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Students practicing in Mabry auditorium

Department of Music

The Austin Peay State University Department of Music enjoys a vital presence on campus, in the Clarksville community, and in the region. The Department is housed in a state-of-the-art facility that offers outstanding practice, rehearsal, and studio facilities, along with a nationally recognized concert hall.

The Austin Peay Department of Music brings world-class experiences into the classroom.

As you consider a degree in music, we hope that APSU can help you fulfill your dreams. Our graduates are regularly hired in music and music-related careers, or are accepted into the graduate schools of their choosing. Our world-class ensembles, engaging out-reach programs, and undergraduate and graduate music curricula have transformed our department into one of the finest music programs around. Our faculty are conscientious mentors who take a personal interest in their students, and who engage with them in meaningful ways, both in and outside of the classroom/studio. We hope you will come to campus or contact us to learn firsthand how you will fit into this vibrant and dynamic educational environment.

 

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Music Department COVID safety Protocol: Revised Music Department Safety Protocol.

 

 

Music degree programs

We offer six graduate and eight undergraduate concentrations, from choral conducting and composition to music education and instrumental performance. Our degree offerings will prepare you for every avenue of professional musicianship.

Undergraduate programs

Sheet music on stand

This degree prepares students for careers in theory and composition as composers, editors, copyists, and arrangers. Many composers also spend much of their time teaching theory and composition in community colleges, universities, and private studios. Many composition majors pursue graduate degrees or careers in conducting, composing, arranging, music theory, pedagogy, or arts management. This degree will prepare you for any number of these or other music careers.

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Rene Villarreal plays guitar in MUC

This degree prepares students for careers in symphony orchestras, opera houses, musical theatres, jazz clubs, recording studios, theme parks, cruise ships, touring companies, military ensembles, chamber ensembles, and as soloists. Many performers also spend much of their time teaching private lessons in local schools, private studios, music stores, or at the college level. Many performance majors pursue graduate degrees or careers in conducting, composing, arranging, music theory, pedagogy, or arts management. This degree will prepare you for any number of these or other music careers.

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student plays violin in Mabry Concert Hall

This degree prepares students for careers in symphony orchestras, opera houses, musical theatres, jazz clubs, recording studios, theme parks, cruise ships, touring companies, military ensembles, chamber ensembles, and soloist. Many performers also spend much of their time teaching private lessons in local schools, private studios, music stores, or at the college level. Performance majors pursue graduate degrees or careers in conducting, composing, arranging, music theory, pedagogy, or arts management. This degree will prepare you for any number of these music careers.

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Student plays piano

This degree prepares students for careers in symphony orchestras, opera houses, musical theatres, jazz clubs, recording studios, theme parks, cruise ships, touring companies, military ensembles, chamber ensembles, and as soloists. Many performers also spend much of their time teaching private lessons in local schools, private studios, music stores, or at the college level. Performance majors can pursue graduate degrees or careers in conducting, composing, arranging, music theory, pedagogy, or arts management. This degree will prepare you for any number of these music careers.

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Susannah White sings in Mabry Concert Hall

This degree prepares students for careers in symphony orchestras, opera houses, musical theatres, jazz clubs, recording studios, theme parks, cruise ships, touring companies, military ensembles, chamber ensembles, and as soloists. Many performers also spend much of their time teaching private lessons in local schools, private studios, music stores, or at the college level. Many performance majors pursue graduate degrees or careers in conducting, composing, arranging, music theory, pedagogy, or arts management. This degree will prepare you for any number of these music careers.

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Scenic of MMC building

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) are liberal studies degrees that prepare students for a wide array of careers for which a specific music degree may not be required and allow students to select from a broad spectrum of courses that suit their career goals and interests. This concentration requires a minor in another area that students select with the help of their academic advisor and based on career goals and interests. The minor provides additional skills and content that may not be offered in a music course but are essential for some music-related careers.

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Music students teach classes for elementary school children

Music teachers are both professional educators and professional musicians. As such, your course work will prepare you to be a competent educator and exceptional vocalist or instrumentalist. Music education courses begin in the sophomore year and conclude with a semester of clinical-teaching. You will also take a group of teacher-preparation courses from the College of Education that prepares you to become a state-certified teacher.

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Music students teach classes for elementary school children

Music teachers are both professional educators and professional musicians. As such, your course work will prepare you to be a competent educator and exceptional vocalist or instrumentalist. Music education courses begin in the sophomore year and conclude with a semester of clinical-teaching. You will also take a group of teacher-preparation courses from the College of Education that prepares you to become a state-certified teacher.

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Music therapists use music as a therapeutic tool to address motor, communication, cognitive, social, and/or emotional needs. Music therapists work with clients across the lifespan in school, hospitals, mental health agencies, nursing and rehabilitation centers, or private practice. This is a rapidly growing field and APSU is one of only three schools in Tennessee to offer a concentration in music therapy!

