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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experiences supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Music & Music Education

Bachelor of Arts

So you want to make music? Clarke University’s contemporary music degree curriculum is designed for the student who wishes to pursue a broad range of musical interests within the context of a liberal arts education. Within the music degree, intensive one-on-one contact offers you the opportunity to work closely with faculty, guest artists, and peers – a hallmark of Clarke’s music program. Our music faculty members in the bachelor of music each specialize in key areas of the music discipline: instrumental and vocal performance, composition, and music education. Additionally, Clarke offers music scholarships for both majors and non-majors.

Clarke University music emphases:

  • Vocal
  • Instrumental
  • Composition
  • Music Education

Clarke University Music degree student session in recording studio

Learning in Action

Below is a small sampling of the types of classes you may take as a Clarke music major:

  • Courses in performance, conducting, and composition to enhance your communication and critical thinking.
  • Music theory and history curriculum that challenges you to use musical ideas to interpret data and solve problems.
  • Ensembles and applied lessons that focus on creativity and emotional intelligence, which align with a wide variety of career aspirations.

Music Education

Combine your love of two skills: music and teaching. Our Bachelor of Arts in Music Education prepares you for a career as a music teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. You will hone your skills in contemporary music methodology and receive professional music training not only on campus but also through frequent partnerships with area K-12 schools and teachers. The music degree program prepares students to be strong musicians and leaders.

Clarke University Music Education class taching vocals.
Clarke University Music degree student playing an ensemble performance.

Time to Shine

Clarke boasts a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles, some of whom have performed throughout the United States, Austria, Prague, Japan, Korea, the UK, Brazil, and Russia. Our ensembles include choral, instrumental, jazz, woodwinds, brass, and new music. Learn more about our ensembles.

Program Details

Within the music degree, you’ll learn to perform, analyze, and compose music of various styles and cultures at a high level of technical and artistic skill. In addition, you will synthesize information from various musical eras and cultures to create expressive and stylistically informed musical performances, and conduct research and integrate ideas in a musically literate style. Music degree musicians implement technology in support of teaching, creating, recording, and performing music. Music majors participate in ensembles each semester, perform as solo artists both for their peers and in public, and attend concerts regularly.

For a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education, leading to K-12 music teacher certification in education, you’ll complete 41 hours of music courses, 19 hours of music education courses, and 29 hours of education courses. You’ll learn to perform, analyze, and compose music of various styles and cultures at a high level of technical and artistic skill, implementing technology in support of teaching, creating, recording, and performing music.

Cool Classes

APPLIED LESSONS – Developing artistry in performance through weekly one-on-one instruction.

CONDUCTING — Building connections among a variety of musical styles, your body, and performance experiences.

COMPOSITION — Composing music in classical, pop, and electronic styles.

Double the Learning

Double majoring is becoming more and more common for college music students who want to expand their educational experience. Languages, mathematics, sciences, communication, psychology, business, and the visual arts are all rewarding and common fields for music majors to pursue.


Successful Alumni

Clarke music alumni continue to make an impact locally, nationally, and internationally. Our alumni work as:

  • Teachers in area elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Composers for major motion pictures and video games scores
  • Performers in NYC, both in opera companies and Broadway
  • Artist Managers in New York City
  • Touring musicians
  • Singer/Songwriters
Classes You’ll Take

Admission to Clarke University

All prospective music and music education majors are required to audition either in person or remotely prior to registration. We are thrilled to offer Fine Arts Scholarships for excellence in performance or composition in conjunction with these required auditions. Applications are considered on individually, and award amounts are determined by audition on a rolling basis

Let’s talk careers

A music degree can open many doors in the workforce. Beyond positions performing, composing, and teaching music – the music degree program prepares students to be innovative and collaborative members of a team. Within the music profession are many career opportunities:

  • Arts Manager
  • Music Teacher
  • National/International Performer
  • Retail Music Manager/Owner
  • Accompanist
  • Composer-Arranger
  • Conductor
  • Commercial Vocalist
  • Director
  • Film Composer
  • Instrumental Musician
  • Music Promoter
  • Music Editor
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Software Programmer
  • Music Copyist
  • Music Critic
  • Musical Booking Agent
  • Musician
  • Music Store Manager
  • Music Publisher
  • Recording Technician
  • Singer
  • Symphony Manager
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Voice Coach
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Meet Our Faculty

When our bachelor of music graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Amy Dunker, DMA

Amy Dunker, DMA

Professor of Music - Composition, Theory, and Trumpet

From avant-garde improvisation to minimalistic sound sculptures to neo-romantic echoes, I delve deeply into the nature of human experience.

Amanda Huntleigh, DMA, CLMA

Amanda Huntleigh, DMA, CLMA

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities and Music Education

I strive to nurture each musician holistically through musical excellence and human compassion. My goal is to create a space where people feel comfortable taking risks as they develop their own artistry, and engage with music.

Rob Stull, DMA

Rob Stull, DMA

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Instrumental Activities

Education is to provide the knowledge of a discipline to create productive members of society. It is the continuous strive for excellence that allows students to think critically and function effectively as future citizens.

Music Sheet Music For Clarke University Music Majors
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Natascha Myers

Natascha Myers

Music '17

I am studying music performance and composition, and I just released my first album! Clarke has afforded me the opportunity to grow musically and professionally with the guidance of wonderful mentors.

Luke Flynn

Luke Flynn

Music '13

I am in Los Angeles and recently worked on the musical scores for both ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.’ I am so thankful to Clarke for making my career possible.

Adam O’Dell

Adam O’Dell

Musical Theatre '14

At Clarke, I founded the on-campus improv troupe. I am now earning my master’s degree at Bowling Green State University. Clarke was the perfect place for me to discover myself.


The Clarke University Music Department is the only Catholic school in Iowa accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Student to faculty ratio

Music students work one-on-one with faculty in intense performance situations with individual performance and design instruction.

On stage

Each year, music and music education majors participate in a collaborative theatrical experience such as an opera or musical theatre performance.


Clarke University is an institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Clarke’s music education program is also approved by the Iowa Department of Education.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Music & Music Education for Yourself

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