Instrumental Performance


Your future in instrumental performance

Have a passion for music? Currently taking private music lessons or playing in an ensemble? Want to perform on the big stage? Then you should pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance with an instrument specialization at the University of North Texas.

This major will prepare you for a career as a member of a symphony orchestra, a professional band, a soloist or a chamber musician. You can also work as a studio musician for movies and television, become a church musician or teach lessons in a private studio.

Our instrumental performance alumni include:

  • Assistant principal oboist with the Cleveland Orchestra
  • Associate concertmaster with the National Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal timpanist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Second flutist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal cellist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal euphoniumist with the United States Marine Band

Other alumni perform with symphony orchestras in Fort Worth, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston and Kansas City, as well as major orchestras on five continents and with all major U.S. military bands.

What we offer

The College of Music has a rich tradition in music and is attended by talented musicians from all over the world. We’re one of the nation’s most comprehensive music colleges and offer opportunities to:

  • Access one of the nation’s largest music libraries
  • Discover your potential in classes with an average 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Meet some of the world’s top music scholars and artists through specialized lectures and events hosted by various divisions in the college

Our faculty members are dedicated teachers and nationally and internationally known performers. They’ve performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra and many others. In addition to performing, many have arranged and published works.

We provide many performance opportunities ranging from traditional to specialized groups. Our ensembles include:

  • Three orchestras
  • Four bands
  • Nine jazz lab bands
  • Contemporary music ensemble
  • Early music ensemble
  • 40 chamber music groups

Being near Dallas and Fort Worth gives students additional performance opportunities including those with the Dallas Bach Society, Texas Camerata, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra and symphony orchestras in Irving, Plano and Richardson.

Our facilities include the Murchison Performing Arts Center, which houses the Winspear Performance Hall and the Lyric Theater. Both performance halls, as well as the center’s large rehearsal space, have state-of- the-art acoustics. The Music Building houses the Recital Hall and the recently renovated Voertman Concert Hall. You can perfect your instrumental techniques in one of our 300 practice rooms.

We have scholarships available to help you pursue your education. These scholarships are awarded based on talent and an audition.

The College of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21; Reston, Va. 20190-5248; telephone 703-437-0700). This accreditation means the college meets or exceeds strict academic standards for excellence in education.

What to expect

You’ll need to be accepted to the College of Music through an audition before becoming a Performance major with an instrument specialization. Auditions are held on campus during the spring semester for enrollment the following school year.

If you can’t audition in person, you can submit a video or audio recording. Once accepted into the college, you’ll take a placement exam in piano as well as laboratory and ensemble placement auditions.

While enrolled at UNT, you can specialize in any brass, percussion, string or woodwind instrument or multiple woodwinds. Regardless of your specialization, you’ll complete eight semesters of private lessons from a faculty member. If you choose multiple woodwinds, you’ll need to complete eight semesters in a primary instrument and at least two semesters each in the other instruments.

Other courses will focus on music theory, instrumental literature, teaching methods, piano and music history in addition to performing in large ensembles (laboratories) and chamber music groups. You may also take courses in composition, musicianship and orchestration in addition to recitals.

The Career Center, Learning Center and professional academic advisors are among the many valuable resources available to you at UNT. The Career Center can provide advice about internships, future employment opportunities and getting hands-on experience in your major. The Learning Center offers workshops on speed reading, study skills and time management. Academic advisors will help you plan your class schedule each semester.

How to enroll at UNT

High school students

We encourage you to fulfill the graduation requirements for the distinguished level of achievement under the Texas Foundation, Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school program or the equivalent.

In your junior year, take the SAT or ACT and have your scores sent to UNT.

In the fall of your senior year, apply for admission to UNT and to audition for the College of Music by the first Monday in December. You can apply for admission to UNT at ApplyTexas.org. The College of Music application, audition requirements, audition dates and repertoire are available at our website.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses can count toward college credit at UNT.

Transfer students

If you're attending a Texas community college, you should consult our online transfer guides, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor or advisor to review your degree plan. Proper planning will allow you to receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Our Transfer Center will help you make a successful transition to college life at UNT by connecting you with a peer mentor and other campus resources. Each year, 3,900 students transfer to UNT. More information about the center is at transition.unt.edu.