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The School of Music’s degree programs reflect the dual nature of music as both a creative art—requiring constant renewal through the efforts of composers, performers, and teachers—and a branch of the humanities, subject to scholarly study and interpretation of theoretical concepts and historical development.
- Each year the School presents more than 100 concerts, recitals, master classes and guest artist events, as well as numerous student recitals that are open to the public and enjoyed by community residents as well as UW faculty, staff, and students.
- School of Music students gain real-world experience in their chosen disciplines through performance, teaching, and scholarship under the guidance of their faculty mentors. Much of this work takes our students far beyond the classrooms and stages of the University of Washington to locales around the city, across the state, and throughout the world.
- The University’s Ethnomusicology Archives, founded in 1962 and one of three university-based ethnomusicology archives in the country, houses one of the nation’s largest collections of unpublished ethnographic recordings. The School hosts on-line catalogs of these archival recordings and the Archives’ collection of more than 300 musical instruments from many areas of the world.
The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. More than 200 music majors and graduate students enrolled at the School choose among numerous degree options: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy. In addition, many non-music majors take private lessons or participate in one or more of the dozens of auditioned and non-auditioned ensembles active in our performance divisions. Non-majors also increase their appreciation of music through various courses in music appreciation and music history that are open to majors and non-majors alike.
The School of Music awards more than $500,000 in support each year to its undergraduate and graduate students.
- 144 Undergraduate majors
- 34 Master's Students (MA and MM)
- 65 PhD and DMA Students
*2020 - 2021
- 28 Bachelor's degrees (BA and BM)
- 18 Master's degrees (MA and MM)
- 9 PhD and DMA
*July 2019 - June 2020
- Instrumental Performance
- Jazz and Improvised Music
- Music Education
- Music History
- Music Theory
- Vocal Performance
- 18 Professors
- 4 Associate Professors
- 5 Assistant Professors
- 5 Lecturers
- 1 Visiting Lecturer
- 19 Artists-in-Residence
- 3 Adjunct Faculty
- 12 Affiliate Faculty
Our faculty artists maintain thriving performance careers beyond the stages and classrooms of the University of Washington. In addition to their solo and ensemble work with major orchestras, chamber groups, opera companies, and jazz combos, they regularly release recordings of their work to great critical acclaim.
Our faculty composers are esteemed world-wide, and their compositions have been commissioned and performed internationally. Recent prestigious awards and fellowships include grants from the Carnegie Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts supporting the research of faculty composers Juan Pampin and Richard Karpen, whose work explores the creation of music at the intersection of music and neuroscience, and honors awarded to faculty composer Huck Hodge, recipient of fellowships from the National Academy of Arts and Letters and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation as well as the prestigious Rome Prize for Composition. In 2018, The American Academy of Arts and Letters granted Hodge the Charles Ives Living Award, the largest monetary award granted exclusively to American composers.
School of Music faculty hold leadership positions in many professional organizations, from the Society for Music Theory to the International Society of Music Education and the College Music Society, and have authored or edited a wide range of books and journals.
School of Music faculty have received University of Washington honors for excellence, including the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the Annual Faculty Lectureship, and the honorary Liberal Arts Professorship in Arts and Sciences for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.
- Adelaide D. Currie Cole Endowed Professorship I
- Adelaide D. Currie Cole Endowed Professorship II
- Aura B. Morrison Endowed Professorship in Music
- Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professorship in Music
- Michiko Morita Miyamoto Professorship in Piano
- Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professorship in Music I
- Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professorship in Music II
The School of Music awards more than $500,000 in support each year to its undergraduate and graduate students. School of Music faculty and students serve the community beyond campus in many ways. Some examples include:
- School of Music students regularly perform at community venues, including area hospitals, schools, retirement homes, churches, and senior centers.
- Choral, wind, and orchestral faculty members host students from dozens of Washington middle and high schools in annual non-competitive festivals, complete with master classes, lessons, and performances. Additionally, faculty and doctoral students work with visiting bands, choirs, orchestra, and jazz bands in clinics at the School of Music.
- Music education students work with students at Seattle’s Laurelhurst Elementary School on a weekly basis, as well as with choirs and bands from area middle schools that visit the School of Music. In addition, all core music education classes include a practicum component in Seattle-area K-12 schools, enabling School of Music students to apply their studies in real-world learning environments.
- School of Music students frequently perform at campus events such as Commencement, the annual Donor Recognition Gala, Dean’s Club events, Dawg Days in the Desert, Husky sporting events, and more.
Fact sheet last updated: January 2021