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Dr. Grier Williams School of Music

Our school provides students with a high quality, personalized, undergraduate education for careers in the fields of music performance and music education. Admittance to our programs is by audition only.

The University of West Florida is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and has been accredited by NASM since 1971.


UWF announces gift to create a School of Music

The University of West Florida announced a gift to rename the Department of Music. An anonymous contribution has established the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music in memory of the first chair of the music department.

“This gift is transformational for our music students,” said Dr. Sheila Dunn, associate professor and director of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music. “It will put UWF on the map, creating visibility and recognition for our faculty and students.”


UWF Newsroom

A Message from Dr. Sheila Dunn, Director of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music

Dear Students,

The Faculty and I are very excited to begin classes this spring. We are thrilled to welcome our new freshman and transfer students. Returning students, we can't wait to see you all again soon. 

I hope this message finds each one of you focused on safety and good health. The uncertainties of our return to school this spring continue to affect us all. I want to emphasize the need for flexibility and shared responsibility as we navigate our way in this environment. I urge you to review UWF's Mission, Vision, and Values. I also want to remind all of us that there is a wealth of information on UWF's Coronavirus website.

Full Message 

  1. Recital Hour will be canceled this spring. Studio class will serve as a substitute for each area. 
  2. There will be no recital hour performance requirement. Studio class will serve as a substitute for each area. 
  3. There will be no concert attendance requirement. Applied teachers reserve the right to include a concert attendance requirement (whether virtual or face-to-face) in the applied lesson syllabus. This requirement will be monitored by the applied teacher.
  4. In an effort to keep our collaborative pianists safe, we will utilize online accompanying resources as much as possible.
  5. Junior and Senior recitals will be coached by a collaborative pianist and will have live accompaniment. Recitals will be performed live in the Music Hall. 
  6. Only registered members of a course or ensemble may participate. This policy is critical for contact tracing. We need to know who is present during class meetings. There are no exceptions to this rule. 
  7. All courses will convert to a virtual modality after Thanksgiving break. Course instruction will continue, but we will not return to campus. 
  8. Ensembles will meet face-to-face this fall, and will convert to a virtual modality after Thanksgiving break. Select ensembles will have socially distanced concerts. 
  9. All applied lessons will be hybrid this fall.  Applied lessons may be taught in a virtual modality upon student or teacher request.
  10. All activities will be socially distanced. As a result, your lessons, ensembles and music classes are likely meeting in larger spaces in the CFPA, the commons and even outdoors. 
  11. All students will be masked at all times. Singers will wear a mask at all times. Singers will also be masked while singing when in an applied lesson or in a choral ensemble. Students who need accommodations must register with the Student Accessibility Resources center.
  12. Wind players will use bell covers and masks at all times when performing as a soloist or in an ensemble setting. Puppy pads will be necessary for instruments with spit valves. 
  13. Common areas will have socially distanced seating. Avoid congregating. 
  14. Face-to-face juries will take place before Thanksgiving break. Juries will only be performed for the faculty in your area. (Ex. a French horn player will only perform a jury for the brass faculty). 
  15. Advancements will be filmed live and will be reviewed by the full faculty. 
  16. Student Advisory Board meetings will be virtual. 
  17. Please avoid practicing in the Music Hall, Rehearsal Hall, room 206 and room 210c in between classes, rehearsals and applied lessons. Based on the most recent research, we are staggering classes to allow time for aerosols to settle. 
  18. There will be no weekend hours in building 82 for Music this fall. 
  19. Expect to see the following syllabus statement in your syllabi:

Regarding COVID-19 Fall 2020

Each of us shares responsibility for the health and safety of all in the classroom environment. Maintain social distances, wear a face cover, and quarantine when ill are university directives that we all must follow until further notice (for the latest guidance see Specifically, in this classroom we will mitigate the risks of virus transfer by abiding by the following safety directives:


  • maintain 6 feet of social distance at all times in most classroom environments and when feasible in  special settings such as labs,
  • wear a face covering (disposable or cloth) for the entirety of class, and
  • stay home when sick.


In the classroom, any student who does not follow these provisions will be asked once to follow the safety directives. If the student does not comply, I will next ask the student to leave the class for that day. I will also refer the matter to the Dean of Students Office for review and possible disciplinary actions as described in the UWF Student Code of Conduct should a student persist in ignoring safety directives.

Lastly, what are the new practice room protocols? Please see the “Spring 2021 - Practice Room Protocols Frequently Asked Questions” below for more information.  

Music Office Operations Changes:

  1. We can accommodate one guest (student or faculty member) in the music office at a time.
  2. Hannah Sharp Denaro, the office administrator will work both remotely and on campus. 
  3. Print requests need to be submitted by email to or Printed materials will be submitted to a dropbox outside of the office. 
  4. Any other requests for Hannah will be managed by appointment only/virtual. 
  5. Visits with the chair will be by appointment only/virtual. 
  6. Copy Machine protocol requires sanitizing the copy machine after each use. If there is already one person in the office, students and faculty need to wait to use the copy machine. 
  7. Please do not congregate outside the office door.

Spring 2021 - Practice Room Protocols Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I be able to use the practice rooms this spring?

A: Yes. Students will have access to practice rooms, but we are introducing new protocols to keep students safe. 


Q: What is the new process for accessing the practice rooms? 

A:  The department will post sign-up sheets on the practice room doors every two weeks.The sign up sheets will cover a two week period.


Q: How will I know when the sign-up sheets are available?

A: The music office will send an email notification when the sheets are posted.


Q: How long can I practice? 

A: Sign up slots will be for a half hour with a twenty minute break. This will allow the HVAC system to do its job and clear the air before the next student begins practicing. 


Q: What days can I practice? 

A: Pianists have access every day.

    Students who live in the dorm have access every day. 

    Singers have access on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

    Instrumentalists have access on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.


Q: Can I still practice if it’s not my day to sign up? 

R: Yes. For example, if it is Wednesday and there is a sign-up space that is open, an instrumentalist can practice during that time but the student MUST sign up for contact tracing purposes. 


Q: What safety protocols pertain to using the practice rooms?

A: Please complete the following protocols every time you use a practice room:

  1. Only one student is allowed to practice in a practice room at a time. 
  2. The department is providing alcohol wipes. Students can only clean the piano keys with provided alcohol wipes and/or provided hydrogen peroxide wipes. Note: cleaners that contain bleach will harm the keys. 
  3. Students are required to clean the space BEFORE and AFTER they practice. Always assume the person before you might not have followed protocols. 
  4. Wipe down anything you touch while in the practice room space Ex. piano keys, door knobs, chairs etc. 


Q: Is it okay for me to practice longer than my thirty minute assigned time? 

A:  No. This will negatively impact the person who practices after you because the HVAC system needs time to clear the air. Please vacate the practice room after your half-hour assigned time out of respect for your colleagues. 


Q: What do I do if I notice people are not following protocols?



Please be courteous when signing up for practice rooms. Take the following factors into consideration: 

  1. Remember that students who live in the dorms can not practice in the dorms. 
  2. Remember that some students have recitals this fall. 
  3. Remember that pianists need a piano in order to practice. 
  4. If you have somewhere else to practice on a regular basis, please do so. This will allow more flexibility for students who need regular access to the Department of Music practice rooms.


Students may pursue a Bachelor of Music in Performance, a Bachelor of Music Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Music and an Outside Field, and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Arts Administration.

Career Opportunities 

  • Music performer
  • Conductor
  • Music educator
  • Arts administrator

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