Music on Corcoran steps


Pursue your passion and elevate your repertoire by studying music within a broader liberal arts education

Students Jorah Huntington (trumpet), Matthew Kalish (cello) and Professor Jeffrey Watson (piano) perform Cooman's Lyric Trio for Video: Students Jorah Huntington (trumpet), Matthew Kalish (cello) and Professor Jeffrey Watson (piano) perform Cooman's Lyric Trio for Trumpet, Cello, and Piano

When you study music in the center of Washington, D.C., and develop your artistry, performance and scholarship with world-renowned faculty, practicing performers, and esteemed composers, you are prepared to succeed after graduation. Whether majoring or minoring, Corcoran students work closely with celebrated musicians and have performance opportunities in the city, ranging from solo shows to ensembles. Our students gain a breadth of instruction in a curriculum that specializes in both theory and practice.

Our faculty of scholars and creative artists includes members of the National Symphony and Kennedy Center orchestras. Students perform with vocal and instrumental jazz groups, orchestra, choruses, bands, opera productions, chamber music groups, and musical theatre.



The degree lays a strong foundation for advanced music study in graduate school and entry into a variety of music-related professions.

By the end of their music major study, students should be able to:

  • Show and use practical musicianship skills in activities such as vocal or instrumental sight reading; independent learning of pre-existent or new compositions; and stylistic, analytical, or interpretive discussion.

  • Write and speak fluently and cogently on a wide range of musical topics in formal and impromptu settings.

  • Demonstrate intelligibility, craft, informed expression, and a commitment to independent inquiry in creating or performing music.

  • Knowledgeably situate their own musical activities within a culturally, aesthetically, and intellectually pluralistic community in the program and the larger musical world.

General Curriculum:

Specific course requirements as listed in the George Washington University Bulletin.

MUS 1102 (3 cr.): Comprehensive Musicianship I (Fall & Spring)

MUS 2101 (3 cr.): Harmony (Spring)

MUS 2106 (3 cr.): Music History III (Spring)

And one of:

MUS 3126 (3 cr.): Music History I (Spring)

MUS 3127 (3 cr.): Music History II (Fall)

  1. 15 credits of academic coursework, i.e. courses selected from the following groupings: MUS 1100-1199; MUS 2100-2199; MUS 3100-3199; and MUS 4100-4199. These credits:
    1. may include a maximum of 6 credits in courses numbered MUS 1100-1199
    2. must include a minimum of 3 credits in courses numbered 3100-3199 or 4100-4199
  2. 4 credits of performance coursework, i.e. ensembles (MUS 1000-1099) and private study (MUS 1500-1599; MUS 2000-2099; and MUS 2500-2599)
  3. 6 credits from any course offered by the Music Department (free electives).

MUS 4198 (3 cr.): Senior Seminar (Fall)

MUS 4085 (2-5 cr.): Senior Capstone Project (Spring)



This program is designed for students who have chosen another field of study as their major, but who wish both to add to their knowledge of music and have their music studies formally recognized as a minor field by the university. The Minor in Music prepares students to be more informed about music and more experienced in music performance. Students in the minor in music program take introductory courses in music theory, music history, and performance.

MUS 1102 (3 cr.): Comprehensive Musicianship (Fall & Spring)

Music Curriculum: (15 cr.)

1. 5-6 credits of academic coursework, i.e. courses selected from the following groupings: MUS 1100-1199; MUS 2100-2199; MUS 3100-3199; and MUS 4100-4199

These credits must include a minimum of 2 credits in courses numbered above MUS 2100

2. 9-10 credits of free elective, i.e. courses selected from any offered by the Music Program


