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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.

Global perspectives through music

Opportunities for student-faculty collaboration abound. 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 are in the process of building a Eurorack system for analog electronic music exploration. Our popular music specialist engages with you across the campus in ways that deeply enrich and will broaden your understanding of music in relationship to modern society. Instrumentalists and singers can expect expert instruction on their instrument or voice.

In addition, the Earlham music program aligns itself with the College’s Principles and Practices. We seek to develop musicians who are socially conscious and emotionally aware, able to play and think about music from a standpoint of both inner stillness and outward concern for the planet and its people.

Students interested in music education have the unique opportunity to join our 3+1 program and earn a master’s in music education in four years! The first three years are dedicated to intensive study in music theory, conducting, musicology, computer music and arranging, as well as deep training in the applied areas of instrumental or choral music.  They then join the Earlham Master of Arts in Teaching program for their senior year.

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 musics 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.

Yes! Earlham students have access to the following instructors for applied studio instruction.

 

Caryl Bailey
Piano Instructor
[email protected]

Richard Begel
Trombone Instructor
[email protected]

Elaine Bergman
Flute Instructor
[email protected]

Julie Collins
Oboe Instructor
[email protected]

Sarah Hanson
Saxophone Instructor
[email protected]

Charlie Estes
Guitar Instructor
[email protected]

Joanne King
Harp Instructor
[email protected]

Lynnell Lewis
Voice Instructor
[email protected]

Michael Majors
Bassoon Instructor
[email protected]

Anton Neumayr
Bass Instructor
[email protected]

Kevin Nordstrom
Violin/Viola Instructor
[email protected]

Jessica Pinkham
French Horn Instructor
[email protected]

Patrick Piper
Gospel Revelations Music Director
[email protected]

Marcel Ramalho
Voice Instructor
[email protected]

Charles Ramsey
Guitar/Electric Guitar Instructor
[email protected]

Erin Roesch
Clarinet Instructor
[email protected]

Michael Ronstadt
Cello Instructor
[email protected]

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

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

Through our 3+1 Education Program, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and teaching license—all in just nine semesters.

You’ll leave Earlham with two degrees, licensed to teach grades 5-12 in Indiana. (And it’s easy to transfer your license to other states—many of our graduates do!)

Learn more about our 3+1 program.

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.

Yes! The Rariden Scholarship is awarded annually to a student entering Earlham who is interested in pursuing an area within the visual and performing arts — art, music or theatre. Preference is given to a student from Wayne County, Indiana, although the selection committee will consider Indiana students from outside the county as well. The scholarship is $5,000 for each of a student’s four years at Earlham, totaling $20,000.

Earlham’s admissions counselors will screen applications from Wayne, Fayette, Randolph, Union and Franklin counties. The convener of the Visual and Performing Arts Division will send eligible applicants a letter and an information form in March. The form should be promptly returned to the Admissions Office.

Candidates will be contacted in April for interviews, and the winner will be notified by May 1.

In addition to this scholarship, there is financial assistance available through the Len Holvig and Anna Morrisett awards for singers and pianists, and numerous awards for private lessons.

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.

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.