BA in Music

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music allows students to study music within a larger context of a liberal arts education. This degree is designed for students whose interests are not fully encompassed by a more specialized degree track. It is usually the case that students in this degree program have other interests that will shape their studies. These may include engineering, computer science, business, psychology, or any other field of study. The BA in Music is designed to accommodate this diversity while still providing a thorough grounding in fundamental musical skills and knowledge.

Many of our students combine musical study with study in other areas through a double major or dual degree. The program is unique because it offers instruction from the faculties of both an internationally recognized research university and a world-class conservatory through our Joint Music Program with the Cleveland Institute of Music. Students receive private lessons, ensemble coaching, and music theory instruction from Cleveland Institute of Music faculty while performing in diverse ensembles and taking courses in music history and music education with CWRU music faculty. Students and are encouraged to collaborate with each other across disciplines. This creative atmosphere provides the unique opportunity for students to learn about specializations from some of the leading faculty in diverse areas (historical performance practice, musicology, and music education).

CWRU students participate in a Capstone project over one or two semesters, culminating in a final public presentation of their work in a university-wide celebration of scholarship and service. This is a self-designed project, which explores a subject of particular interest. It may take the form of a research paper, a presentation, a presentation with a performance component, a recording project, or any other format that demonstrates the student’s achievement.

After completing the BA in Music, students are able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate technical and artistic proficiency on a primary performance medium (instrument or voice)
  • Contribute positively to musical ensembles of various sizes and types, and collaborate effectively with fellow ensemble members and ensemble directors
  • Demonstrate facility with the major concepts and techniques of tonal and post-tonal music theory and analysis
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major musicians, musical thinkers, musical styles, techniques, procedures, and cultural trends of all periods in the history of Western music
  • Draw on knowledge and skills in performance, music theory, music history, and/or music education to write a substantial critical assessment of musical works, concepts, and/or practices in the Western classical and/or popular traditions

An audition is required for admission to the program. 

Application Procedures