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About the program

The Department of Music is a fully accredited member of The National Association of Schools of Music.

Augustana offers majors in music, music performance, voice, piano, instrumental music, composition and music education. Majors in music education may choose either a concentration in vocal music education or instrumental music education. The department also offers a minor in music and jazz.

augustana choir

All programs (except the minor in music) require students to demonstrate piano proficiency, meet a recital attendance requirement and a performance requirement in jury, studio class or student recital as required by respective studios. Students should see specific details in the department handbook.

Augustana College has a reputation for preparing outstanding music educators. Students participating in this vibrant program are drawn to the small class size and the individual attention they receive. Graduates benefit by a history of strong job placement.

A strong mentoring program places music education students in a music advising group where they are paired with a music education major (peer mentor) and a music education faculty member. Students work closely with their music education advisor as they select courses, choose their major, and prepare for their college career.

The music education faculty has extensive experience in all facets of public school teaching, having tenure in both elementary and secondary music, as well as serving as music supervisors in outstanding music programs. The faculty remains active as conductors, performers, clinicians, and conference presenters nationwide.

The department provides performance opportunities, music classes, and lessons for both majors and non-majors. More than 600 students take advantage of the variety of opportunities in Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts each week.


Students are able and encouraged to participate in multiple ensembles. Nearly a quarter of Augustana's students perform in ensembles, from opera to orchestra to jazz combos. Ensembles include:

  • Augustana Symphony Orchestra
  • Symphonic Band
  • Concert Band
  • The Augustana Choir
  • Augustana Chamber Singers
  • Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble
  • Kammarkör
  • Cantilena Augustana
  • Wennerberg Men's Chorus
  • Opera@Augstana
  • Jazz
  • The Handel Oratorio Society

Outside the classroom

Augustana has one of the most active student-run chapters of collegiate music educators (CMENC) in Illinois. Students attend the Illinois State Music convention as well as other national conventions.

Music education students are encouraged to teach privately and are able to interact with children in the Quad Cities schools through clinics, residencies, and the Music in Ours Schools Month program.

Students have taught at the Davenport Montessori School and work with West Music in instrumental recruitment. Students conduct a visiting middle school ensemble and an Augustana College ensemble.


An incoming first-year student who shows professional promise and motivation -- as demonstrated through an audition and faculty interview -- may be eligible to receive the Carl B. Nelson Music Education Scholarship, renewable annually for four years. This scholarship is made possible by an endowment from Carl B. Nelson, a 1939 graduate of Augustana and leader in music education.

The Deisenroth Music Scholarship ($4,500 annually) and Morgan Music Scholarship ($5,000 annually), are each awarded to one new student who need not be a music major, based on a music audition. The Nels and Emma Swanson Voice Scholarship awards $5,000 annually to two students studying voice. Music honors scholarships award $4,000 to three talented students. The Augustana music scholarships award $500 - $4,000 to talented students, including non-majors, based on auditions. All awards are renewable upon the recommendations of the Music Department. (Music scholarship application)