Bachelor of Arts
School of Arts and Sciences
Unleash your passion for music through engaging classes and performing opportunities in vocal, solo, and chamber music. The Music program’s dynamic faculty have years of experience on stage and in the recording studio, and will work closely with you to provide dedicated, individual mentoring tailored to your performance and academic needs. Music students graduate with the skills and experience to compete at the highest levels with professional musicians and graduate students around the country.
Who It's For
Students in the Music program are curious, hardworking, talented, and eager to learn. The program is designed to help you hone your natural abilities, improve your musicianship, and gain a rich, diverse resume of performance experience. Rigorous coursework and robust performing opportunities transform you into an accomplished musician and prepare you to pursue graduate work in music or a music-related career after graduation.
- There are many performance opportunities in solo, opera, chamber music, and local professional ensembles.
- You'll receive extensive mentoring with faculty, masterclasses with guest artists, summer programs, and international touring and study-abroad opportunities.
- You don't have to compete with graduate students for performing roles.
About the Program
Whether you want to sing opera, play jazz piano, perform on Broadway, or join an indie rock band, the Music program empowers you to pursue your dreams by connecting you with valuable opportunities. The Music program offers a bachelor of arts degree in music that allows you to choose an emphasis in Music Studies, Vocal Performance, or Piano Performance, with the possibility of double or customizable majors. An audition is required to become a music major and you must audition on the instrument you plan to major in.
Explore opportunities on campus for private lessons and performing as well as information on Westminster summer camps availible to high school students and the community partnerships the program has formed.
What You'll Learn
- Understand music theory from the common practice period to the present, including both tonal theory (harmony, the rules of voice leading, and four-part writing), and post-tonal theory.
- Develop aural skills sufficient for competent melodic/harmonic/rhythmic dictation and sight-singing.
- Study the history of western classical music including forms and styles, and its connection to western culture.
- Achieve excellence on a particular instrument or voice in solo and ensemble performance.
- Communicate clearly and meaningfully about music and related subjects.
Plan of Study
You’ll start by taking introductory coursework and private lessons for your primary instrument. As you move through the program, you’ll take classes on music theory, history, and aural skills, while performing in ensembles from Community Choir, Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble to Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Players, and Opera Studio. To complete your degree, you’ll also take foreign language classes.
Areas of Emphasis
The Music program offers Music Studies, Vocal Performance, and Piano Performance emphases.
Liberal Education Courses
In the SugarTown Acapella ensemble, a wide variety of popular styles are cultivated by exploring everything from barbershop and sweet adeline traditions to more contemporary pieces. Auditions are required for this ensemble, and you are strongly advised (in some cases required) to concurrently take 1 or more of the following: voice lessons, piano lessons, Music Theory I, and/or Aural Skills I.
A Mathemusical Offering
From Pythagoras to Xenakis, musicians throughout the centuries have studied and utilized the mathematical properties and structure of music. You’ll explore the relationship between math and music and how it affects acoustics, tunings, harmonies, rhythm, and form.
Our program prepares you to pursue any number of music-related careers. Among musicians with the talent and training for careers in performance, those with degrees in music are often at an advantage. Many of our students have gone on to have successful careers as performers, educators, and songwriters. Others have chosen careers behind the scenes as producers, managers, and agents.
- Professional musician
- Sound engineer
Graduates have won scholarships for graduate study at the nation’s top conservatories, been accepted to ivy-league medical schools, attended law school, earned master’s degrees, and started successful companies. The program has also had 100 singers from Westminster perform in Carnegie Hall and boasts a Metropolitan Opera first place winner.
“The arts provide a sense of humanity in our lives. In this day and age, with all the rhetoric that we have to listen to—and the violence we have to endure—the arts bring balance to our lives and bind us together.”
The program can also be taken as a minor, which is a great supplement to other degrees. There are also performance opportunities and private lessons available for anyone on campus that is interested in music, regardless of their area of study.
Tuition and Aid
There's No Better Investment Than You
Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.
With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.
You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.
In addition to general merit scholarships, there are other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.Check Out Scholarships
The music department offers scholarship support to all music majors thanks to the Florence J. Gillmor Foundation and the Gore Endowment for Music. These talent awards are combined with other financial aid packages and scholarships to make quality education affordable for each of Westminster's talented musicians. Scholarship awards are decided based on your audition for entrance to the music department.