Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music
The study of music is as diverse as music itself and offers a world of artistic career opportunities.
Whether you want a broad liberal arts degree with a focus on all aspects of music—or you plan to double-major in music and another subject to pursue a more specific career path—Marian University’s music degree program will fit your interests and goals.
Thanks to Marian’s general education curriculum, you will build strong foundational skills like excellent communication, strong teamwork and collaboration abilities, and sharp logic, analyses, and critical thinking competencies, all of which are highly valued by today’s employers.
As you complete required, core, and elective music courses, you will explore the fundamentals, theories, and history of musical genres. You’ll study the early music of medieval times through the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. In addition, you’ll survey the rise of jazz, rock, hip hop, world music, and other genres in the contemporary era.
Why choose the B.A. in music at Marian?
Make your talent and passion for music your life’s work. As a member of our close-knit campus community, you’ll thrive with individual attention, guidance, and mentoring from faculty and private instructors recognized for their teaching ability, knowledge, and musical expertise.
Alternatively, you may want to pursue a double-major in music and another field, like business, communication, or psychology.
- Pursuing a double-major in business and music, for example, will prepare you to work as a music agent for performers and entertainers, as a music marketer, or as a sales director at a performing arts venue or concert hall. It can also prepare you for leadership roles working with nonprofit organizations.
- Pairing a music major with a communication major can prepare you to work in promotional roles, like public relations or media relations for arts and entertainment venues, companies, individual artists, or groups of artists, including professional musicians.
- These are just two examples of double-majors that you can pursue. If you're interested in music and another field, talk with our faculty advisors. We'll help you develop a custom plan of study.
Regardless of which options are right for you, as a B.A. in music major you can choose one of two tracks, both of which are focused on performance:
- Vocal music
- Instrumental music
Students in both tracks study the latest tools, technologies, and best practices for performance.
What makes Marian’s B.A. in music unique?
Here are just a few things that makes our B.A. in music program stand out from other schools:
- You’ll complete all coursework in a creative, flexible, and supportive learning environment that emphasizes developing practical, applied music skills.
- Classes are taught by experienced faculty, not graduate students. Class sizes are small, averaging 13 students to every one faculty member.
- Thanks to a high-impact, experiential curriculum, you’ll get broad experience, perspectives, and insights into the world of professional music performance.
- You may be eligible for generous, annually renewable music scholarships, like the Fine Arts Talent Award for Instrumental Performance, as well as scholarships for participating in the marching band, jazz band, color guard, and vocal ensembles. Auditions may be required.
- Many Marian students are interested in sacred music. There are dozens of churches, synagogues, and temples around the city where religious music is performed. Catholic students can choose from 129 parishes within Archdiocese of Indianapolis boundaries.
- Many professional musicians and music instructors call Indianapolis home. Indy has a strong music community that includes world-class performance venues and excellent recording studios. The city is also a popular tour destination, drawing hundreds of top nationally and internationally recognized performers each year.
- Well-known performance venues include the Hilbert Circle Theatre, Basile Opera Center, The Palladium and Center for the Performing Arts, the Murat Theater at the Old National Centre, Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For students who are of legal age, performances at iconic clubs like the Jazz Kitchen, The Vogue, and the Slippery Noodle Inn are also popular. You can also participate in open mic nights some smaller local clubs.
- We have partnerships with Drum Corps International, Music for All, Percussive Arts Society, and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, among others, where you may be able to pursue internships or employment opportunities.
What will you study?
To earn the 128-credit B.A. in music degree at Marian, you’ll complete general education, elective, required, and core music courses.
You will complete courses that provide you with a broad understanding of music history, culture, and literature. Depending on whether you choose instrumental or vocal music as your area of emphasis, you will also explore a range of special topics in music, like arranging, composing, conducting, diction, performance, pedagogy, and technology.
Examples of courses you may complete include:
- MUS 120: Music Fundamentals
- MUS 200: Music Theatre Performance Workshop
- MUS 251: Music Technology
- MUS 252: History of the Beatles
- MUS 325: Music Theory III
- MUS 330: Conducting
- MUS 340: Music of World Cultures
- MUS 348: Music History I
- MUS 490: Music Seminar
- MUL 125: Class Piano I
- MUL 171: Voice Class
Sample four-year plan and checklist
As an incoming freshman or transfer student, you are considered a pre-music major until you’ve successfully completed our required fourth-semester qualifying exam to evaluate your musical skills, knowledge of music theory, and keyboarding proficiency on piano.
After passing the qualifying exam, you’ll formally be recognized as a music degree major and proceed with upper-division music courses, private lessons, and required on- and off-campus recitals.
If you specialize in instrumental music, you will complete at least eight credits of private lessons with instructors who specialize in all major instrument types, including:
- Keyboard (piano, organ, and harpsichord)
- Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp)
You will also complete required participation as a member of our concert band, jazz band, chamber ensemble, percussion ensemble, marching band, basketball band, drumline, show choir, sacred choir, and/or acapella vocal group. Auditions may be required.
What are your career paths?
A degree in music can lead to a world of interesting, fulfilling, and lucrative careers. When you’ve played your final note as a Marian University student, you’ll be well composed with the knowledge, skills, and experience you need for professional success.
Most music graduates pursue careers that combine performance and teaching, resulting in multiple income streams through full- and part-time employment.
- Non-teaching options include careers ranging from being a professional musician to arts administration, music production, and sound engineering. Many Marian graduates have full-time jobs and (1) give private lessons to children and adults and/or (2) perform part-time in live and recorded sessions on evenings and weekends.
- If you want to teach in a public or private K-12 school, Marian's Bachelor of Arts in Music Education may be a better choice. This will ensure you are successfully prepared to meet Indiana Department of Education’s standards for obtaining a state teaching license in instrumental and general music.
The job outlook for college graduates with music degrees is good, with an expected job growth of six percent (as fast as average compared to other careers) according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Occupation ||Growth through 2026 ||Median 2017 salary |
|General or operations manager* ||.3 percent ||$123,460 |
|Agent or business manager for artists and entertainers ||4 percent ||$90,870 |
|Music director, conductor, or composer ||6 percent ||$50,590 |
|Professional musician or singer ||6 percent ||$56,076 |
|Sales manager** ||7 percent ||$117,960 |
|Broadcast and sound engineer ||8 percent ||$42,650 |
|Advertising, promotions, or marketing manager*** ||10 percent ||$129,380 |
|Producer and director ||12 percent ||$71,620 |
* Includes staff positions at arts and entertainment organizations, such as concert halls and venues, museums, and theatres.
** Includes box office operations, individual and group ticket sales, and venue rental for outside groups.
*** Includes marketing, public relations, media relations, social media management, content marketing manager, inbound marketing managers, and related roles to promote arts and entertainment events.