Saint Louis University

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue my involvement with music at SLU even if I am NOT a music major?
Yes! SLU Music Program offers private lessons, classes, and ensembles open to all students regardless of major. In keeping with our liberal arts tradition, we want all students, whether or not they are aiming for professional music careers, to explore and continue their musical learning.

Do I have to major in music to be in the ensembles? What about auditions?
No, all interested and qualified SLU students, staff, and faculty are welcome in the vocal and instrumental ensembles, for 0-1 credit: String Orchestra, Concert Band, Mastersingers, University Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, String Quartets, Guitar Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, and the Billiken Pep Band. Students may register in Banner without auditions for most ensembles, with placement auditions occurring the first week of classes. Auditions are required, however, before enrolling in String Quartets, Piano Ensemble, or Mastersingers.

Does SLU offer a degree in music?
Yes, SLU awards a Bachelor of Arts degree with emphasis in Music Performance or Music Studies, as well as a Minor in music.

Is an audition required for entrance into the Program?
Yes, students who wish to declare a Music Major must perform an audition for the Music Faculty, either live or through the "ACCEPT'D" online tool.

How many credit hours do you need as music major?
Both Music Performance and Music Studies majors must take a minimum of thirty-six hours of required music courses. In addition, Performance majors take sixteen credits private lessons on their main instruments; Music Studies majors also have a declared minor or second major in another field; and all music majors must enroll in an ensemble every semester.

Is it possible to double-major in music and another field?
Yes, many of our music majors have another major as well. The study of music partners well with many other areas of study. The Bachelor of Arts curriculum was devised to make it easy to major or minor in another subject.

What music scholarships are available?
Music Majors only: Two renewable scholarships are available only to music majors: The Music Talent Scholarship, used toward tuition, and the Father Guentner Award, which pays the extra fee for the required private lessons on the student's major instrument.

Majors & Non-Majors: All students enrolled in most of the Music Program ensembles (e.g., The Mastersingers, String Orchestra, University Chorale, Concert Band, Guitar & Piano Ensembles, Jazz Ensemble) are eligible for a small tuition stipend called the Ensemble Section Leader Award.

How large is the department?
SLU has four full-time and twenty adjunct-time Music Faculty members, with approximately twenty-five music majors and forty music minors. In addition, however, every semester more than 350 students from around the university are enrolled in music ensembles, classes, and lessons.

Can I take private lessons at SLU?
Yes, all SLU students may take private lessons in in voice, piano, guitar and most orchestral instruments at all levels. An extra fee per credit hour, in addition to tuition, is charged for these courses. Applied Music lessons (MUSC2010-2100) are listed in the course catalog along with the rest of the music courses, and can be taken for 1-2 credit hours. An additional fee (@ $325/credit hour) is attached to the weekly lessons, taught by active artist performers.

Does SLU Music Program have practice rooms or rehearsal spaces available for student use?
Yes and No. Due to limited space, practice rooms are available only to SLU students currently enrolled in private lessons for college credit. Some general classrooms in Xavier Hall with pianos are available for recreational or student-led group use, but must be booked in advance with Student Life.

Do music classes count toward the College of Arts & Sciences Core requirements?
Yes, almost all music classes will count toward the 3-credit Fine Arts requirement. For example, a student might take Music1170, World Music, for 3 credits; or he might sing in the choir or play in the jazz ensemble (1 credit) and take guitar lessons (2 credits) to fulfill the requirement.

Are there internship opportunities?
Yes, in an informal fashion. All SLU music faculty are working professionals in Saint Louis and beyond. Their many connections allow them to help students find internships or part-time work in almost any area of music. In the past students have been interns at the Saint Louis Symphony, Union Avenue Opera, and the MUNY.

Is Saint Louis a good city for music?
Yes, St. Louis is an active city for both amateur and professional music-making. There are numerous music venues of various shapes and sizes in the St. Louis area. We have access to all of them. Students can walk to Jazz at the Bistro, the Saint Louis Symphony, The Fox Theatre, and the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Is it possible to be involved with other extracurricular activities outside music?
Yes. Music students often participate in the Student Government Association, Greek Life, and service-learning communities, such as Micah House. Music students are also members of student-led groups including The SLU Music Honor Society, Forte, and a cappella groups including Astha, The Bare Naked Statues, Beyond All Reason, and Decadence. Music is a major time commitment, but students should also nurture other aspects of life and the college experience.

What are your graduates doing now?
SLU Music Alumni are found everywhere. SLU music majors go on to pursue degrees in medicine, music performance, music composition, music therapy, music education, dentistry, and conducting. Some choose to participate in Teach for America and the Jesuit Alumni Service Corps while others are working as performing freelance musicians. One even opened her own music school in South St. Louis.

What do you do with a music major?
SLU Music alumni are teaching, performing, serving, and leading in a wide variety of ways in the Saint Louis area and all over the country.

How can I contact the Music Program at SLU?
For more information, contact Dr. Aaron Johnson, Program Director at 314-977-5158 or
or email the Department at

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