Picture of Founders Library Clocktower


grand piano graphic

Piano Renewal Initiative

Please consider supporting our Piano Renewal Initiative. If you have a high-quality piano in good condition that you are no longer using, or if you would like to purchase or contribute towards a new piano, please contact the Department of Music Office for more information regarding our specific needs.

Metropolitan Club donates Steinway M grand piano

Katz Foundation donates new Steinway recital piano

Leon Bates Masterclass and Mini-Concert officially launches Piano Renewal Initiative.

Photo of Geri Allen




- Undergraduate Degree Programs for Music Majors
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Minor in Music for Non-Music Majors
- Academic Minor for Music Majors
- Private Lessons for Students Outside the Department of Music
- Course Descriptions
- Performance Requirements
- Recital Scheduling & Printed Program Requirements
- Special Requirements
- Professional Societies
- Policies and Handbooks



The Howard University Department of Music awards the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree with majors in seven areas:

Music Theory and Composition

Jazz Studies

Music Education

Music with Elective Studies in Business

Music History


Music Therapy

Department of Music Academic Program Updates




Professor Royal shares his
approach to harmonic
with Dr. Randolph and jazz studies majors

Admission to the University. All applicants to the Department of Music must apply to the University and satisfy Howard University academic requirements before being admitted to the Department. Prospective students are encouraged to read and comply with the University admission process and deadlines as set forth by the University Office of Admission.

Admission to the Department of Music by Audition. All new applicants to the Department of Music must present a successful audition in order to be admitted to the Department. Former students who have not been enrolled in the Department for two or more consecutive semesters must re-audition.

Generally, auditions are held on campus according to a published schedule, but special appointments may be arranged when necessary. When an in-person audition is not feasible, an applicant may request permission to submit a recorded audition.

Auditions for admission in Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 are scheduled as follows:

Saturday, October 20, 2018 – for admission in Spring 2019 and early decision for admission in Fall 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – for admission in Fall 2019

Saturday, February 2, 2019 (alternate in case of inclement weather on January 26)

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – for admission in Fall 2019

It is the applicant's responsibility to contact the appropriate Performance Area Coordinator prior to published audition dates to schedule an audition. Please download and complete an audition form and bring it with you to your audition.

Classical - Instrumental:

Fred Irby, III


Classical - Organ:

Mickey Thomas Terry


Classical - Piano:

Karen Walwyn


Classical - Voice:

Liana Valente


Jazz - Instrumental:

Charlie Young, III


Jazz - Vocal:

Connaitre Miller


Audition Requirements. All auditions should include technical exercises, scales and arpeggii, and at least three compositions of different periods and in different styles.

Additionally, please note the specific audition requirements in the following areas:

Jazz Studies

Performance Majors

String Studies

Please download and complete an audition form and bring it with you to your audition.



A student enrolled as a major in another department in the College of Arts and Sciences may apply to enter the Department of Music as a Music Minor. After a successful audition and approval by the Department of Music Chair, the student will consult with an Area Coordinator to devise a scheme of courses totaling a minimum of 18 credit hours. Music Minors will also take both the Theory and Piano placement tests.

All music minor course schemes must be designed in consultation wth the Department of Music Area Coordinator directing the desired area of concentration.

Music Minor, Non-Jazz Emphasis

In consultation with an area coordinator, courses will be chosen using the following guidelines:

MUSB 003

Elem Ear Training/Sight Singing I

2 credits

MUSB 004

Elem Ear Training/Sight Singing II

2 credits

MUSB 021

Elementary Harmony I

3 credits

MUSB 022

Elementary Harmony II

3 credits

MUSC xxx

Music Literature/History (1 course)

3 credits

MUxx xxx

Performance (instruction): minimum of 3 [1] hour courses

3 credits

MUxx xxx

Ensembles: minimum of 2 [1] hour courses 

2 credits


18 credit hours

Additional courses may be freely selected, while observing any prerequisites.

Music Minor, Jazz Emphasis

Course schemes will total a minimum of 18 credit hours. In consultation with the Jazz Studies Coordinator, course scheme will include the following courses:

MUSB 003

Elem Ear Training/Sight Singing I (required)

2 credits

MUSB 004

Elem Ear Training/Sight Singing II (required)

2 credits

MUSB 021

Elementary Harmony I (required)

3 credits

MUSB 022

Elementary Harmony II (required)

3 credits

MUSI 110

Jazz History (required)

3 credits

MUxx 111-131

Principal Instrument/Jazz Voice Instruction

1 credit each

MUxx xxx

Jazz Ensemble or Elective Ensemble

1 credit each

MUSH 011-042


2 credits each

MUSE xxx

Keyboard Class(es)

1 credit each


18 credit hours minimum

Other courses may be added/substituted with the Jazz Studies Coordinator's approval, while observing any prerequisites.

