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Endless possibilities

The School of Music offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as myriad performance opportunities, that prepare students for careers as performers, teachers, and scholars.

Students choose from a wide range of areas of study and benefit from individualized instruction by dedicated faculty whose teaching and performance experience spans the world. Both majors and non-majors have the opportunity to participate in numerous ensembles, ranging from small chamber groups to the marching Blue Band.

The Penn State School of Music – pursue your passion, nurture your talent, and prepare to take on the world.

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Undergraduate
Degrees + Minors

School of Music recital hall center stage.

Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music prepares students for a professional career as a performer or composer by offering specialized training designed to develop musicianship and celebrate creativity.
School of Music student teacher helping elementary students during rehearsal.

Bachelor of Music Education

The Bachelor of Music Education equips students with the tools to become music educators that profoundly impact the lives of elementary and secondary school children.
School of Music student playing the marimba.

Bachelor of Musical Arts

The Bachelor of Musical Arts explores each student’s passion for music while offering endless cross-disciplinary opportunities to create a unique degree that prepares graduates for a professional career.
School of Music Mosaic performance.

Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music fosters musical creativity and skill while immersing students in a diverse educational experience that informs artistic growth and explores the profound importance of music.
Penn State School of Music MOSAIC vocal performance in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Music Performance Minor

A minor in Music Performance lays the foundation for you to integrate your love and knowledge of music into any career path.
School of Music vocalists performing on stage during the Mardi Gras Jazz Concert at the Recital Hall.

Music Studies Minor

Blend music theory, composition, or performance studies with your major. The Music Studies minor can refine and balance coursework and studies across varied majors.
Music students in class singing in front of microphones.

Music Technology Minor

The Music Tech minor opens the study of musical acoustics, digital audio, sound design, and audio recording. You will apply domains of knowledge from your majors to the fields of audio production and digital technology.
Black and white group photo of Marko Marcinko and his students smiling and holding instruments.

Jazz Performance Minor

Courses include playing in large or small-group combos, instrumental or vocal jazz performance, and jazz arranging or pedagogy.

Graduate
Degrees + Professional Certificates

manuscript

Master of Arts in Music (+Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Option)

The Master of Arts in Music offers three curricular tracks – Musicology, Music Theory, or Music Theory and History – as well as integrated undergrad/grad options.
School of Music orchestra performance showcasing a violinist..

Master of Music

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
Graduate student conducting a performance.

Master of Music Education

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
School of Music piano soloist performance.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
A music education Ph.D. student teaching in front of a group of musicians with instruments.

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education

The Music Ed Ph.D. program, which offers advanced study of teaching and learning music from a research-based perspective, is aimed at individuals careers in higher ed and music administration.
A photograph of Jonathan Livioco outside playing his viola.

Professional Performance Certificate in Music

Offering excellent performing musicians in their early career stages the opportunity for private study with master teachers, including participation in the outstanding ensembles of Penn State's School of Music.
School of Music student teacher helping elementary students during rehearsal.

Instructional I Certification in Music Education

This program is designed for students holding a baccalaureate degree in some field of music other than music education but who desire to qualify for the PA Instructional I Certification in Music program.
A blurred music stand occupies the foreground, in front of a large, formal student choir singing.

Enriching the experience!

Elementary School Students and Penn State School of Music students participate in the tenth anniversary Partners in Music concert.

A cellist and a pianist perform on stage in the Penn State Recital Hall as part of the 2019 Penn's Woods Music Festival.

Research

The School of Music scholarly community seeks to foster an environment of passionate curiosity informed by scholarly rigor. While our research areas are quite diverse, the primary themes tend toward musical expression and development, processes of music learning and teaching, deeper understanding of past musical practices, and global perspectives.

The Penn State School of Music has a tradition of research excellence across a wide range of disciplines including music theory, musicology, music education, composition/technology, and performance. Our faculty are highly regarded scholars and performers who share their research and creative expertise in professional journals, conferences, and performance venues throughout the world. The School of Music provides many opportunities for students to collaborate with the faculty as well as to receive guidance for independent research.

Beyond preparing students to develop and thrive as performers, teachers, and scholars, the School of Music offers more than 400 public events each year, and we also hear wonderful performances presented by the Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Penn State ensemble students regularly perform in the greatest concert venues on the east coast with our annual President’s Concert series. Expansive performance, research, and outreach opportunities are integral to the School of Music, and enrich the student experience.


Ensembles

School of Music ensembles, ranging from small chamber ensembles to large orchestras, bands, and choirs are open to all Penn State students, regardless of major. Participants receive one academic credit per semester. These credits fulfill General Arts credits in many colleges and majors. Graduate credit (500-level) may be granted in select ensembles at the discretion of the director/conductor.

The School of Music also includes a number of faculty ensembles that perform and record extensively, both in the United States and abroad. These ensembles are often invited to perform at professional association meetings and in educational settings.


