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School of MusicAt a Glance

The University of South Carolina’s School of Music is nationally respected for professional musician career preparation and leadership in music teaching, performance, composition, industry, research and related fields.

Beyond sought-after academics, the school is nationally recognized for its music education models, learning centers and community engagement programs. Students can grow as performers and future professionals in the school’s extensive range of performance venues — including the renowned Koger Center for the Arts — which host more than 300 concerts and recitals each year.

World-Class Academics

More than 20 degree programs span academic areas of music education, music history, theory, composition, entrepreneurship and audio recording. The School of Music is peer-evaluated to be among the most highly regarded music schools and conservatories in the United States and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Among all of the school’s degree programs, its community engagement initiatives, graduate piano pedagogy and doctoral programs in choral conducting, wind conducting and orchestral conducting are recognized at the national level.

Jazz student playing a trumpet.

Spark: Music Leadership

The School of Music is home to Spark, the nation’s most comprehensive entity for the study of music leadership. The program, which prioritizes health and wellness for all music students and faculty and staff members, supplements a traditional music school experience by preparing musicians for vibrant, sustainable futures. The program mixes coursework, project support, guest residencies, advocacy, entrepreneurship, community engagement instruction and other initiatives to foster an unparalleled environment of creative learning, skill development, collaboration and personal exploration.

a student singing in a choral group

Shine Onstage

In addition to the School of Music’s frequent student and faculty ensembles, the ASCAP-award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series features notable guest artists and university students and faculty members. Every semester, the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet Residency offers public concerts and community engagement events as well as master classes where students learn directly from professional performers. Each summer, the Southeastern Piano Festival draws local audiences and gifted young pianists from around the world to compete in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition.

a student sings opera music in a spotlight

Latest News

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an overhead shot of students playing on two marimbas

Historic Collections, Remarkable Resources

To share the diverse heritage of South Carolina, the school’s Center for Southern African American Music preserves and records oral histories, music recordings, film and video footage of African American music in the South. The school also maintains a music library with a lending collection of books, scores, print journals, and audio and video recordings and offers students full access to numerous music-related databases.


Teaching the Future

The String Project launched in the 1970s and has grown into a model of community service and teacher education for more than 40 other universities across the nation. The program offers beginning classes for children in third through fifth grades and beginning classes for adults. Along with providing valuable instructional experience for students, the program’s affordable fees make it available to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn a string instrument.

a student playing cello in a classroom

Transforming Lives

The School of Music has established a national reputation for artistic and scholarly excellence. An acclaimed faculty teaches more than 500 undergraduate and graduate music majors, including students specializing in virtually every orchestra and band instrument, voice, piano, organ and guitar.

USC stamp with text University of South Carolina School of Music, music for the public good.