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Bachelor of Music in Composition

Equal part craft and real-world practical knowledge + gifted, professional faculty = success.

The Bachelor of Music in Composition at Shenandoah Conservatory is grounded in its commitment to the creation and performance of new music in a variety of contemporary idioms. Students’ creative skills are guided and developed through intense study in and the practical application of 21st century art music; the curriculum does not include work in popular idioms or jazz. Prospective students must be aware of the rigorous competition in the field, and should realize that continued study at the graduate level constitutes the minimum standard of professional success. The undergraduate curriculum is constructed around the development of core foundation skills that most students will further develop at the graduate level. 

What Our Program Offers You

What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

The Bachelor of Music in Composition curriculum is designed for the student who wishes to pursue a career as a professional composer or as a college teacher of theory and composition. Your creative skills are guided and developed through intense study in and the practical application of 20th century art music (but the curriculum does not include work in popular idioms or jazz).

You will learn:

• a variety of techniques in the composition of original music

• to compose in a variety of genres

• to have scores performed in a variety of settings

• musicianship in solo and ensemble performance

• knowledge of music theory, music history, world music and music technology

• the ability to express ideas orally and in writing

You’ll attend a variety of public performances and events and participate in weekly, hour-long private lessons and studio classes.

Through Shenandoah’s EDGE New Music Series, world-class composers and performers specializing in contemporary music are brought to campus, where they participate in master classes, private lessons and clinics.

Due to the rigorous competition in the field, continued study at the graduate level constitutes the minimum standard of professional status.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

What makes our program unique?

The undergraduate (and subsequent graduate) Composition degree at Shenandoah University is unlike any in the region, focusing on equal parts craft and real-world practical know-how crucial for survival and success in the field, either inside or outside of academic environments.

You’ll work with exceptionally gifted and professionally active faculty in an innovative, inspiring and invigorating environment, participating in weekly, hour-long private lessons and studio classes.

We provide a supportive community where you can develop your craft while honestly assessing your artistic purpose.

Shenandoah offers an immersive new music performance series, extensive performance opportunities and recordings of your works.