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About the Program

Students explore music through its interrelated subdisciplines — music theory, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, music technology and performance — in the context of a liberal arts curriculum. Music faculty strive to create a learning environment that encourages the intellectual and personal development of students and teachers alike by integrating the transmission of knowledge with original research, composition and performance. The program values the contributions of all musical cultures and styles, and in any given semester, offers courses that reflect this diversity. Music offers an exceptionally wide variety of academic courses and performing ensembles as well as private instruction in voice and all instruments from piano to mandolin to viola da gamba.

Music By Numbers

Each semester: 

  • 25 %

    of the W&M student body are engaged with the Music Department

  • 400+

    students take academic music classes

  • 300+

    students perform in ensembles

  • 700+

    students take applied lessons

What Makes Us Different

  • International Performances

    The W&M Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Middle Eastern Music Ensemble have performed in South Africa, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Oman, France and the Czech Republic, among other countries.

  • Impressive Collection

    The Music Department's instrument collection includes an 1816 Broadwood pianoforte, a Javanese Gamelan and a 3-manual, 24 rank pipe organ (Peragallo Opus 652).

  • Conference Presentations

    Music students have presented papers at various conferences including the Mid-Atlantic Chapter for the Society of Ethnomusicology, the College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Society for Music Theory.

Applied Learning



Music graduates have gone on to pursue graduate degree programs in conducting, musicology, ethnomusicology and composition. Alumni have had successful careers in performance, music therapy, arts management, music education, recording engineering and higher education. Several have attended law school or medical school. Many students are double majors who pursue music informally or as a second career after leaving W&M.

Talk to Us

Want to learn more? Our current students and faculty want to connect with you.

Department of Music

Music Arts Center Room 109

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Courses Disclaimer

*Courses listed are examples. Course availability changes each semester.