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Advising First – Undergraduate Music Advisor

Welcome letter from Rachel Ward – College of Music Undergraduate Music Advisor

Welcome to the Florida State University College of Music! As an undergraduate advisor through Advising First, it is my pleasure and passion to advise students about their chosen music degree and university resources during their academic career at FSU, and beyond. By meeting with me once a semester, students will have the most current information on university policies, programs, and a clear understanding of the requirements for their specific major.

When students first arrive at FSU, they are invited to a “Nole Call” which is a preliminary conversation to discuss the student’s goals and interests while attending FSU. From there, students will gain a better understanding of major requirements, course loads, and which major is right for them and what they want to achieve.

Advising First

Since 2001, Advising First has endeavored to create a network of professional, academic advisors who support students as they establish and realize their personal, academic, and career goals at Florida State University. “Through the relationships with advisors and/or coaches, our students are empowered to take personal responsibility and ownership of their educational endeavors.” To find out more about Advising First, visit

About Me

I have always been involved in music. As a child, teenager, and young adult I made it my business to play with bands and teams, take private lessons for various instruments, and attend as many music-related events as possible. As a Tallahassee native, I attended many concerts at FSU, and have had the privilege of performing on many of its stages. I have taught private lessons for piano, violin, and guitar, and have thoughts of reopening my studio in the future. I have studied under artists like Dr. Charles Hulin, DMA (Julliard, Peabody Institute), Dr. Dan Gordon, PhD (FSU), and Dr. Mark Belfast, PhD. (FSU) at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida where I earned my Bachelors of Science in Church Music.

For additional information, questions or concerns, please contact me via e-mail, phone, or in person via the sign-in sheet near my office door.

Rachel Ward
Housewright Music Building (HMU) 205

Faculty Advisors

Expand All
Bachelor of Music
Degree Advisor
BM-Brass Performance Dr. Chris Moore
BM-Harp Performance Ms. Mary Roman
BM-Jazz Performance Mr. William Peterson
BM-Organ Performance Dr. Iain Quinn
BM-Percussion Performance Dr. John Parks
BM-Piano Performance Dr. Heidi Williams
BM-String Performance Ms. Corinne Stillwell
BM-Guitar Performance Mr. Bruce Holzman
BM-Voice Performance Dr. Marcía Porter
BM-Woodwind Performance Dr. Deborah Bish
BM-Composition Dr. Liliya Ugay
BM-Music Therapy Ms. Dianne Gregory
BM-Music Theory Dr. Michael Buchler
BM-Music Theatre Dr. Gayle Seaton
Bachelor of Music Education
Degree Advisor
BME- Instrumental Dr. Clifford Madsen
BME-Choral Dr. Judy Arthur
BME-General Dr. Kimberly VanWeelden
BME-Instrumental (Strings) Dr. Kasia Bugaj
Professional Sequence/Internship Dr. Steve Kelly
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Advisor
BA – General (A-J)  Ms. Michelle Stebleton
(K-Z)  Dr. John Drew
BA – Jazz Mr. William Peterson
BA – Commercial Music Mr. Brian Gaber
BA – Sacred Music Dr. Iain Quinn
Other Advisors
Degree/Program Advisor
Music Undecided Dr. Jane Clendinning
Music Minor Mr. Jeffery Keesecker
Honors Freshman/Sophomore –  Dr. Clifford Madsen
Junior/Senior –  Dr. Nancy Rogers
Special Student/Other Dr. Joanna Hunt
Full-time Undergraduate Advisor for all Music Majors Ms. Rachel Ward

The Music Board of Advisors (BOAs)

The Peer Advising program in the College of Music is known as the BOA (Board of Advisors) program, and its members are called BOAs.  After receiving 16 hours of training, BOAs earn service hours by advising new students at Orientation, helping with College of Music auditions, helping with Accepted Student Previews, conducting tours of the College for prospective students and their parents, helping with the annual College of Music Picnic, ushering for major concerts given at the College, and occasionally helping in the Music Undergraduate Office or the Music Admissions Office at extremely busy times of the year.

Please feel free to email a member of the Music Board of Advisors (BOAs) from the list below with questions of an academic and/or procedural nature appropriate for a peer advisor.  If the BOA assigned to you at orientation is no longer here, contact one with a major or instrument most appropriate for you.