Course Descriptions

1101 Elements of Music Theory (3 cr.)

Montague,  Carluzzo

  Notation, scales, keys, intervals, terms, rhythms, and chord structure and progression. Introduction to music literature, with emphasis on rudimentary aural analysis. (Fall and Spring)  
1102 Comprehensive Musicianship I (3 cr.) Montague
  Aural and keyboard skills development through dictation, sight singing, and performance and improvisation at the keyboard. Prerequisite: MUS 1101  
1103 Music in the Western World (3 cr.) Staff
  Introductory history of musical styles, related to listening; study of music materials and media. Not open to music majors. (Fall and Spring)  
1104 Topics in Music (3 cr.) Staff
1105 Intro to Musical Thought & Practice (3 cr.) AhlquistBoyceBakerMontague
  Introduction to concepts, methods, and practices that guide the study and performance of music. Old and new paradigms of musical though are subject to discussion and critical investigation. Open to all students.  
1106 Introduction to Music Performance and Experience Boyce
  A once weekly seminar that explores the aesthetic and historical contexts of students' performance repertoire in conjunction with a half-hour weekly private lesson.  
1107 Music of the World (3 cr.) Ahlquist
  Introduction to music in culture through comparative study of music from a variety of cultures worldwide.  
1108 History of Jazz (3 cr.) Lornell
  Introduction to the styles, composers, and performers of jazz music from its origins to the present. (Spring)  
2101 Harmony (3 cr.) Montague
  Study of tonal harmonic practice from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and the 20th-century repertoires. Concurrent registration in the weekly keyboard lab is required. Prerequisite: MUS 1102. (Spring)  
2102 Comprehensive Musicianship II (3 cr.) Montague
  Aural and keyboard skills development through dictation, sight singing, and performance and improvisation at the keyboard. Prerequisite: MUS 2102 (Fall and Spring)  
2105 Introduction to Ethnomusicology (3 cr.) Lornell
  Models of understanding music as a cultural endeavor. Application and critique of models in the design and execution of student independent field research. Prerequisite: MUS 1101 or ANTH 1002 or 1004 or permission from instruction. Same as ANTH 2105 (Spring)  
2106 Music History III: 20th-Century Art Traditions (3 cr.) Ahlquist
  Western musical traditions and styles since Romanticism and approaches to music as art in contemporary society. Prerequisite: MUS 1101 (Fall)  
2122 Music in the United States (3 cr.) Ahlquist
  History of music and musical life in the United States, emphasizing relationships among traditions of diverse origin. Prerequisite: MUS 1101 or permission of Instructor.   
2123 Musical Cultures of Black Americans (3 cr.) Lornell
  Musical genres and styles developed by African Americans since Reconstruction in their historical and cultural contexts. Emphasis on black musical contributions to the cultural life of Washington, D.C.  
2134 Composition (3 cr.) Boyce
  Introduction to 21st-century compositional practice; concepts of post-tonal analysis; emphasis on style studies and original student works. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MUS 2101.   
2173 Comprehensive Musicianship for Jazz (2 cr.) Levy
  Aural and keyboard skills development through dictation, sight singing, and performance and improvisation at the keyboard, with emphasis given to skills associated with jazz performance. Prerequisite: MUS 1102. (Fall)  
2174 Introduction to Jazz Harmony (3 cr.) Fraize
  Analysis and composition of tunes in jazz/pop styles. Study of rhythmic characteristics, voice-leading, and chord/scale relationships with a jazz context. Prerequisite: MUS 1102 (Spring)  



Electronic and Computer Music (3 cr.) Carluzzo
  Fundamental electronic and computer music concepts. Analog and digital sound synthesis techniques, signal processing, properties of sound, acoustics and psycho-acoustics, history and aesthetics. Laboratory fee. MUS 2661 is a prerequisite to MUS 2662.  
3126 Music History I: Antiquity through Early Baroque (3 cr.) Staff
  The development of Western European music from its earliest traceable roots to the end of the early, experimental Baroque period. Prerequisite: MUS 1102 and sophomore standing (Spring)  
3127 Music History II: The Tonal Era (3 cr.) Ahlquist
  Styles, structures, social foundations and aesthetic change in European music of the late 17th through the late 19th centuries. Prerequisite: MUS 1102.  
3139 Form and Analysis (3 cr.) BoyceMontague
  Analysis of musical forms in representative music literature. Prerequisite: MUS 2101 or equivalent. (Fall)  
3174 Topics in Music Theory & Composition (3 cr.) BoyceMontague
  A seminar on variable topics in the discipline of music theory, analysis, and composition. Topics may include analysis of post-tonal music, advanced jazz arranging, analysis of 14th-century vocal music, developments in extended instrumental techniques since 1950. Prerequisites depend on the topic; consult the department.  
3175 Topics in Music History and Literature (3 cr.) AhlquistLornell, Staff
  A seminar on variable topics in music history and literature in all traditions and styles. Topics may include German musical Romanticism, introduction to critical musicology, the music of Josquin des Prez, and vernacular music in Washington, D.C.. Prerequisites depend on the topic; consult the department.  
4184 Advanced Composition (3 cr.) Boyce
  Private instruction in composition in tutorial format. Prerequisite: MUS 2134  
4198 Senior Seminar (1 cr.) AhlquistBakerBoyceMontague
  Restricted to music majors in their final spring semester. Presentations of required senior projects in process; readings and discussions to place the projects in a broader musical and intellectual context. Corequisite: MUS 4199 or any 2000-level private performance study course.   
4199 Independent Research (1 to 4 cr.) AhlquistBakerBoyceMontague
  Under the guidance of an assigned instructor. May be repeated for credit. Majors in their senior year take MUS 4198 as a corequisite.   

