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Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

Bachelor of Arts in Music

» Bachelor of Arts in Music

Design your own music emphasis with the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music! This unique, flexible degree allows you to explore virtually any area of music, performance-oriented or not, including music history, jazz studies, music therapy, pop music, musical theatre, music psychology, world music, music tech, film music, and more!

In this program you will:

  • Study historical and cultural contexts of music, 
  • Study major genres, styles, and periods of Western art music and other traditions, 
  • And develop your own research specialty in your choice of music time, style, and cultural application. 

These skills are honed in conjunction with a strong liberal arts foundation that will allow you to flourish as a musician and a scholar.

By the time you graduate you'll be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate fluent musicianship skills, including:
    • an understanding of music theory
    • proficiency with aural skills and sight reading
    • proficiency as a soloist on your main instrument
    • basic piano skills
    • the ability to rehearse and perform collaboratively and contribute to an ensemble
  • Identify and distinguish musicals styles and genres from a variety of historical times and places. 
  • Create original, insightful research into music history and analysis, resulting in an individual capstone project in the form of a research paper suitable for submission to graduate schools or publication in relevant scholarly field.

Performance Opportunities

Bachelor of Arts in Music students at Chapman University have several curricular and extra-curricular performance opportunities. These include:

Program Faculty

The B.A. in Music program is led by Associate Professor Dr. Jessica Sternfeld, a musicologist with additional expertise in Musical Theatre and American Popular Music. Dr. Sternfeld earned doctorate and master's degrees in musicology from Princeton University, and a BA with Honors in Music from Wesleyan University.

Dr. Sternfeld specializes in the cultural work of recent musicals. Her book The Megamusical (Indiana University Press, 2006) focused on cheesy 1980s blockbusters, and she publishes and presents about stage, television, and film musicals. Her work appears in The Oxford Handbook of the American MusicalStudies in Musical Theatre, and The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies. With Dr. Elizabeth Wollman, she co-edited the Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical (2020), and with Dr. Raymond Knapp she is co-editing the Oxford Handbook of the Television Musical (forthcoming). Her forthcoming book for Oxford University Press, “Words Fail”: Trauma and the Musical, focuses on how recent musicals present narratives of trauma and overcoming. She currently serves as co-editor (with Dr. Wollman) of her field’s flagship journal, Studies in Musical Theatre. At Chapman, she teaches musical theatre history/contexts, opera and cultural history/contexts, musicological research and writing, and Western art music history/contexts. 

Where This Degree Will Take You

A Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Chapman will prepare you for a career in:

  • musicology/ethnomusicology, including scholarship in any music field from any time or place 
  • collegiate music history and music cultures education
  • music therapy
  • music librarianship
  • music administration, arts organizations, community outreach
  • music technology and production
  • music business 
  • and other careers involving music and the world today! 

What's more, by adding a double major or minor, students may harness their bachelor of arts degree in even more diverse careers after graduation.

You’ll also have access to free lifetime career advising from our dedicated Career Advisor for the College of Performing Arts. That means that you can get career advice and preparation from the day you begin the program to post-graduation.

Admission and Tours

Learn more about applying to the conservatory on our Music Admission page, including information about auditions and deadlines, or check out the curriculum on our catalog page.

Want to learn more about Chapman? We are always available for tours and information sessions. We’d love to meet you!

Related Programs

Bachelor of Music

Music Minor

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.