The Undergraduate Music Program

The Bard Music Program allows students to explore their talents for vocal and instrumental performance as well as composition through the modalities of classical, jazz, electronic, experimental, world music, and historical and theoretical analysis. Students develop their talents as performers through lessons and participation in large and small ensembles. In addition to weekly ensemble rehearsals and open concerts offered monthly, students present at least two or three full-length concerts of their own work by the end of their fourth year.


The Moderation process and the Senior Project act as key curricular opportunities for students to showcase their work to faculty and the community, either via recording or live performance. Composers develop individual “voices” through a rigorous schedule of rehearsing, recording, and performing their music with fellow students, faculty, and outside professional players. Electronic composers utilize a sophisticated electronic music studio to create and present their pieces (live or recorded) to the Bard community. All senior music majors are eligible to perform with, or have their pieces played by, the American Symphony Orchestra at the annual Commencement concert.


The Bard College Music Program is equipped for specialization in five areas:
• Classical (Performance and Composition)
• Musicology (Theory, History, Analysis)
Jazz (Performance and Composition)
• Ethnomusicology and World Music
• Electronic Music

Music majors explore the history and theory of one or more of these five areas through course work; they also take at least one course in an area outside their specialization.

Course Work

Music Program offerings are grouped under the headings of courses, workshops, and ensembles. All offerings are open to music majors and nonmajors alike, and a number of courses are specifically aimed at stimulating the interest and involvement of the general student population. Music majors can also arrange small-group tutorials and independent studies with individual faculty; these allow students to explore areas of particular interest or aspects not covered by the general course offerings. Workshops are ongoing, skill-building opportunities to focus on particular works and/or techniques.

Recent Workshops

The Art of Collaboration, Bach Arias, Chinese Music Ensemble, Classical Guitar, Composition, Contemporary Electronics, Early Music Vocal Performance, Electronic Performance Ensemble, English and American Art Song, French Art Song, Improvisation, Musical Structure for Performers, Opera, Percussion Discussion, Production and Reproduction, 20th-Century Composition, and Voice and Vocal Repertoire for Singers and Pianists