Performance study courses are offered both fall and spring, and may be repeated for credit. Music majors and minors, Corcoran Scholarship students, and other students with skills or potential appropriate to the department's select ensembles are eligible for private lessons. Eligibility and placement for students new to private performance study are determined at a placement fair held at the beginning of each semester. For courses numbered 1511 through 1572, students may not register in the same semester for both the 1 and 2 credit course in the same instrument. MUS 1061, 1071, 1081, 1083, 1091, 1095, and 1151 do not include individual lessons and do not require a supplementary fee. All other performance study courses include individual lessons and require a supplementary fee. Supplementary fees for private performance courses are nonrefundable after the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters; consult the Music Department for details.

The supplementary fee is waived during the fall and spring semesters for full-time music majors and minors and for Corcoran Scholars in Music.

Required practice: a minimum of three hours a week for 1-credit courses and six hours a week for 2-credit courses

1511, 1512 Piano (1 cr., 2 cr.)


1513, 1514 Voice (1 cr., 2, cr.) Baker,  DerryReiffScarlettWellman
1515, 1516 Pipe Organ (1 cr., 2 cr.) Guenther
1517, 1518 Classical Guitar (1 cr., 2 cr.) AlbertsonDuhagon
1519, 1520 Violin (1 cr., 2 cr.) FieldFindley
1521, 1522 Viola (1 cr., 2 cr.) Wassertzug
1523, 1524 Cello (1 cr., 2 cr.) Barnet
1525, 1526 Bass (1 cr., 2 cr.) Jacobsen
1527, 1528 Flute (1 cr., 2 cr.) Stang
1529, 1530 Recorder (1 cr., 2 cr.) Staff
1531, 1532 Oboe (1 cr., 2 cr.) Libelo
1533, 1534 Clarinet (1 cr., 2 cr.) FergusonJones
1535, 1536 Saxophone (1 cr., 2 cr.) Fraize
1537, 1538 Bassoon (1 cr., 2 cr.) Dircksen
1539, 1540 French Horn (1 cr., 2 cr.) Fearing
1541, 1542 Trumpet (1 cr., 2 cr.) Birch
1543, 1544 Trombone (1 cr., 2 cr.) Perkel
1545, 1546 Tuba (1 cr., 2 cr.) Corella
1547, 1548 Harp (1 cr., 2 cr.) Seidman  Trnkova
1549, 1550 Percussion (1 cr., 2 cr.) ConnellLucini
1557, 1558 Harpsichord (1 cr., 2 cr.) Merrill
1571, 1572 Jazz Performance Techniques (1 cr., 2 cr.) Staff
  Section numbers are .10 piano, .11 bass, .12 guitar, .13 brass, .14 woodwind, .15 voice, .16 violin, .17 percussion  
1061 Instrumental Ensembles (0 to 1 cr.) Staff
  Chamber ensemble groups are approved by audition. Section numbers: .10 and .11 are Jazz Ensembles, .12 and .13 are Chamber Ensembles, .14 is Instrumental Ensembles, .15 is Reading for Beginners  
1071 Jazz Band (1 cr.) Levy
1081 University Orchestra (0 to 1 cr.) Wood
  Preparation and performance of orchestral literature. Prerequisite: audition before director.  
1083 University Band (0 to 1 cr.) Birch
  Preparation and performance of classic and contemporary "big band" literature. Prerequisite: audition before director.  
1091 University Singers (0 to 1 cr.) Clark
  Preparation and performance of choral literature. Prerequisite: audition before director.  

Department prerequisite: Private performance courses 2012 through 2072 and 2318 are open by examination.  

A minimum of eight hours a week for 2-credit courses.

