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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Music

Music Performance, BM

The Music Performance bachelor's degree program is your gateway to a career as a performer or educator specializing in a specific instrument or voice. You’ll be mentored by faculty who are among the nation's top musicians and educators, ensuring you receive world-class training.

Our Performance curriculum includes weekly lessons, chamber music coaching, and participation in large ensemble rehearsals. You'll develop a portfolio approach to career development through courses in entrepreneurship, musician’s health and& wellness, music business and& industry, recording technology, community engagement, social justice, and arts management. You'll also have many opportunities to collaborate with peers and join music student organizations, enriching your overall musical experience.

Upon graduation, your diverse set of marketable skills will include:

  • Effective communication through performance
  • Exceptional memory capabilities
  • Proficiency in music computer programs
  • Strong pattern recognition abilities
  • Skill in improvisation and analytical thinking

Acceptance to the Music Performance Program requires admission to WVU and a successful audition. Your audition also may qualify you for a School of Music scholarship.

Your Degree Plan


Percussionist smiling during a performance.

The Music Performance curriculum prepares you to perform with facility, self-expression and artistry as a soloist and collaborator in varied settings.

As a Music Performance student, you will learn to:

  • Perform with facility, self-expression and concert success on your primary instrument or voice. For voice students, this includes appropriate use of foreign languages and diction.
  • Demonstrate artistic proficiency and flexibility as a performer and collaborator in varied settings, including chamber ensembles and large conducted ensembles.
  • Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of compositional form, historical context, performance practices, extended techniques, nontraditional notation and current issues to musical performance.
  • Apply the necessary skills to maintain your physical and mental health while creating a career of sustainability and longevity.

You will have many opportunities to play solo recitals, chamber music performances and participate in large music ensembles.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Instrumental

    Offers individualized study for the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp and guitar. You will have the opportunity to individually tailor the study of orchestral excerpts, audition skills, repertory and pedagogy, performance in multiple musical styles and entrepreneurial skills towards your career goals.

  • Piano

    Allows piano students to develop their artistry, versatility and skills in classical piano, jazz piano or a combination of both. Students will have opportunities to perform in a variety of on and off-campus venues in solo and collaborative repertoire. Piano students will also study pedagogy and be able to broaden their keyboard experience with organ, harpsichord and fortepiano.

  • Voice

    Offers individually tailored study for all voice types in a variety of styles encompassing traditional and contemporary music. Supporting curriculum including repertoire, lyric diction, opera, pedagogy and coaching adds breadth to vocal studies. Recitals, opera scenes and productions, choral concerts and off-campus appearances give students opportunities to perform and demonstrate their growth as they progress toward graduation.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • The Creative Consultants program, which pairs you with accomplished alumni mentors for invaluable insights, advice and support.
  • Professional development resources available to attend conferences, concerts and other professional opportunities.
  • Opportunity to participate in chamber music as a freshman.
  • Weekly performance opportunities.
  • Numerous student leadership opportunities, both inside the applied studio and in student organizations.
  • Faculty members are active music professionals who bring their real-world expertise into their classrooms.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Attending college will prepare you for many things. The Music Performance major will give you the following skills:

  • Excellence in executive skills: time management, long-term project planning, goal-setting
  • Ability to work and communicate well with colleagues
  • Ability to work alone and exceed expectations
  • Understanding how to practice and improve for your unique circumstance
  • High-level artistic expectations and performance skills
  • Networking and community building
  • Entrepreneurial mindset

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Music Directors and Composers

Conduct, direct, plan, and lead instrumental or vocal performances by musical artists or groups, such as orchestras, bands, choirs, and glee clubs; or create original works of music.

Median Salary: $62,940

Possible job titles include: Choir Director, Composer, Conductor, Music Director, Music Minister, Orchestra Director, Music Composer, Music Producer, Producer, Songwriter.

Explore Career

Musicians and Singers

Play one or more musical instruments or sing. May perform on stage, for broadcasting, or for sound or video recording.

Median Salary: NA

Possible job titles include: Singer, Vocalist, Musician, Choir Member.

Explore Career

Career options

The Bachelor of Music in Performance provides training and experience for private teaching and a variety of work as a freelance musician in multiple genres and prepares you for further study at the graduate level.

Further your education

WVU graduate programs to consider:

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Conducting (Band, Choral or Orchestral)
  • Master of Arts in Musicology, Music Theory or Music Business and Industry (Online)
  • DMA in Performance

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
  • Virtual Tour
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  • Student Life
    You will have it all here — epic traditions, quality academics and a supportive community that feels like home.
  • Visit
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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Music Performance major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Music Performance at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees


Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Find Scholarships

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Music Performance major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

Request Info

Want to know more about Music Performance at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

Request Info


​​Experiencing campus is the best way to see if WVU is the right fit. Choose from in-person and virtual options.

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Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission using our convenient online application.

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