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Music

The Earlham Department of Music models the belief that all musics are worthy of study. This is reflected not only in the impressive range of our ensembles, it is also woven into the entire music curriculum.

Around our core curriculum are many options that allow students to individualize their study of music within the department. Whereas the music studies program provides you with a solid liberal arts grounding in music, the music major—with its various concentrations—gives more focused preparation for graduate schools or other pursuits.

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92%
of work seekers who majored in the visual and performing arts between 2018-2022 were employed, pursuing graduate school or volunteering within six months of graduation.
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Outcomes
Recent graduates have been admitted to graduate programs in music education, music composition and other areas at institutions such as Indiana University Bloomington and Wayne State University.
Careers

Recent graduates have entered fields ranging from education and non-profits to entertainment and software.

An Eclectic Approach to Music Studies

The Earlham Music Department has always operated under the principle that a liberal arts music major should be as wide ranging as possible. If you’re interested in ethnomusicology, you’ll receive an unusual degree of early training in this field (unique for undergraduate programs). Computer musicians get significant hands-on experience with many technologies; we place a special emphasis on creating new works for interactive live performance, and we train students to work with Moog and Eurorack analog synthesis systems.  Our popular music courses engage with you in ways that deeply enrich and broaden your understanding of music in relationship to modern society. Instrumentalists and singers can expect expert instruction on their instrument or voice, and our range or ensembles is impressive for a school this size.

Instrumental ensembles

If interested in playing an instrument, you can join Earlham’s Symphony Orchestra, Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and Latin Jazz, Hand Drum Ensemble, Rhythm Project, Afro-Cuban Drumming, String Quartet, Flute Choir and Brass Ensemble.

Explore our instrumental ensembles

Choral ensembles

If you have an interest in singing, you can have the opportunity to participate in Concert Choir, Alta Voce, Chamber Singers, Gentlemen’s Ensemble, Gospel Revelations and Richmond Chorale.

Explore our choral ensembles

Performing in community

Earlham's music program offers numerous ways for students, faculty, staff and community members to come together in the creation of music and sound. Watch one of our recent performances below:

Our faculty

Our faculty’s areas of specialty include Javanese gamelan, ethnomusicology, music technology and more.

Frequently asked questions

Our music program is particularly strong in the areas of computer-generated music, Latin jazz, percussion, ethnomusicology, the music of Indonesia and Eastern Europe and non-canonic choral music. Our offerings in musicology are as broad-ranging as are our ensembles, and challenge students to think about music from multiple perspectives.

Can I receive individual instruction on my instrument?

  1. Addison Jordan – Saxophone Instructor [email protected]
  2. Charles Ramsey – Guitar Instructor [email protected]
  3. Chris Rogan – Piano Instructor [email protected]
  4. Christopher Jeffery – Trumpet Instructor [email protected]
  5. James Thompson – Flute Instructor [email protected]
  6. Jarrod Davis Jr. – Voice Instructor [email protected]
  7. Jeff Templeton – Banjo Instructor [email protected]
  8. Joanne King – Harp Instructor [email protected]
  9. Josh Hannon – French Horn Instructor [email protected]
  10. Keith Cozart Steele – Percussion Instructor [email protected]
  11. Lynda Herndon – Violin Instructor [email protected]
  12. Michael Majors – Bassoon Instructor [email protected]
  13. Michael Ronstadt – Cello Instructor [email protected]
  14. Rich Begel – Trombone/Low Brass Instructor [email protected]
  15. Sarah Minneman – Oboe Instructor [email protected]
  16. Shiyu Wang – Piano Instructor [email protected]
  17. Anton Neumayr – Bass Instructor [email protected]
  18. Wenbin Lyu – Adv. Composition Instructor [email protected]

Can I do off-campus study?

Yes! Earlham offers a variety of off-campus study options.

Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.

Can I earn a master's degree to teach music?

Highly skilled and experienced students have the opportunity to apply for the 3+1 program in Music Education, which would allow the applicant to earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and teaching license—all in just nine semesters. By entrance audition only.

Learn more about our 3+1 program.

What are the facilities like?

The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, which was completed in 2014, provides state-of-the-art facilities, featuring separate rooms for rehearsing jazz, percussion and Javanese gamelan.

There’s also an acoustically superb recital hall, which doubles as rehearsal space for orchestra and choir, as well as sonically isolated practice rooms and teaching studios equipped with Steinway pianos.

Are there scholarships available for music students?

We offer performance scholarships in the areas of voice and instrumental music. Auditions are organized by the Admissions Office and take place in February. Scholarships range between $1000 and $3000 per year, and require the student to join an ensemble each semester in residence.

We also offer lesson scholarships each semester, which covers the lesson fee for one semester. The scholarship is renewable, but must be applied for each semester.

The Rariden Scholarship is awarded annually to a student entering Earlham who is interested in pursuing an area within the visual and performing arts. Preference is given to a student from Wayne County, Indiana, although we will consider Indiana residents from outside the county as well. The scholarship is $5000 for each of a student’s four years at Earlham, totaling $20,000.

How do I know if the program is right for me?

If you hold a deep appreciation for the role music plays in life—for the individual, for society and globally and aspire to pursue graduate programs in ethnomusicology, music education, composition and performance, this program will be a great fit for you.

You might also find yourself among our graduates who have used their grounding in music to complement other majors and interests, like computer science and computer-generated music, languages and nonprofit work, and psychology and therapy.

Our faculty

Our faculty believe in developing the whole person, as well as the musician within.

Next steps

EARLHAM ALERT:
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
EARLHAM ALERT:
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.