Bachelor of Music

man playing horn instrument on stage

The Bachelor of Music degree is offered with concentrations in performance studies, composition, and music theory. Majors in performance may focus in applied brass, percussion, piano, strings, voice, and jazz.

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The Bailey School of Music at Kennesaw State University provides its students with an outstanding range of performance opportunities, a nurturing and challenging environment, and access to our excellent brass faculty. As a brass music major, you will get to work one on one with our outstanding faculty each week.  In addition to your weekly lessons, each of the instrumental areas has a devoted time to chamber ensembles, solo classes, masterclass, and various warm up class opportunities.  You will have many ensembles playing opportunities with many concerts scheduled regularly both on and off campus.  Our brass area students have travelled across the United States to perform at conferences, competitions, and ceremonies.  We regularly have world-class guest artists in to work with our students; for example, we have hosted Allen Vizzutti, Wycliffe Gordon, Melvin Jones, Paul Merkelo, Alex Lapins just to name a few!  We regularly host large regional events like the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast, the Atlanta Horn Festival, and the Southeastern Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference, and our annual Brass Blast. 


Students studying composition at KSU encounter a range of great opportunities for the development and advancement of their creative work. There are numerous opportunities for students to get performances and recordings of their compositions, ranging from our student composition recitals to recording sessions to our composition contest winners who have their works presented by our top orchestra or wind ensemble. Students study with our faculty composers and with internationally recognized guest composers, including two Pulitzer Prize winners who have visited in recent years. There are also a growing number of opportunities for scoring for film, video games, and new media. KSU composition students have pursued successful careers as video game composers, international touring artists, and independent video and music creators, and have studied at prestigious graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Mills College, and Columbia College Chicago’s MFA in Music Composition for the Screen.


The Jazz Studies faculty, known as the KSU Faculty Jazz Parliament, is made up of nine highly renowned professors with well over one hundred years of collective experience on stage, in the studio, on tour and in the classroom. Our graduates have gone on to perform with The Count Basie Orchestra (Robert Boone), The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Mike DeSousa and Jonathan Pace), Tedeschi/Trucks Band (Brandon Boone) and Broadway productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Merrily We Roll Along and West Side Story (Jana Graham). The Bailey School of Music graduated the first NEA Future Jazz Master, Chris Otts. Our curriculum is very comprehensive and is constantly being refined to be current and relevant to today’s music making. Courses include Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Composition, Jazz History and of course, Jazz Combos, Jazz Ensembles and Vocal Jazz Lab. Our ensembles meet at least once weekly and perform regularly on and off campus. We host performances and masterclasses with the finest jazz performers and composers in the country. Guest artists include Jeff Coffin, Anat Cohen, Timothy Whalen, James Carter, Tim Armacost, Allen Vizzutti, Byron Stripling and Vince DiMartino. Masterclasses have been taught by Maria Schneider, Lionel Loueke, Melissa Aldana, Darren Kramer, Anat Cohen, Jeff Coffin, James Carter, Amos Hoffman and Alfredo Rodriguez. We are pleased to offer “Jazz in Europe” as part of the music history study abroad program and  "Jazz Fest at The Nest," our high school jazz festival held each spring.   

Music Theory

Music theory offers musicians and scholars a concentrated study of patterns in music and their interpretation. This area of the BSOM plays special roles in promoting critical thinking, writing skills, musicianship, and undergraduate research. Our faculty is top-notch, with three PhDs in Music Theory from schools such as Eastman and Louisiana State University. Training is hands-on with lots of one-on-one faculty-student interaction. We have a proven track record of placing our graduates into prestigious programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. Additionally, our undergraduate degree in Music Theory gives a musician a wide range of skills including writing, musical analysis, piano and singing proficiency, scholarly reading, and composition in different musical styles. If accepted into the program, students take applied lessons on their instrument, and participate in our many well-known ensembles. 


At the School of Music, students who play wind and percussion instruments may choose from applied concentrations from among the major instruments of the band and orchestra. Students regularly have opportunities to perform chamber music and work with faculty that perform in the top professional ensembles across the region, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Our Wind Ensemble hosted the Southeast Regional College Band Directors Association/National Band Association Conference and performs a wide variety of classic and new works for winds. The Wind Ensemble was also recently selected to perform at the College Band Director’s National Association Conference in Charleston, S.C. Wind and percussion students also have the opportunity to participate in the Symphony Orchestra, a 70-member student ensemble that performs masterworks from the symphonic canon, as well as contemporary, pops, and game and literature. Collaborations have included residencies with several guest composers, So Percussion, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, eighth blackbird, Boston Brass, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


Pianists in the School of Music may choose to pursue any of our two-degree programs: B.M. in Performance, or B.M. in Music Education. Additionally, some students choose to minor in music, while the most ambitious students may double major in a non-musical degree. Students are taught by our exceptional piano faculty, all of whom are active performers as well as teachers. Many of our students successfully compete in local, state, and national competitions and have opportunities for frequent recital performances, both on- and off-campus. Our students are regularly accepted into notable schools of music for graduate studies. Certified as an All-Steinway School, the Bailey School of Music celebrates our relationship with the American piano manufacturer with our annual Steinway Spectacular, featuring faculty, students, and guest artists. 


The string area at Kennesaw State is a carefully curated program designed to maximize every student’s potential. Our faculty are leading practitioners with a deep commitment to teaching and mentoring students. As a string student, you will experience a highly personalized education and a wide range of opportunities on stage and in the classroom. Our curriculum is designed to equip you with the knowledge, experiences, and skills needed to succeed. Our classes range from music entrepreneurship and music technology courses to Survey of African American Music, The Blues, and Music and the Holocaust. String students participate in weekly lessons, studio classes, studio recitals, string symposia, chamber music, orchestra, and masterclasses with guest artists. The string faculty at the Bailey School of Music are soloists, adjudicators, and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. They regularly perform in some of the finest concert series and venues regionally and nationally. 

Voice, Choirs

As a voice student at Kennesaw State University Bailey School of Music, you will be prepared to perform at the highest level, both as a solo artist and as a music educator. Our rigorous program is designed to maximize your potential and give you the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Undergraduate opportunities include recitals, choral ensembles, chamber groups, opera scene programs and fully staged productions. As a voice student at KSU, you will be instructed one-on-one by our prestigious faculty of artists, scholars and pedagogues. In addition to your weekly lesson, you will be participating in studio class, studio recitals, Voice Symposiums, and masterclasses with many world-class artists. We are committed to your development as an artist and a scholarly musician.  Whether you are a music education major or a performance major, we can help you reach your musical goals. 


What does it mean to study woodwinds at Kennesaw State’s Bobbie Bailey School of Music? It means tapping into the vast experience of our artist faculty, who are out in the community every week, performing with the Atlanta Symphony, the Atlanta Opera, and the metro area’s hottest jazz venues. This is something that students just can’t experience at other Georgia schools. As a woodwind major at KSU, whether perusing a Music Education emphasis or a Music Performance track, you will experience a wide range of performance opportunities, including bands, orchestras, jazz bands and combos, and chamber music. We strive to imbue our students with the entrepreneurial spirit so necessary in today’s rapidly changing musical world.