conservatory of Music Frequently Asked Questions

The Conservatory of Music is one of the oldest music programs in the West. Since 1911, the Conservatory of Music has been training outstanding musicians and teachers. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947, the Conservatory of Music is one of only six private colleges accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer the Single Subject Program in Music.

About the admissions process:
Admission to the Conservatory of Music is a two-step process. Students must be admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences and audition for admission to the Conservatory of Music. All students that audition are also considered for music scholarship.

When will I hear about my audition?
Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status in the application status portal. The Conservatory of Music can only inform you of your audition results or scholarship recommendation after you have been officially admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences. If you have already been accepted to the College of Arts and Sciences, you will receive your audition results approximately two weeks following your audition. If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Admissions for the School of Performing Arts at

When will I find out about scholarship and financial aid?
The University of Redlands works very hard to make your education affordable. Financial support comes in two categories; Merit Aid and Financial Aid. Merit awards are academic and talent scholarships. Financial aid is based on your family’s ability to contribute to your education as determined by the FAFSA. Financial aid comes in many forms including grants, loans and work-study. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for Financial Aid.

In most cases you will hear about scholarships in your music acceptance letters. Financial Aid cannot be processed until your FAFSA is complete and should arrive in March. This process is complex so wait until you have received all of the scholarship and financial aid letters before you start drawing conclusions. If you have any questions please contact us.

What degree programs does the Conservatory of Music offer and how are they different?
The Conservatory of Music offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Music in Performance, Composition or Music Education, Master of Music in Performance, Pedagogy, Vocal Chamber Music, Composition or Conducting and an Artist Diploma. Students can also minor in music.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is a liberal arts degree where 1/3 of the coursework is in music, 1/3 in general education and the remainder in elective courses. This leaves plenty of time to explore the College curriculum and to combine interests or possibly double major. Bachelor of Arts majors receive 30 minute lessons weekly and present one senior recital or project.

The Bachelor of Music degree is a pre-professional degree with an intense focus in Performance, Composition or Music Education. 2/3 of the coursework is in music and the general education requirement is very flexible with a minimum of 30 credits outside of the Conservatory of Music. Bachelor of Music students present junior and senior recitals. Performance majors receive one hour lessons weekly.

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education is normally a nine-semester program with Student Teaching during the ninth semester. Many of our students are able to complete that program in four years including Student Teaching by taking full loads and leveraging AP credit.

Can I used my Music Education degree to teach in other states?
Yes. There are reciprocal agreements with all 50 states for the California Teaching Credential.

Can I combine majors or double major?
Yes. You have many options including the double-degree program or the double major. If you want the intense musical focus of the Bachelor of Music degree plus a complete Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in another field, you can opt for the double-degree program. Double-degree students complete all of the requirements for both degrees, earn an additional 32 credits beyond the 128 needed to graduate and are awarded two degrees. Students can also do a double major under any of the degree programs. One of the majors is designated as the primary and the student completes all of the requirements for that degree plus the requirements for the second major. Students have also completed double majors in the Bachelor of Music such as Performance and Music Education or Performance and Composition.

Will I have trouble getting the classes I need for my degree?
No. We offer classes based on the number of students enrolled. If you pass your classes, you should have no trouble graduating on time. If you get out of sequence due to study abroad, illness, or a change of major, we will work with you to design independent studies to keep you on track to graduate.

What can I expect my classes to be like?
Most classes will be small, less than 25. Ear training and sight singing labs will be 10 to 12 students and all of your classes will be taught by faculty – our graduate students do not teach classes. You can expect that the faculty will know who you are as a student, musician and person.

Are there extra fees for music students?
This is an important question. Many schools have fees for music students for things such as recitals, accompanying, coaching, private lessons, piano tuning, practice rooms, recording and instrument rental. This can add up to thousands of dollars that are often above the cost of attendance.

