Experience intense, professional training in your instrument. You’ll be trained as a comprehensive musician.
Shenandoah’s Bachelor of Music in Performance prepares you for a fulfilling career as a performer, composer, tech-savvy entrepreneur or teacher. You’ll study with faculty who are inspiring performers and passionate teachers, perform in ensembles led by challenging conductors, work with exciting guest artists worldwide, and enjoy opportunities for international travel.
We’ll prepare you to work as a performer, composer, recording artist, business leader and teacher, and give you a solid background in audio, video and web-based technology. Our broad yet focused approach, with faculty who are excellent performers and role models, gives you the foundation to reach your goals.
Our program is designed for exceptionally talented performers seeking careers as concert artists, private teachers or college teachers.
Music Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory provides talented and creative pre-professional artists with opportunities to develop performance skills to a very high level. Performance opportunities include membership in choral ensembles, opera, orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and various small chamber ensembles. Students benefit from study with artist teachers in all performance areas.
- Guitar Emphasis
- Instrumental Emphasis
- Piano Emphasis
- Voice Emphasis
- Wind, Strings or Percussion Emphasis
Minor in Music, Theatre, Dance or Composition
Shenandoah Conservatory offers minors in Music, Theatre or Dance for all Shenandoah University students.
Shenandoah also offers a new minor in Music Composition for conservatory students who wish to build composition skills and enhance their creative music-making experience while pursuing other degree programs in the conservatory.
Acceptance into conservatory minors must be approved by the Division/Department Chair, and some minors require an audition.
Learn More about Conservatory Minors
Declaring A Minor
Shenandoah students work with their Academic Advisor to declare a minor. Academic Advisors will continue to work with students to ensure that they fulfill all of the requirements to complete the minor.
Incoming students should not indicate their intended minor on their Shenandoah application; applications are for intended majors only.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Shenandoah’s Bachelor of Music in Performance prepares you for a fulfilling career as a performer, composer, tech-savvy entrepreneur or teacher. We’ll prepare you to work as a performer, composer, recording artist, business leader and teacher, and give you a solid background in audio, video and web-based technology. Our broad yet focused approach, with faculty who are excellent performers and role models, gives you the foundation to reach your goals.
The Career Services Office provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
After utilizing Career Services to explore different career paths, they helped prepare me for an interview with the Peace Corps. When the time for my interview arrived, I was polished, confident, and excited
to share why I wanted to serve. The interview went exceedingly well and I am currently serving in the Peace Corps Service in the People’s Republic of China!”
William Abbott | Cello Performance ’16
You will experience:
- Intense study in your primary instrument
- Concentrated study in music theory, counterpoint, history and literature
- Development as an accomplished performer in large ensembles and in chamber groups
- Coursework in the business of the arts
- Clinic opportunities from guest lecturers and interactions with a vibrant community of classical and jazz musicians
- Performing on recording projects in a world-class recording studio
- Preparation for further study as a graduate student
- How to prepare for performance on stage including preparation, nerves and memory
View Full Voice Performance Curriculum
View Full Wind, String or Percussion Performance Curriculum
View Full Guitar Performance Curriculum
Shenandoah’s Piano Performance Program can open doors to your future in the world of music. Whether you imagine a career as a concert pianist, teacher, music agent orchestra administrator, recording producer, or arts administrator, our rigorous and acclaimed program will prepare you for a successful and rewarding future in the performing arts. You’ll receive a comprehensive grounding in the technique of piano playing and be trained to give public recitals to a high standard. Through our program, you’ll develop an extensive repertoire and skills, preparing you to audition for graduate-level programs. Our year-round performance opportunities test your development and measure your growth in the course.
- An overall view of the historical aspect of music and how it relates to piano performance in particular
- An appreciation of the different techniques and styles requires to play piano music of different nationalities
- How to prepare for performance on stage including preparation, nerves and memory
The great advantage of studying at Shenandoah is that although the conservatory is large and offers an amazing range of study possibilities, the number of performance majors in piano is small. You’ll receive individualized attention from supportive faculty who are passionate about nurturing and encourage the development of your talent. You’ll also enjoy numerous performance opportunities, including chamber music and singer accompaniment, designed to enhance your music education and broaden your appreciation of style.
View Full Piano Performance Curriculum
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Performance Opportunities and Ensembles
Shenandoah Conservatory produces more than 300 performances each year. Enroll in a dynamic curriculum and start preparing for a meaningful career in the arts. You will practice your craft in front of audiences and develop a plan for your professional launch into the industry that focuses on your personal desires and aspirations.
Embrace extensive performance opportunities with top-tier facilities from theatres, concert halls and dance studios. Unite with fellow artists and join an alumni family that takes center stage from Broadway to the concert halls of Europe.
Shenandoah Conservatory Performances
The Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra played my music with such passion and zeal last night, I can’t sleep. Music is always so much deeper than notes. And a group of musicians dealing with the pressure of performance showcases a confluence of aspirations put to the test of execution. … Well, tonight, our young people over delivered.”
Wynton Marsalis, following the performance, by Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, of his revised, complete “Blues Symphony” on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at The Music Center at Strathmore
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 30 performing groups — including instrumental, vocal, and dance ensembles — that present numerous performances every year. These performances take place throughout Shenandoah University’s vibrant campus on its various stages, including a concert hall, recital hall, proscenium stage, black box studio, outdoor amphitheater and more, to venues and performance spaces in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and around the world. Ensembles constantly engage with Shenandoah’s dynamic faculty and an array of distinguished guest artists through residencies, workshops and unique performance opportunities.
Experience the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory and study with master teachers – more than 100 professionals in music, theatre, dance and arts management.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s prestigious faculty is dynamic, creative, and passionately committed to the highest levels of artistic excellence. A deeply caring community, they mentor students with a wealth of professional expertise, balancing rigorous expectations with compassion and wisdom. At Shenandoah, you will study with, and perform for, award-winning composers, Metropolitan Opera singers, Grammy Award-winning conductors and international competition winners. You will learn from leading scholars in music and premiere works created by accomplished dance artists and cutting-edge directors. Shenandoah Conservatory’s faculty embodies the highest levels of professional accomplishment and the deepest commitment to furthering the artistic growth and creative aspirations of students in every discipline.
Application and Audition Information
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admissions materials, and find our admissions standards.
Admission to Shenandoah Conservatory is highly competitive. Not only must students be academically admissible, they must also complete and pass the mandatory audition/portfolio review and interview process. Audition dates are limited and may fill and close well in advance of the audition date.
I saw an opportunity to become a better singer and musician here. The best class I’ve taken is definitely my voice lessons with Dr. Jones. He is such an amazing teacher and an incredible person. He always pushes me to be better and try my best! Take every opportunity SU provides! You will not regret it!
Elias Aguirre ’24 | Vocal performance
Acceptable Instruments for This Program
Not all majors are suitable to fit every instrument. Below are the acceptable instruments for this program.
- Double Bass (classical)
- French Horn
- Guitar (classical)
- Percussion (classical)
- Piano (classical)
- Saxophone (classical)
- Trombone (classical)
- Trumpet (classical)
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks, you will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.
Fast-Track to Arts Management
Accelerated PALM Program
The Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management is designed to provide future performing arts executives and artistic leaders with the industry skills required in the 21st century. The accelerated program in Performing Arts Leadership and Management is available for current Shenandoah Conservatory undergraduates who, upon completion of their undergraduate degree, wish to obtain a Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management in just one year. Students who are accepted into the accelerated program will begin to take arts leadership and management courses during their undergraduate studies and register for internship during the summer between senior year and their final year of graduate study.