New Major Combines Music Education and Performance


Beginning next fall, Butler University will offer a music degree combining music performance and music education.

Music performance majors will have the opportunity to strengthen their degree once they graduate from Butler.

This degree was approved at a Faculty Senate meeting last week. Coordinator of Music Education Penny Dimmick said she believes this new degree will have many benefits for students.

“Instead of having students complete two different music degrees, this degree blends them in a pedagogically sound way,” Dimmick said. “And in doing so, both areas are stronger.”

This new degree is structured similarly to other Bachelor of Music degrees in many ways.

The only key difference between this music degree and others is a requirement of 160 credit hours and five years of commitment, versus 128 and four.

Dimmick said the new degree helps students enhance their performance skills, among other benefits.

“It gives students the opportunity to earn both the performance and the music education degree in a logical and well structured program,” Dimmick said. “It also gives them the extra year to develop their performance skills.”

The new degree will also go toward a new campaign, Music and More, which markets the flexibility of a Butler degree.

“Many prospective students request degrees of this type,” Dimmick said.

Sophomore voice major Ana Rollins said she believes the new dual degree will bring many new opportunities to students in the Jordan College of the Arts.

“Though I’m going for a degree in music education, I think it’s great that Butler has created this dual degree because, as a music educator, a big part of your job is being able to perform the skills you’re trying to teach,” Rollins said. “I know a lot of music education students love to perform as well, so this gives them the opportunity to professionally improve their craft.”

Dimmick said having both options offered through this new dual degree is beneficial.

“To continue as a performance major while completing a music education degree is a great option for these students,” Dimmick said. “Perhaps they will perform for several years.

It is still nice to have that degree for when they want to change their career—remaining in music and making a difference in the lives of so many students.”

Although this new dual degree will focus more on incoming students next semester, current students have already felt lasting effects on their music degrees, and Rollins said the degree will make the program that much better.

“Butler’s music program is phenomenal because the professors really care about us and spend a great deal of time making sure we receive the best direction possible and even spend extra time outside of class if we are ever struggling,” Rollins said. “Honestly, I think Butler was the best choice for me, and I’m really thankful I have the opportunity to study music here.”