School of Music
In Boston, music matters. As one of the first degree-granting music schools in America, the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music has long been a leading participant in Boston’s musical culture. Our faculty is drawn from the ranks of Boston’s leading professional musicians, including more than 20 members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Performers, scholars, historians, composers, and educators collaborate in a rich tapestry of instruction and inspiration for students at the undergraduate, graduate, and diploma levels.
Applied study serves as the foundation for music experience and expertise. Undergraduate music majors receive weekly private instruction, take courses in theory and musicology, participate in large and small performing ensembles, and choose elective classes in repertoire, pedagogy, and performance practice. Graduate students select from a wide array of courses offering depth and breadth of professional training.
A popular and energetic non-major music program supplements the work done by College of Fine Arts music majors. BU undergraduates can participate in non-major ensembles such as All-Campus Orchestra, Symphonic Choir, Big Band, and Concert Band. Students who minor in music choose either a performance or a non-performance track, and can register for private lessons (applied fee charged) as well as chamber music ensembles. The Terrier Pep Band supports athletic teams on campus and in playoff games, and lifelong friendships are forged as students rehearse on weeknights and travel on weekends.
Contributing to more than 400 performances presented by the School of Music throughout the academic year, guest artists and conductors enrich and enlighten through lecture, demonstration, and performance. International artists interact with students during their appearances with our Center for Beethoven Research, Center for New Music, and Center for Early Music. Students from our Opera Institute and opera programs perform in fully staged opera productions in major theatre venues around the city and the Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre. Our instrumentalists and vocalists perform annually at Boston’s famed Symphony Hall in concerts of symphonic and choral repertoire.
Students practice in our 119 state-of-the-art Wenger practice modules, and make music in performances within the College of Fine Arts, across the Charles River Campus, and through the Arts | Lab on the Medical Campus. Beyond the University, students revel in the bountiful musical fabric of the city of Boston, including concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Baroque, and the Handel and Haydn Society, among many others.
School of Music alumni are found in major symphonic orchestras around the world. They sing at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout Europe, win international composition prizes, conduct on podiums in cities across the country, and are at the forefront of research into music of our time. Children in elementary school, and students at high schools and colleges throughout the country, continue to be taught and guided by BU School of Music graduates. In Boston and beyond, music does, indeed, matter.
Message from the Director
The School of Music at Boston University is the oldest degree-granting music school in the United States, and today it is one of the country’s most vibrant, forward-thinking institutions in the arts. Students in the SOM participate in a true conservatory-style educational environment, while simultaneously studying in a top-tier research university. Developing the minds, the fingers, and the voices of our students is not only our daily routine, it is our core mission—it is our passion. The high level of pedagogical collaboration between faculty, staff, and students at BU frequently leads SOM students to a variety of post-graduation career options. Each of us in the SOM knows and expects that we will be continuously impressed, awestruck, and moved by the talents of our students.
Dr. Gregory Melchor-Barz
Professor of Ethnomusicology, Director, School of Music