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Graduate Studies

music performance & music education.

The Department of Music is a vigorous community of students and faculty who are working together to explore the many exciting avenues of music performance and study. The Department offers both the Bachelor of Music degree and the Masters of Music degree with emphasis in either music performance or education. Students have the opportunity to work with professional music faculty in the area of vocal/choral, keyboard, string, woodwind or percussion instruments. The Department of Music is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and enrolls over 200 undergraduate and graduate students each year.

Music Performance
The Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in performance involves intensive study in vocal, keyboard or individual instruments and experience in a variety of performance situations. Students may choose to study with talented artist-faculty in brass, woodwind, percussion, string, keyboard or voice. The concentration in theory/composition provides extensive theoretical and creative work and lays a strong foundation for graduate studies. The music technology concentration combines the rigorous training of a music program with a hands on approach audio curriculum. Students interested in entering the UNO music program must pass an entrance audition on their major instruments or voice before being formally admitted.

Music Education – K12
The Bachelor of Music degree with education emphasis leads to the K-12 certification enabling the graduate to teach general choral and instrumental music.  Students may choose to study with talented artist-faculty in brass, woodwind, percussion, string, keyboard, or voice. An innovative curriculum in fundamental music skills provides a solid foundation in music theory, history and analysis.

music core requirements.

Students in all degree options (music education, professional degree programs) are required to take a common core of courses in the music program:
Music Core Curriculum I – V
Keyboard Skills I & II
Music History I – III.

Music Ensembles
Students take a total of eight semesters of major and small ensembles that correspond to their major instrument. Major ensembles consist of Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, University Chorus, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, University Band, Jazz Band, and Heartland Philharmonic.  Other ensembles: Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, Chamber Orchestra, Marching Orchestra, Flute Choir, New Music Ensamble, Percussion Ensemble, and Conductors Chorus.

Applied Music
Students in all degree tracks enroll in applied lessons on their major instrument or voice and are required to give a senior recital. 

Music Lab
Students enroll in seven semesters of Music lab.

music education requirements.
Procedure for formal acceptance to the Teacher Preparation Program:
Students interested in becoming teachers must formally apply for admission to the Teacher Preparation Programs in the College of Education. Admission is selective. Students apply to the Teacher Preparation Program during their second year in the music department. Application for admission is required for continuation in preparation to become a teacher. Applications will be reviewed by the Admission Review Committee (a subcommittee of the Academic Standards and Policy Committee).
All music education students have additional courses specific to their area on concentration.

Music Education Core
Prior to enrolling in the Music Education Core courses, students must pass the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), EDUC 2020, EDUC 2030, and have been accepted to the Teacher Preparation Program in the College of Education.

Professional Education Sequence

    Human Growth & Learning
    Educational Foundations
    Human Relations
    Applied Special Education
    Level I - Field Experience
    Instructional Systems & Lab
    Reading for Secondary Teachers
    Student Teaching

Minimum Credit Hour Requirement
The total minimum number of hours required for a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in education and K-12 teacher certification is 135-138 credit hours which includes the academic core as well as music coursework.


music performance requirements.

Performance Core
All Performance majors take the following courses: Introduction to Music Technology, Music from 1900–1945, Elective Music Literature

Students take further coursework in their area of study:

  • Voice Performance Major
  • Applied Voice, Foreign Language, Diction for Singers I & II, Vocal Pedagogy, Voice Literature
  • Instrumental Performance Major
  • Applied Instrumental Lessons, Instrumental Pedagogy
  • Keyboard Performance Major
  • Applied Keyboard Lessons, Accompanying, Piano Pedagogy, Keyboard Literature
  • Composition Concentration
  • Applied Lessons, Digital Music Synthesis, Composition I & II, Advanced Composition I & II, Music Since 1945
  • Technology Concentration
  • Digital Music Synthesis, Audio Recording Techniques I & II, Projects in Music, Technology Capstone Project

Theory Electives
Students in all performance areas select from the following theory electives courses:
Composition, Advanced Composition, Jazz Improvisation, Arranging for Jazz Ensemble, Music Since 1945, Orchestration, Counterpoint

Minimum Credit Hour Requirement
The total minimum number of hours required for a Bachelor of Music with a performance emphasis is 125-130 credit hours (depending on area of emphasis) which includes the academic core as well as music coursework.

Students interested in entering the UNO music program must pass an entrance audition on their major instrument or voice before being formally admitted.

Music Scholarships
Music Scholarships are based upon an audition, recommendations, previous musical experiences and honors, and major performance area. Undergraduate awards range from $600 to $4,800 annually and are awarded for a four year period.

Music Facilities
The Department of Music occupies the Willis A. and Janet S. Strauss Performing Arts Center, completed in 1973 and designed by Omaha architect Golden Zenon. The complex itself boasts a tunable recital hall which seats 500, containing a Casavant Organ and a Steinway Concert Grand D, impressive acoustic isolation, large rehearsal rooms, a listening library and practice rooms. Strauss is a nexus of musical activity not only for the university, but for the city of Omaha as well.

The Henningson Memorial Campanile, rising 168 feet over the UNO campus, is one of only 180 such structures in the United States. The carillon is a four-octave, acoustically balanced instrument. It consists of 47 bronze bells cast by the bellfoundry of Paccard-Fonderie de Cloches in Annecy, France. The largest of the bells weighs 4,397 pounds and measures five feet in diameter by four feet in height. The combined weight of the 47 bells is 24,408 pounds.

music faculty.
Dr. Kenton W. Bales, Music Theory/Composition

Dr. Christine E. Beard, Flute/Music Theory/Woodwind Area Coordinator

Mr. Jeremy Baguyos, Coordinator of Recording Services/Music Technology

Dr. Melissa Berke, Music Education Coordinator

Dr. Roger Foltz, Music Theory/Composition/Graduate Program Chair

Mr. Barry M. Ford, Director of Orchestra Activities

Dr. Matthew Harden, Director of Choral Activities

Dr. James Johnson, Piano/Area Coordinator

Dr. David Low, Cello/String Area Coordinator

Dr. Peter Madsen, Trombone & Euphonium/Coordinator of Jazz Studies

Dr. Tomm Roland, Percussion Coordinator/Multicultural Music/Interim Department Chair

Mr. Darren Pettit, Saxophone, Music Theory/Jazz Combos

Dr. James Saker, Director of Bands

Dr. Courtney Snyder, Assistant Director of Bands

Ms. Shelby VanNorstrand, Area Coordinator of Voice

Ms. Stacie Haneline, Class Piano and Collaborative Program Coordinator

Mr. Jason Johnson, Trumpet/Jazz Survey


UNO Department of Music
Interim Department Chair, Dr. Tomm Roland

Interested in our music program?
Contact Shellie Harden, 554-2177 OR