Not a music major but want to be musically involved? No problem! The James Madison University School of Music provides numerous opportunities for non-majors to study music and participate in ensembles!


The JMU School of Music offers a variety of ensembles open to all students at James Madison University. Some ensembles require an audition at the beginning of the semester to register for the class, and some are non-auditioned ensembles. 

Auditioned Ensembles:

  • MUAP 235 - Treble Chamber Choir
  • MUAP 239 - Symphonic Band
  • MUAP 340 - Chorale
  • MUAP 341 - Madison Singers
  • MUAP 344 - Chamber Orchestra (winds, brass, & percussion must audition)
  • MUAP 345 - Symphony Orchestra
  • MUAP 346 - Wind Symphony
  • MUAP 347 - Jazz Ensemble
  • MUAP 348 - Jazz Band
  • MUAP 350 - String Ensemble (permission of instructor following small audition)
  • MUAP 352 - Brass Band
  • MUAP 355 - Jazz Chamber Ensemble

Click here to view audition excerpts. Auditions happen at the beginning of each semester. For any questions you might have about auditions, please contact Dr. Stephen Bolstad (bands), Prof. Foster Beyers (orchestras), Dr. Sonya Baker (choirs), or Dr. Chuck Dotas (jazz). 

Non-Auditioned Ensembles:

  • MUAP 234 - University Chorus: Tenor/Bass (UCTB)
  • MUAP 236 - University Chorus: Soprano/Alto (UCSA)
  • MUAP 237 - Marching Band (rhythm section & colorguard are auditioned)
  • MUAP 238 - Concert Band
  • MUAP 240 - Pep Band (rhythm section is auditioned)
  • MUAP 344 - Chamber Orchestra (string players may join without an audition)

Click here for more information on our ensembles. 

Classes & Private Lessons

The JMU School of Music offers classes or private lessons for non-music majors that are interested in studying music during their time at the university. 

Theory Classes:

  • MUS 131 - Fundamentals of Music (3 credits) - This is the most basic theory course. It assumes no knowledge of music, and by the end, students will be able to read and write in music notation and identify scales, keys, intervals, and chords. 
  • MUS 140 - Introduction to Music Theory & Aural Skills (4 credits) - This is a slightly more advanced course, and it was designed with musical theater majors and people who want to take songwriting classes in mind. It assumes some prior experience with reading music, but it does still teach scales, keys, intervals, and chords. It goes a little further than MUS 131 in that it also discusses some basic harmonic progression and form, and it also includes some basic ear training that is not in MUS 131. 

Contact with any questions regarding theory classes. 


Private Lessons:

Some of our studio professors, graduate teaching assistants, and undergraduate majors will give private, one-on-one lessons to interested students. The option to take lessons for MUAP 200 credit is dependent on the instructor and availability. 

Additionally, we have the JMU Music Academy, which offers recreational music classes on piano and guitar. Learn more about the JMU Music Academy here!

Adding a Music minor

Are you interested in adding a music minor? The School of Music offers the following minors: 

If you are a current student wishing to declare or change a minor, you must complete a request through MyMadison. Additional department specific information will be available once you select that academic plan. Once all necessary steps are completed, the department will either approve, deny, or contact you for additional information regarding your request. 

Need assistance? Click here for a tutorial on Changing/Declaring a Major/Minor.

Changing to a Music major

The JMU School of Music offers a comprehensive undergraduate program which strives for the highest quality in music performance and academic study. All entering first-year, transfer students, and previously enrolled students seeking re-admission or currently enrolled students seeking to change their major must follow the admission guidelines

For all questions regarding changing your major to Music, please contact our Associate Director of the School of Music, Dr. John Peterson, at

Click here for more information on our degree programs and concentrations. 

Back to Top