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. For further details concerning the submission of a music supplement, click here. Colby’s applied music instructors and faculty are delighted to meet with prospective students during campus visits, and we encourage students to remain in contact with the appropriate teacher during the admission process.

Music department classes, lessons, ensembles, recitals, competitions, and other activities are open to all students, regardless of major. Colby students’ involvement in music ranges widely — from taking a single class or semester of lessons to fulfilling the music major. Some students, including numerous first-chair players and section leaders, prefer to participate in the music department only through lessons and ensembles while pursuing a different major. A recent winner of our concerto competition, for example, was a pre-med student, who devotes himself as intensely to his voice studies as he does to biochemistry. Music majors, too, are often deeply involved in other academic work in addition to their music; nearly half our current majors double major. One recent graduate finished majors in both music and math while earning state certification in teaching.
Members of the faculty are delighted to meet prospective students, and applied music instructors are happy to talk with students and give short coaching sessions during a Colby visit. Contact Tina Steeves in the music office to schedule an appointment.
Colby grants academic credit for lessons, participation in ensembles, and chamber music if you are currently taking, or have successfully completed a music theory course (MU181, MU153 or the equivalent).
Lessons for music majors in good standing are subsidized by the College; the current fees (2018-19) for non-majors is $303 per semester for one half-hour lesson per week, and $605 for hour lessons. Some scholarships for music study are available to students with financial need.

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.)

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. The Alumni page contains insight from Colby graduates on how their music experience at Colby has helped them in their job career.

Click here to view the Music Department Alumni page.

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 performing groups page. Contact information for individual faculty members is listed on the faculty contact page.