Musicianship at Baylor goes beyond the same old tune

IT’S AN ART FORM Amarillo senior and church music education major, Parker Bowen and Fort Worth junior and church music major, Kendall Walling share the experience as a music major at Baylor.

By Cassidy Pate | Reporter

From singing, playing and writing music to aspiring to conduct one day, Baylor’s School of Music prepares students for wherever this art form may lead them.

About 400 students, 60 full-time faculty members and 20 supplemental professional adjuncts make up this program of musicians collegiate level.

Fort Worth junior Kendall Walling said that finding a supportive community was what she was searching for in the collegiate music world. She found that at Baylor.

The Baylor School of Music’s mission statement hopes its students will investigate the past, grow in the present and gain the necessary skills to be successful in the future of music.

With six departments of academic division, instrumental studies, keyboard studies, music education, vocal studies and the Wayne Fisher Jazz Program, and numerous specialties offered within every one, the School of Music is able to individualize each student’s journey.

But first, students must audition to gain their place in the music program. Once the potential student has submitted his or her application to Baylor and the School of Music, they can move forward in the audition process.

Walling said her vocal auditions consisted of singing two songs: one art song and one song in a different language. Then, the applicant sits in front of the music school’s faculty to do sight reading and vocalizations, or ear training, where someone plays a note and the applicant sings it back.

The audition system is different for each instrument. Regardless of whether it is an instrument or one’s voice, the School of Music requires almost every applicant to submit two letters of recommendation, an essay covering their long-term musical goals and a one-page resume describing their experience in the musical field.

As a church music major, Walling said the most important thing to remember is that comparing yourself to other music majors will get you nowhere. This can be true in any area of study.

“Comparison is the thief of joy, as cheesy as that is,” Walling said.

Walling said that one of the hardest parts about being a music major is that everyone around you knowsyour struggles.

This contrasts other majors because of the performing aspect involved in musicianship. If you miss one note, everybody will know.

“It is really nice when people don’t know if you’re doing bad, you know?” Walling said.

In comparison to the many schools of Baylor, a variety of courses are offered for every department within the School of Music.

Depending on one’s degree plan, courses could include Instrumental Music in the Church for church music majors, Piano Literature I and II for keyboard studies, Jazz History for jazz majors, the list goes on.

The professors play a large part in the future of the music department.

“If I have a question about something, even not related to course work, just about music in general, I always feel free to approach them and ask them questions,” Amarillo senior Parker Bowen said.

Walling said that for her and other music majors alike there is not much time spent studying or doing homework, but rather practicing or attending rehearsals.

Each student must also earn eight semester hours of recital credit, which is equivalent to attending eight recitals per semester.

Walling said these credits could range from orchestra to choir or even visiting groups. However, attending another student’s senior showcase does not count towards the credit.

“Baylor just has [a] really underrated school of music I think; there are just so many talented people,” Walling said.

To see and hear this for yourself, click here for upcoming concert details.

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