Chatham University

Music FAQs

"May I take private music lessons?"
All Chatham students with any level of experience are able to study music privately. Popular areas of study include piano, voice, guitar, violin, oboe and drum set, though it is possible to take lessons in virtually any instrument. For students interested in creating their own music, individual acoustic, electro-acoustic and multimedia composition study is also available.

"May I combine Music with another academic area?"
Chatham students may combine Music with another area of interest to create an Interdisciplinary Major. Some suggested combinations include (but are not limited to) Music/English, Music/Modern Languages, Music/Communications, Music/Art History, Music/Psychology, and Music/Business. Additionally, you may choose a double major, in which Major requirements for both areas need to be fulfilled. In the past, students have chosen Music and Mathematics, Music and English, and Music and Theatre.

"May I minor in Music?"
Students can easily minor in music at Chatham by taking six music courses. The minor offers significant flexibility and is designed individually for each student in collaboration with the music faculty.

"Will I have opportunities to perform?"
Chatham students have numerous opportunities to perform, either as soloist, a member of a small ensemble, or a member of a larger ensemble, such as the Chatham University Choir. Music Student recitals take place each semester, and students are featured in the Friday Afternoon Musicale series. In addition, Music students are requested to perform for various special events on campus, such as the Alumnae Holiday Luncheon, the Scholarship Dinner, and Commencement. Off-campus performances for schools, service and private organizations are encouraged. Singers have the opportunity to perform as soloists in Chatham University Choir concerts, and instrumentalists may perform with the Instrumental Ensemble, in small ensembles or as soloists in a variety of performance settings.

"Are music internships available?"
Chatham University strongly encourages students to take advantage of internship experiences, and offers several music-specific internship opportunities. Students can, for example, works as interns at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Concert Society, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Jazz Society.

"Can I take music classes if I am not a music major?"
Courses in the Chatham University Music Program are open to all students and significantly enriched by the variety of perspectives brought to class by students from different disciplines. Most music classes do not require any formal training in music, and instructors are always happy to help beginning students learn fundamental music terminology and concepts. The only music courses that have prerequisites are the series of four music theory courses. Each course in this series is the prerequisite for the next, and some experience is helpful for Music Theory I, though MUS159 (Music Fundamentals) or some independent work in consultation with Dr. Boyd would more than prepare beginning students with no formal musical knowledge for this class.

"Are any music-specific scholarships available?"
In addition to Chatham’s university-wide merit and need-based financial aid, the Music Program offers the Minna Kaufmann Ruud Scholarships in Voice. These scholarships recognize and support students with outstanding vocal talent, and are awarded to qualified vocalists interested in studying music as a major or as part of an interdepartmental major. In addition to the scholarship award, the program covers payment of fees for voice lessons and two hours of coaching with the professional coach-accompanist. Vocal scholarship audition requirements include three pieces: an old Italian or Mozart aria; an art song in French or German; and an art song in English by a twentieth-century composer.