Explore performance, theory, composition, and history within the framework of a broad liberal arts education. Participate in an active community of music majors, non-majors who value music as an avocation, and professional teaching musicians. 

You can earn your:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Or you can minor in music, a 6-course program you can pair with another Cornell major

Studying music at Cornell prepares you for a full-time career in the arts or for contributing to your community through your talents. You might go into teaching or on to graduate or professional schools in performance, musicology, or education. 

Or you might combine music with another major as you prepare for law school, a business career, or other endeavors. 

Our alumni have distinguished themselves in many fields, including as a senior business analyst at Pandora, a managing consultant in a national philanthropic firm, and a manager of entertainment operations at Disney California. 

Music on the block plan

Music courses that include music theory, history, literature, and topics courses are offered on the One Course At A Time schedule. Studio lessons and performing ensembles are on a semester system that runs contemporaneously with Cornell's One Course curriculum. The meshing of these schedules means that you will have opportunities for focused immersion experiences as well as extended periods of practice and ensemble work.

Our ensembles are open to both majors and non-majors. Ensembles meet three or four times per week on a semester schedule and practices are easily scheduled after the One Course At A Time academic day ends at 3 p.m.

Internships and fellowships

Internships have created exciting experiences for our music students, and the block plan makes scheduling easy. Recent internships include the following:

  • Public school instrumental music education in Marion, Iowa
  • Harmony University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Teaching music in public schools of England
  • Working as an arts administrator of Orchestra Iowa
  • Practicing music therapy

Off-campus studies and performance

You might take an off-campus course in Chicago at the Newberry Library, where you will be able to study primary documents and attend operas, concerts, and plays. Or you might perform over block break with the Pandemonium steel drum ensemble, the Calypso Singers, and the Calypso Horns in New Orleans in four Mardi Gras parades seen by 1 million people.