Western Kentucky University has been a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1948. The Department of Music emphasizes music education in its broadest sense: all people must have opportunities to increase their awareness of musical sound as aesthetic experience and to indulge selectively in that experience for richer, more meaningful lives. The music curriculum fosters aesthetic awareness, informed choice, and preparation for life-long learning, while allowing for diversity among students' backgrounds. It focuses on the holistic approach, nurturing critical thinking and creative skills and progressing from the obvious and concrete to the subtle and abstract. Through interaction with other arts disciplines and the university curricula, it integrates student, faculty, and curricular resources of the department into the cultural milieu of the University, community, and region.