Why minor in Music?

Whether you’re interested in majoring in art, biology or business and desire to develop your musical talent while at UPIKE, consider pursuing your musical passion while enhancing your studies by minoring in music. UPIKE’s music minor offers three tracks for students to engage in advanced musical study – vocal peformance, piano performance and music history. As a graduate, you’ll possess critical thinking skills, utilize techniques for playing your chosen instrument and be able to read the language of music. Minoring in music can also help you learn methods for teaching instrumental, piano and vocal music.

band students playing saxophones and trumpets

Program Distinctives

Students studying music can join dynamic performing ensembles such as the UPIKE Concert Choir, Marching Band, Select Choir, Bluegrass Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Rock Band. Scholarship money is available for both ensembles. Students may play keyboard and wind instruments as well as develop their singing ability and study music history. Additionally, private piano lessons and voice lessons are offered for one credit hour to students seeking to develop their talent. Lessons are open to beginners and those with experience. Private practice facilities and Steinway B concert grand pianos are available to students.

Bluegrass band playing in the grass near the plaza

Interesting Courses

MUS 117 Music Appreciation: American Music
The course focuses on various idioms of american music. Topics include American folk music, American Indian traditions, African American traditions, Latino traditions, country music, popular sacred and secular music, ragtime/jazz, musical theater and classical.

MUS 316 Music History: Women in Music
The course is a survey of the contributions of women in music and how the current issues that lie within the music society and industry can be traced back to the societal standards and expectations dating over 400 years back. The female presence in music has a sparse history. This survey course will look at women in music from the renaissance, baroque, classical and romantic to the modern periods.

piano lesson student

Student Learning Outcomes

A minor in music at UPIKE prepares graduates to use performance as a means for engaging communities, creating cultural awareness and providing ethical leadership, and to perform as soloists, ensemble members and chamber musicians. Graduates will also be able to create, analyze and synthesize music; recognize, classify and interpret a common body of western literature and individual repertory; and demonstrate teaching skills for individual studio and group settings.

Career paths in Music

Music Educator
Music Performer
Music Manager

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

Graduates with music minors often teach private lessons or perform in a variety of venues. Some further their education by attending graduate school. 


“Without my experiences at UPIKE, I would not have had the leadership, analytical skills and tenacity that is essential in developing into a well rounded person. Through my undergraduate career as a music minor with a piano emphasis, I learned that patience and practice are key to developing my talents and retaining the knowledge outside of college to keep honing those skills properly. The professors I encountered in the music department have become trusted mentors and good friends who have always been willing to propel my education and career forward while providing the resources and assistance needed for me to be the absolute best I can be. I will always be grateful to UPIKE and my professors for their encouragement, inspiration and wisdom.”

Kelli Arnett Robinson/CLASS OF 2016/Clerical Support Representative, Acceptance Auto Insurance/Nashville, TN

Music Faculty

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Phillip Westgate

Dr. Phillip Todd Westgate is Professor of Music and Program Coordinator for Music at the University of Pikeville. Dr. Westgate has taught and performed in higher education for 30 years as a professor, conductor, concert organist, pianist and collaborative pianist.

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Eric Rutherford

Dr. John Eric Rutherford, Associate Professor of Music, serves as Director of Choral Music at the University of Pikeville.

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Slade Denman

Slade Presley Denman is the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pikeville.

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Michelle Rutherford

Michelle Rutherford serves as Associate Professor of Music, Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Otterbein University and Master’s degree in Music from Kansas State University.