Who We Are
Who We Are

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What matters most to us at Carnegie Mellon is teaching the art of music – placing the one-on-one work of student and teacher at the heart of the educational experience – a tradition since our founding in 1912

Integral to this process is superb coaching in ensembles, both large and small. Every Carnegie Mellon music student is part of an orchestra, chorus, or wind ensemble and chamber group with the highest standards of discipline and musicianship. Along with studio and ensemble, the third essential element of our curriculum is the strongest possible basis in musical skills and knowledge. We have an internationally known program in eurhythmics and solfege, complemented by outstanding offerings in history and theory. One of the best ways to learn is to teach, and we support a significant program of pedagogy and music education as a co-requisite to performance, an invaluable training component for a life in music.

There is more to the study of music at Carnegie Mellon than these crucial elements. Carnegie Mellon is one of the great universities of the world; a university at the forefront of thinking and practice in technology and the arts. Our students demonstrate not only serious achievement in their musical preparation, but show strong aptitudes for diverse forms of learning and inquiry. Just as one’s work as an individual musician, whether on an instrument, as a singer, composer, or conductor, is greatly enriched by being placed in the larger context of a community of musicians, so our work in the intense discipline of music is immeasurably enriched by being conducted in a larger culture that honors and nurtures excellence in all the arts and sciences. The Carnegie Mellon School of Music is a leader in integrating today’s technology in performance, theory, history and composition.

Since its founding, part of Carnegie Mellon University’s core mission has been the creation of new knowledge and innovative means for making it useful in practice. The School of Music proudly advances this mission with a commitment that every student should practice the art of improvisation, and every member of the community should be involved in the creation and performance of significant new music. Our approach to the great musical monuments of the past is not to enshrine them in a museum, but to make them new with the freshness and vitality of the best music-making of our own time.