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Areas of Study

What you'll study

The music program provides multiple options of study for your individual success: creative technologies, composition, music education choral / general, music education instrumental, performance liberal arts, performance professional instrumental, performance professional vocal, technology liberal arts, and technology professional.

The performance option is perfect for aspiring singers and instrumentalists, preparing you for a lifetime on the stage. An education degree is ideal if you're looking to build a powerful base of knowledge in music in order to pass that knowledge onto others at the K-12 level. Technology students study the basics of acoustics, recording and mixed-media production through the use of both conventional and emerging technologies. A composition degree enables you to write music for the concert stage, theater, film, and video games. Creative technologies students use cutting-edge equipment to create new sounds and imagine novel musical systems.

The liberal arts option is a popular choice for those looking to double major, with students focusing on performance, composition, technology, or creative technologies. Students access such benefits as weekly private lessons with their advisor, exclusive music classes, and participation in a wide host of music ensembles. 

A music major combines education and active participation in ensembles to prepare you for an enriching career in the field of music. What’s more, there are a variety of options created for your individual needs, whether you intend to pursue a graduate degree or proceed into the music industry, a music major could be your ticket to success.

You'll take 120 credit hours for a bachelor of arts degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways.

Curious about a music minor? Check out these options.

Over 20 music ensembles

Jason Crafton, Assistant Professor, School of Performing Arts, SOPA, Music Department, working with a student in his office in Squires Hall. Campus, exterior.

36 faculty to support your growth

250 performing arts events

Honor Band, high school student musicians from around Virginia. School of Performing Arts, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Over 20,000 event attendees

We believe in action-based learning in our enriching courses and over twenty music ensembles open to all students. These include bands, brass and string ensembles, chamber ensembles, choirs, jazz ensembles, Music for the Stage, the Virginia Tech Philharmonic Orchestra, percussion ensemble, L2Ork (Laptop Orchestra), and wind ensemble. There are also opportunities to work with theatre and cinema students on interdisciplinary productions and projects.

Careers and further study

Headshot of Travis Whaley
Travis Whaley, '16

During his time at Virginia Tech, Travis majored in piano performance and composition and German, sang in Chamber Singers, and studied abroad. Through an undergraduate thesis and presentation, he combined performance training with the research and analytical skills cultivated from his music coursework. Through these experiences, Travis learned to combine his love of music and performance with scholarship, introducing him to the field of musicology. He’s currently working on his PhD in musicology at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Headshot of Jonathan Elmore
Jonathan Elmore, '20

During his time as a music major, Jonathan enjoyed many wonderful performance opportunities, both at home and abroad. He credits his trip to London for "Music Analysis in London" as well as performances in Spain and New York City for being particularly impactful. Jonathan is attending graduate school at Indiana University for Vocal Performance.

An exciting career in music awaits you, and the possibilities are endless. Our graduates are: 

  • Composers
  • Conductors
  • Vocalists
  • Instrumental Performers
  • Audio Producers
  • Music Directors
  • Music Educators

Interested in our graduate programs? Check out our Master's degrees and certificate options.