By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.


Focus on your passion for music and continue to pursue your other interests—perhaps with a minor or double major in another liberal arts discipline.

This flexibility will allow you to strengthen your portfolio of musical, pedagogical, and business skills to better prepare for a diversified career in music.

Faculty who are established composers, performers, and lecturers will support and inspire you, and demonstrate through their own professional pursuits in music how to establish a livelihood with a love of music at its core.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Sample courses for music majors include:

  • Basic Conducting
  • Diatonic Harmony I
  • History of European Music before 1750
  • European and American Music Since 1914
  • Critical Research and Writing

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

A weekly student convocation brings the entire Setnor School of Music community together for performances by peers, faculty, and guest artists. Individual practice is enhanced by the development of skills that are needed for functioning in group situations. You are required to be involved in one of the school’s large ensemble groups each semester.

Extracurricular offerings like teaching lessons in the Community Music Division or developing a business plan through the Career Development Center help you to develop well-rounded skills.

The Setnor School of Music is located in Crouse College, where you’ll find the 700-seat Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium, featuring a 3,823-pipe Holtkamp Organ. Some 200 recitals are held here each year. Classrooms and rehearsal spaces are located in Crouse College and Shaffer Art Building, and a recording studio is located in the Belfer Audio Archives.

The Setnor School offers you many opportunities to take part in classes taught by nationally and internationally renowned resident and visiting artists.

You’ll find a supportive network of VPA alumni who are always willing to help you achieve success, both at Syracuse and after you graduate.

Study Abroad

Syracuse Abroad  also offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

Today’s musicians must prepare for careers on a global level. The Setnor School has designed study abroad programs that not only broaden your perspective and enhance your resume, but also maximize your international experience and coordinate with your graduation timeline. 

Music majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in London and Strasbourg. Learn more about study abroad opportunities .

Life After Syracuse University

As a College of Visual and Performing Arts graduate with a major in music, you can explore such careers as:

  • Archivist
  • Musicologist
  • Arts administrator
  • Elementary, middle, or high school music teacher
  • Orchestra member
  • Composer
  • Musician and singer
  • Music therapist