Music at EMU

Music Major Concentrations: Music Education, Music Performance, Church Music, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Minors: Music and Church Music

EMU is a small Christian liberal arts college nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A bachelor of arts in music from EMU prepares graduates for work in music education, in performance, in graduate school, in church music, and in other music-related professions.

Our music program isn’t about cut-throat competition… it’s about building a community through music.

Courses and curriculum

The programs of EMU’s music department are widely known and well respected. Music majors complete a common core of courses in music that include theory, history, conducting, performance, and elements of aesthetics, analysis, and writing about music. Students also choose a concentration in music education, performance, church music or interdiscplinary studies.

Our exciting new concentration in interdisciplary studies is perfect for students with imagination and desire to integrate their music with another career path. In addition to a core set of music classes, each student in the interdisciplinary studies concentration takes courses in a discipline outside of music that interests them. The possibilities are many!

Some majors require student internships. Internships are provided through churches and community organizations. Students gain various experiences in a wide range of music related fields according to their areas of interest.


EMU cellist Chris Yoder (pictured above) is featured on this recording of Redwing Blackbird on the recently released album Whispering Pines by Me & Martha with Randy Edwards.

I love playing cello here at EMU. Though I’m not a music major, everyone in the music department helps me make the most of my ability.

-Chris Yoder, writing studies major

The department has an extremely active performing faculty, on campus and away who also strive for excellence in classroom and studio teaching. There are seven full-time music faculty, a varying number of part-time faculty, about 20-30 majors, and a much larger number of students who are involved in the ensembles and in private study in the department.

Recitals and concerts

We sponsor more that 50 recitals and concerts annually, including student ensemble concerts, senior and junior recitals, noon recitals, faculty recitals, preparatory program events, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Each fall the music department coordinates a celebratory concert, performed by students and recent grads.

Invited artists frequently perform on campus and faculty-led trips to performances in nearby metropolitan centers such as Washington, D.C. provide wonderful educational experiences. In 2007 the department launched a strings instruction program within city schools, and a group of students performed at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and a local detention center.

The preparatory music program is comprehensive and wide-reaching, serving 500 students in the Shenandoah Valley and providing community outreach projects year-round.