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Music, BM - Performance Option: Instrumental Area

Instrumental Performance, Bachelor of Music

The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Music degree – Instrumental Performance Area helps you develop your unique musical voice and prepares you for success as a professional musician. Whether you’re interested in a career in instrumental performance or teaching — or a combination of the two — UCM’s world-class Music faculty will bring out the best of your musical abilities.

You’ll study performance (both as a soloist as well as in large and small ensembles), improvisation, music history, music theory and more alongside talented peers. Develop your professional network and hone your skills for a lifelong career in instrumental performance.

More than just a degree in Music

UCM knows that it takes more than just instrumental skills to succeed in today’s competitive music industry. Our Instrumental Performance degree in Music features classes that cover music business practices — including topics such as social media marketing, digital distribution and music technology — in addition to a rigorous instrumental music curriculum. You’ll prepare to meet the challenges of the professional music world while amplifying your skills and personal musical brand.

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All-Steinway School

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1:1 instruction with world-class faculty

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13 student ensembles

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Record in cutting-edge music facilities

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Community service learning projects


What you will study

UCM’s Music degree students in Instrumental Performance choose from a wide range of classes, so you can tailor our undergraduate program to meet your needs. In addition to performance-focused ensembles and private lessons, you’ll also take classes on the cultural, theoretical and historical aspects of music. Moreover, you’ll gain a working knowledge of how to integrate the latest software applications and technologies into your studies and musical practices.

You’ll have the opportunity to select classes from several categories across the Music degree program curriculum. Some of your classes will include:

  • Aural Training: Learn to identify and transcribe rhythms, melodies, chords and chord progressions by ear. Aural training can dramatically improve your performance abilities, including improvisation and playing from memory.
  • Instrumental Pedagogy: Learn the most effective teaching strategies for instrumentalists in your area. Training in pedagogical techniques improves your teaching abilities and your own practice methods.
  • Jazz-Commercial Arranging: Advance your composition and arranging skills outside of classical genres with studies in jazz and commercial music. Focus on idiomatic voicings, writing for small ensembles and composing multi-instrumental pieces for a wide range of instruments.


Excellence in Instrumental Performance

  • UCM alumni play in major orchestras, including the St. Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony. They have also earned master’s degrees and completed doctoral work at internationally prominent graduate schools such as Indiana University, Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.
  • Top 15%: Best Value Bachelor's Degree Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Focused College for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 8%: Most Popular Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Popular Bachelor's Degree Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in instrumental performance

Prepare for a career as a professional musician with UCM’s valuable experiential learning opportunities on and off campus. Our bachelor’s degree in Music offers you real-world scenarios to sharpen both your musical performance, recording and professional networking skills:

  • Ensembles: Perform in small and large ensemble configurations to improve your participatory music skills while learning from faculty and peers. You can join UCM’s Wind Ensemble, New Technologies Ensemble, Symphonic Band or the Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Service learning: UCM partners with several national organizations to provide students in our Music degree program with performance and service-learning opportunities. Our partners include the National Association for Music Education, the American String Teacher Association and the Percussive Arts Society.
  • Networking: Enjoy dozens of performance opportunities to expand your professional network and improve your accompaniment skills. You can work with fellow Instrumental Performance majors and other students on recitals, theater productions and shows, both on campus and around the state.


What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Music from UCM?

Earning a Music degree in Instrumental Performance from UCM means that music is more than a hobby for you — it’s your profession. Graduates with an Instrumental Performance degree in Music pursue rewarding careers as professional and studio session musicians, private music teachers, entrepreneurs, educators and online music instructors. 

An undergraduate Music degree in Instrumental Performance from UCM also prepares you for advanced music degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels. Graduate studies are an excellent choice if you plan to work in college-level education or music research. 

Jobs in Music

Explore exciting careers, salaries and job outlooks for professionals with a Music degree in Instrumental Performance using the interactive tool below.




Financial assistance options for your Instrumental Performance degree

UCM offers financial resources and support to help you finance your college education. About 94% of UCM undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid. We’ll guide you through your financial options when you enroll in our Music degree program, including more than 50 endowed scholarships for Music, as well as grants, loans and work-study opportunities. 

Depending on your primary instrument, you may qualify for a range of scholarships reserved for UCM’s Music majors, such as:

  • Frank and Barbara Fendorf Scholarship in Music
  • Double Bass Music Performance Scholarship
  • Granville Moss Memorial Scholarship

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.



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Take your degree further.

Continue building your performance abilities and prepare for college-level teaching positions with an advanced Music degree from UCM. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Performance may be interested in:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Adding a UCM minor to your Instrumental Performance degree can expand your career possibilities:

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Explore programs related to instrumental performance.

If you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree but you’re still deciding which Music program is the best choice for you, consider these related majors at UCM:


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