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Texas A&M-Kingsville's music department now designated School of Music

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Music student plays the cello

Music student plays the cello

KINGSVILLE (February 3, 2020) — After a nearly two-year process, the Department of Music at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has earned the designation School of Music. The process started with Dr. Paul Hageman, Regents Professor and Chair of Music, making the request to university administration and ended with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approving the new designation.  


Hageman said a School of Music is usually a larger, more comprehensive unit than a Department of Music.


“It may often have more internal structure and be divided up into areas of teaching, performance and ensembles. Becoming a School of Music allows us to be recognized as a comprehensive music program and allows us the structure to continue to grow and expand our offerings.


“A School of Music is usually thought of as a larger entity. If you look just even at the state of Texas, the largest programs are Schools of Music, like University of Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, West Texas A&M,” Hageman said. “We have joined the ranks of those groups in some ways and we feel we are ready to do that.”


The news comes as 275 music majors began classes this month in the new 90,000 square foot Music Education Building. An official ribbon-cutting celebration of the new building is scheduled for April.


“We have grown over the years and we currently have 275 majors and as we go into our new building, we anticipate continued growth,” Hageman said. “Even with our new building, we are looking to the future and what we have built will be able to house 450 to 500 majors. That is where we would like to get one day.”


The recommendation to pursue the designation was made in the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) 2017 Visitor’s Report, Hageman said. “It all started with our accreditation visit from the NASM. Every 10 years, we get reaccredited. The last suggestion in the report was to work toward becoming a School of Music.


“The initial work on becoming a School of Music began with our Music Council. The Council conducted extensive research and examined policies, procedures, and organizational structures that we thought would make it appropriate for us to become a School of Music.  We produced a comprehensive proposal that included input from our music faculty and other entities.  Our music faculty voted to accept the proposal and become a School of Music.  We then sent the document forward to our campus administration for their perusal and approval,” Hageman said.


“We are growing and we certainly feel like we have the student body to do this. Our students are just fantastic young men and women. They work very hard and they have accomplished a lot. We have been winning awards at the national and international level. This is a good way to help springboard them to their future if they can say they came from a School of Music,” he said.


The new designation elevates the reputation of an already stellar music program, said Dr. Jaya Goswami, associate vice president for academic affairs.


“It certainly makes the program even more attractive to future students and faculty,” she said. “The School of Music also opens doors to prospective donors and other funding sources to help students and faculty in the program. This designation is most timely, given the brand new building to house the program.”


“I feel like it gives me a stronger foundation when I look for a job,” said Olivia De La Rosa, a senior music education major from Kingsville. “A lot of great educators come from this program.

“The School of Music title matches what has been on-going, like the way the professors train us and everything is very professional and it prepares us for everything,” she added.


Although David De La Rosa, a sophomore music education major from San Benito, has a couple of years before he starts looking for a job, he agreed with Olivia De La Rosa. “For later in the future, when I am looking for a job, I think it will help me on my resume.


“I will come from a more prestigious school. When they see that on my resume, they will see that I came from a School of Music rather than a Department of Music,” he said.


“The university administration supported it. The last two steps was for it to be approved by The Texas A&M University System and then by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.


“Right away students shouldn’t see any changes other than the name. We will continue to be one of the programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. We answer to the dean just like we always have done,” Hageman said. “There will be no change in our structure now. In the future, this will allow us to grow a little bit more.


Music degrees offered at A&M-Kingsville include:  Bachelor of Music in the following areas:  Teacher Certification, Performance, Performance with an Emphasis in Piano Pedagogy, and Performance with an Emphasis in Jazz Studies; Master of Music in the following areas:  Music Education, Performance, and Conducting.


About the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

The National Association of Schools of Music is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 639 accredited institutional members, according to its website. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational and other music-related endeavors.



Category: Arts/Sciences , General Univ

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