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GV music dance

Music at GVSU

Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Department of Music and Dance offers curricula leading to the B.A., B.M., and B.M.E. degrees. These programs present music in the context of a broad liberal education, provide a course of study for the exceptionally gifted student who is interested in performance, composition, music technology, private studio teaching, or further graduate study, and prepares both vocal and instrumental students for careers in elementary and secondary school teaching. Additionally, the faculty is committed to providing cultural enrichment to students in all departments and to serving the university community by providing appropriate musical support for all facets of academic life.

The music faculty consists of 24 regular full-time faculty, 11 additional full time faculty and more than 20 adjunct faculty. Most of the part-time teachers are specialists on one or more instruments.

The Music Program has over 200 students enrolled in a music major or minor and is housed in GVSU's Performing Arts Center (PAC). Available facilities include the Louis Armstrong Theatre, which seats 400, the 100-seat Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall was added in 1997, along with fourteen new teaching studios for individual performance instruction, and a doubling of practice rooms, to make a total of 26 well-equipped rooms. Four ensemble rehearsal rooms now occupy the south wing of the PAC, one for instrumental ensembles, another for choral ensembles, one for percussion teaching and rehearsals, and one for jazz, sectionals, and chamber music. A third concert auditorium, which seats 250 in the neighboring Cook-DeWitt Center, is also much used for student and faculty performances. This hall houses the Jay and Betty Van Andel 28-rank Reuter pipe organ, used for lessons and organ recitals. The Cook Carillon Tower houses the 48-bell Cook Carillon, cast by Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands.

The GVSU Digital Music Lab is available for use by all music students and includes 23 specialized DSP/MIDI workstations utilizing Intel iMacs, m-Audio keyboards, and CD and DVD burning and recording capability. In this lab students may build an impressive digital portfolio for their career in the music and/or video industry.  The workstations may be used for composition, music theory and aural perception training, and audio and video recording/editing and processing. For these expressed purposes computers have the following software installed: Final Cut Studio including Soundtrack and Motion, Logic Express, Finale, and GarageBand.

The Composition Music Lab is available to those studying music composition at GVSU. It includes an iMac workstation with m-Audio keyboard and various MIDI controllers, recording equipment. and software including Finale, Sibelius, Logic Pro X, and Ableton Live.


In addition to being admitted to Grand Valley, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music must have a personal audition with the music faculty. If considerable distance or extreme hardship prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the Department, submit a tape recording of an appropriate performance.

Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement and keyboard musicianship placement exams.  For Transfer Information, please click the button below.

Transfer Information

In addition to completing a successful audition before admission, a second screening is conducted before admission to upper-division courses. This evaluation includes performance, faculty recommendations, a profile of teaching competencies, a brief essay, and an interview with department faculty.

For Audition Information, please click the button below.




In addition to scholarship and aid packages based upon need, Music Honors Scholarships and other talent-based scholarships ranging up to $4000 per year are awarded from the Gierst-Egler Band, Fine Arts, Chamber Orchestra, and jazz scholarship funds. For information about the general aid packages, contact the Financial Aid Office. For information about music talent awards, contact the Department of Music (616-331-3484) or see the Scholarships and Awards page by clicking the button below.