Music Performance (B.A.)


A Nationally Recognized Program of Excellence

Elon offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance* (instrumental or vocal emphasis) for students interested in graduate school, apprenticeships, applied teaching and performing careers. Performance majors may combine their performance concentration with a minor in jazz studies, music technology or piano pedagogy.

*Auditions are required for admission to the music performance program and for scholarship consideration.

As a music performance major at Elon, you will thrive in an innovative, hands-on curriculum that will provide the knowledge, expertise and guidance to achieve your career goals and ambitions. From your first semester, you will also have the opportunity to join one of Elon's many performing ensembles and participate in numerous concerts, recitals and stage productions. Elon's versatile and personalized music performance program will provide a solid foundation in performance technique, music theory and music history.

And because classes are small, you’ll receive individual attention from faculty members who excel as performers and scholars. By the time you graduate, you will have built an impressive resume of real-world skills and experiences to help you succeed in a career. At Elon, you will be able to tailor your education experience to your musical passions and career goals. Our students often minor in another area of study and over 70% of our students study abroad.

“Majoring in music performance at Elon helped me develop my strengths in music and my character as an individual. The professors truly want to help you succeed and to prepare you for the future.” 

Kate Miller ’08


Opportunities Abound: Perform Early and Often

As a music performance major, you will be able to perform beginning your freshman year in any of Elon’s excellent ensembles. Elon's ensembles have toured throughout Europe and Russia and along the eastern seaboard during Elon’s winter and summer term. In addition to performing regularly as soloists with Elon’s orchestra, music performance majors regularly showcase their talents in recitals as part of their studies.

  • Orchestra
  • Camerata
  • Chorale
  • Wind ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Opera workshop
  • Jazz ensemble
  • Fire of the Carolinas (marching band)
  • élan (vocal jazz)
  • Pep band
  • Numerous chamber groups and jazz combos.


The Center for The Arts

Elon’s music program is housed in the Center for the Arts, which provides an effective setting for music majors to develop and showcase their talents. The facility boasts numerous concert Steinway grand pianos; rehearsal rooms; McCrary Theatre, a large, fully equipped theatre and concert hall; Yeager Recital Hall, which has digital recording capabilities; modular practice rooms and studios; and a Music Technology Lab. A Casavant pipe organ is available for use in Whitley Auditorium.

For more information about Music Department facilities, visit the Facilities page.


Guest Artists & Masterclasses

Music performance majors benefit from working with prestigious visiting artists who come to campus each year to perform and lead workshops and master classes. Recent performers include Wynton Marsalis; World pianists sponsored by the Adams foundation include Ann Schein, Awadagin Pratt, Ian Hobson, Ruth Laredo; the Czech Symphony, Netherlands Chamber Choir and Boston Camerata, Lori Laitman, Turtle Island String Quartet.


Career Services & Internships

Majors regularly gain professional experience by completing internships or apprenticeships at performing arenas around the country. Students have directed local church music programs, and have performed in combos and theatres around the country, including the Santa Fe Opera, Opera North and the Boston Lyric Opera.

Career and Professional mentoring services provide support to create practical experiences to prepare students for careers to create income generating activities both during their Elon education and beyond.


Experienced Faculty

The Department of Music’s faculty combine a passion for teaching with a wealth of performing and production experience. The Music faculty are active scholars, performers, authors, composers, arrangers, and producers. The university emphasizes the teacher-scholar model, where collegiate teaching is enhanced and informed by strong faculty scholarship, performance and creative activity.


After Graduation

When you graduate, you will have the skills and experience to continue your studies in graduate schools or enter a variety of careers, including:

  • College professor
  • Applied  music teacher
  • Administrator private music school
  • School band, orchestra or choral director
  • Opera singer
  • Concert pianist
  • Studio musician
  • Composer
  • Music critic
  • Arts management
  • Conductor
  • Chamber musician
  • Freelance artist
  • Accompanying
  • Jazz artist
  • Musical theatre pit orchestra
  • Military performance ensembles
  • Church musical director


MUS 111 The Materials of Music I 3 sh
MUS 112 The Materials of Music II 3 sh
MUS 113 Aural Skills I 1 sh
MUS 114 Aural Skills II 1 sh
MUS 211 The Materials of Music III 3 sh
MUS 212 The Materials of Music IV 3 sh
MUS 213 Aural Skills III 1 sh
MUS 214 Aural Skills IV 1 sh
MUS 313 Form and Analysis 2 sh
MUS 315 The Music of Ancient Times Through Baroque 4 sh
MUS 316 Classic and Romantic Music 4 sh
MUS 413 20th Century Techniques 2 sh
MUS 495 Senior Seminar  2sh

Choose one of the following:

  • MUS 366 Conducting
  • MUS 367 Vocal Pedgogy
  • MUS 368/369 Methods and Materials of Piano Practicum and Pedagogy
  • MUS 411 Instrumental and Choral Arranging
2 sh

In addition, each Music Performance major must complete the following: 14 sh

  • Applied music lessons, at least one semester at the 400 level
  • Half solo recital at the 300 level
  • Ensemble from MUS 101, 102, 103, 105 or 109. Full solo recital at the 400 level. Vocal majors must choose between MUS 102 and 105. Instrumental majors must choose between MUS 101,103 or 109. Piano majors may choose between MUS 101, 102, 103, 105 or 109.
  • Keyboard Proficiency. MUS 010 Departmental Recital each semester of residency as a Music Performance major.

                                                                                                                                                                                      TOTAL 54 sh

In addition, vocal majors must take MUS 258 Diction for Singers I and MUS 259 Diction for Singers II. 

An audition and/or portfolio is required for acceptance into this program. 

This page was updated July 1, 2014.