Training performers, teachers, and innovators.

Valparaiso University has been training musicians for more than a century. With accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, all Valpo music major programs balance practical training and experiences in music with academic foundations in music and in general education.

Balanced Approach

Music majors at Valpo engage in an intellectually and musically challenging course of study that combines the best of liberal and professional education. All music major options offer comprehensive preparation in musicianship, history, theory, and performance skills, provided by dedicated musician-professors.

Professional Preparation

All of the music degree programs at Valparaiso University are designed to prepare students to meet the demands of musical life. Students develop skills particular to their interests as well as those that are needed for many music-related professions:

  • Mastery of performance, verbal, and critical-thinking skills
  • Development of a broad musical repertoire
  • Skills to conduct, improvise, compose, and arrange music

Some fields, such as music education, church music, and music business, require specialized training and internship experiences. The many tracks in Valpo’s music department ensure that music students cultivate their own talents and interests.

Targeted Plans of Study

The music department offers three degree programs: bachelor of arts, bachelor of music, and bachelor of music education. The bachelor of arts may be pursued as a traditional liberal arts music major with an emphasis in performance, church music, or music industry. The bachelor of music may be earned through concentrated professional study in one of three tracks: performance, church music, or composition. The bachelor of music education carries full teaching certification in a combination of vocal, instrumental, and general music.

Off-Campus Programs

In addition to extensive performance opportunities with selective ensembles, music majors in many of the degree programs can participate in off-campus study. Valpo students have access to several programs with a specific focus on music or the arts.

The Chicago Arts Program is a 15-week semester of immersion in the Chicago art world. Students live and study in Chicago, work at a part-time internship, meet and interview artists and arts professionals, and write about and discuss practical and theoretical issues.

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Students enroll at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where the medium of instruction in all classes is French. Students have the opportunity to take courses at La Schola Cantorum and receive three credits for each, upon approval from the music department.

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Juniors and seniors may enroll in courses at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, all of which are related directly to music, and for studio lessons in organ. The school is located in Rottenburg am Neckar, southwest Germany, and all courses are conducted in German.

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Many of Valpo’s 25 Study Abroad programs include focused experiential learning opportunities, which can often be tailored to focus on music:

  • Internships are included in 12 of the semester and year-long programs
  • Most programs include a service learning component

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Music Handbook

The Handbook for Music Students, 2017-18 details requirements for all music students, including keyboard proficiency, ensemble participation, studio instruction, and concert attendance.