COVID-19: Essential Information

We are studying and making music in 2020-2021!

The Department of Music recognizes that this academic year poses many challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that musicians acknowledge health and safety as priority, and take all precautionary measures towards public health seriously. Within that context, we will teach our essential music curriculum and support engaged learning with energy and creativity. We are exploring new modes of teaching and learning together, and together we hope to find new successes and work through the inevitable challenges. We encourage you to reach out to faculty and ensemble directors with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Performance Update

There are no planned performances with an audience by the Department of Music. We will evaluate the potential to resume performance with an audience later in spring semester as information is available from the state and the college.

Classes and ensembles will pursue performative elements in various ways, including online collaboration and in some cases, recorded ensemble performance. This is an opportunity for innovation, and department faculty are excited to develop performance projects that fit our circumstances.

Ensemble Music in 2020-2021

Please note that due to the variety of health and safety precautions for vocal and instrumental musicians, our ensembles each have specific elements that we can and cannot support. The ensemble experience will be very different, and our present solutions include a variety of taking the semester off, one on one instruction, and spaced and separated rehearsal strategies, depending on the ensemble and the instruments and people involved. Please know that our approach follows hours of meetings and research, and deep consideration of what we can safely support under these extreme circumstances. We hope to support more performance possibilities as public health and safety allows. Please see individual ensemble pages, and contact ensemble directors, for details.

See department priorities and how we will manage courses here: 

Theory Placement Exam

The placement exam is available by email upon request! Please contact Professor Matthew Evan Taylor, . Professor Taylor can also provide a study packet, which includes a practice exam.

The Department of Music provides a creative environment for the study and performance of music with a global perspective, and encourages students to develop skills, expand knowledge, and contribute actively to society as artists and citizens.

We offer a diverse curriculum that engages students in historical and cultural study, as well as analysis, creation, and performance of music. Our emphasis on global perspective and experiential learning provides opportunities for each student to explore and develop their own musical passions, and to collaborate with peers and faculty in many ways, including interdisciplinary work, ensemble participation, and independent projects.


All music department courses, ensembles, lessons, and other activities are equally available to non-majors and majors alike. The curriculum for music majors offers a balance between thoroughness and flexibility, offering each student a chance to develop areas of strength in the context of a broad liberal arts education.

A wide range of lessons is available from piano, voice, and most orchestral instruments to folk fiddle, bagpipes, and blues harmonica.

Facilities include a highly acclaimed concert hall, practice facilities including several Steinway grand pianos, an electronic music lab and MIDI/notation lab.

Mead Chapel is home to our 51-rank Gress-Miles pipe organ. Other specialized instruments include a French double-manual harpsichord built by William Dowd (1964), a single-manual Italian harpsichord built by Robert Hicks (2005), and a three-rank portable pipe organ by Giuletti and Bennet.

The music collection at the Davis Family Library offers reference, CD/tape/record, book, and score collections, videos and instructional computer software in the field of music, and online streaming services including Alexander Street Press.

Department of Music

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753