, in 2009 the Department of Music partnered with the Center for Additional Teaching Licenses in the UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services to begin an alternative add-on licensure program in general and choral music for qualified practicing music teachers, through intensive summer workshops and blended instruction. The Association of Wisconsin Area Kodály Educators, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, North Central Wisconsin Orff, J.W. Pepper, and other special guest presenters have held recent events at UWO.

For more information please contact the Music Education Program Coordinator Dr. Kenneth Liske by email: or by phone (920) 424-7029 OR contact the music department office by email: or by phone (920) 424-4224.

Bachelor of Music in Performance

Our music performance students have won national, regional and state performance honors. Graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate schools and conservatories and to successful careers in college teaching and performance throughout the world.

The bachelor of music degree with an emphasis in performance is for the highly talented student who wishes to prepare for advanced study and professional performance. Individual instruction is given in piano, voice, guitar, and all wind, brass, percussion and string instruments by accomplished artist/teacher faculty members.

High school students who have developed superior levels of performance ability are encouraged to apply for admission to the program.

For more information please contact the music office via email, and let us know what your primary instrument is! Email: | Phone: (920) 424-4224

Bachelor of Music in Composition

The bachelor of music degree with an emphasis in music composition meets the increasing demand of students who seek to concentrate on the development of their music writing skills, while giving a solid foundation in the practices, styles and techniques of contemporary music.  Through private instruction with an internationally recognized and award-winning composition faculty, students engage with the creation of music in a variety of media, honing compositional craft and experiencing their music in live performances.

News Items:
UW Oshkosh Students Connect with Community’s Elderly
UW Oshkosh Celebrates Creativity and New Music with Two March 2 Concerts

For more information, please contact Dr. John Mayrose by email at, or by phone at (920) 424-4227.

Bachelor of Music in Music Industry - Music Business & Audio Production

The Music Industry major is a student’s pathway to an exciting and fulfilling career. Founded by Wally Messner in 1974, it was one of the first music industry and recording programs in the United States. UW Oshkosh graduates have established careers in the audio production, recording, film, video, arts administration, and business/marketing industries across the country. Our graduates have won Emmy awards, as well as the Student Music Awards presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for excellence in the recording arts.

The major offers three program options: Music Business, Audio Production and a double emphasis that combines the two. The programs include a substantial core of music courses of approximately 70 credits and lead to the Bachelor of Music degree.

This combined option blends courses in Music Business and Audio Production. It is a popular choice for students interested in both Business and Technology in Music and is designed to allow students to graduate after four years of course study and an internship in the Music Industry.

For information on advisement and program planning sheets please click here.

Check out more information and current happenings on our Music Industry Blog site!

Graduates of the UW Oshkosh Music Industry programs have found success in a broad range of careers across the country. Just a few of the recent student internship and career locations have included Blackbird Recording Studio, the TBS late-night show CONAN, Breckenridge Music, Sweetwater Sound, House of Blues Nashville, Hal Leonard music publishing, video game developers Riot Games and Volition, Thirty Tigers entertainment company, media and marketing firm Jensen Communications, Pandora Radio, Yamaha Corporation, and many more!

This program is fully accredited by NASM (the National Association of Schools of Music).

Bachelor of Music in Music Industry - Music Business

The Music Business option prepares students for a broad variety of careers in the music industry including promotion and marketing, sales and manufacturing, arts administration, publishing, and live entertainment, all while building their networking skills within the industry.

The Music Industry program at UW Oshkosh is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Click here for more information, or contact Nate Edwards at , or the Music Department Office by email: or by phone at (920) 424-4224.

Bachelor of Music in Music Industry - Audio Production

The Audio Production option prepares students for careers in recording and post-production within the multi-billion dollar music industry. This program offers a complete recording facility including updated studios featuring Pro Tools and Logic Pro X software, a large-format Sony mix console, a vintage and modern microphone selection, and extensive digital and analog signal processing tools. The studios serve as hands-on learning centers with training in all aspects of the recording process.

Courses cover the full spectrum of audio: The current and future landscape of the music industry, general concepts of sound, microphones and placement, recording and mixing techniques, digital audio interfaces, MIDI production, video post-production, live sound, studio maintenance, and mastering.

Click here for more information, or contact Director of Audio Production Mr. Nathan Edwards by email: or phone: (920) 424-7034.

Bachelor of Arts or Science in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music degree program and the Bachelor of Science in Music degree program are recommended for the student who wishes to obtain a broad-based education in the liberal arts with a major in music. 

Music Minor

The UW Oshkosh Department of Music offers a general minor in music for qualified students.  To be accepted as a music minor, students must first successfully pass an entrance audition.

The 24-credit curriculum for a minor in music includes the following courses:

MUSIC 107 Music Theory I (3 crs.) and MUSIC 173 Aural Skills I (1 cr.)

  • Only offered in the fall semester
  • Must be taken in the same semester

MUSIC 108 Music Theory II (3 crs.) and MUSIC 174 Aural Skills II (1 cr.)

  • Only offered in the spring semester
  • Must be taken in the same semester
  • A grade of C or higher in both MUSIC 107 and MUSIC 173 is a prerequisite for both MUSIC 108 and MUSIC 174

MUSIC 116 Introduction to Global Musics (2 cr.)

