June is Black Music Appreciation Month and today we recognize the contribution of programs designed to support degree completion in music for historically marginalized students. Historically Black colleges and universities provide our nation with rich academic experiences in music, performance, and theater education for both undergraduate and graduate students. Programs offer a combination of voice and instrumental pedagogies with some courses geared toward education and business in the industry. Many HBCU music programs are members of the National Association of Schools of Music which establishes guidelines for credentials in music education and emphasized their engagement in scholarly musical practice and endeavors. Graduates from these programs are prepared to enter music and performance professions with a variety of skills making them competitive in the market including: teaching, composing, recording, and management among many other artistic competencies. Below are six (6) HBCUs with comprehensive academic programs; each aligned with unique institutional missions and programmatic features that honor Black/African American musical traditions and culture.
Alabama A & M University offers programs focused on voice and instrumental performance with emphasis on piano pedagogy. It’s also home to the “Showband of the South.”
Florida A & M University is known for two programs in music: 1) Bachelors of Science degree in Music Industry, and 2) Bachelors of Science degree in Education.
Hampton University offers a numerous scholarships for students interested in music. It also provides a summer program for students in grades 4-9; establishing pathways for mentorship and recruitment of students into their four-year collegiate programs.
Morgan State University offers music education as Maryland’s preeminent public urban research university. One interesting profession noted was in the field of arts management.
North Carolina Central University is known for its ensemble leadership in music. Its choir, Big Band, and guitar ensembles are prominently featured as national treasures.
Prairie View University emphasizes its teaching program in music for EC-12 in the state of Texas. The program also encourages degree attainment beyond the baccalaureate toward preparation for advanced degrees.