Program Requirements and Courses

Faculty Contact

Additional Program Information

Why study music?

Serious study of music, within the richness of a liberal arts curriculum, expands students’ interior life and mind. Whether learning theory, composition or performance, music teaches us to think critically, to communicate ideas, and to work creatively.

Sweet Briar’s small student-to-faculty ratio nurtures close connections that can last for decades. Professors get to know students as musicians, scholars — and as people.

Why study music at Sweet Briar?

The music program at Sweet Briar College offers comprehensive study for students who want to major in music in a liberal arts setting. Courses are also available for non-majors seeking to broaden their cultural understanding of music or to study it as a performing art. Because we believe proficiency in musicology and performance are equally important, our curriculum balances historical/cultural, theoretical/analytical and applied (solo and ensemble) studies.

Students interested in teaching can choose a track toward teacher licensure in vocal music. Music minor options are history and theory and solo applied music. Sweet Briar also allows students to self-design a major in consultation with faculty advisors or to pursue an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Sweet Briar women can participate in various student ensembles, including the Chamber Choir, the Chamber Orchestra, the Concert Choir and Skiffle USA, the only foreign branch of Trinidad’s world-famous Skiffle Steel Orchestra. Sweet Briar and Skiffle share a special relationship that allows students unique cross-cultural experiences, including performance opportunities at Skiffle’s San Fernando home.

The College’s high-tech Sound Art Production and Analysis (SArPA) Studio expands the program’s offerings in composition and music technology. Faculty and students use the studio for courses in sound design for applications such as video gaming, television and movie production. The SArPA Studio is a place for creative exploration using equipment and software that are rare at a small liberal arts college.

What can you do with a music major?

Sweet Briar graduates pursue careers in music therapy, teaching, composing and performance. Many students continue their study of music at the graduate level.