Music FAQ's

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1. Are there scholarship opportunities?


Yes!  Ave Maria University offers a variety of scholarship opportunities, including a very competitive Academic Scholarship based on GPA and standardized test scores, as well as merit-based Music Major Scholarships.  AMU now offers a new Choral Scholarship as well, which is available any qualified student (non-music majors) in connection to performance in an AMU choral ensemble.


2. In what performance areas can students concentrate at AMU? 


Students can complete the major via piano, organ, and voice.  Students take weekly lessons throughout the duration of the program.


3. What is required for auditions?

Auditions consist of four elements:

  • Performance of at least one classical work on the piano, organ, or voice.  Students who perform in multiple areas must indicate their principal applied concentration.
  • Sight-reading evaluation.
  • An interview with music faculty.  This includes a question and answer period for applicants and their parents.
  • Diagnostic testing which indicates the student’s level of musicianship and theory preparation.  This diagnostic evaluation does not necessarily affect the decision to admit.

4. Will an AMU music degree get me into graduate school? 

The bachelor of arts degree in music is generally accepted as an appropriate credential at most graduate schools of music. Of course, no guarantees can be made by any institution that a graduate will gain entry to graduate school, or even to his chosen field of employment, but AMU music graduates have been accepted into graduate music programs including those at the University of Iowa, Westminster Choir College, Notre Dame University, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, University of Southern California, University of North Florida, and the Butler School of Music at University of Texas at Austin .

5. In order to enter the music program, must I apply to the music major prior to coming to AMU?


Yes.  Normally, students enter as music majors.  We do consider matriculating or transfer students, but our entry criteria are higher in those instances because the student will typically have less time to complete the major.

6. How can students not majoring in music participate in music at AMU?

The music department offers several courses that are open to non-music students, including: choral ensembles; chamber music, which regularly includes stringed and other instruments; private lessons (piano, organ, or voice); and music theory and musicianship.   Qualified student instrumentalists frequently perform with the University choir at liturgical events on campus.  The music minor is a further option for students sufficiently proficient in piano, organ, or voice.  The Choral Scholarship is available to qualified students regardless of major, in connection to performance in an AMU choral ensemble.


7.  What is the music minor?


The minor in music is a good option for students who love music and wish to continue to study it, but intend to major in another area.  The coursework consists of the first part of the major coursework:  first-year music theory and musicianship, music history, lessons, and ensemble.  All other music coursework is also open to minors (with prerequisites).   Most students spread the music minor coursework across three years or four years as they complete their major, but it can sometimes be completed in two years.  The credits required to complete the music minor fit within the usual 128 credits required for a degree at AMU.


8. Does the music department participate in liturgical musical activities?

Yes! The cultivation liturgical music tradition of the Church is an institutional commitment for the department of music at AMU.  We participate regularly in the parish Masses at the Ave Maria Oratory, and we frequently participate in liturgies at various parishes in the region.


9.  What instruments are available for student practice, instruction, and performance?

Yamaha G3

Yamaha C7

Steinway Model A

Mason & Hamlin Grand

Marshall & Ogletree Organ, Opus 5 (4 manuals)

Several smaller pianos and organs for practice


10. How many students currently are majoring in music at AMU?

The AMU Department of Music is currently home to about 38 students.  Our program is large enough to mount major performances and engage in stimulating discussion and mutual learning from others, but small enough to ensure personal attention, an outstanding student-to-faculty ratio, and a strong community bond.


What if I have more questions? Please feel free to send any other questions to  We would be happy to hear from you!