Department of Music

Department of Music: Mission, Goals and Objectives


The Department of Music at Western Connecticut State University is a friendly, vibrant, student-oriented unit in an institution of higher learning that serves as an accessible, responsive and creative intellectual resource for the people and institutions of Connecticut. The faculty and staff of the department strive to meet the educational needs of a diverse student body through instruction, performance, scholarship and public service. Additionally, the department fosters the highest standards of teaching and research in its undergraduate and graduate programs and supports the establishment and continuation of a just and moral society through its own accomplishments, the work of its faculty and staff, and the achievements of its graduates.


The primary goals of the Department of Music are:

  1. To provide a professional education for music majors that develops, nurtures, and assures their competency in all aspects of the discipline;
  2. To encourage development of the creative, intuitive, and intellectual capabilities of students, faculty, and audience;
  3. To provide an education for the greater university community that introduces them to the discipline of music through appreciation and performance, thus developing an informed group of advocates and affirming that music is an integral part of a classic liberal arts education;
  4. To provide for and to enrich the cultural and educational life of the campus, city, state, and region through excellence in instruction, research, composition, and performance; and
  5. To support collaborations between music and related disciplines, and to cultivate and apply new approaches to performance, scholarship, and education.


These goals are highlighted through our objective:

  1. To offer a range of the highest quality academic, artistic, pre-professional, and professional programming within a liberal arts environment.
  2. To support and foster an environment conducive to the professional and artistic growth of faculty and students.
  3. To insure students’ success by meeting their needs in advising, mentoring, and professional development.
  4. To utilize fully the regional advantage of our proximity to New York City and other artistic centers in the northeast, including access to their outstanding faculty, guest artists, facilities, and unparalleled resources.
  5. To attract and retain outstanding full-time faculty.
  6. To utilize part-time faculty when appropriate, (e.g. specialized instruction and performance,), while increasing the number of full-time faculty as appropriate for the size and scope of our programs.
  7. To work with the Office of Enrollment Management to develop new methods of recruitment and retention in the Department of Music to attract and retain the most outstanding students in the region.
  8. To work with the offices of Institutional Advancement, Academic Affairs and the Dean of the School of Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts to secure external and internal funding to support music programs and initiatives, including but not limited to:
    • Awarding scholarships for music students based on talent in order to assure proper balance of quality student musicians in the department,
    • Attracting visiting artists and clinicians,
    • Purchasing and maintaining musical instruments,
    • Funding faculty positions,
    • Improving facilities, and,
    • Increasing music performance library acquisitions.
  9. To provide students and faculty with the finest support and technical services possible, including, but not limited to:
    • Collaborative pianists,
    • Piano technicians,
    • Instrument repair technicians,
    • Concert hall staff,
    • Music library services,
    • Music technology lab staff,
    • Audio recording and sound reinforcement technicians, and
    • Advising.
  10. To provide students, faculty, and staff the finest facilities possible for applied music instruction, solo and ensemble rehearsal and performance, classroom instruction, research, and laboratory experiences.
  11. To develop and foster an environment that acknowledges and affirms the unique contributions of the world’s diverse population by creating and maintaining courses for music majors and non-majors in traditional, jazz, rock, folk, and non-Western music, and by programming music of diverse cultures on recitals and concerts.
  12. To enhance current instructional programs in music by incorporating state-of-the-art technology.
  13. To develop courses in music entrepreneurship.
  14. To develop a minor course of study in music entrepreneurship.
  15. To be recognized within the CSU System and throughout Connecticut as the center of distinction in Music and Music Education and to expand that recognition throughout the Northeast.
  16. To offer clinics and seminars in professional career development for students in all music degree programs.
  17. To assist students in securing opportunities to participate in summer festivals, study abroad programs, professional master-classes, internships, and other opportunities for professional and artistic development.
  18. To develop, maintain, and support festivals in the arts, including the annual Jazz Festival, Choir Festival, etc.
  19. To develop and establish artist-in-residence and guest artist/lecture programs, which will enhance educational and aesthetic opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community and region.
  20. To establish a Department of Music Alumni Association for advisement and support of music programs and initiatives.
  21. To provide service to the educational community throughout the region through
    • access to library facilities
    • Performance of recital programs
    • Presentation of lecture/demonstrations, and
    • Assistance as adjudicators, clinicians, and conductors for district, state, and regional music festivals and in-service conferences.
  22. To expand outreach programs to public/private schools and social/cultural organizations throughout the region.
  23. To work with the Office of Institutional Advancement, Publication and Design, and Public Relations to promote Department of Music events and programs in the community, state, and region.
  24. To develop new summer music programs for middle through high school students, college students, and professionals.
  25. To assess and evaluate our curricula, quality of instruction, quality of programs, and service to the University and community annually.

Objectives for Music Majors

  1. Students will meet standards of musical performance (through applied music studies, ensembles and master classes) in accordance with NASM guidelines.
  2. Students will demonstrate competence in content-based areas of music history, theory, pedagogy, music technology and analysis.
  3. Students will demonstrate competence in skill-based areas of ear training/sight singing, improvisation, composition, keyboard competency and conducting.
  4. Additionally, music education students will demonstrate competence in planning, instructing and assessing student learning (for PK-12 students).