Whether your goal is to perform, compose or inspire the next generation of musicians, the music major at UB can help you achieve success. From our practice rooms and recording studio to our on-campus concert halls, you’ll find your place (and your people!) right here. As one of our students said, "I felt the music department was a comfortable place for me to grow as a musician and make like-minded friends.”

What will I learn?

As a music student, you'll take individual lessons in voice or your instrument, as well as classes in music history, theory and analysis. You'll typically join one (or two or three or more!) of our performance groups, where you'll sharpen your stage presence. Depending on your interests, you might also choose to take electives in composition, conducting, electronic music or a specific genre of music.

Music BA vs. MusB
  • The BA is a more flexible degree that gives you time to take more electives and join more ensembles. Every music BA major completes an internship in the final years of the program, allowing you to explore potential career paths that align with your interests. 
  • The MusB is for students who want to perform, and includes more lessons and performance opportunities. In their final year, MusB students give a solo recital as the capstone to their degree. 

What can I do outside of class?

We encourage you to join one of UB's choirs, instrumental ensembles, orchestras or other performing groups. (UB hosts more than 15 performing groups, and is affiliated with a number of student-led groups). We also host more than 150 events each year, including concerts, guest lectures, master classes with visiting artists and summer music festivals.

You can also explore UB’s music library filled with sheet music, recordings and more, and get real-world experience through an internship. Our students have partnered with local non-profits, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Artpark and others. Of course, you can also make friends—and have life-changing experiences—by studying abroad, or joining one of our 400+ student clubs.

Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a music degree?

Many students go to graduate school to continue developing their performance abilities, or to specialize in composition, musicology, or music theory. Others get a graduate degree that allows them to teach music. And a number of our students use the knowledge they've gained at UB to develop careers in arts management, work at an arts non-profit, explore music recording or engineering, or supplement their career by performing in a local orchestra, band or choir.      

Whether you decide on grad school or not, here are some of the ways you may be able to use your talents:

  • Performing:
    • Accompanist.
    • Band musician.
    • Choral conductor.
    • Church/synagogue musician.
    • Concert soloist.
    • Conductor.
    • Opera singer.
    • Orchestra/symphony musician.
    • Organist/choir director.
    • Vocalist.
  • Teaching:
    • Applied music instructor.
    • College music professor.
    • Conservatory or music school instructor.
    • Music teacher.
    • Private music instructor.
    • School band, chorus or orchestra director.
  • Behind the scenes:
    • o   Arranger.
    • o   Audio engineer.
    • o   Composer.
    • o   Organ builder.
    • o   Piano tuner/technician.
    • o   Songwriter.
  • Related careers:
    • Arts management.
    • Entertainment lawyer.
    • Music critic.
    • Music director.
    • Music editor.
    • Music librarian.
    • Music producer.
    • Music researcher/scholar.
    • Music salesperson.
    • Music technologist.
    • Music therapist.

While many of our grads work in traditional film, video and broadcasting, there are also plenty of opportunities in non-profit agencies, advertising agencies and other organizations that need to create, distribute and understand media.

Who will I learn from?

At UB, our music faculty has included Grammy-award winners and members of the New York Philharmonic, world-renowned soloists, innovative musicians, and leading music theorists and musicologists.

Our faculty members are more than highly accomplished performers, composers and writers. They are exceptional teachers who care about building strong relationships with students—and helping you take your talent to the next level.

As one of our students said about her professor, "Her instruction and guidance have allowed my voice to blossom into a refined instrument, and every day it grows and matures even more … she offers me advice on how to handle my performances and scheduling, helps me with music I work on outside of lessons, and offers wisdom about the industry and field in which I study."