School of Music

In Boston, music matters. As the first degree-granting music school in America, the Boston University 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 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 at the Boston University Theatre in fully staged opera productions, and 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

An artistic life is a life of emotion, experimentation, innovation, questioning, and passionate exchange. At Boston University’s School of Music, a faculty and staff of expertise and generosity hold high standards for students whose talent and curiosity demand challenges, provocation, and exploration. Performance, composition, research, and education are the pillars of student experience, supporting an environment which invites collaboration, celebrates individual achievement, and provokes consideration of our humanity.

Boston University and the College of Fine Arts offer ever-increasing collaborative opportunities for aspiring musicians to deepen their understanding of their own artistry and broaden their perspectives on the role of music in society and across cultures. Join us as we explore the traditions of the past, celebrate the diversity of the present, and create pathways into a future that yearns to have artistic awareness at its core.

—Shiela Kibbe, Associate Professor of Music, College of Fine Arts, Director ad interim, School of Music