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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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.

Winds and Percussion

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 lm 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.


The Kennesaw State University School of Music Strings program has a current enrollment of more than 40 students and offers applied concentrations in violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, and classical guitar. Students perform in a full symphony orchestra that has toured China and hosted the National Conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association. There is a vibrant chamber music program and our string faculty perform and collaborate with the top performance organizations in the region such as the Atlanta Symphony, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Many of our string music education students are involved in internships with the KSU String Project, which brings string instruction to regional 4th and 5th graders, as well as the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra. Nearly all of our KSU music education graduates have gone on to excellent music educator jobs in the Southeast. Our string majors have enjoyed recent master classes with several outstanding artists, including the Ying Quartet, Aspen String Trio, Augustin Hadelich, James Ehnes, Jennifer Koh, Stefan Jackiw, Alisa Weilerstein, Andrés Cárdenes, Vega Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, David Coucheron, and Midori.


Students interested in jazz may take advantage of our instrumental jazz performance studies program as part of the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree. The jazz concentration is comprehensive and includes courses specific to the jazz idiom in history, theory, arranging, improvisation, performing, and pedagogy. Our jazz majors and faculty are active in the Metro Atlanta and the southeast region jazz scene and mix university experience with real-world performing opportunities and training. The KSU Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos develop general jazz performance and improvisational skills, giving students the exibility to meet the varying demands of today’s musical world. Recent performances have included programs of Brazilian and Latin jazz, swing concerts, music from musical theatre, jazz rock, and retrospectives of such composers as Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, and others. KSU Jazz Ensembles and Combos have performed at the Jazz Education Network conference, the Georgia Music Educator’s Association in-service conference, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards, the International Festival of University Theatre of Casablanca, as well as performances in Montepulciano, Italy.

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.


Pianists in the School of Music may choose to pursue any of our three degree programs: B.A. in Music, B.M. in Performance, or B.M. in Music Education. 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. Further, our students are regularly accepted into notable schools of music for graduate studies. Certified as an All-Steinway School, the School of Music offers students collaborative piano experiences and master class performance opportunities with internationally-acclaimed pianists. Recent and upcoming guests include Jean Yves Thibaudet, Jeremy Denk, Alessio Bax, Yakov Kasman, Simone Dinnerstein, and Ian Hobson.

Voice, Opera, and Choirs

Voice Study at KSU provides an atmosphere of excellence in the development of the vocal artist. Voice majors receive individual instruction and studio master classes from our outstanding voice faculty in addition to courses in music theory, music history, language and diction study, vocal and opera literature, vocal pedagogy, conducting, and opera training. Today’s singers must be versatile, creative and self-promoting, so we offer music business and entrepreneurship seminars. Voice majors sing in full operatic productions with orchestra, as well as opera scenes. Recent opera productions include Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, Mozart’s Die Zauber öte, Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Stephan Paulus’ The Three Hermits. Our singers participate in master classes with guest artists from the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and with notable international artists. Choral ensembles acquaint students with a wide variety of music and styles both as choral members and as oratorio soloists. Our singers perform with chamber players, ensembles and the KSU Symphony Orchestra. The Kennesaw State University Choral program and award-winning choirs have performed at Georgia Music Educators Conferences as well as State, Southern Divisional and National American Choral Directors Association Conferences and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. Our choral program represents diverse academic disciplines from across the KSU campus. Many of our voice graduates have won scholarships to prestigious music schools across the country and several have won scholarships for study in national and international summer programs, such as the International Performing Arts Institute in Germany.