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Explore the applied instrumental music bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Turn your passion and talent into a career with a bachelor's degree in applied instrumental music from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. 

Designed for those aspiring to be performing artists or private studio instructors, the applied instrumental music major pairs a rigorous curriculum with valuable, professional experience. Join ensembles, participate in recitals or perform in a local theatre production. Known for its music scene, both the city of Eau Claire and UWEC offer many opportunities to showcase your skills. 

Our renowned music department prides itself on providing a collaborative, experiential learning environment. Discover best practices and new perspectives through internships, study abroad and the National Student Exchange program. Professors have a multitude of experiences on- and off-stage, and they use that knowledge to help you learn best practices and master techniques. Small class sizes allow you to get one-on-one attention and feel connected with others who are passionate about music.

The applied instrumental music major is known for producing successful graduates. Are you ready to be one of them?

Senior music major Connor Pietrzak

Student credits UWEC for success in the music industry

Applied instrumental music alum Connor Pietrzak is proof that if you want something bad enough...anything is possible.

"Before college, I had this idea that anyone who had a career in music was some sort of prodigy and if I hadn’t ascended to some incredible level by the time I was 18, then that window had closed," he said. "But I got to UW-Eau Claire and discovered that people from this program were actually out there being professional musicians. I realized that if I wanted it badly enough, there was a path I could take to have a life doing what I love to do.”

And so he did.

Connor just recently completed a national Broadway tour throughout the United States and Canada — a gig he credits UWEC for helping him land. From inspiring professors, to informative courses, to networking opportunities, Pietrzak is certain he wouldn't be here today had he not chosen to be a Blugold.

Applied instrumental music degree scholarships

UW-Eau Claire currently offers more than 50 scholarships and thousands of dollars to students pursuing music degrees at UW-Eau Claire. An example of that is the Cassandra Ball Egdahl Music Scholarship. This scholarship offers various awards (up to $5,000) to incoming students who have been accepted into a music program. 

Learn more about additional scholarships and resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.

Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire

Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.

To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your applied instrumental music degree.

Learn more about the financial aid process at UW-Eau Claire.

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Quick facts

Applied instrumental music program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
Student organizations
  • National Band Association Collegiate Chapter
  • American String Teachers Association (ASTA)
  • Clarinet Studio Organization
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (PMA)
  • Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI)

Accreditation information

All music degrees from UW-Eau Claire have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Applied instrumental music bachelor’s degree program highlights

Expert, caring faculty. Our student-focused faculty make it their top priority to keep you motivated, engaged and inspired, so you continue to grow. Perform alongside your professors in the Contemporary Music Ensemble or travel with faculty to New York City over spring break to explore what it means to be a “gigger." 

Real-world experience. Our applied instrumental music major will provide you with many opportunities to build your performance portfolio. A variety of ensembles — from band to orchestra to jazz — will push your creative boundaries and facilitate collaboration with experts in your chosen field. An abundance of community music festivals offer many internships and networking opportunities. 

Global learning. Gain a global understanding of culture and music through study abroad, the National Student Exchange program or undergraduate research. Frequent world-renowned guest artists will introduce you to new music and new ways of thinking. Chances to perform internationally are also available to students. Past performances have taken place in Ireland, Singapore and Rome.

One-of-a-kind spaces. UWEC is home to four performance venues, six music classrooms, 36 practice rooms, an audio recording studio, a music technology lab, a digital piano lab and several rehearsal rooms. The University is also proud to partner with the Eau Claire community's newest performance venue, Pablo Center at the Confluence. This state-of-the-art facility hosts our theatre department and many UWEC classes, rehearsals and performances.

Skill-building student organizations. Join one of 20 student clubs and organizations dedicated to celebrating music, theatre and dance. Express yourself, learn new techniques and network with other students. Many student organizations lead to volunteer opportunities, competitions and shows. 


Downbeat Awards for Best Undergraduate Big Band


guest artists perform annually


marching band in the Midwest

What jobs can you get with an applied instrumental music degree from UWEC?

Our applied instrumental music majors are well prepared for their next chapter. Graduates have gone on to receive Grammy awards, join professional ensembles, become composers and start their own studios.

Where are applied instrumental music alumni now?

Applied instrumental music careers

From accompanying professional musicians, playing in jazz bands to conducting operas and musicals, I have had experiences here that have not only shaped me as a musician but as a human being as well.

Miles Plant Applied Instrumental Music
Woman plays trumpet in desert.

The chance to be a part of something amazing

Kate Rosenberger fell in love with music while playing the trumpet in pit orchestra throughout high school. She chose UW-Eau Claire’s music program because of how much administration and professors care about the success of its students. In fact, Kate was so confident in her choice that she only applied to UW-Eau Claire. She was determined to be a part of something amazing.

With dreams of playing trumpet in Broadway productions, Kate found confidence and encouragement in not only UWEC’s music department, but also the College’s distinguished trumpet studio.

“The trumpet studio at UWEC not only encourages you to become a great trumpet player, it also encourages you to become a better human. We have to learn how to be a good human first, especially if we want to succeed in whatever we do!”

Applied instrumental music bachelor’s degree program curriculum

UW-Eau Claire's applied instrumental music bachelor's degree program will provide you with many opportunities to enhance your musical skills and knowledge. A robust curriculum includes courses in musical theory, history, literature, pedagogy, recital, conducting and ensembles.

In addition to UW-Eau Claire admission requirements, students enrolling as a music major or minor are required to successfully complete a departmental audition for instrument or voice prior to enrolling. Audition information and scheduling are available on the department website.

Classes for applied instrumental music majors may include:

Learn more about the comprehensive music - applied instrumental major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in music? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Learn more about the music and theatre arts department

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