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Geoff Edwards '18



For complete information about the Music Department, please visit our department website.

Do you want to start a professional career as a music educator, performer, composer, or music technology specialist? Would you like to pursue a liberal arts degree with a focus on music? The KSC Music Department offers an enriching foundation, while providing many opportunities behind the scenes and on stage for students to explore their passion for music. Keene State’s music program, fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, offers five music degrees and a music minor.

We believe that a strong liberal arts education, balanced with comprehensive training in music, can prepare students for a purposeful and fulfilling life. The Music Department is committed to offering every music student an education based on a high-quality curriculum with excellence in musicianship, and to developing every student’s talents and perspectives.

Students interested in becoming a music major or minor will need to pass an audition. The Music Department offers four audition dates throughout the spring semester. For information about auditions, or to sign up for an audition through our online portal, please visit our Auditions Portal.

Program Options

The BM in Music Composition degree can prepare students for a career in composition, independent teaching, or graduate study in music. The degree conforms to standards in composition set by the National Association of Schools of Music, including the development of a composition from concept to finished product; the competency to work with both electronic and acoustic media; working with a variety of forms, styles, and notations; and applying principles of scoring appropriate to particular compositions. Students will achieve fluency in the use of tools needed by composers, including keyboard skills, spoken and written language, conducting and rehearsal skills, analytical techniques, and applicable technologies. Students will also have opportunities to hear fully realized performances of their original compositions in workshop settings and public performances, culminating in a capstone senior recital.

The BM in Music Education curriculum prepares pre-service music teachers for teaching in a K-12 public school setting in the areas of general, choral, and instrumental music. This degree program prepares students for eligibility in becoming certified by the NH Department of Education and it is accredited by CAEP. Students acquire technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area; they gain skills and knowledge sufficient to work as a leader in the classroom and on the conductor’s podium; they learn appropriate pedagogies; and they obtain an ability to lead students to an understanding of music as an art form and as a means of communication. Students will be placed in the public school setting beginning in their first year, culminating in a semester-long student teaching experience in the senior year.

The BM in Music Performance program emphasizes performance proficiency and applied study of a major instrument or voice. It prepares students for careers in performance, independent teaching, or graduate study. Students in the Music Performance program gain an ability to work independently in the preparation of performances at the highest possible level, learn applicable solo and ensemble literature, and study the fundamentals of pedagogy. Students also gain skills in musicianship, analysis, composition, history, and technology.

The BM in Music Technology degree can prepare students for a career in audio engineering, sound design, or graduate study in music. The program conforms to standards in music technology set by the National Association of Schools of Music, including audio recording, audio engineering, and studio sound. Students achieve fluency in microphone technique and develop a knowledge base of other peripheral equipment. The program emphasizes fundamentals of recording equipment and practice, including equipment calibration, alignment, and testing, and studio setup for recording in various professional settings.

The BA in Music program provides a broad foundation in music and is appropriate for students interested in pursuing a liberal arts degree with a major in music. It is a popular option for elementary education majors seeking a second major, and for music majors interested in a rigorous yet flexible degree program that prepares them for graduate school or a career in music. The BA in Music degree can also pair with a non-music degree program, for students who want to pursue a career in arts administration, music therapy, or other arts-related fields.

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In this Section:

A music degree from Keene State College can prepare you for graduate school or other continuing study as well as careers in:

  • performance
  • composition
  • teaching
  • audio engineering
  • sound design

Employers may include K-12 public or private schools, colleges and universities, conservatories, community music schools, children’s music programs, daycare centers, recreation centers, music stores, self-employed teaching studios, orchestras or other large ensembles, chamber ensembles, bands, Armed Forces bands and orchestras, church choirs, clubs and restaurants, opera companies, musical theaters, recording studios, record companies, radio industry, television or motion picture industry, production companies, music management groups, instrument manufacturers, and cruise lines.

The BM in music education program has a 100% placement rate over the last 8 years.

Recent music majors from Keene State College have been accepted into graduate programs at the following schools:

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Boston Conservatory
  • East Carolina State University
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Kent State University
  • Longy School of Music
  • Miami University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • New England Conservatory
  • Peabody Conservatory
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Miami
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Yale University

Students who graduate from Keene State with a degree in Music will obtain skills in the following areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Creative thinking
  • Writing & editing
  • Leadership
  • Teaching & pedagogy
  • Performance on an instrument or voice
  • History of Western music
  • World music
  • Musicianship
  • Music analysis
  • Piano
  • Collaborative skills in a small and large ensemble setting
  • Composition and/or arranging
  • Use of technology

I graduated from KSC in 2010 with my Bachelor's in Music Education. This program equipped me with the skills I needed to teach at my first school, 6th-12th grade band, chorus AND general music, a few months after graduation. The professors are absolutely amazing. They continue to be available for guidance, suggestions, and resources for me seven years later. They will always be my role models. I am proud of the education that I received in the music department at Keene State College. I'll be an Owl for life.

- Aly Galipeau, class of 2010

My students always ask me how many instruments I play. I tell them that through Keene State I learned to play them all. All the wind instruments, percussion instruments, string, guitar, and piano. It’s extremely useful to know them all, and I’m always amazed when I meet music teachers from other schools who didn’t get the same kind of education.

- Jason Bouchard '97

Contact Admissions

Admissions Office
☎ 603-358-2276
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435