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Music Schools in Michigan with Class and Program Information

Research music degree programs in Michigan, which currently has 27 schools and universities offering programs. Read an overview of coursework, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools and decide which program is right for you.

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Essential Information

In Michigan, interested students can find music programs at many public and private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. Studies are offered at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels, though doctoral programs are often pursued by those interested in careers in academia. Certificate programs are also available.

Music students are often able to specialize in a sub-field, such as voice, instrumentals, theory and composition, performance (instrument-specific), conducting or music therapy. Other degree options are available in musicology, musical theatre and music education.

Applicants should be aware that some schools might require an audition for entry. To graduate from their program, students may have to participate in a final recital. In addition, graduate students might have to complete a verbal exam and a thesis; they may also have to compose an original musical score.

Aside from Lansing Community College, all of the schools listed in this article are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Below are brief overviews of the different types of music programs students will find in Michigan, as well as a comparison table that provides a summary of degree levels and tuition.


Central Michigan University

At the Mount Pleasant campus of Central Michigan University, the School of Music (College of Communication and Fine Arts) offers four undergraduate and four graduate degree programs in music. Currently, the faculty is composed of nearly 40 members

Undergraduates can major in music or music education, and additional areas of specialization may include composition and theory, instrumentals, piano or voice. There's also an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Fine Arts program in musical theater, with training in musical theory, stage technology and theatrical performance.

At the graduate level, the university offers a 30- to 36-credit Master of Music with concentrations in five areas, including composition, conducting or performance. Advanced students also have to pass comprehensive exams in music and participate in ensembles or recitals; individuals specializing in music education must complete the teacher certification process.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Bachelor of Music Education,
    Master of Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,950 in-state;
    $23,670 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; distant town

Eastern Michigan University

Located in Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University houses the Department of Music and Dance (College of Arts and Sciences), which has over 50 specialized faculty members. Students also have access to rehearsal rooms, an organ studio and performance spaces.

The department offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science program that includes ensemble work and music studios, as well as core courses in music history and theory, aural skills and piano. Students can also choose electives in composition, digital music and orchestration, among other areas.

Undergraduates in the Bachelor of Music programs can major in music therapy, vocals or performance, and the latter includes specializations in guitar, keyboard, percussion, strings or winds. Graduate students can select from one of eight master's degree programs, including piano pedagogy, music education, composition and performance (collaborative keyboards, instrumentals and voice). All programs require a comprehensive exam, and individual degree plans may call for a thesis, a recital or a music reading.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Science in Music,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Master of Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,026 in-state;
    $24,008 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Grand Valley State University

Music programs at Grand Valley State University in Allendale are limited to the undergraduate level, and the offerings include degrees in music and music education. Students in the Bachelor of Arts program pursue topics in literature and theory, applied music and performance, sight singing and keyboarding. In addition to completing a final project, they can also take electives in medieval and renaissance music, jazz history and theory, counterpoint and orchestration.

Areas of emphasis associated with the Bachelor of Music program include keyboards, instrumentals and vocals. Students can also receive instruction in topics such as band and orchestral instruments, guitar and organ. In accordance with Michigan state guidelines, undergraduates in the music education program complete 39 credits of certification coursework.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Bachelor of Music Education
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,078 in-state; $14,568 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College offers three certificate and three associate degree programs in music. As of 2013, there were two full-time faculty members and 24 adjunct professors affiliated with the music department.

The certificate programs provide students with career-specific training in music technology, musical theater or musicianship and require 12-20.5 credits to complete. The Associate of Arts curriculum includes core courses in aural skills and keyboard harmony, and both classical and jazz students receive instruction in instrumentals or voice.

Similar coursework can be found in the Associate of Applied Arts programs, and students also take classes in music history and participate in ensembles. Future professionals in the commercial music program learn how to arrange and write songs, manage a band and use digital audio technology. Students specializing in music management receive training in accounting, business and marketing.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Music,
    Associate in Applied Arts (commercial music or music management)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,630 in-district;
    $5,060 in-state;
    $7,490 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Michigan State University

The College of Music at this state university in East Lansing offers three undergraduate and ten graduate degree programs in music. In addition to a traditional music major, undergraduates can focus on education or performance. Areas of study associated with individual master's and doctoral programs include conducting, composition, musicology, performance and education. Currently, the faculty consists of nearly 70 members, and the college sponsors in excess of 150 performances each year.

All undergraduate music programs require courses in music history and literature, ethnic music and performance. Senior-year requirements include a capstone course, a paper or a recital. Depending on the level of study, graduate programs may conclude with a dissertation, an original composition, a public performance or an exam.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Master of Arts in Musicology,
    Master of Music,
    Doctor of Musical Arts,
    Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $12,622 in-state;
    $32,580 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; rural

Oakland University

Oakland University is located in Rochester, and its Department of Music, Theatre and Dance (College of Arts and Sciences) is staffed by approximately 2-dozen professors and a large number of adjuncts, lecturers and applied music instructors. Unique to the university is the Center for Applied Research in Musical Understanding, a research-based initiative designed to support and promote music education and understanding. Program offerings include undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees in education, instrumentals or voice.

