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Dartmouth's Admissions Office welcomes vocal and instrumental recordings and performance videos from first-year applicants who wish to demonstrate extraordinary talent in the performing arts. Please consult the information provided on the Undergraduate Admissions website to submit a Music portfolio with your application. Portfolios must be submitted electronically through the Application Portal; do not send your materials to the Department of Music.
Flexible rigor is the guiding philosophy behind our newly redesigned Major, Modified Major, and Minor in Music, each of which functions on an open course count model. This framework centers student agency, maximizes curricular flexibility, and offers pathways as vibrant and varied as the students we serve.
As you build your course schedule, please note:
Both MUS 1 (Beginning Music Theory) and MUS 20 (Creative Music Theory) are intended as welcoming and stimulating introductions to music theory at Dartmouth. There is no placement test for either class. Instead, every student may determine for themselves which course is most suitable. MUS 20 is designed for students with some basic knowledge of music theory (staff notation, simple scales and chords, etc.), whereas MUS 1 assumes no prior experience whatsoever.
The Honors Program provides an opportunity for work of greater scope and depth than the Music Department's standard course offerings. Honors projects typically take the form of independent work that is undertaken over at least two terms and is supervised by one or more members of the Music faculty. Please see below for an example of an Honors thesis from 2020, and see our website for a list of previous Honors projects in the Department of Music.
Through courses in the Individual Instruction Program (MUS 53-58), student musicians receive weekly private lessons with some of the region's finest instructors. IIP courses are open by audition to all Dartmouth students, regardless of major. To schedule an audition, please contact the relevant instructor from the list on our Performance Faculty page.
Performance Laboratory courses (MUS 50) provide weekly coaching and instruction in diverse styles of music in a focused, small-group setting. These courses are open by audition to all Dartmouth students, regardless of major.
Auditions for Hop Ensembles are held just before the beginning of the fall term, with winter and spring term auditions scheduled only by arrangement with the ensemble director. Audition requirements differ for each ensemble; please see the ensemble's dedicated webpage for audition information. Questions can be sent to the ensemble directors.
Student recitals occur in the spring term. Students work closely with their Individual Instruction Program (IIP) instructors on recital preparation, including scheduling rehearsals, hiring accompaniment, preparing a program, and creating publicity materials. Student recitals are posted on the Department of Music's YouTube channel.