2012 Piano (2 cr.) LevyOzmentPerisYu
2014 Voice (2 cr.) BakerDerry, ReiffScarlettWellman
2016 Pipe Organ (2 cr.) Guenther
2018 Classical Guitar (2 cr.) AlbertsonDuhagon
2020 Violin (2 cr.) FieldFindley
2022 Viola (2 cr.) Wassertzug
2024 Cello (2 cr.) Barnet
2026 Bass (2 cr.) Jacobsen


Flute (2 cr.) Stang
2030 Recorder (2 cr.) Staff
2032 Oboe (2 cr.) Libelo
2034 Clarinet (2 cr.) FergusonJones
2036 Saxophone (2 cr.) FraizeJones
2038 Bassoon (2 cr.) Dircksen
2040 French Horn (2 cr.) Fearing
2042 Trumpet (2 cr.) Birch
2044 Trombone (2 cr.) Perkel
2046 Tuba (2 cr.) Corella
2048 Harp (2 cr.) Seidman Trnkova
2050 Percussion (2 cr.) ConnellLucini
2058 Harpsichord Merrill
2072 Jazz Performance Techniques (2 cr.) Staff
1095 Vocal Theater Workshop (1 cr.) Staff
  Development of body awareness for the stage, acting improvisations, and character development. Scenes chosen from the opera, operetta, and musical theater repertoire. Musical coaching, use of makeup, and audition preparation.  
1151 Conducting (3 cr.) Staff
  Technique of conduction, score reading, rehearsal procedures, analysis, and interpretation of selected musical literature; practice in conducting. Prerequisites: MUS 2101 (Fall, even years)  
4085 Advanced Performance Study (3 cr.) Instructor
  Private study in vocal or instrumental performance. Public performance and a minimum of 12 hours of practice per week is required. Prerequisite: audition before a faculty committee.  

Performance Study

Students may take individual lessons after declaring their music major or minor. New majors and minors interested in private study should contact Prof. Baker ([email protected]) to begin the registration process. Lesson registration must be done in person in the Music Program office in Phillips Hall B144. Three levels of performance study are available to undergraduates:

  • 1000 level: All students will take at least one semester and no more than 3 semesters of performance study on one instrument at this level. 
    • 1 credit = 1/2 hour lesson 
    • 2 credits= 1 hour lesson
  • 2000 level: Private instruction that shows advancement beyond the 1000-level of study. Students are also required to participate in a Program of Music select ensemble. 
    • 2 credits = 1 hour lesson
  • 4085 level: For the most advanced students, public performance is required. 
  •      3 credits = 1 hour lesson

For students who are neither music majors nor minors, the Music Program offers a course which provides the opportunity for a half-hour weekly private lesson while also meeting once weekly in a seminar to explore the aesthetic and historical contexts of their performance repertoire. This course, MUS 1106: Introduction to Music Performance and Experience, will provide three credits of arts G-PAC credit. If the student decides to major or minor in music, the course will count as three credits towards their degree, and they will qualify to continue to study privately. Interested students should contact the instructor, Prof. Baker ([email protected]) for course approval. Registration must be done in person at the Music Program office (Phillips Hall, B144).


Applicants to the program must follow standard admissions processes for undergraduate students including completing an online application and submitting all required materials. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides detailed information on what this process entails.

Scholarships & Aid Opportunities

There are many different ways to fund an education. While there are scholarships available for music students, the Office of Student Financial Assistance also provides information on additional forms of aid.

Music offers competitive tuition scholarships, as part of the Corcoran Scholars program. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate first-year applicants. Corcoran Scholars recipients participate each semester in program-sponsored activities.  Corcoran Scholarships are renewable for up to ten consecutive semesters, assuming continuous full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress. Recipients are not required to re-audition for the scholarship each year, but must either major or minor in Music.

For complete scholarship requirements and information on how to apply and audition, please visit our Corcoran Scholars website.

Student Ensembles

Multiple opportunities exist to perform in small, mixed-instrumental and vocal chamber ensembles. Learn repertoire and rehearsal and communication strategies. Weekly coaching with faculty and end-of-semester public performances included.


Email Prof. Ning Yu for more information.

Directed by Peter Fraize and staff, the Jazz Ensembles concentrate on small group jazz from the 1940s to today, focusing on such artists as Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.

The instrumentation consists of a rhythm section and a small number of horns players, performing in a showcase at the end of each semester.

Rhythm & Blues

The band emphasizes polished, entertainment-oriented performances, ranging from late 1940's jump-blues to contemporary R&B. All band members are required to sing at least back-up. Instrumentation is horn section, rhythm section-drums, bass, keyboard, guitars, and vocalists.

