Oct 07, 2022  
2021-22 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2021-22 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog


Brian J. Pfaltzgraff, Chair; Barbara E. Ashton; Karen E. Black; Molly C. Doran; Craig A. Hancock; Jennifer J. Larson; Scott J. Muntefering; Rebecca N. Nederhiser; Lee D. Nelson; Nicki Toliver; Suzanne K. Torkelson; Eric J. Wachmann; Alpha M. Woodward

The Wartburg College Music Department is an accredited, institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The music therapy degrees are approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and lead to eligibility for board certification. Completion of the Bachelor of Music Education and the Bachelor of Music Education/Music Therapy leads to licensure in education. In addition to its degree programs, the Music Department invites participation by non-music majors in the many and varied musical activities offered throughout the school year.

Course work for the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Music - Music Therapy, and Bachelor of Arts degrees are carefully planned. Requirements include weekly individual lessons in applied areas, basic piano skills, and recitals. The passing of first- and second-year performance examinations is required to major in music, and jury performance is required each term. Music majors are required to earn at least a C- in all music courses (applied lessons, B-). Music majors earning less than a C- in classroom work are required to retake the course. If the second effort also results in a grade of less than C-, the student will be dropped as a music major.

A student must maintain at least a B- for each term in the major applied area (lessons). Students earning less than a B- in applied lessons will be on probation for one term only while attempting to raise this grade in order to remain a major in that area or to retain a Meistersinger Scholarship. Students who do not maintain this standard must either qualify for another principal performing area or change majors.

Music students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the elements of music including a competency level in music theory and aural skills.
  • Gain an understanding of musical styles and periods and understand music within larger cultural contexts in Western and non-Western traditions.
  • Develop performance skills through applied lessons and solo recitals.
  • Participate in an ensemble experience at a high level.
  • Develop the ability to write and speak as advocates for their art.
  • Develop an appreciation of the value of music in education and society.

Intended Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. integrate the elements of music (music theory, aural skills, and music history) in performance and oral/written expression.
  2. exhibit advanced performance skills in juried or public performances (through solo, chamber, and/or large ensembles).
  3. express the value of music in education and a globally defined society via advocacy according to professional ethical guidelines.

Additional Intended Student Learning Outcomes By Degree Or Concentration

Students will:

  • integrate theoretical and historical knowledge or the liturgy and demonstrate practical skills in a church music setting (Bachelor of Arts, Church Music concentration).
  • manage professional competencies in piano pedagogy and studio operations required for certification by Music Teachers National Association (Bachelor of Arts).
  • demonstrate applied and analytical skills intended to facilitate entrance into a graduate studies program or as independent studio instructors and/or performers (Bachelor of Music).
  • integrate skills and knowledge for the purpose of effectively teaching music to K-12 students in the public schools in compliance with the standards as established by the Iowa Department of Education (Bachelor of Music Education; Music Therapy B.M.E.).
  • manage professional competencies in areas of music skills, clinical foundations, and professional behavior required by the American Music Therapy Association (Music Therapy, B.M. and B.M.E.).


Bachelor of Music Education

For additional information on teaching majors and endorsements, see Education  Department listings.

Bachelor of Music Education/Music Therapy

For additional information on teaching majors and endorsements, see Education  Department listings.

Recitals and Recital Attendance

Two recitals are required of music majors: junior recitals of 30 minutes for B.M. students or 15 minutes for B.A. and B.M.E. students; senior recitals of 60 minutes for B.M. students or 30 minutes for B.A. and B.M.E. students. The Music Department Student Handbook contains specifics about recitals and recital attendance as required for graduation.

Preparatory Instruction

Music students may receive supervised teaching experience by serving as paid instructors for community residents who wish to learn piano or voice at beginning and elementary levels. Music students qualify to teach by meeting requirements in theory, applied music, and pedagogy.

Additional Information

Persons interested in a more detailed description of program goals and courses may request a Music Department Student Handbook. It outlines all policies for music programs.

The Music Department’s Health and Safety Policy may be found on the department’s web page.

Applied Music

Private applied lessons are available for credit to non-music majors. Fee.

Music Ensembles

A student may register for ¼ course credit per term. Up to one course credit may be applied toward graduation requirements.

Graduate Programs

Wartburg College offers two program options for attaining a Master of Arts in Music Therapy (MA-MT). Those with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy are eligible for the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program.  Those with a degree in music other than music therapy are eligible for the Combined Equivalency Plus Master of Arts in Music Therapy program.

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy curriculum provides opportunities to advance in the profession through advanced studies in research, theory and practice. The context of study is music therapy as a contemporary health practice in a diverse world. It borrows from the social sciences, especially psychology, ethnomusicology and sociology.

Master of Arts in Music Therapy (MA-MT)

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy program offers advanced competencies for credential music therapists who have completed a bachelor’s degree program in music therapy. The graduate program offers depth and breadth of knowledge per the American Music Therapy Associations (AMTA) Advanced Competencies. The master’s program is grounded in continuous faculty mentorship on a thesis/research project which is supports by interdisciplinary and collaborative studies in research methodology, psychological and sociological perspectives in a diverse, contemporary world. Master’s students will enhance their professional work through advanced clinical improvisation, peer supervision and Level I of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. A full-time student can expect 1.5 years in the program. 

Combined Equivalency Plus Master of Arts in Music Therapy (EP MA-MT)

The Combined Equivalency Plus Master of Arts in Music Therapy program is intended for those who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music and wish to pursue a career in music therapy. Candidates for this program complete the curriculum established to meet the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Professional Competencies, including practicum experiences and internship. The graduate program offers depth and breadth of knowledge per the AMTA Advanced Competencies. Some bachelor-level courses may be taken simultaneously with master-level coursework in any given semester if the supportive course pre-requisites are fulfilled (note that the internship is a prerequisite for all advanced music therapy courses) Courses taken for the bachelor’s degree requirements in music therapy, including the internship, will not apply toward the master’s degree. A full-time student can expect 2.5-3.0 years to complete the EP MA-MT.

Intended Student Learning Outcomes

Students pursuing the Master of Arts in Music Therapy and the Combined Equivalency Plus Master of Arts in Music Therapy will:

  1. apply AMTA Advanced Competencies with breadth (i.e., scope or range) and depth (i.e., levels of complexity).
  2. integrate interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology and psychology with music therapy theoretical perspectives that advance music therapy practice, education, and research in a diverse global community.
  3. reflect, synthesize and summarize one’s approach and particular area of specialization in the field of music therapy.

Degree Requirements

Complete the 10.25 course credits required for the Master of Arts in Music Therapy.

Thesis/Research Project Proposal Approval Process

The research thesis/project is the capstone of the master’s program and is conducted throughout the three terms. Students will begin their research/project concept in MU 600  and submit their complete proposal to their committee for approval or possible revisions by the end of their first term. The thesis project committee is comprised of three faculty from: music therapy and the social sciences, one of which must be a tenured faculty member. An independent reader (suggested or approved by the program director) who is not on faculty at Wartburg college should complete the third committee member. When the proposal is approved, the student will continue the project in the Research Methods course.

Thesis/Research Project Defense

The final synthesis of the research will be completed and defended in MU 699 Music Therapy Final Project . If further terms are required to complete the project, the student will be assessed a post-comprehensive fee until successfully defending his/her project in front of the research thesis/project committee and professional peers. After successfully defending, the student will be encouraged to present the final project in a community or professional forum and/or publish their work in a peer reviewed journal.