  • Only offered in the spring semester
  • MUSIC 107 is a prerequisite for MUSIC 116

MUSIC XXX Applied Study1, 2 (4 crs., 1 per semester)

MUSIC XXX Large Ensemble (4 crs., 1 per semester)

MUSIC XXX Music Electives3 (6 crs.)

1 The applied study credits (applied lessons) are limited to a total of 4. Students will be charged the special applied music course fee of $180 per credit, in addition to the regular credit charge.
2 If voice is the applied area, MUSIC 185: Voice Diction II (1 cr.) is recommended in the second semester of applied study, or when offered thereafter.
3 The music elective credits may be selected from a variety of music courses (excluding applied credits) provided the necessary prerequisites have been met.

For additional information about the Music Minor, contact the Department of Music at or (920) 424-4224.

Music Industry Minor

The UW Oshkosh Department of Music offers a Minor in Music Industry for students interested in furthering their understanding of music in the commercial/business environment. No entry audition is required for admittance into the music industry minor.

The 24-credit curriculum for a minor in music industry includes the following courses:

  • MUSIC 113 Recording Studio Tech I — 2 credits
  • MUSIC 114 Recording Studio Tech II — 2 credits
  • MUSIC 119 Career Skills for the Music and Arts Industries — 3 credits
  • MUSIC 120 Introduction to Music Business and Arts Administration — 3 credits
  • MUSIC 314 Music Industry Operations — 3 credits

One course selected from — 3 credits:

  • MUSIC 102 Music Theory for the General Student (XC) — 3 credits
  • MUSIC 155 Class Piano for Nonmajors (XC)

One course selected from — 3 credits:

  • MUSIC 202 Introduction to World Music
  • MUSIC 215 History of Rock Music (XC, ES, HU)
  • MUSIC 216 The Evolution of Jazz (XC, ES, HU)
  • MUSIC 218 Music and American Cultural Identities (ES, XC, HU)
  • MUSIC 219 Music and Culture: Optional Content (XC, HU)
  • MUSIC 236 American Music and Equal Rights Campaigns (XC, ES)
  • MUSIC 237 Country Music (XC)
  • MUSIC 238 Black Music and American Culture (XC, ES)
  • MUSIC 239 African American Gospel Music (XC, ES)MUSIC 215 African-American Popular Music: Rock And Roll (HU, ES, XC)

Music Electives — 5 credits:

  • Music elective credits may be selected from any other music courses, including ensembles, provided the necessary prerequisites have been met.

For additional information about the Music Industry Minor, contact the Department of Music at or (920) 424-4224.

Certificate in Music

This flexible, eleven-credit certificate program gives students the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge suitable for enjoyable amateur music making and engagement with music as culture. Students will learn to read musical notation, understand basic music theory, acquire introductory music making skills, and gain knowledge and think critically about music as culture. The six credits of music electives give students the opportunity to tailor the certificate to their individual interests. Students may fulfill this requirement with any combination of music courses including private instrument lessons, ensemble experiences, USP music history and literature courses, music industry courses, music composition courses, and others. The Certificate in Music is open to any non-music major or non-music minor regardless of prior musical experience. An entry audition is not required to declare this certificate.

The 11-credit curriculum for a Certificate in Music includes the following courses:

One course selected from — 3 credits:

  • Music 102 Theory of Music for the General Student (XC)
  • Music 155 Class Piano for Nonmajors (XC)

Music 116 Introduction to Global Musics — 2 credits

Music Electives — 6 credits1

1 The music elective credits may be selected from any combination of music courses, provided the necessary prerequisites have been met or with instructor consent.


If you have any questions about the Certificate in Music, contact

Certificate in Music Composition

The Certificate in Music Composition provides students with knowledge and skills in the practice of music composition. Through coursework, including private instruction in composition, students gain basic knowledge of music theory, develop the fundamentals of music composition, write original compositions, have their compositions performed, and develop skills in music technology. The Certificate is available for students who are not majoring in music as well as students who are music majors and minors. An entry audition is not required to declare this certificate.

The 13-credit curriculum for a Certificate in Music Composition includes the following courses:

Music Theory — 3 credits *
One course selected from:

  • Music 102 Theory of Music for the General Student (XC)
  • Music 107 Music Theory I

Music 157 Introduction to Music Composition — 2 credits †

Music 247 Composition (two semesters at 2 credits each) — 4 credits ‡

Music Technology — 2 credits
One course selected from:

  • Music 300 MIDI Studio Techniques
  • Music 410 Electronic Music

Music Elective — 2 credits
One course selected from:

  • Music 247 Composition
  • Music 300 MIDI Studio Techniques
  • Music 307 Instrumentation
  • Music 400 Topics in Music Theory
  • Music 410 Electronic Music

* Non-music majors take Music 102. Music majors take Music 107.
† Prerequisite is Music 107 or consent of instructor. Music 102 will be added as a prerequisite for Music 157.
‡ Music 247 is repeatable for credit.

If you have any questions about the Certificate in Music Composition, contact Dr. John Mayrose at

Music Department

(920) 424-4224

Arts & Communication Center
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 424-4224
Arts & Communication Center

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901