HBCU Music/Performance Programs for Undergraduate and Graduate Study

by drfelder

Image result for photos of prairie view university

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.”

Related image


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.

Image result for photos of florida a & m university


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.

Image result for photos of hampton university


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.

Related image

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.

Image result for photos of north carolina central university

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.

Image result for photos of prairie view university