American Music Studies

  • George Gershwin
    George Gershwin
  • Charles Ives
    Charles Ives
  • Duke Ellington
    Duke Ellington
  • Composer Pauline Oliveros
    Pauline Oliveros
  • Stephen Sondheim
    Stephen Sondheim
  • Steve Reich
    Steve Reich
  • Composer Florence Price
    Florence Price

Admissions to the American Music Studies program at the University of Washington are currently suspended. Students interested in studying American Music may email to discuss similar options in Ethnomusicology or Music History.

From Charles Ives to Duke Ellington, to Stephen Sondheim and Steve Reich, the spirit of openness and innovation is a key characteristic of the greatest American music. Equally unique, the American Music Studies program encourages a great deal of creative flexibility in satisfying degree requirements.

Renowned Faculty

Faculty of the American Music Studies program are drawn from across the entire School of Music and specialize in diverse areas of American music including American concert music, folk music, and popular music; American musical theater; Latin American and Asian American music; the history of jazz; a wide spectrum of offerings in jazz performance; and many others.

Pioneer Program

The American Music Studies program welcomes students intrigued by the regional, racial, ethnic, sacred, secular, communal and cultural diversities represented in the music of the Americas. Students are strongly encouraged to formulate individual programs of study under the guidance of faculty mentors in the program. Interdisciplinary approaches, both within music or between music and other areas of study, serve as a primary focus of the program.

The senior project will be a substantial undertaking, representing a “capstone” to the student’s individual goals and course of study. It will be conceived and completed under the guidance of the student’s faculty mentor and at least one additional faculty member who is suited to advise and evaluate the project. The project may include written, visual, audio, and performance aspects, depending on the nature of the student’s work in the American Music Studies program.

Student Support

In addition to student support distributed by the University of Washington’s financial aid office, the School of Music distributes more than a half million dollars annually in merit- and need-based student support. Graduate teaching assistantships are highly competitive and are granted in all areas of study.