About the Program

What is distinctive about studying music at Sweet Briar?


Much of what we do in the Sweet Briar Music Program is project-based and interdisciplinary. Whether it’s composing, collaborating with other artists, or learning about global music and culture, every student works closely with the faculty on interdisciplinary projects.

We have two state-of-the-art studios for making sound. One is optimized for recording and the other for multimedia production (video, video games, VR, etc.). Students have access to these spaces from day one.

Students experiment directly with sound via composition and computer music, collaborate with other artists from around campus, and engage with global music through performing a variety of music from around the world.

Program Mission Statement

The Music Program provides creative engagement with music and sound art for students of all backgrounds and levels of technical proficiency, both in the major and minor courses of study and in general education classes. Providing instruction in music within a liberal arts framework, we value intellectual curiosity as well as creative exploration and affirm that innovation is a byproduct of focusing on creative process. Students develop their understanding of music and sound art by focusing on three primary areas: composition, musicology, and performance. Composition, whether for voices, acoustic instruments, or in a digital audio environment, provides students a holistic understanding of music and gives them an outlet for personal expression and social connection. Training in musicology gives students the knowledge and skills to critically examine music as a cultural and social process and to engage with a wide variety of musical styles across history and geography. Performing music, whether individually or as part of an ensemble, builds confidence, community, and leadership in the arts and beyond.