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Music Performance and Studies


If you dream of making a living making music - as a musician, singer, songwriter or college music professor, Hofstra's music performance and studies programs will nurture your talent, hone your technique and prepare you to thrive in this competitive industry.

Among your professors you will find mentors who continue to perform, record and publish in the industry. You may have seen them at the American Symphony Orchestra, Birdland, Brooklyn Harmonic, Blue Note Café, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and in countless Broadway musicals. They have won Emmy and Academy awards, been honored for their careers in music pedagogy, have been published in numerous books and international journals, and have served as officers of major professional journals.

You'll sharpen your skills through private lessons with these professors, and by performing with the large and small department ensembles; there are more than 20 ensembles representing many genres, including symphony orchestra, opera, choir, jazz, guitar, saxophone and tuba/euphonium. Performance students present a recital in their junior and senior years. Composition students present recitals as well, featuring their original works.

Concerts are regularly presented in the 1,100-seat John Cranford Adams Playhouse and the 377-seat Helene Fortunoff Theater, the two largest of Hofstra's six theater spaces.

Because our campus is an easy train ride from New York City, you'll have lots of opportunities to for internships, professional networking, and faculty-supervised trips to concerts, musical theater, the opera and other arts performances.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth for singers, musicians, music directors and composers to grow at the about six percent by 2026, and the national median annual income for music directors and composers is $50,590.


We require our students to join one large ensemble and one small ensemble but many go beyond what's asked of them and belong to three or more. Hofstra's large ensembles include the Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, University Mixed Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and Chorale. Hofstra's small ensembles focus on particular instruments, genres and time periods. They include the Hofstra Collegium Musicum, which performs as part of our annual Shakespeare Festival; the Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble; the Woodwind Ensemble; the Chamber Choir; the Brass Ensemble; Vocal Jazz; Hofstra Opera Theater; and many others.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Music Requirements BS in Music Requirements

Hofstra offers two types of music performance and studies degrees: a BA in Music and a BS in Music.

    • The BA in Music is a general degree that requires fewer music and music performance courses. It allows room for more liberal arts classes, and is well-suited for students who want to double major in another subject.
    • The BS in Music requires an audition for admission. Students who pursue this degree choose from one of four concentrations:
      • Performance - This concentration is all about performing and training experience, and includes additional hours of advanced private instruction.
      • Music theory and Composition - This concentration requires 12 semester hours of courses such as orchestration, composition, conducting and music scoring.
      • Jazz and Commercial Music - This concentration prepare students for a performing career in today's diverse world of professional music, building knowledge of composition, arranging, improvisation, technology, history and business.
      • Music History and Literature - This concentration is a good foundation for graduate study leading to careers in musicology, music criticism, and music librarianship.

We also offer degrees in music education and music business, minors in music and music business, and several graduate music degrees, including an MA in Music/Wind Conducting, an MA in Music Education and an MSEd in Music Education.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Hofstra music majors graduate with a combination of classroom instruction and professional experiences that are highly regarded in today's competitive job market. Among the places where our alumni are working include:

  • Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
  • Live Nation
  • Viacom Media Networks
  • D'Addario & Co.
  • Emfb Music
  • Floating Opera New York
  • Prosound Music
  • Tri-Cities Opera
  • TuneCore

Hofstra alumni who continued their studies are pursuing graduate degrees at such respected institutions as Johns Hopkins University, Penn State University, University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University, University of Georgia, CUNY Brooklyn College, CUNY Queens College, and the New School.

99% report working, graduate school or both
94% accept employment within six months
$36K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes


Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to participate in internships. These can often lead to important networking contacts and potential employment. Recent music students have participated in internships at organizations such as The Paramount Theater, The Public Theater, Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Atlantic Records, D'Addario & Co, Live Nation, Michael Kors, Miramax, New York Opera Studio Summer Advantage, Nielsen, and Sony Music Entertainment.


Student, microscope

The music department at Hofstra is a tight-knit community; classes, rehearsals and private lessons fill the lives of most music majors here.

In addition to the department-sponsored ensembles, many student clubs serve as extensions of Hofstra's music programs. MEISA - the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association, plans an annual conference that brings in professionals to network and speak about different aspects of the music industry. Consider joining one of Hofstra's competitive acapella singing groups: Sigma'Cappella, The Hofbeats, Makin' Treble, Chai Notes and The Dutchmen. The Hofstra Gospel Ensemble and The SOS Brigade are also for music-minded students.

Hofstra also has its own student-run record label, Unispan Records, supervised by the Center for Entrepreneurship. Mentored by top industry professionals, students get real-life experience finding artists recording, producing, promoting and distributing music.

Watch Our Jazz Ensemble Perform Sinatra

Meet Robbie Rosen '16

A Jazz and Commercial music major, Robbie made it to the semifinals of Season 10 of American Idol in 2011. During his junior year, he composed Hofstra's new alma mater, “Blue And Gold”. He is now working as a singer, songwriter and pianist.

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