About the Center > Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the center different from other music facilities in the area?

A: In addition to the center being the first of its kind in the nation with many unique offerings under one roof, it’s a music educational facility versus a performance facility, and its mission is to serve people (music educators, students and community members) throughout Wisconsin.

Q: Why was the center built in Waunakee?
A: All areas of the state were explored and considered, but Waunakee was ultimately selected for a variety of reasons, such as proximity to Interstate 90/94 for ease of travel from throughout the state, location near our state capitol where many other state organizations are headquartered and money-saving incentives offered by the village of Waunakee.

Q: Is the center open to the public?

A: Teachers, students and others are welcome to visit the center. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 p.m. Those wishing to visit outside of the regular business hours may make an appointment by calling our office at 608-850-3566.

Q: How is the center accessible to those outside the Madison area?

A: It is accessible statewide by 1) on-site visiting [drive in], 2) use of technology for distance communication and 3) replicating [recreating] models of what’s offered through the center around the state.

Q: Is the resource center accessible like a public library?

A: The resource center is currently the most accessible space in the facility. However, it is different from a public library because the primary audience for the resource center is music educators.  Also, because it isn’t staffed or funded like a public library, the protocol for its use is different based on limited and specialized resources.

Q: Are materials available to check out from the resource center?

A: At this time, materials are “reference only.” However, as more materials are added to the resource center and processes are further developed, certain materials will likely be available to check out.

Q: Can anyone sign up to use the recording studio?

A: The recording studio is available through workshops/programs and for small groups of students and teachers. Please visit our Recording Studio page for more information, or call us at 608-850-3566 to schedule an appointment.

Q: Can other groups schedule the facility for an outside meeting?

A: Yes. We welcome other organizations to rent meeting space.  We can accommodate groups from five to 75 people.

Q: Is tenant space still available?

A: Not at this time. Please contact the WSMA executive director at 608-850-3566 for more information, or visit our Tenant Spaces web page.

Q: Will the center’s offerings replace other programs and services by WSMA and WMEA?

A: No. Through the center, we build on programs currently offered and help extend the reach of music education through additional offerings. Existing programs will not be compromised with the development of new offerings. The current programs have set the benchmark for the high standard of quality in other programs offered through the center.

Q: Can schools around Wisconsin take field trips to the center?

A: Yes – Schools are welcome to arrange in advance for tours, which are available to any group as scheduled. The programs will also draw groups from around the state. As program planning continues, we will develop new ways for students to access the center. Visit our Field Trip Opportunities page for more information.

Q: How are new programs being paid for?

A: Programming for the center is designed to be self-supporting (philanthropy, participant fees).

Q: How does the center benefit WSMA’s existing programs and services?

A: The center benefits WSMA’s existing programs in several ways:

Solo and Ensemble Festivals

• Teachers, students, parents, private teachers and others may now preview selections on the WSMA Festival Music List in the resource center.

• Additional workspace in the center increases efficiency for extra help needed during festival season to process permissions and contact judges.

State Honors Music Projects (Middle Level and High School)

• The high quality State Honors repertoire now has a home in the Ralph Houghton Honors Library. The library also features past Honors programs and recordings. Many of the Honors selections are part of the WSMA Music Festival List, increasing the quality of the selections recommended for school music groups.

• A complete list of Honors repertoire, conductors and recordings is now available.

• The recording studio will improve sight-reading options during auditions.

Music Curriculum Resources

• The center houses a collection of K-12 music curricula for study by school board members, college music education majors, music teachers, parents, administrators and others interested in studying curricula. It includes music curricula from Wisconsin schools and curriculum guidelines from other states.

WSMA History and Advocacy

• Teachers, board members and anyone interested in reading WSMA’s rich history of providing support and leadership to school music programs can read archived magazines and much more. These publications are in the resource center and have never been accessible before now. As we move forward into an exciting future, there is much to learn and respect from the past.

• Advocacy materials are also available and accessible in the resource center.

For answers to any other questions you may have, please contact the Wisconsin Center for Music Education at 608-850-3566.