School of Music, Theatre, & Dance


Music majors at Anderson University have the opportunity to customize their course of study in order to best align with their skills and calling. Students are given a broad musical context from which to grow. In their senior year, they work with faculty to determine a capstone course of study that strengthens their focus and prepares them for their careers.

Your AU Story Begins Now

As a singer-songwriter and a touring musician, I find myself just about every day either playing a show on the road or sitting at a piano writing a song and using the skills that I learned at Anderson University. The faculty and staff in the music department were awesome and they really just equipped me with the tools that I needed to get out there in the real world and start building a career for myself. I also found AU to be a really great community of believers where I could grow in my faith and learn about the love of God.

Jon McLaughlin      CLASS OF 2005

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Start your AU story

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 Music program?


Complete the 44-to-47-hour undergraduate major at AU’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Complementary Major

Students who would like to pair their passion for music with their other skills and calling may opt for the complementary major. This streamlined course of study may be undertaken alongside other majors on campus to enable students to customize their studies to meet their career and calling goals.

Among the classes in the 33-hour complementary major are:

  • music theory
  • music literature
  • world music
  • entrepreneurship
  • private lessons and ensembles

View the complete list of courses.


  • 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.


Learn more about AU’s StringFest, which is held each summer for high school string players.


What classes will I take?

Among the classes in the 44-to-47-hour major are:

  • music theory
  • music history
  • music literature
  • world music
  • private lessons and ensembles

View the complete curriculum for the music major.


What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?

Music majors find their niche in a variety of organizations. With a focus on theory and composition, they may find their way into music publishing. Graduates with this degree include successful professional performers in a variety of genres as well as folks who continue to graduate school for music history with a desire to teach at the college level.


What experiences will I have?

Music students at Anderson University study their instrument one-on-one with faculty and also as part of ensembles, including wind ensemble, orchestra, jazz band, Chorale, Women’s Chorus, or Valley Voices. They develop their ability to understand the technical aspects of written music and to write their own compositions. Students must participate in student recitals, potentially both as soloists and as part of chamber ensembles.