Music program

MUndergrad major mUndergrad minor TTeaching/Certification

Find your tempo. Tap into your talents.

Whether you want to teach, perform or prepare yourself for graduate study, an undergraduate degree in music is a good first step toward a fulfilling life in music.

The UWL Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. In UWL's program, students form a close community, and faculty are eager to share their passion for music. Students explore the field in a broad and balanced way incorporating theory, composition, history, performances, community musical activities and other specialized topics. Many instrumental ensembles and choirs are open to all students regardless of major. Visit the Music Department website for specific audition requirements. 

What is it like to major in music?

Studying music includes both artistic and academic experiences. Student musicians work on their artistry in departmental recitals, master classes and participating in ensembles. Academic experiences enhance the artistry through private lessons, music theory, ear training, sight-reading and music history. All majors and minors include several semesters of lessons on one voice or instrument. Music education courses provide opportunities to gain skills in teaching expertise as well.

I chose to study piano performance at UWL because of the great professors I met at my audition. The individual attention I’ve received is beyond what I thought possible! There are so many ensembles to join, and the best part has been meeting great musicians that I now call friends.

John Paul Peckham

Careers in music

Music majors are prepared for a variety of careers and continuing education opportunities.

  • Music performance careers
  • Music-related professions: Examples include music therapy, music sales and songwriting.
  • Teaching in public schools or private settings: UWL music graduates continue to be in high demand for positions such as instrumental, choral and general music teachers. The most important consideration in job placement is a willingness to move. Salaries are comparable to other teaching in fields. 
  • Graduate studies in music: Graduate studies could prepare you for college teaching in a specific area such as music theory, music history, composition or applied music. Many college positions require a master’s or doctoral degree. Others continue their graduate education in music performance, conducting, conservatory study, business school or theological school.

Entry-level music jobs

  • K-12 music educator
  • Band, orchestra or choral director
  • Church musician
  • Jazz instrumentalist
  • Performer
  • Private studio instructor
  • Music store teacher/specialist
  • Composer/songwriter
  • Military musician/performer
  • Instrument repair technician
  • Piano tuning
  • Music agent

Long-term career development

  • Arranger
  • College/university instructor or professor
  • Concert soloist
  • Conductor
  • Recording artist
  • Commercial music performer
  • Entertainment law
  • Music therapist
  • Recording engineer
  • Video/sound engineer

What distinguishes UWL's Music program?

Scholarships available for music students

The department awards more than 50 talent-based scholarships per year to music majors and minors. Ensemble scholarships are available for talented non-majors performing in ensembles and chamber groups. Learn more on the Music Department website or contact music@uwlax.edu

Applied music lessons

All music majors and minors receive applied music lessons without additional fees. Any student without a music major or music minor may audition to take applied lessons when studio space is available; an additional fee is required for students enrolled in lessons only.

Excellent facilities for rehearsing, performing, recording and learning

Located in the The Truman T. Lowe Center for the Arts, the Music Department features the acoustically-superb and renovated 235-seat Annett Recital Hall, which houses two grand pianos, a two-manual harpsichord and state-of-the-art digital recording equipment. Center for the Arts also houses well-equipped rehearsal facilities, classrooms, and labs, as well as ample practice rooms.

Strong reputation for Jazz

A marquee program in Wisconsin, Jazz Studies features two big bands and two jazz combos. In Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble, music-and non-music majors perform historical and contemporary big band styles. Improvisers learn their craft in jazz improvisation courses and combo performances at jazz clubs. Jazz vocalists sing with instrumental jazz ensembles and their own group, the Contemporary/Jazz Vocal Ensemble.

Variety of instrumental ensembles

These groups work with composers, perform new music, and join community music collaborations. Some groups require auditions.

  • UWL Symphony Orchestra and UWL Wind Ensemble perform masterwork repertoire and contemporary pieces.
  • UWL Concert Band and UWL Symphonic Band are open to any UWL student musician in fall and spring semester.
  • Scholarship chamber ensembles: These include the Hoeschler String Quartet, Cordeiro Woodwind Quintet, and Hoefer Brass Quintet.
  • Screaming Eagles Marching Band is one of the most active and visible organizations at UWL in the fall. The Color Guard, Pom Pons, and Twirlers help create a wonderful blend of music, pageantry, and school spirit. 
Variety of choral groups
  • The UWL Concert Choir and UWL Treble Chorus: Concert Choir, the university's most prestigious choir, holds auditions for students from all disciplines.The UWL Treble Chorus is a non-auditioned choir open to all soprano and alto voices. Both perform music of various cultures and diverse styles from Renaissance through the 21st Century. 
  • The UWL Choral Union is open to students and community members. The largest choral ensemble on campus, they performs large scale symphonic works with orchestra.
  • The Contemporary/Jazz Vocal Ensemble is a small ensemble that performs more modern and improvisatory music without a conductor. 
Multiple, music-related employment opportunities while studying

Part-time student employment opportunities in the Music Office and Listening Lab are available to students eligible for the Federal Work Study program. Other job opportunities, such as recital hall tech crew and ensemble assistantships, are available to all students regardless of financial need. Learn more about student employment opportunities on the Music Department website or contact music@uwlax.edu.

Devoted faculty and staff

Music faculty and staff members are dedicated to excellence in teaching and performing. They are passionate about providing artistic performance opportunities for students and helping all students attain their musical goals. 

Areas of study

Music

mUndergrad minor

Education: Choral & General Music Education Emphasis

MUndergrad major TTeaching/Certification

Education: Instrumental & General Music Education Emphasis

MUndergrad major TTeaching/Certification

Jazz Performance Emphasis

MUndergrad major

Performance Emphasis

MUndergrad major

Piano Pedagogy

MUndergrad major

Theory Emphasis

MUndergrad major

Sample courses