young men playing trombones

School of Music, Theatre, & Dance


The bachelor of arts in music at Anderson University starts with core courses to give students a strong foundation in music. Music majors then customize their study to their skills and calling by picking a concentration. The major has tracks in performance, composition, or music theory and history.

Your AU Story Begins Now

As a singer-songwriter and a touring musician, I find myself just about every day either playing a show on the road or sitting at a piano writing a song and using the skills that I learned at Anderson University. The faculty and staff in the music department were awesome and they really just equipped me with the tools that I needed to get out there in the real world and start building a career for myself. I also found AU to be a really great community of believers where I could grow in my faith and learn about the love of God.

Jon McLaughlin      CLASS OF 2005

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Start your AU story

Why choose AU for music?
  • Anderson University’s music program is known around the world. Alumni perform at the La Scala opera house in Italy, the Met, Carnegie Hall, at the Academy Awards, and at other international venues.
  • Guest artists and artists-in-residence visit the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance each year. We have welcomed artists like:
    • Canadian Brass
    • Van Cliburn gold medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu
    • Thodos Dance Chicago and
    • Indianapolis Baroque Ensemble.
  • Alumni successfully pursue graduate work. They have attended:
    • Indiana University
    • St. Thomas University
    • Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and
    • Boston University, and Vanderbilt University.
  • Our alumni succeed as performers.
    • Lawrence Brownlee
    • Sandi Patty
    • Bill and Gloria Gaither
    • Steven Curtis Chapman
    • Jon McLaughlin


For more information, view the Music Handbook [PDF].

Program Options

How can I get involved in the Music program?


Complete the 50-hour undergraduate major at AU’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Complementary Major

Students who would like to pair their passion for music with their other skills and calling may choose the complementary major. This streamlined course of study  must be paired with another major on campus and lets students customize their studies to meet their career and calling goals.

Among the classes in the 33-hour complementary major are:

  • music theory
  • music literature
  • world music
  • entrepreneurship
  • private lessons and ensembles

View the complete list of courses for the complementary major.


  • Music (18 hours): The music minor includes music theory, aural comprehension, and music literature. Students also complete 4 hours of piano, 2 hours of applied study, and 2 hours of music ensembles.
  • Music Performance
    • Majoring in Music Business(15-16 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include applied study, introduction to conducting, and specialized courses for singers, pianists, and instrumentalists.
    • Not Majoring in Music (18 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include music theory, aural comprehension, piano, and private study.

Piano and Composition Camp

Learn more about AU’s Piano and Composition Camp.


What classes will I take?

Among the classes in the 50-hour major are:

  • Theory
  • History
  • Music Literature
  • World Music
  • Private lessons and ensembles

View the complete curriculum for the music major.


What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?

Music majors find their place in a variety of careers based on the track they choose. Our graduates have also found success as professional performers in a variety of genres. Some work as composers or in music publishing. Others have continued their education in graduate school, where they have studied music history or theory as they prepare for teaching at the college level. 


What experiences will I have?

Majoring in music at Anderson University gives students a lot of opportunities to experience their craft. Not only do they study one-on-one with faculty, they also participate in our ensembles. 

  • Wind Ensemble
  • Orchestra
  • Jazz Band
  • Chorale
  • Women’s Chorus
  • Valley Voices

They develop their ability to understand written music and to write their own compositions. Students must participate in student recitals, potentially both as soloists and as part of chamber ensembles. Our students also support one another by attending recitals and other performances.