Step into the Bixler Art and Music Center and you’ll know that you’ve entered a unique place. You’re likely to hear Bach, Bruch or the beat of Colby’s African Drumming Ensemble coming from practice rooms, to experience the arresting colors of student computer compositions, to find the chorale polishing its program for an upcoming tour abroad or to hear an a cappella group practicing a Lady Gaga song. Peek into faculty offices and you’ll see students at work with professors—tossing back and forth ideas for a senior thesis on Chopin, tackling a particularly tough choral harmonization, or preparing a concerto for an upcoming performance with the orchestra.

At Colby you’ll take challenging courses that teach you to see music as a rigorous academic discipline and an object of aesthetic delight. You will not only learn to think about music—and the world—in new ways, you will also build the sorts of abstract reasoning, writing, and oral skills that have allowed our graduates go on to careers in performance, arts management, journalism, teaching, library science, law, medicine, and a variety of other professions.  If you are looking for passionate engagement with music as part of your college experience, we invite you to explore Colby’s music department.

Close faculty-student interaction is the hallmark of music study at Colby. Most upper-level classes have fewer than 10 students,and seminars are even smaller. Music students undertake independent study projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor and work as research assistants on faculty research projects.

Our faculty of composers, historians, theorists, and performers offers a large selection of courses. Both the music major and the music minor include courses on Western music history, theory/analysis, and applied music, yet allow students flexibility to emphasize composition, theory, history, performance, or popular music.  An honors program is available to students majoring in music.  Click here to learn more.

Students can also explore topics as diverse as world music, rhythm & amp; blues, African drumming, film music, conducting, counterpoint, American music, composition, or chamber music through electives. Elective courses at all levels make it possible for students with varying backgrounds to explore the the academic discipline of music.

Meet Colby music students:            

Each year outstanding students are recognized by a number of annual departmental prizes and awards.  Click here to see a list of recent winners.


For more information, contact the department’s Administrative Assistant, Deb Ward ( ).