At the undergraduate level, students learn about Western and world music, acquire keyboard techniques and participate in ensemble work. Education majors complete an internship. Graduate students pursuing a Master of Music can specialize in conducting, education, pedagogy or performance. Additional requirements may include a graduate recital, an oral exam and a thesis.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Master of Music,
    Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,230 in-state;
    $23,873 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Saginaw Valley State University

At University Center, undergraduates in the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences can earn a liberal arts degree in music or music education. Core requirements for the Bachelor of Arts include topics in music analysis, history and theory, piano and conducting. Instruction is provided by the 5-member music faculty, and both majors require attendance and participation in live performances.

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Music is similar to that of the aforementioned schools, and students also take music lessons and participate in ensembles. Education majors acquire the skills they need to teach music at the elementary, middle and high school levels. In addition to a student-teaching assignment, future professionals take courses in educational psychology, instrumentals and methodology.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts (music or music education)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,120 in-state;
    $19,063 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; rural

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the university in Ann Arbor offers Bachelor of Music programs in 16 different areas of study, as well as fine arts and interdisciplinary degrees in jazz and musical arts. Among the 14 Master of Music programs are unique studies in chamber and church music, collaborative piano, early keyboarding instruments and improvisation. Faculty members consist of award-winning composers, high-profile academics and past members of orchestras and opera companies.

Core undergraduate requirements include training in ensemble work, musicology, performance and piano. Performance majors can specialize in any number of instruments, such as percussion and winds, organ, piano, strings and voice. Teacher certification is available in jazz studies and select groups of instruments.

Although requirements for the master's programs vary, students in the church music program take private organ lessons and participate in a recital, while those pursuing a degree in improvisation complete a recording project and participate in digital music, jazz and orchestral ensembles. Doctoral programs are available in composition and music theory, education and musicology, among other areas.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts (jazz studies and musical theater, among other areas),
    Bachelor of Music,
    Bachelor of Musical Arts,
    Master of Music,
    Doctor of Musical Arts
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $12,994 in-state;
    $39,122 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

Wayne State University

Through the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Wayne State University in Detroit offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music. Presently, the Department of Music is supported by more than 70 full- and part-time faculty members.

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts program is to provide students who have a minimal knowledge of music with the chance to develop new skills and prepare for graduate school. Experienced music students who pursue the Bachelor of Music can choose from among 16 specialized areas in composition and theory, business, instrumentals, jazz and technology. Core coursework for both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Music programs generally includes topics in composing, history, piano, theory and technology. Students also participate in ensembles and complete a senior exam or project.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,190 in-state; $21,735 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

Western Michigan University

Located in Kalamazoo, this university offers five bachelor's and six master's degree programs in music, as well as a combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts. Areas of study at both levels include composition, education, therapy and performance, and graduate students can also specialize in conducting. Faculty members at the 100-year-old School of Music consist of 41 full-time and 17 part-time members.

Undergraduate music education majors can pursue an additional concentration in general instrumentals or chorals. Performance majors have the opportunity to specialize in keyboards, jazz studies, instrumentals or vocals. In general, the undergraduate foundation courses are similar to those offered at the previously mentioned schools and may include aural training, an introduction to musical styles, keyboarding and performance. Graduate programs emphasize the creative, performance and research aspects of music, and individual programs may require a field experience and a thesis.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Music,
    Bachelor of Music,
    Master of Arts in Music,
    Master of Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,982 in-state;
    $23,262 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Music Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2012-2013
Central Michigan University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Music,
Bachelor of Music Education,
Master of Music
$10,950 in-state;
$23,670 out-of-state*
Eastern Michigan University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Science in Music,
Bachelor of Music,
Master of Music
$9,026 in-state;
$24,008 out-of-state*
Grand Valley State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Music,
Bachelor of Music Education
$10,078 in-state; $14,568 out-of-state*
Lansing Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Arts in Music,
Associate in Applied Arts (commercial music or music management)
$2,630 in-district;
$5,060 in-state;
$7,490 out-of-state*
Michigan State University 4-year, public; rural Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Music,
Master of Arts in Musicology,
Master of Music,
Doctor of Musical Arts,
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education
$12,622 in-state;
$32,580 out-of-state*
Oakland University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre,
Bachelor of Music,
Master of Music,
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education
$10,230 in-state;
$23,873 out-of-state*
Saginaw Valley State University 4-year, public; rural Bachelor of Arts (music or music education) $8,120 in-state;
$19,063 out-of-state*
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts (jazz studies and musical theater, among other areas),
Bachelor of Music,
Bachelor of Musical Arts,
Master of Music,
Doctor of Musical Arts
$12,994 in-state;
$39,122 out-of-state*
Wayne State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Music
$10,190 in-state; $21,735 out-of-state*
Western Michigan University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Music,
Bachelor of Music,
Master of Arts in Music,
Master of Music
$9,982 in-state;
$23,262 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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