School of Music, Theatre, & Dance

Instrumental Performance

The instrumental performance major prepares students with basic knowledge and performance skills needed to pursue graduate-level study and a career in performance. In addition to basic music, music education, and performance classes, instrumental performance majors must also complete 24 hours of private study in their primary performance area, seven hours of major ensembles, and two hours of ensembles.

Your AU Story Begins Now

Being at AU, I had the opportunity to cultivate my own relationship with God. I really learned to stand on my own two feet, to be a grown-up in Christ.

Lawrence Brownlee     CLASS OF 1996

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Why choose AU for music?
  • Anderson University’s music program is known around the world. Alumni perform at the La Scala opera house in Italy, the Met, Carnegie Hall, at the Academy Awards, and at other international venues.
  • Guest artists and artists-in-residence visit the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance each year. Artists visiting AU include Canadian Brass, Van Cliburn gold medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Indianapolis Baroque Ensemble.
  • Alumni successfully pursue graduate work at Indiana University, St. Thomas University, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and Vanderbilt University. Alumni Lawrence Brownlee, Sandi Patty, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jon McLaughlin enjoy extremely successful careers in their genres.
Program Options

How can I get involved in the instrumental performance program?


Complete the 80-hour Bachelor of Music at AU’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.


  • Church Music (18 hours): The church music minor combines music, music performance, and music education courses.
  • Music (18 hours): The music minor includes music theory and music literature. Students also complete four hours of music performance, two hours of applied study, and two hours of music ensemble.
  • Music Business (18 hours): The music business minor provides a basic understanding of the music business industry. Students complete courses in music theory, music performance, music business, and music publishing.
  • Music Performance
    • For students whose major is music business (15-16 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include six to eight hours in applied study, introduction to conducting, and specialized courses for singers, pianists, and instrumentalists.
    • For students whose major is not in music (18 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include eight hours in applied study, music theory, and piano.
  • Music Theory and Literature (18 hours): Courses include Theory I and II, Aural Comprehension I and II, Introduction to Music Literature, Music History I and II, and music performance courses.

What classes will I take?

Among the classes in the 80 hour major are:

  • music theory
  • music history
  • introduction to conducting
  • piano pedagogy
  • aural comprehension

View the complete curriculum for the instrumental performance major.


What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?

Instrumental performance majors can play professionally in orchestras, musical theatre companies, cruise ships, and more. Students can also open a studio for private instrument lessons. Pianists and organists can be an accompanist for dance studios and private lessons as well as playing professionally in churches and synagogues. Students can also continue their education through graduate school.


What experiences will I have?

Instrumental performance majors can join music ensembles such as the wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, and more. Students in these three ensembles will perform in Anderson University’s Candles and Carols in the fall semester. Instrumental performance majors will also have private lessons and recitals.