 

Graduate programs

Garrett Coscoluella performs in football field

This one-year program is designed for post-baccalaureate music students who wish to concentrate primarily on their performance skills as they are prepare for entry into masters programs, competitions, auditions, or performing positions without being enrolled in a degree program. The program focuses almost exclusively on developing performance skills through private instruction, collaborative and ensemble performances, and solo recitals.

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Student sings in practice room

This program is designed to meet the needs of musicians seeking to focus on performance. Some choose this concentration simply to improve their skills as teachers and performers while others use the program to prepare for doctoral study in performance.

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Emmanuel Méjeun poses with French Horn

This program is designed to meet the needs of musicians seeking to focus on performance. Some choose this concentration simply to improve their skills as teachers and performers while others use the program to prepare for doctoral study in performance.

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Students sing in group in MUC

This program is designed to meet the needs of musicians seeking to focus on choral conducting. Some choose this specialization simply to improve their skills as teachers and conductors while others use the program to prepare for doctoral study in choral conducting. Students will be required to do a conducting audition on campus with a student ensemble.

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Orchestra poses for group photo

This program is designed to meet the needs of musicians seeking to focus on instrumental conducting. Some choose this specialization simply to improve their skills as teachers and conductors while others use the program to prepare for doctoral study in instrumental conducting. Students will be required to do a conducting audition on campus with a student ensemble.

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Music students teach class to elementary students

The Department of Music seeks to fulfill its mission by providing training and experience for students preparing for careers in music performance, providing training toward the development of critical thinking in music, providing music training and teaching experience for students seeking licensure in education to help meet the need for competent music teachers in the state and region, and providing education resources and musical experiences as part of a comprehensive Liberal Arts education.

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What Do Music Majors Do After Graduation?

Music majors go on to pursue many different paths:

  • Performance
  • Music Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Theory and Composition
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Worship or Sacred Music
  • Music Therapy
  • Music Business
  • Music Technology
  • Conducting
  • Instrument Repair
  • Music Librarian
      Faculty and student spotlight
      Zoe Johnson headshot
      Zoe Johnson, Music Performance

      “Austin Peay has helped push me to be better and push for bigger and better things. I think Austin Peay has a great music department for that.”

      Dr. Emily Hanna Crane
      Dr. Emily Hanna Crane, Strings

      Dr. Crane recently served on the COVID-19 Taskforce for the American String Teachers Association as an applied studio instruction representative. She has also performed with Intersection, a professional contemporary music ensemble, the Gateway Chamber Orchestra and in the Nashville Opera production of Madame Butterfly (Puccini)

      René Villarreal
      René Villarreal,Music Performance and Education

      René has worked both on campus and in the community during his college career, teaching ukulele to homeschool students through both the Community School for the Arts and the Center for Excellence in the Creative Arts. As a guitar specialist, Villarreal credits the APSU music program and Professor Stanley Yates for making Villarreal a “perfectionist.” “The APSU music program has prepared me in many ways for after graduation but one major quality I have developed is being a perfectionist,” he said. “Having to stay in a locked room for hours on end playing eight notes as slow as possible trying to make the best possible sound does a lot towards that.”

      Dr. Michael Chandler
      Dr. Michael Chandler, Music Education

      In the past year, APSU's Coordinator of Music Educaiton, Dr. Michael Chandler has led Orff seminars and workshops across the world including the Australian National Council of Orff Schulwerk conference in Melbourne, Australia, the Rocky Mountain Orff symposium, the Tennessee Arts Academy and the Colorado Music Educators Conference.

      Emmanuel Mejéun
      Emmanuel Mejéun ('15, '17),Music Education, Music Performance

      The inviting nature of the Austin Peay community, Méjeun said, made his dream a reality, and it is that generosity that he hopes to pay future to future students as he works towards a career as a college music professor. “Everything about my story is tied to music: it’s my passion, it’s my love, it’s going to be my job — It’s everything to me,” Méjeun said. “Every professor in Austin Peay’s music department is about more than just teaching; they’re about fostering a community. They’re supportive, not just with pursuing a career in teaching music, but they’re there to support you as you go through life, offering help and advice along the way.”

      Branscome
      Dr. Eric Branscome, Department Chair

      Dr. Branscome recently published We are TAMECU in The Tennessee Musician (publication of the Tennessee Music Education Association). He aslo serves as a freelance content writer for Educational Testing Servies and was recently appointed to an second term on the Advisory Board for Music Educator's Journal (professional journal of the National Association for Music Education).

      How Do I Get Started?

      Admission is via audition and/or portfolio review and interview. Begin the application process now by setting up an audition date.