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Music & Music Education

Bachelor of Arts

Clarke University’s music degrees are designed to encourage you in the pursuit of a broad range of musical interests while creating deep and meaningful connections with your classmates, faculty, audiences, and the community.

As a music or music education major, you’ll experience engaged, one-on-one support from faculty, peer mentors, and guest artists, each offering their own expertise in key areas such as:

  • Vocal
  • Instrumental
  • Composition
  • Music Education

There are many opportunities to build your professional portfolio and share your gifts including recitals and time-honored traditions like For A Blessed Christmas and Musical Menus. You can also showcase your talents internationally through our vocal and instrumental ensembles who have performed throughout the United States, Austria, Prague, Japan, Korea, the UK, Brazil, and Russia. You can even earn
scholarships for your participation!

Graduates of our music program find success as composers, musicians, singers, film and music editors, recording technicians, elementary and secondary educators, music therapists, and more.

Clarke University Music degree student session in recording studio

Learning in Action

Below is a small sampling of the types of classes you may take as a Clarke music major:

  • Courses in performance, conducting, and composition to enhance your communication and critical thinking.
  • Music theory and history curriculum that challenges you to use musical ideas to interpret data and solve problems.
  • Ensembles and applied lessons that focus on creativity and emotional intelligence, which align with a wide variety of career aspirations.


Music Education

If you want to lend your musical skills to the next generation of performers, a music education degree might be for you. Our Bachelor of Arts in Music Education blends your music curriculum with our regionally renowned Education program, preparing you for a career as a music teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels.

Clarke University music students practicing


Program Details

Within the music and music education degrees, you’ll learn to perform, analyze, and compose music of various styles and cultures at a high level of technical and artistic skill. In addition, you will research and synthesize information from various musical eras and cultures to create expressive musical performances. All our students are empowered to implement technology in support of teaching, creating, recording, and performing music and develop your own unique, musically literate style. Music majors participate in ensembles each semester, perform as solo artists both for their peers and in public, and attend concerts regularly.

For a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education, leading to K-12 music teacher certification, you’ll complete 41 hours of music courses, 19 hours of music education courses, and 29 hours of education courses.

Double Your Impact

Double majoring is becoming more and more common for college music students who want to expand their educational experience. Languages, mathematics, sciences, communication, psychology, business, and the visual arts are all rewarding and common fields for music majors to pursue and can increase your career potential exponentially.

Successful Alumni

Clarke music alumni continue to make an impact locally, nationally, and internationally. Our alumni work as:

  • Teachers in area elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Composers for major motion pictures and video games scores
  • Performers in NYC, both in opera companies and Broadway
  • Artist Managers in New York City
  • Touring musicians
  • Singer/Songwriters

Admission to Clarke University

All prospective music and music education majors are required to audition either in person or remotely prior to registration. We are thrilled to offer Fine Arts Scholarships for excellence in performance or composition in conjunction with these required auditions. Applications are considered on individually, and award amounts are determined by audition on a rolling basis

Let’s talk careers

A music or music education degree can open many doors. Beyond teaching you traditional skills like performing, composing, and teaching music, studying music prepares you to be an innovative and collaborative team member. Your degree can prepare you for professional opportunities like:

  • Arts Manager
  • Music Teacher
  • National/International Performer
  • Retail Music Manager/Owner
  • Accompanist
  • Composer-Arranger
  • Conductor
  • Commercial Vocalist
  • Director
  • Film Composer
  • Instrumental Musician
  • Music Promoter
  • Music Editor
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Software Programmer
  • Music Copyist
  • Music Critic
  • Musical Booking Agent
  • Musician
  • Music Store Manager
  • Music Publisher
  • Recording Technician
  • Singer
  • Symphony Manager
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Voice Coach
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Meet Our Faculty

When our bachelor of music graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Amy Dunker, DMA

Amy Dunker, DMA

Professor of Music - Composition, Theory, and Trumpet

From avant-garde improvisation to minimalistic sound sculptures to neo-romantic echoes, I delve deeply into the nature of human experience.

Amanda Huntleigh, DMA, CLMA

Amanda Huntleigh, DMA, CLMA

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities and Music Education

I strive to nurture each musician holistically through musical excellence and human compassion. My goal is to create a space where people feel comfortable taking risks as they develop their own artistry, and engage with music.

Rob Stull, DMA

Rob Stull, DMA

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Instrumental Activities

Education is to provide the knowledge of a discipline to create productive members of society. It is the continuous strive for excellence that allows students to think critically and function effectively as future citizens.

Keisy Peyerl Xavier

Keisy Peyerl Xavier

Assistant Professor of Music, Piano Performance

My piano studio is a safe space to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Here at Clarke, I empower my students to flourish as skilled musicians and well-rounded individuals, continually expanding their horizons as they explore the vast and diverse world of music. Clarke Piano Studio is not just a place to play keys; it’s where students experience both the discipline required for musical mastery and the personal growth that comes with it.

Music Sheet Music For Clarke University Music Majors
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Natascha Myers

Natascha Myers

Music '17

I am studying music performance and composition, and I just released my first album! Clarke has afforded me the opportunity to grow musically and professionally with the guidance of wonderful mentors.

Luke Flynn

Luke Flynn

Music '13

I am in Los Angeles and recently worked on the musical scores for both ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.’ I am so thankful to Clarke for making my career possible.

Adam O’Dell

Adam O’Dell

Musical Theatre '14

At Clarke, I founded the on-campus improv troupe. I am now earning my master’s degree at Bowling Green State University. Clarke was the perfect place for me to discover myself.


The Clarke University Music Department is the only Catholic school in Iowa accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Student to faculty ratio

Music students work one-on-one with faculty in intense performance situations with individual performance and design instruction.

On stage

Each year, music and music education majors participate in a collaborative theatrical experience such as an opera or musical theatre performance.


Clarke University is an institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Clarke’s music education program is also approved by the Iowa Department of Education.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Music & Music Education for Yourself

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