For additional information on the Music Minor program, please contact Anthony Randolph.



A music major may elect to pursue an academic minor in another undergraduate school or college at Howard University. Such minors will usually require 18 hours of credit which may be taken concurrently with the prescribed music curriculum. Students electing an academic minor may expect to add 6 to 12 hours to the total hours normally required for graduation.

The selection of an academic minor must be declared in writing and submitted to the music advisor and the student must consult with the appointed advisor in the academic field.

The academic minor does not replace the private instruction and other courses labeled "Minor" required in the various music curricula.



Registration for private instruction in music performance (vocal or instrumental) by students enrolled in degree programs other than those offered by the Department of Music requires the approval of the Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts. Such approval will be granted only after the student has been interviewed and/or auditioned, and only when space in private performance classes permits. These courses are listed as Oboe Major I, Voice Minor III, etc.

There may be additional fees assessed for non-majors receiving private one-on-one instruction in music performance.

Majors in the School of Education who enroll in the courses: An Introduction to the Fine Arts and Fine Arts in the Elementary Schools will be required to study the piano if they do not already possess minimal skills as determined by the instructor. Such instruction will be provided as a part of the course and no additional charge will be made.

Practice rooms are provided by the Department of Music only for music majors, music minors, and other students of the Department, including those enrolled in private instruction and members of listed ensembles. Students enrolled in private or group lessons are expected to practice daily.




On-Campus Auditions for Fall 2019 Admission
were held on January 26 and March 2, 2019. Interested students who did not audition on those dates may request a special appointment by contacting the appropriate Performance Area Coordinator ASAP.

University Academic Calendar 2018-2019 (rev. 04/06/2018)

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News of Note

Event Highlights

Many of our events are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!



SAASy at National Museum of American History
Vocal jazz ensemble directed by Jessica Boykin-Settles. Walter H. Coulter Performance Plaza, National Museum of American History - Thu, April 25, 12pm - FREE

HUJE at Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival
Annual concert hosted by UDC featuring the big bands of the University of the District of Columbia, Howard University, and the University of Maryland. Theater of the Arts, University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, WDC - Mon, April 29, 8pm - $Admission

Pic of Howard University jazz Ensemble ("HUJE")

April is Jazz Appreciation Month!
Join us in April as we celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month 2019. Many events are free and open to the public!

Howard U Jazz Week 2019 Sidebar Calendar
click to open/print



Arthur C. Dawkins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Introduces HU Jazz Oral History Project
Dr. Dawkins will introduce the website that includes interviews with some of the major architects of modern jazz (Gillespie, Blakey, Roach). This work may be found in the Moorland-Spingarn Library Collection at http://library.howard.edu/jazz/.

Photo of Arthur C. Dawkins, Ph.D.Dr. Dawkins will also discuss the evolution of Jazz Education at Howard University.

Childers Recital Hall, Thu, Mar 7, 12:40pm FREE

HUJE Spring Concert feat. Special Guest Derrick Gardner
Ira Aldridge Theater, Tue, April 9, 12:40pm FREE

Pic of Howard University jazz Ensemble ("HUJE")

Professor Chris Royal, D.M.A., Discusses the Legacy of Louis Armstrong
Childers Recital Hall, Thu, April 11, 11am - FREE

Pic of Louis Armstrong
click to open/print

Jazz in Class: HU Jazz Improvisation Showcase
Childers Recital Hall, Thu, April 11, 12:40pm - FREE

Vocal Jazz Ensembles at Westminster
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Fri, April 12, 6-9pm $

Flyer for Afro Blue, SAASy and HU Jazz Singers at Westminster Chiurch 4/12/19
click to open/print

Symphony Orchestra & Concert Band Joint Spring Concert
Orchestral works by Handel and Beethoven. Ira Aldridge Theater, Sun, Apr 14, 4pm - FREE

Symphony Orchestra Concert Poster for 4/14/19
click to open/print

2019 NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim Presents Masterclass
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Childers Recital Hall, Tue, April 16, 12:40-1:30pm - FREE

Colorful Flyer for Abdullah Imbrahim Masterclass on Tue 4/16
click to open/print

Jazz Ensemble ("HUJE") at Westminster
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I Street SW, WDC - Fri, April 19, 6-9pm $5 Admission

Pic of Howard University jazz Ensemble ("HUJE")