Explore All of Our Ensembles

Applied Study

School of Music has a vibrant and active applied studio program. More about these progmans coming soon.


Explore All of Our Studios

Engagement

The School of Music’s engagement activities include ongoing concert series presented in the community and throughout the mid-Atlantic region, annual conferences and workshops designed for music professionals, and summer experiences designed for professional musicians as well as for developing performers.

Our concert series include the President’s Concert, an annual event showcasing our best performers in the mid-Atlantic region’s most esteemed concert halls. Beginning in 2007 with a concert hosted by the the University president at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Penn State students have performed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Strathmore Centre in Bethesda, MD, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Closer to home, student performers are welcomed at the Village at Penn State retirement community series and also perform on weekly “Bach’s Lunch” concerts held each Thursday in Eisenhower Chapel on campus.

Coordinated by the music education faculty, the Thompson Symposium provides a forum for masters-level music education students to share their completed and in-progress research with graduate students, faculty, and the general public. Voice faculty members  present their hugely popular workshop “Bel Canto/Can Belto” typically in August, and our keyboard faculty coordinate the annual Marian Garcia Piano Teacher’s Workshop and Competition typically held in during the fall semester.

Convening each July, the Penn State Honors Music Institute is a one-week immersion in the art of music designed for highly qualified high school musicians. For professional musicians, the Penn’s Woods Music Festival is a two-week resident orchestra and chamber music festival that presents numerous concerts each June. In addition, School of Music students and faculty regularly perform and present their scholarly work throughout the country and the world.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State School of Music alumna Annie Burridge

Alumni Spotlight

Annie Burridge

Bachelor of Music 2000

As general director and CEO of Austin Opera, Annie has led the development of a new strategic plan and launched an artistic initiative – Opera ATX – which brings groundbreaking artists to unexpected and unique venues throughout Austin. Before switching her focus to administration, Annie performed with numerous opera companies and orchestras, and was a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. In addition to her performance successes, Annie has received many leadership accolades.

Opera venue with grand piano on stage.
Two operatic performers dancing on a darkened, red-cast stage.

Venues and Studios

Performance and studio spaces large and small
See All Venues and Studios
Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.
Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

Recital Hall

Hailed as an acoustically superb design, the new Recital Hall has quickly distinguished itself as one of the centerpieces for the arts at University


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

Esber Rehearsal Hall

Renovated for our large ensemble rehearsals, Esber Rehearsal Hall now holds classes like band and orchestra, in addition to courses such as music methods


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

Music Building I and II

Music Building I, constructed in 1963, houses classrooms and seminar rooms, Esber Rehearsal Hall, the choral rehearsal room, a graduate seminar room, the choral


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

Eisenhower Auditorium

Eisenhower Auditorium, with a seating capacity of 2,500, is Penn State’s primary theatrical performance space. Opened in 1974 and later named for former University


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

O. Richard Bundy Blue Band Building

Built in 2004, the O. Richard Bundy Blue Band Building consolidated the Penn State Athletic Bands into one facility. Before the building was constructed,


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

ROARS Recording Studios

The ROARS Recording Studios at Penn State were created for the teaching and research needs of faculty, staff, and students of the School of


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Grand piano on Esber Recital Hall stage, seen from the stage wings.

Pitch Exploration Lab

The Pitch Exploration Lab engages undergraduate and graduate students from colleges across the University Park campus in research related to singing accuracy and arts


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Faculty Spotlight

Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.
Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.

Curtis Craig

Head, Sound Design

Curtis Craig (Sound Designer, Composer, Projection Designer) Recent work: Pipeline (Cleveland Playhouse, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Detroit Public Theatre), Indecent (Denver Center Theatre Company), world premier – Dominique Morriseau’s Mud Row (People’s Light & Theatre Company), world premier – The Great Leap (Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Rep), The Bacchae (Classical Theatre of Harlem), How to Catch Creation (Baltimore Center Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company). In 2017, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design exposition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. His work can be heard at www.curtiscraig.com.

Curtis Craig working at sound board.

News from A&A

Music Faculty join Celebration of Ukrainian Music supporting World Kitchen

Concert for Ukraine: A Celebration of Ukrainian Music on Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Centre County.

On Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m., at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, area musicians will perform "Concert for Ukraine: A Celebration of Ukrainian Music."  All proceeds from the concert


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Faculty recital: Baljinder Singh Sekhon, II compositions preformed by music faculty and students

Composition faculty Baljinder Sekhon presents original works featuring Penn State faculty, student performers, and ensembles on Friday, Dec. 2, 7:30 PM in Recital Hall.
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Annual Showcase MOSAIC is set for Sunday, Dec. 4 | 4:00 PM in Eisenhower Auditorium

Annual Showcase Mosaic set for Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:00 PM in Eisenhower Auditorium
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