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Mission and Goals

The Music Department at Humboldt State is committed to providing quality education directed to individual student needs. In our department students:

  • perfect skills as a performer and leader
  • study the rich legacy and tradition of music literature and history
  • realize their full artistic potential in a supportive environment
  • prepare for graduate study or a career in a music-related field

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in Music at Humboldt State provides a basic understanding of the theory and history of music, performance opportunities in many styles and genres, and individual instruction in voice, piano, composition or instruments from a highly qualified faculty who are active musicians and scholars.

The Music Department faculty are known for their dedication to teaching and the broad range of their collective expertise. We have experts in music technology, world music, conducting, jazz, musicology, music education, and specialists on all orchestra instruments, voice, guitar, and piano.

  • Performance opportunities in a variety of ensembles and recitals.
  • Facilities featuring a 200 seat recital hall, 3 computer labs, many practice rooms, digital and analog recording equipment, many grand pianos, a large inventory of wind, string and percussion instruments and one of the most comprehensive chamber music libraries on the West Coast.
  • Small class sizes and excellent faculty/student ratio.
  • Accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music.
  • Nationally known performers often come to Humboldt to perform through the University's Center Arts program.
  • Six nationally known jazz artists are brought to Humboldt each year by the Redwood Jazz Alliance.  In addition to performing, each of these artists presents a free workshop at HSU.

Department of Music Mission Statement

The mission of the Music Department at Humboldt State University is to provide well-designed, cohesive, and effective instruction for our students; to be engaged with music as a performing art; to investigate music as a discipline with a considerable and global body of scholarship; and to promote music as a deeply rewarding lifelong area of expression. 

Throughout the history of humanity, music has been one of the most universal, essential, and enduring of human endeavors.  Through the study of the art of music, individuals can be empowered to deeply explore, understand, and objectify their own intellectual, emotional, and creative energies and impulses.  The study of music is, therefore, both an appropriate and an indispensible component of the educational development of university students, serving the mission of Humboldt State University and society at large in a unique and powerful way.

The Music Department accepts and strives to fulfill the charge that each person participating in the study of music in this department will be able to perceive music in an enlightened and discerning way; respond to the expressive qualities of music with sensitivity and appreciation; and be capable of sharing their perceptions and responses with others through the vocabulary and activities intrinsic to music and the scholarship of music.


With the expectation of inherent varying levels of achievement, the following curricular objectives have been established by the Music Department in order to meet the needs of music majors and minors, general education students, and the community-at-large.  The department endeavors to provide opportunities to:

  • Achieve an understanding and an affinity for music by encouraging students to relate musical experiences to their aesthetic perceptions;
  • Examine various parameters of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, form, style, and expression through composing, performing, and listening;
  • Assimilate methodologies used during the disciplined examination of the musical experience, thereby enhancing the ability to articulate value judgments;
  • Explore their perceptions and understanding of the intellectual, social and physical worlds through creativity and scholarship as a means of recognizing the values and limitations of the human experience;
  • Apply aesthetic and practical concepts in the creation and recreation of music;
  • Gain insight into the interrelationships among academic disciplines by studying how music reflects periods of history, literature, theater, and art;
  • Help students master the specialized vocabulary, technical skills, conceptual approaches, and analytical and/or creative tools required for successful performance;
  • Help students develop applicable skills - such as reading complex material, communicating effectively, and thinking critically - that are needed in order to successfully perform in a wide variety of situations, and to foster self-expression and confidence in the area of inter-communication.
  • Foster an awareness of, a capacity for, and a disposition toward a disciplined examination of human experience.
  • Equip students with a sound academic and practical foundation for assuming the roles and responsibilities of a productive member of a community.