The Conservatory of Music believes in equal access for all of our students and that the cost of your education is covered by the tuition, so there are no extra fees for required activities. The private lesson fee is waived for all lessons required for your major. We will provide a professional or supervised student accompanist for all of your required performances. There are no recital, practice room, or instrument rental fees. We will also provide an audio engineer for recording sessions for audition and competition recordings.

Where is the Conservatory of Music located?
The Conservatory of Music is housed in five buildings on the north end of campus. Our main offices, faculty studios, practice rooms, recording studio and recital hall are located in Watchorn Hall. The choirs and orchestra rehearse in the 1300 seat Memorial Chapel, which is also where we present our large ensemble concerts. There are additional classrooms, studios and practice rooms in the Fine Arts Building that also includes special use rooms for double reeds, harp, bass and percussion. The Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Percussion Ensemble rehearse in University Hall and we have an additional space for the Community School of Music and the Arts in the Health Center building.

Are there internship opportunities?
Approved students can gain valuable experience teaching lessons in the Community School for Music and the Arts. Students are paid to teach lessons to community members, typically young musicians. There are also opportunities to teach and assist in the String Project, Youth Orchestras, Youth Choir and the summer programs such as Piano Camp, Harp Camp and the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar.

Students can also audition for the Redlands Symphony Orchestra, a regional professional orchestra that rehearses and performs on campus. Student musicians perform as substitutes and extra musicians on the regular season concerts. The winner of our concerto competition performs with the RSO on a regular season concert.

Study Away:
There are many study away opportunities for students ranging from a month long course in May Term to a full year of study. The University of Redlands has a campus in Salzburg, Austria located in a 13th Century Renaissance Castle on top of the Monksburg overlooking Salzburg for 50 students each term. Students also have access to any accredited study abroad program. Recently music students have studied in Austria, Germany, Italy, England, France, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, Hungary and New Zealand.

What about advising and the First-Year year?
All music students are in one First-Year Seminar that is designed to help you make the transition to college. We cover many topics including career paths, how to maintain and protect your health and safety as a musician, professional concert decorum and listening skills. You will also attend concerts including the LA Phil and the Los Angeles Opera. Your Seminar instructors will also be your first advisors and will help you get on track quickly. The typical first semester includes the First-Year Seminar, Music Theory I, Ear Training and Sight Singing I, Class Piano, Private Lessons, Ensemble and an elective course of your choice.

Will my music scholarship change during my four years of study?
No. Music scholarships are made as four year awards and do not change. To keep your scholarship you need to be a full time student, maintain a minimum GPA and enroll in private lessons and a conducted ensemble each term.

What happens to my music scholarship if I change my major?
With the exception of a few special scholarships, the music scholarships do not require a specific major. While we hope that you graduate in music, your education is the top priority and we want you to be successful and graduate in the right field for you.

Do I need a plan B career if music doesn’t work out?
First of all, there are many, many, careers in music and the related fields. Keep an open mind, be flexible and explore the things you are passionate about. We think that the best back up plan is to get a great, well-rounded education. By combining music and liberal arts, your Redlands degree will prepare you for the rapidly changing world.

What do our students do after graduation?
We have alumni doing all sorts of things in and out of music. All of the Music Education graduates that want to teach find school teaching jobs. Many of our performance majors go on to graduate school or become freelance musicians. We have an excellent track record of graduate school acceptance including many top-25 programs. Recent graduates have gone on to such schools as Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, USC, UCLA, San Francisco Conservatory, Manhattan, Arizona, Arizona State, SUNY Stonybrook and others. Recent graduates have won positions in symphonies, chamber ensembles, military bands, opera companies and on college faculties.

I auditioned online but haven’t visited campus. How do I really get to know Redlands?
Visiting campus is always best, but if you can’t arrange a visit, we can put you in touch with faculty and current students so that you can get a sense of what it is like. The faculty are all willing to answer your questions and many will do a Skype or FaceTime lesson with you. We cn also arrange for you to connect with current students to get their views on life at Redlands. In the meantime, take the virtual campus tour!