Jazz combo rehearses for Dare Northward Event in Chicago.


The Colby Music Department is an intimate community. You are surrounded by a group of talented young musicians and passionate music lovers. You can really get to know the professors, who are all accomplished composers, performers or musicologists, and for them to really know you as a person. There are ample performance opportunities, from the weekly piano workshop to the annual concerto competition.

Pop into Bixler in the morning, you’ll see a group of around ten students and their professor marveling together at an ingenious modulation of Schumann’s. Come back in midnight, you’ll hear our pianists practicing some difficult passage from Chopin or Bartok. For most of us, we study and practice here not in order to prepare for a career, but for the pure enthusiasm. It is a lovely place for you to further your passion for music regardless of your career pursuits.

Submit a Supplement

Artistic talent is one of many factors considered in admissions, and students with musical abilities can frequently strengthen their application by submitting evidence of musical accomplishment. Applicants are encouraged to submit musical performances of works in two contrasting styles. Original compositions can be submitted as PDFs. Musical resumés may be submitted as PDFs but are not required. Good quality audio files and video recordings and can be submitted as well.

Supplementary materials can only be uploaded after you have submitted your application to Colby and received a PIN providing you access to your application status portal.

For further details concerning the submission of a music supplement, click here.


Meeting our Faculty

Our faculty and applied music instructors are delighted to meet with prospective students, and give short coaching sessions during a Colby visit. We encourage students to remain in contact with the appropriate teacher during the admission process.

Please visit the applied music instructors page for the contact informations.


AP Courses (Credits / Placement)

We work carefully with incoming students to ensure the appropriate placement in music theory. The department generally grants credit for MU 181 to students who score a 5 on the AP music theory exam; placement is in MU 182 (offered spring semesters).  Students who earn a 4 on the AP exam receive credit for MU 153, but may also be able to place out of MU181 by examination.  If you earn AP credit for MU 153 or MU 181, you are also eligible to receive credit for lessons and participation in department-sponsored performing groups. (The granting of academic credit for AP courses is handled through the registrar’s office; for information on Colby’s placement exam, consult the music department office.)


Life After Colby

Colby’s music students have been successful in a variety of career paths. Some attend graduate school and earn advanced degrees in performance, composition, music history or music theory. Some teach privately or obtain certification to teach public school music. Others have worked in radio, film, recording, or other facets of the music industry, sometimes after studying arts management or earning an MBA. Still others have chosen careers outside music where the skills that they learned from their music studies (including abstract reasoning, aesthetic sensitivity, and analytical skills) serve them well.


For More Information

The department’s administrative assistant, Tina Steeves, can be reached at 207-859-5670 (fax 207-859-5635).

If you need information concerning department-sponsored ensembles, the name of the appropriate contact can be found via the ensembles page. Contact information for individual faculty members is listed on the faculty contact page.