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Music Programs

"If music be the food of love, play on."

William Shakespeare; Twelfth Night

About The Programs

The Marriage of Theory and Practice

At Rhode Island College, the study of music takes place on stage, as well as in the classroom. That's because learning music involves more than lectures and discussion.

Performing Ensembles

Weekly student recitals will provide you with many opportunities to perform and to hear your fellow students perform. Of course, Rhode Island College supports several large performing ensembles, including an active orchestra, chorus, and wind ensemble. As a member of these groups, you may perform such masterworks as Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, Mozart's Requiem, or Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy. The range of additional performing opportunities is impressive: Opera Workshop, Chamber Singers, Chamber Winds, Chamber Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, and Guitar Ensemble are just a sampling of what you can do.

Applied Lessons

To sharpen your performance skills, you will engage in individualized study consisting of 14 private lessons per semester with some of New England's finest performers and teachers. Instruction is available in the full range of band and orchestra instruments, as well as in voice, keyboards, guitar, and jazz improvisation.

Classroom Study

True professionalism, however, requires a strong foundation in musical concept and history. You will learn how the geniuses of musical history lived, thought, and created, and how their legacy has shaped the contemporary music world. You will explore the music of Western civilization from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, as well as music of the non-western world.


The new $10 million John Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, located adjacent to Roberts Hall, houses the 400-seat John and Lila Sapinsley Hall, a Theatre, Dance Studio, and educational facilities including classrooms and rehearsal rooms, MIDI piano computer labs, individual and group practice rooms, and studios. This facility, formally dedicated in the fall of 2000, is further evidence of our commitment to providing the finest musical opportunities to our students and to the state of Rhode Island. Come visit our campus and tour the Center -- envision yourself performing and studying in our new home.


Rhode Island College awards over $40,000 in talent-based music scholarships each year. To obtain more information on our range of scholarships or to schedule an audition, click here or call us at (401) 456.9514.


The quality of your musical education at Rhode Island College is second to none. Our faculty members appear regularly as soloists and chamber musicians throughout the region, and many are members of or regularly conduct the elite professional ensembles in the area. Our programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Rhode Island College Music Graduates:

  • Sing with the Metropolitan Opera
  • Teach at some of the best public and private school music programs in the region
  • Have earned graduate degrees from the nation's top music schools
  • Write music for major orchestras and Hollywood studios
  • Appear as soloists on national television
  • Conduct regional orchestras nationwide
  • Teach at nationally renowned music schools

I'm very grateful for the personal care and attention I received that make me the artist I am today.
Diane Alexander, Class of '85

The strength of RIC lies in its faculty, and the personal interest shown in my work by members of the Music Department will not be forgotten.
Peter Boyer, Class of '91

The music education that I received from Rhode Island College has helped me to fulfill goals for every stage of my musical career.
Dinarte Ferro, Class of '83

Your Invitation to Perform

If you are looking for a challenging and supportive environment in which to develop your musical talents, choose Rhode Island College. Come to our campus and talk with an admissions officer or a member of the music faculty. For an appointment, call or write:

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
The Sylvan R. Forman Center
Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 456-8234


Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 456-9883

Music Education Programs

The National Standards for Music Education aren't just something to talk about; at Rhode Island College they are lived every day. As a music education student at Rhode Island College, you will belong to one or more highly polished performing ensembles where high musical standards come together with musical understanding of the literature performed. You will learn about the historical and cultural contexts of musical masterworks. You will apply your growing knowledge of music theory to the literature you perform. And you will study with some of the finest performer/teachers in New England.

Our graduates have been highly successful in a wide range of career paths, including instrumental, vocal, and general music education, administration, and higher education. We are proud to say that more music educators in Rhode Island have graduated from Rhode Island College than from any other institution. Our programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


  • The Music Education curriculum is highly respected for its hands-on, practical approach to the art of teaching music.
  • Methods classes are taught by our faculty in real music classrooms at public and private schools, not at the college.
  • Our "network" of cooperating music teachers throughout the state is second to none. Many of the best music teachers in our area are RIC graduates.
  • Student teaching experiences are carefully planned and closely monitored.
  • Low student-to-teacher ratio in all music classes allows for one-on-one learning and the development of close, professional mentoring relationships between students and faculty.

Professional Job Placement

As far back as we can recall, every single Rhode Island College graduate in Music Education who sought a job has found one. This impressive record of job placement testifies to the quality of a RIC education and the high esteem in which our program is held by school districts in Southern New England.​​​

Page last updated: August 29, 2018