Divisions and Departments

Divisions and Departments
Conducting and Ensembles

For students with a strong interest in conducting, Oberlin offers a five-year program combining graduate studies in conducting with an undergraduate major in performance, composition, music education, electronic and computer music, or musicology; students...

Learn about the Conducting and Ensembles Division

Contemporary Music

The Contemporary Music Division encompasses Composition, Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA), and Contemporary Chamber Music.

Learn about the Contemporary Music Division


Production, performance, and critique are primary instructional vehicles of the program. In each Composition and TIMARA course, the focus is always on compositional productivity, new compositions being the primary course output, with works being performed...

Learn about the Composition Department

Contemporary Chamber Music

This professionally focused, tuition-free, two-year graduate program is designed to launch chamber music ensembles of exceptional artistic and creative potential. It is designed for chamber ensembles of three to seven members in any instrumentation...

Learn about the Contemporary Chamber Music Program


Our Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) major is intended for those students who desire a career where traditional musical skills and understanding are combined with the exploration of the very latest techniques for musical expression. It is...

Learn about the TIMARA Department

Historical Performance

Historical Performance is a way of looking at music, one in which the performer takes on some of the responsibilities of a scholar. Our aim is to provide students with the tools needed to make historically informed decisions about the pieces they perform...

Learn about the Historical Performance Division

Jazz Studies

The conservatory incorporated jazz into its curriculum in 1973, and began offering a major in jazz studies in 1989. The program prepares students for careers as professional jazz musicians and for advanced study in jazz. The jazz studies faculty includes...

Learn about the Jazz Studies Division

Division Two

Keyboard Studies encompasses organ and harpsichord as well as piano.


Long recognized as one of the world's leading centers for organ instruction, Oberlin has graduated musicians who have become professors of music, church musicians, university organists and scholars-and winners of national and international awards. Oberlin's...

Learn about the Organ Department


An especially strong keyboard faculty, many opportunities to perform, superb facilities, and an active schedule of master classes and residencies by visiting artists - these are the components that make an Oberlin education exceptional for piano majors...

Learn about the Piano Department


The study of musicology draws on historical investigation and various modes of criticism and analysis in the thoughtful consideration of music as both a liberal and a performance art. Long a part of the conservatory’s curriculum—Edward Dickinson...

Learn about the Musicology Division

Music Education

The Master of Music Teaching (MMT) degree is a time- and cost-effective pathway to achieving your best self as a teacher. Our renowned Oberlin music education faculty will mentor you each step of the way. Our fourteen-month master’s degree in music...

Learn about the Music Education Division

Music Theory

Studies in music theory are part of every program in the conservatory. The music theory program stresses both aural skills and studies in analysis and writing. The level of achievement required in each area is determined by the student's major department...

Learn about the Music Theory Division


The string curriculum aims to develop students' talents to the highest musical and professional levels. String students have been enormously successful in the musical world. Some hold positions in major orchestras and chamber ensembles, while others teach...

Learn about the Strings Division

Vocal Studies

The Vocal Studies program encompasses the Voice Department and the Oberlin Opera Theater.

Every year, between 20 and 30 gifted singers enter degree programs in the Conservatory of Music. These students receive instruction from faculty members with impressive performance and academic attainments, and take courses on technique, performance readiness, musicianship, musical style, and linguistic accuracy. All students take weekly private lessons with a major teacher and participate in studio classes. Voice studies students also have a wealth of opportunities to perform with the varied student and professional ensembles, choirs, a cappella groups, and other musical troupes that give recitals and concerts during the academic year.


Students in the voice department take courses in music theory and aural skills each semester until all requirements are met. You will learn the necessary vocal and musicianship techniques to enhance your performance readiness, style, presentation, and...

Learn about the Voice Department

Opera Theater

A vital component of the Vocal Studies program, Oberlin Opera Theater provides training in all aspects of opera theater: staging, costumes, set design, and aural and language skills. Every year, 20 to 30 gifted singers enter degree programs in the ...

Learn about the Opera Theater Department

Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion

The woodwinds, brass, and percussion curricula are both intense and stimulating. The full-time resident faculty includes nationally recognized teacher-performers committed to providing careful, rigorous instruction. Highly selective admission standards...

Learn about the Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion Division