Ever wonder what’s going on with the music department?The SHSU School of Music has been recognized as a leader in the training of music educators.The music department offers four degrees: music education, performance, theory/composition, music literature and music therapy. Music therapy is a health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals. Music therapy major Julie Bloyd said “Music therapy is using music to reach non-musical goals.” The profession is about 50 years old and provides services for adults and children with psychiatric disorders, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and speech and hearing impairments. “If you have a love for music and a love for people, it’s a great way to combine the two” said Bloyd.The SHSU School of Music also has a number of ensembles which include: the Bearkat Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, SHSU Chorale, Concert Choir, Symphonic Chorus, Opera Workshop and Symphony Orchestra. The ensembles are open to both music majors and non-majors and auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. Many students of the music department love performances. Bloyd said “It’s not always easy working on music, but when you get to perform it, you’re at that point when you feel ownership. You can’t give something away unless you own it, and once you reach that point it’s so exciting.”However, Bloyd admits that it’s not as easy as people may think. “It’s difficult to be a music major” she said. She also added that people tend to gloss over it, but we have a very high number of hours. “Fifteen hours usually translates to about 20 hours and we’re all required to take private lessons as well as a lot of practice; so it’s difficult but very worthwhile,” she said.The SHSU School of Music has many events scheduled this fall semester that are all free of charge. Admission is charged for large ensemble concerts, opera productions and other special concerts. All ticket proceeds are used to support the studies of young musicians at SHSU. Concerts are free (with SHSU identification) to staff, faculty and students. For more information call (936) 294-1360.