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February 6, 2017

SVSU music department earns national reaccreditation

Kevin SimonsThe Saginaw Valley State University Department of Music hit a high note with accreditors, and has earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music for the second time, this time for a 10-year period.

The distinction demonstrates the department’s determined efforts to meet the highest standards of higher education music and music education programs across the nation, said Jane Girdham, SVSU professor of music and department chair.

“This is a badge of quality,” Girdham said. “It shows we are doing good things.”

The 10-year reaccreditation is the maximum extension available from the association. The department received the boost after first earning a 5-year accreditation status from the organization.

Girdham said the accreditation process provides both input on the department’s quality programs as well as suggestions for improvements. In the five years since the previous site visit, she and her colleagues focused on following some of the suggestions included in the previous accreditation report. For instance, that critique recommended improvements to SVSU’s band room.

“We now have a beautiful band room,” Girdham said. “They keep us on our toes. We are aware we have to meet those standards.”

SVSU music students perform multiple public concerts each year, and they are provided opportunities to attend specialty workshops and work with visiting musicians in a variety of genres, such as jazz, opera and contemporary music. For more information, visit