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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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Degrees + Minors

School of Music recital hall center stage.

B.M. in Music

The B.M. in 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.

B.M.E. in Music Education

The B.M.E. in 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.

B.M.A. in Musical Arts

The B.M.A. in 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.

B.A. in Music

The B.A. 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.


School of Music choir performance.

M.A. in Music (+IUGs)

The M.A. 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..

M.Mus. in Music

The Master of Music program prepares students for professional careers as performers or composers, or for doctoral study. The program is both rewarding and rigorous, with internationally known faculty providing...
Graduate student conducting a performance.

M.M.E. in Music Education

The M.M.E. program is designed to provide candidates with (1) a deeper level of musical skill and understanding, (2) an increased knowledge and skill in the pedagogy of music teaching,...
School of Music piano soloist performance.

D.M.A. in Musical Arts

This program is for individuals interested in continuing their studies in piano performance and music theory, history, and analysis in order to teach at the university level. Degree requirements include...
A music education Ph.D. student teaching in front of a group of musicians with instruments.

Ph.D. 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 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.


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 and the Center’s Classical Music Project. 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.


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


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 monthly “First Thursdays at the Village” 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 biannual 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. Musical Theatre voice faculty members Mary Saunders-Barton, Beverly Patton, Raymond Sage and voice faculty member Norman Spivey present their hugely popular workshop “Bel Canto/Can Belto” each August, and our keyboard faculty coordinate the annual Marian Garcia Piano Teacher’s Workshop and Competition.

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 alumnus and McMaster University professor Michael Schutz.

Alumni Spotlight

Michael Schutz

B.M. in Music 2002

Michael Schutz, who combined a B.M in Music with a B.S. in Computer Science at Penn State, now is associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University, where he conducts the percussion ensemble and teaches courses on music perception and cognition. He was named a University Scholar in recognition of his innovative work bridging music performance and music perception.

Penn State alumnus Michael Schutz playing a Glockenspiel.

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

Located on the first floor of the Music Building, this 400-seat auditorium is the primary performance space for the School of Music’s solo and

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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.

Schwab Auditorium

Schwab Auditorium was the first Penn State building financed by a private gift. Bethlehem Steel Corporation founder Charles M. Schwab, a University trustee for

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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.

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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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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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

Curtis Craig working at sound board.
Place holder image for Events
Oct 21

Guest Artist Recital: Ogni Suono, saxophone

Music I 130 Recital Hall


Go. Explore.

Art History Dickson Lecture: Shipu Wang
Place holder image for Events
Oct 21

Shipu Wang, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, University of California Merced  As part of the Department of Art History’s Dickson Lecture Series, and in

Bach's Lunch - School of Music Voice Area Noontime Concert - Acting for Singers

Pasquerilla/Eisenhower Chapel
Blue background with white lettering saying School of Music Bach's Lunch
Oct 21

Acting for Singers Students from the Acting for Singers class present a showcase of their work. "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert series

PPC Recital: Isabella Currie, oboe

Music I 130 Recital Hall
Place holder image for Events
Oct 22

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News from A&A

Voces8 returns to Penn State for ‘After Silence’ Oct. 12

VOCES8 returns to Penn State for ‘After Silence’ Oct. 12, in a program featuring an appearance by the Penn State Concert Choir.

Penn State Concert Choir will join British a cappella ensemble for two works   British vocal ensemble VOCES8 will return to Penn State with “After Silence,” a program of choral

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Sekhon scores ballet to celebrate Eastman School of Music, Garth Fagan Dance

Baljinder Sekhon II scored the ballet "Dreamer," in collaboration with the Eastman School of Music and Garth Fagan Dance.
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Second virtual 5K to benefit Blue Band Legacy Fund

The Alumni Blue Band Association (ABBA) will hold its second virtual 5K, Oct. 16–24, to benefit the Blue Band Legacy Fund.
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