The NMU Department of Music prepares music majors for professional careers in music. The department also provides instruction in music for minors and non-majors, and musical performances by students and faculty. By these means, the department provides artistic and cultural enrichment for the university and the surrounding community (2009, NMU Board of Trustees).
The Department of Music is NMU's resource for those seeking a comprehensive music education and for all who wish to enrich their lives through involvement in, and enjoyment of, music. Its academic purpose is to advance the university mission by providing undergraduate programs for professional training in music, studies in music as a liberal art, and opportunities for the general university student in applied study, music courses, and ensemble performance. On a broader level it exists to enrich the present culture, preserve artistic heritage, and facilitate the emergence of new creative expressions. The Department pursues these purposes through the following goals:
• Provide undergraduate programs and curricula of the highest quality for students aspiring to careers in music and music education.
• Provide non-majors with opportunities to explore musical interests and develop musical skills and knowledge.
• Contribute to the cultural enrichment of the university, community, and region through concerts, recitals, guest artists, and educational offerings, as well as through faculty scholarship in teaching and performing, and conducting.
• Support public school music education through outreach to schools, advocacy for the arts, and campus events, including festivals, teacher in-service, summer music camps, and other offerings.
• Maintain a positive teaching, learning, and artistic environment that attracts and retains a high quality and diverse student body and faculty.
• Enhance the life of the university community through service performances at commencement, athletic events, and other university occasions.
The department offers three undergraduate degrees—Bachelor of Music Education (Vocal or Instrumental), Bachelor of Science or Arts/Music Major, and Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in an Outside Field. Non-majors may also pursue a 16-credit music minor.
The department provides opportunities for music instruction and performance to all students and general public. Lessons, classes, and ensembles are open to non-majors. A schedule of ensemble concerts, student and faculty recitals, guest artist performances, and educational events is offered each semester. The department fosters public school music education first of all by graduating high quality music educators, then by hosting festivals and camps, providing in-service education for teachers, and by sending faculty and ensembles out to schools to perform and teach. The department serves the university through the marching band (home football games and other campus functions) and pep bands (hockey and women’s basketball games), by arranging student and faculty musical performances for university events, and by co-sponsoring cultural activities with other academic departments.