SUNY Buffalo State Music Department Mission Statement
The Music Department at SUNY Buffalo State is committed to providing students with a practical and comprehensive education, driven by the diverse needs of the 21st-century musician. Working within a supportive and collaborative environment, Buffalo State music students will develop strong musicianship and professional skilils while establishing long-term relationships with peers and faculty.
▪To provide opportunities for music majors to collectively and individually develop musical excellence and understanding through participation in a variety of musical ensembles, applied lessons, performance opportunities, coursework, and independent projects. The Music Department will explore expanded degree offerings in the area of Music Performance.
▪To engage music majors in learning experiences necessary for the development of professional-level musical skills and understanding. Learning experiences include those that develop technical proficiencies, grounding in the theoretical and historical traditions, and an understanding and appreciation of the profession and promote a disposition toward lifelong learning in music, music education, the liberal arts, and the humanities.
▪To contribute to the cultural enrichment of all Buffalo State students, the greater Buffalo/Niagara region, and Western New York State by providing a multitude of concerts, recitals, symposia, festivals, master classes, and lectures. Through this effort, the department intends to promulgate our work to enhance recruiting, audience building, awareness, and fundraising.
▪To offer all Buffalo State students the opportunity to study music history, music theory, and/or music appreciation as part of the general education experience.
▪To offer qualified Buffalo State students the opportunity to participate in a musical ensemble that performs public concerts on a regularly scheduled basis.
▪To offer pre-service music educators the opportunity to engage in field experiences that expose and prepare them for the rigors, challenges, and opportunities commonly encountered in urban and/or rural music education and engage students in the BUMP initiative and other uniquely immersive pedagogical experiences.
▪To continue to explore innovative approaches to curriculum, program development, technological implementation, and opportunities to enhance the department's distinctiveness and overall quality that are reflective of the department's mission. More specifically, to expand curricular and programmatic offerings in the area of Music Technology, and explore the creation of a Digital Music Center.
▪To work synergistically with a variety of campus constituencies to embrace diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, financial status, documented disabilities and divergent viewpoints through curriculum, in faculty and student recruitment, community partnerships, and resource allocation.
All music majors will develop comprehensive musicianship as defined by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) definition of musicianship: "Musicianship is the body of knowledge, skills, practices, and insights that enables music making at any level. To some extent, every musician functions regularly as a performer, a listener, a historian, a composer, a theorist, and a teacher. Completion of an undergraduate program in music indicates acquisition of sufficient musicianship to perform these functions appropriate to the areas of concentration and to communicate effectively across the specializations of musical practice. "In support of this objective, all music majors will develop conceptual understandings of music history, theory, composition, improvisation, arranging, technology, and aural perceptions. These curricular experiences will be delivered by music faculty who have demonstrated mastery of the subject matter and are engaged in a judicious mixture of teaching, scholarship and creativity, and service to the institution and profession. Undergraduate students pursuing coursework will be supported by sufficient library resources and be encouraged to utilize modern technologies. Music majors will actively attend music department concerts and recitals, and/or attend musical events in the greater Buffalo/Niagara region, to further enhance the extracurricular musical learning experience.
The importance of the Mus.M. in music education being well constructed, properly supported, and professionally delivered in its first year is a critical and immediate objective for the department. Under the guidance of the Graduate Music Education coordinator, with support from additional full- and part-time music education faculty, as well as the library, Instructional Resources, Computing Technology Services (CTS), and the Graduate School, ensuring that the program is sufficiently marketed, staffed, enrolled, and supported, and that the educational product is competitive and meets NASM standards as outlined in the pending Plan Approval remains a top priority. The department remains mindful to minimize or eliminate any potential impact the new Mus. M. might have on extent programmatic offerings.
The department remains reflective of its role in embracing diversity with respect to faculty and student composition, curricular and extra-curricular offerings, repertoire, and academic viewpoints. Faculty and student participation in NCBI and other such training/support groups, and well as incorporating appropriate diversity language in search position descriptions and search committee charges, and eventually upon hire, faculty letters of expectations are practices that will remain in pursuit of the objective of embracing diversity.
Given the department's recent investment in technological infrastructure and personnel, we aim to fully realize the potential capabilities to enable technological research and creative endeavors of faculty and students, embed technology into the curriculum and make full use of BlackBoard distance education possibilities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and teach our students to use and embrace technology in their own pedagogical practices.
All music education students will develop a thoughtful teaching philosophy supported by data and evidence housed in TaskStream and develop a professional disposition toward teaching. Qualified music education faculty will facilitate musical and professional student growth through carefully constructed curricula, Professional Disposition Reports, advisement, field experiences, and other delivery systems. Qualified music faculty will ensure that music education students develop excellence on a primary instrument and proficiency with all standard band and orchestra instruments, as well as voice and piano.
The music faculty will work together to recruit and retain highly qualified undergraduate and graduate degree candidates from throughout New York State and beyond. Recruitment will aim to increase size, scope, breadth, diversity, depth, and quality of the music student population at Buffalo State. The department chair, in consultation with the music faculty and college administration, will ensure adequate resources to support the Music Department as it grows and evolves.
The Music Department is proud of the work in evidence since initial NASM accreditation was attained in 2008. Notably of the attainment of plans laid forth in Section III of the 2008 Self Study which consisted of: establishing a symphonic string program, developing a Master's of Music in Music Education, increasing student support and success, redressing piano proficiency requirements based on data, increasing technological infrastructure, curriculua, and faculty expertise, better serving students with special needs, and further embracing diversity. There is tangible evidence that the department has made significant leaps in all of these areas in a relatively short time. Having proven that the department is capable of attaining long-term goals, it remains crucial that the we continue to feel supported from all levels of administration as we move forward in an effort to attain the plans and projections outlined in Section III of this document, and the abovementioned goals and objectives. Even in times of unsure budgets, system wide cuts, and drastic reductions, the department continues to rely upon the understanding that appropriate levels of administrative support are needed and essential to remain viable, stable, healthy, and in compliance.