Latin Band

The George Washington University Latin band Los Gringos is a vibrant group of young musicians who have embraced the cultural diversity that exists in the nation's capital. Cultural exploration is at the heart of the music the band performs. Here the students explore the nuances of playing samba, Bossa Nova and Partido Alto music styles from the former capital of Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro. From the Caribbean Islands the students learn how to make an Afro-Cuban danzón connect with the famous cha-cha-chá. Mambo, comparsa, songo, and timba become familiar Cuban vocabulary the students speak through their instruments. Under the leadership of Professor Alejandro Lucini, born in Rio de Janeiro, and co-directed by saxophonist Peter Fraize, the ensemble has attracted over the years a flow of students who add a rich and unique cultural experience to their education.


All ensembles are by audition only. These auditions are held during the first week of classes.


Please email Peter Fraize before the first week of class.

The University Band class consists of two ensembles: The University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. The University Band and Wind Ensemble rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. 

**Auditions: Held during the second Tuesday of classes, September 4, 2018. Requirements: Two pieces of a contrasting nature, chromatic and major scales and sight reading.


Please contact the University Band Office at 202-994-9041, or email Robert Birch for more information.

Visit the GW Band's website for more information. 

The University Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings from 6:30–9:00 pm. The orchestra rehearses and performs a wide array of music including current as well as traditional orchestral repertoire, often featuring soloists from within the ensemble, the faculty and the professional community. Orchestra performances consist of two to three concerts per year. Performances are in Lisner Auditorium. Membership in the orchestra is made up from the varied and talented GW community and is not limited to those only taking music classes and/or registered as a music major. All are encouraged to audition.

**Auditions are held at the begining of each semester. Subsequent auditions throughout the academic year will be by appointment only. Requirements: Please prepare at least one minute of music that shows off your technical and expressive capabilities. Sign-ups for new players ONLY. Please contact [email protected] to schedule an audition time. 

If you are a returning member of the Orchestra, auditions for actual placement will be only as necessary. This procedure will be discussed at the first rehearsal. For the moment, all returning members should take their relative places as they were last spring.

**Auditions for second semester: Held during the first week of spring classes, by appointment only. Requirements are the same for auditions in the spring (see above, for fall semester).


For further information, please email Scott Wood.

The University Singers is a mixed choir of undergraduate and graduate students. The group has two formal
concerts each academic year. They have toured extensively, with overseas tours occurring every two years. Past tours have included South America, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and South Africa.

Other off-campus performance venues include Washington National Cathedral, Strathmore Concert Hall, Schlesinger Performing Arts Center, Princeton Chapel and The Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

**Auditions consist of vocalising, ear training and sight-reading. No prepared solo is necessary. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 7:15–9:45 pm in Phillips Hall B-120.


Email Blake Clark for more information.

Program & Contact Information

Phillips Hall
801 22nd St. NW
Room B144
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-6245 | Fax: 202-994-9038
[email protected]



Albertson, John
Professorial Lecturer

Baker, Robert
Program Head
Associate Professor

Barnet, Lori
Professorial Lecturer

Birch, Robert
Visiting Director of Bands

Boyce, Douglas
Associate Professor
Theory, Composition, and Musicianship

Carluzzo, Philip
Theory, Composition, and Musicianship

Clark, Anthony Blake
Director of Choral Activities

Connell, Joe
Adjunct Faculty

Corella, Gilbert Caridad
Tuba, Euphonium

Crockett, Alison


Dircksen, Eric

Duhagon, Magdalena
Professorial Lecturer

Fearing, Scott
French Horn

Ferguson, Lora

Field, Elizabeth

Findley, Mary
Professorial Lecturer

Fraize, Peter
Professorial Lecturer

Guenther, Eileen

Jacobsen, Alexander

Jones, David

Kajikawa, Loren
Associate Professor
History and Culture


Kempskie, Jeff
University Singers Accompanist

Levy, James
Professorial Lecturer

Libelo, Carole

Lornell, Kip
Adjunct Faculty
History and Culture

Lucini, Alejandro

Merrill, Patrick

Montague, Eugene
Associate Professor
Theory, Composition, and Musicianship

O'Donnell, Patrick

Orlando, Molly

Ozment, Jon
Professorial Lecturer

Peris, Malinee
Adjunct & Emerita Professor


Perkel, David
Adjunct Faculty

Reiff, Amy

Rohde, Thomas
History and Culture

Scarlett, Millicent
Adjunct Faculty

Stang-Ferry, Stephani

Trnkova, Michaela

Wassertzug, Uri

Wellman, Stephen

Wilson, Thaddeus

Wood, A. Scott
Director of Orchestral Activities

Yu, Ning
Assistant Professor
Director of Chamber Music