Music

Saint Louis University’s undergraduate program in music will provide you with a solid background in music theory, history and performance, as well as the opportunity to participate in vocal or instrumental groups.

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Major in Music

You'll perform and study music in private lessons and studio classes and take courses in music theory and literature. SLU's Department of Fine and Performing Arts also offers you the chance to participate in ensembles, including the University Chorale, Saint Louis University Mastersingers, String Orchestra, Concert Band, Pep Band and Jazz Ensemble, as well as smaller ensembles for guitarists, pianists and string quartets.

Every semester, SLU's music program presents a series of concerts, recitals, lectures and master classes by students, faculty and guest artists. Additional performance opportunities for advanced student musicians include the Saint Louis Youth Orchestra or Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, Union Avenue Opera, Winter Opera Saint Louis and the American Kantorei.

Prospective music majors must audition for acceptance into SLU’s music program. Following your acceptance, you’ll be advised by expert faculty. The music major requires a minimum of 40 credit hours in music courses for graduation. All students, regardless of emphasis, must pass a piano proficiency exam by the end of their junior year.

SLU's music program also offers private lessons in voice, piano, guitar and most orchestral instruments at all levels. An additional fee is attached to the weekly lessons, which are taught by active artist performers.

Highlighted Courses
  • MUSC 2260: Music Computer Skills
  • MUSC 2270: Music Theory I
  • MUSC 2280: Music Theory II
  • MUSC 2500: Piano III
  • MUSC 2510: Piano IV
  • MUSC 3270: Music Theory III
  • MUSC 3290: Music Theory IV
  • MUSC 3300: Music History I
  • MUSC 3310: Music History II
  • MUSC 4410: Conducting
Internships and Careers

A degree in music from SLU prepares you for graduate study in music performance, music education or musicology. Music majors often have high acceptance rates into professional programs such as law, medicine or business after graduation. You’ll also be prepared for a career in:

  • Music management and business
  • Music education
  • Music performance
  • Religious music programming
  • Music therapy
Faculty

SLU’s music faculty is comprised of 25 full-time and part-time professors, all with advanced degrees and active performance careers in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Specialties of the faculty include American musical styles, music history, theory and composition, piano performance, vocal coaching, world music and much more.

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees
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Transfer Options 

Students interested in transferring to SLU’s music program must perform an entrance audition for admission. Placement in one of the two concentration options (music performance or music studies) will occur upon completion of four credits of applied music.

No more than 18 total credit hours in music will be accepted in transfer. No ensemble credits (chorus, choir, band, orchestra, small ensembles) will be accepted as transfer hours. No more than eight applied music credits (private lessons) will be accepted as transfer hours.

Credits will be accepted only on the student's major instrument, only at grade B or above and only for lessons taken within three years of the date of admission.

Transferring students must undergo placement exams in piano, may be required to retake one or more piano classes and will be required to pass the regular Piano Proficiency Exam (MUSC 2950) before graduation.

Students entering with music theory credits that were taken more than three years before transfer must take a placement/proficiency exam and may be required to retake some or all of the four-course theory sequence.

St. Louis Community College Credits

The following St. Louis Community College courses may not be used as an elective by students transferring to SLU:

  •  MUS 103: Basic Music
  • MUS 111-112: Introduction to Music Lit series

In general, 500-level courses from junior colleges will not be transferred. For more information, contact Aaron Johnson, Ph.D., music program director, at aaron.johnson@slu.edu or 314-977-5158.

Auditions and Scholarships

All prospective music majors at SLU must audition for admission to the program. Admission to SLU's music program is based on musicianship, talent and background training.

Live auditions are scheduled in November and February, but students may request auditions at other times. To schedule an audition, contact the department at arts@slu.edu.

Students who are unable to audition on-campus may also submit an audition via the Get Acceptd app.

Satisfactory performance qualifies applicants for a one-year award from the Father Guentner Fund, which covers private lesson fees on the major instrument.  Exceptional performance at the audition may qualify applicants for the Music Talent Scholarship.

Please bring an updated list of the repertoire you have studied to your audition, as well as extra copies of the audition music. On the repertoire sheet, include titles, identifying opus numbers/keys, composers, significant technical studies, recent performances, and teachers' names. This repertoire list may form part of a more complete student resume.

Pianists

Prepare three memorized works from contrasting style periods (i.e., Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, 20th Century). The pieces played should be at least late intermediate level in difficulty, such as Bach Two-Part Inventions, Clementi sonatinas, and the Debussy Arabesques. Students interested in the degree’s performance option (which requires preparation of junior and senior recitals) should be playing works at the early advanced level, such as Bach's French/English Suites, Mozart sonatas, and Brahms rhapsodies.

Singers

Prepare three memorized songs in at least two languages from contrasting stylistic periods. An accompanist will be provided.

Instrumentalists

Perform three works of contrasting style periods. An accompanist will be provided, if necessary

Minor in Music

Students pursuing a minor in music at SLU must complete 21 music credit hours and participate in a performance ensemble for three semesters. The minor requires two credit hours of piano studies, 12 credit hours of music history and theory, four credit hours of music literature and four credit hours of music lessons. You will also be required to attend a recital every semester.


Performance Opportunities

Participate in University Ensembles

SLU offers all students — music majors or not — multiple opportunities to take part in University ensembles and performance groups, music classes and private lessons. Many of our music majors choose to pursue an additional major or minor in fields as diverse as psychology, computer science and physical therapy.