Music Performance

BYU Wind Symphony

The brass performance division prepares students for professional or graduate work in performance and studio teaching. Brass students will have opportunities to develop their playing through applied lessons and master classes, as well as through performance in award-winning chamber ensembles, large ensembles (bands and orchestras), and jazz ensembles.

Brass students often perform with guest artists, and many students are also able to perform in ensembles that tour throughout the world.

Graduates of the program have gone on to perform in professional orchestras, popular commercial groups, and military bands, in addition to teaching at universities and public schools, composing music, and being involved in entrepreneurial pursuits in the music business and elsewhere.

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The keyboard performance program within the School of Music includes instruction in piano, organ, jazz piano, and harpsichord, contributing to a variety of degree plans. Besides private instruction, courses are offered in accompanying, organ registration and literature, keyboard harmony and other skills, supervised teaching, and piano and organ pedagogy. The keyboard faculty includes four full-time faculty members as well as several part-time faculty members, with a combined experience in university teaching exceeding 200 years.

Many students choose to major in performance, which includes a strong teaching component. The performance degree prepares students for professional work as performers and studio teachers, and is the suggested degree for those who wish to pursue their instrument as a career. Some students in other degrees, such as jazz studies, elementary education, media music, and composition take keyboard instruction as part of their degree plans as well.

The School of Music offers five keyboard performance degrees. The links below cover all degree requirements and, for undergraduates, include the suggested plan by which to achieve them, called the Major Academic Plan (MAP)

In addition, keyboard performers may also major in composition, commercial music, or elementary music education.

Click the links below to find out more about the piano and organ degree programs.

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The percussion performance division prepares students for professional or graduate work in performance and studio teaching. Percussion students will have opportunities to develop their playing through applied lessons and master classes, as well as through performance in award-winning chamber ensembles, large ensembles (bands and orchestras), and jazz ensembles.

Percussion studies at BYU encompass a wide range of musical styles while providing students with excellent facilities and resources. Undergraduates study a core curriculum that includes snare drum (both concert and rudimental), timpani, drum set, and keyboard percussion. Performance ensembles include traditional ensembles of band and orchestra along with jazz big bands, combos, percussion ensemble, steel band, and gamelan. Percussion students often perform with guest artists, and many students are also able to perform in ensembles that tour throughout the world.

Graduates of the program have gone on to perform in professional orchestras, popular commercial groups, and military bands, in addition to teaching at universities and public schools, composing music, and being involved in entrepreneurial pursuits in the music business and elsewhere.

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One of the first and most distinguished centers of classical music training in the American west, Brigham Young University has trained musicians to play in orchestras for over a century. With approximately ninety students, the string division comprises a significant portion of the enrollment in the School of Music. String studies at BYU offers students the opportunity to study with world-renowned musicians and teachers, as well as perform in BYU’s highly acclaimed ensembles. Through chamber music, performing ensembles, and studio and master class combinations, the students bond together in the joint pursuit of excellence on their instruments. The study and performance of chamber music is an important component in the curriculum of the string major. Strong emphasis is placed on this art form as each string major receives personal coaching to help them refine their abilities. Every undergraduate major is expected to perform two recitals, a junior recital and a senior recital, to qualify for graduation. Graduate students have one required recital. In addition, opportunities abound to perform on a regular basis to hone performance skills, assist fellow classmates, and serve the community.

The Vocal Performance Program at BYU trains students in the art of singing and performance, prepares them for professional opportunities in music. Our seasoned voice faculty will mentor you in your progress as a singer through voice lessons, vocal coaching, opera workshop, concerts, recitals, and opera performances. Voice students at BYU perform two fully-staged operas a year, and many sing in our world-class auditioned choirs. Studying Voice at BYU is unique as students receive a world-class education in a spiritually enriching environment.

The woodwind performance division prepares students for professional work as a performer, a studio teacher, or a combination of both. Some will pursue advanced work on the graduate level to prepare for a performance career or college teaching.

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The intent of the specialization is to prepare students with outstanding performance potential to be competitive in performance and teaching careers and to be advocates for the arts in their communities. They may help meet the needs for skilled performers of solo and small and large ensemble music, and they will be able to teach privately and help meet the considerable community demand for excellent private studio teachers.

Requirements for Specialization—Performance.

    • Prerequisite: baccalaureate degree in performance or equivalent; proficiency in German, French, and Italian diction for voice candidates.
    • Credit hours: minimum 32 course work hours including recital (Music 697A,B).
    • Required courses: Keyboard Instrument Emphasis: Music 500, 505A,B, ensemble (2 hours), 591, 660R (6 hours), 665, 670R (2 hours), 697A,B, and 2 hours of electives in addition to the 6 hours of electives listed below. The ensemble requirement listed above includes 644R.
    • Orchestral Instrument Emphasis: Music 500, 505A,B, large ensemble (2 hours), chamber ensemble (2 hours), 660R (6 hours), 665, 670R (2 hours), 697A,B, and 2 hours of electives in addition to the 6 hours of electives listed below. Scholarship students may have additional ensemble requirements; see your graduate adviser for details.
    • Voice Emphasis: Music 500, 505A,B, ensemble (2 hours), 660R (6 hours), 665, 670R (2 hours), 697A,B, and 4 hours of electives in addition to the 6 hours of electives listed below.
    • Electives: 6 hours in nonperformance music graduate courses (as approved by graduate committee) from one or more of the following areas: music education, music history, or music theory.
    • Recital.
    • Examinations: (A) jury examination each semester of enrollment in 660R; (B) repertory examination; (C) final oral examination.
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