School of Music
Director: Diane Thueson Reich
Admission to Degree Program
Enrollment in the School of Music's degree programs is limited. Prospective majors must pass an audition and be accepted into a studio. Please consult the General Information section below and visit the College Advisement Center for details.
The School of Music celebrates musical artistry and understanding as core elements of the human experience, crucial components of a liberal education, and central aspects of a spiritual life.
In the School of Music, students learn self-expression and self-discipline through rigorous practice and passionate performance. They develop an acute sensitivity for collaboration and artistic cooperation through intensive ensemble work. In the study of music theory and history, students learn to hear and appreciate various musical languages, distinguish nuances of style, and discern the connections between musical developments and their cultural contexts.
Students learn in a variety of situations: private lessons, small seminars, multimedia labs, ensembles, recitals, and lectures. They are encouraged to participate actively in the vibrant musical environment of the School of Music by attending concerts, lectures, and workshops and by contributing to a student culture of independently motivated artistic engagement. These experiences foster a holistic approach that embraces academic rigor, artistic intuition, creative ambition, physical grace, and expressive eloquence.
In pursuit of the university's spiritual aims, students learn the divinity inherent in creativity and the devotion expressed by the nurturing of one's craft.
The School of Music leads its students toward careers in performance, studio teaching, music education, media music production, recording and sound technology, arts management, music journalism, composition, and other music-related professions. Because the music curriculum is rigorous, it is also an excellent pre-professional course of study for those interested in fields as diverse as law, business, library science, or medicine. Whatever degrees one obtains, however, an education in music pertains not only to earning a living through the art but also using the art to enhance one’s satisfaction and joy in living.
The music faculty includes active performers, composers, music educators, conductors, theorists, historians, and media specialists who have chosen to mentor the next generation of musicians. They remain involved in their areas of specialization and are anxious to share the learning experience with students entrusted to their care. Many of the faculty have received prestigious recognition for their teaching scholarship, performance, composition, directing, or producing.
The School of Music maintains approximately 50 full-time and 65 part-time faculty who teach private instruction, ensembles, education, music theory, music history, commercial music, conducting, as well as other exciting areas of study.
The department is housed in the Harris Fine Arts Center, a comprehensive fine arts complex that includes five theaters, two large rehearsal rooms, practice space, classrooms, two piano labs, a multitrack automated digital recording studio, and electronic music studios. Additional large rehearsal spaces and teaching studios for commercial music and music dance theater students are found in the Richards Building.
The degree programs in the School of Music are Limited Enrollment Programs, meaning, first, they are HIGHLY competitive and selective, and second, they require an adherence to specific course paths in the first two years of study. Students who are successful in their application and audition and are admitted into one of the degree programs in the School of Music will be required to do the following in order to remain in the program:
Successfully complete the following courses in the first two years of study:
Music 193, 195, 197 – To be taken all together in 1st semester
Music 194, 196, 198 – To be taken all together in 2nd semester
Music 293, 295, 297 – To be taken all together in 3rd semester
Music 294, 296, 298 – To be taken all together in 4th semester
Begin the private lesson requirement, as specified by the degree program requirements, in the first semester and continue taking private lessons each semester until the requirement is fulfilled.
Begin the ensemble requirements, as specified by the degree program requirements and directed by the student's studio teacher, in the first semester and continue each semester until the requirement is fulfilled.
Failure to follow the requirements listed above may result in dismissal from the degree program.
Admission applications to the School of Music must be received by December 1.
All entering students (including transfer students) must pass a performance audition on their major instrument (or voice). Live auditions are held on the last Saturday of January. Students who cannot attend the live audition and wish to be considered must submit a video recording, which must be received by the School of Music by the last Saturday in January. For further details, see the School of Music website (https://music.byu.edu).
All students who do not have a keyboard emphasis (piano or organ) must complete the piano proficiency requirement by the end of the sophomore year. Students may fulfill this requirement by (a) taking Music 221 and/or Music 222, or (b) taking the Piano Proficiency Exam. For more information, see https://music.byu.edu/more-resources/.
Each student accepted as a music major must meet with the academic advisor in the College Advisement Center before the end of the first year.
Students who pass either part of the AP Music Test with at least a score of 4 should check with the College Advisement Center before registering for core courses.
All major performance instruction must be in the same instrument (or voice) with the following exceptions: Commercial Music and Composition students, with approval from their division coordinator, main studio teacher, and secondary studio teacher, may opt to fulfill a portion of their studio lesson requirement on a secondary instrument.
All students registered in Music 260R, 360R, or 460R must complete an examination before a faculty jury on their major instrument (or voice) near the end of each semester of performance study. (With the approval of the faculty, students may elect to substitute a juried public recital for a jury examination.) Students who wish to enter Music 360R or 460R (normally after the sophomore year) must first be granted approval to do so by a faculty jury.
All students must fulfill the ensemble requirements of their individual degree programs as described below: Ensemble requirements are filled through a mixture of assigned "Category 1: Approved Large Ensembles" and "Category 2: Other Ensembles Approved for the Major" as listed in each degree program.
Approved Category 1 ensembles include Music 312R: Men's Chorus, Music 313R: Women's Chorus, Music 314R: Concert Choir, Music 315R: University Singers, Music 325R: Symphonic Band, Music 326R: Wind Symphony, Music 337R: Symphony Orchestra, and Music 338R: Philharmonic Orchestra. Only one approved Category 1 ensemble per semester may count toward this requirement, and students may not enroll in more than two conducted or directed ensembles per semester. This ensemble assignment is determined by the student's major instrumental teacher or by choral audition, not by the student. For all BA or BM music students, the total ensemble requirement should be completed in consecutive semesters of enrollment beginning the freshman year.
Commercial Music and Composition students, with approval from their division coordinator and main studio teacher, may fulfill part of their Category 1 Ensemble requirement by auditioning and performing on a secondary instrument.
Students who play guitar or piano as their principal instrument may also count participation in Music 333R: Jazz Ensemble or Music 334R: Synthesis toward their Category 1 Ensemble requirement.
In certain circumstances, music majors may be allowed to count participation in the non-auditioned ensembles (Music 311R: University Chorale; Music 321R: University Orchestra; and Music 322R: University Band) toward their Category 1 requirement with permission from their respective studio teacher and the ensemble conductor.
All transfer students must have their previous university work in music evaluated by the appropriate BYU School of Music faculty members to determine what credits will be accepted in the transfer. (See the College Advisement Center for referrals.) We subscribe to the policy of the National Association of Schools of Music and carry no obligation to accept upper-division music credits from other member schools.
If a School of Music student receives an E grade twice in any one course within his or her major, the student will not be allowed to proceed in the major. Also, a registration hold will be placed on the student's record pending a meeting with an academic advisor to determine an alternative plan of study. Only in rare and extreme cases will the School of Music consider petitions to take a course a third time and have major status reinstated.
Students temporarily leaving the School of Music for a mission are required to file a deferment form with the university's Admissions Office and are encouraged to remain in contact with their studio teacher regarding their re-entry date. Students intending to enter the School of Music during the school year immediately following mission service are highly encouraged to apply and audition for admission to the School of Music prior to departure.
All School of Music students are expected to attend at least eight concerts and two School of Music-sponsored lectures each semester.
All School of Music students will be held to the standards outlined in the Professionalism Policy for Students.
To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:
The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education.
At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
A minimum of 120 credit hours
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office
Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.
Graduate Programs Available
This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.