College of Fine Arts

Music Performance


Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles


Full-Time Faculty


Years of Music at UK

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Martina Vasil

Dir. of Undergraduate Studies

School of Music, College of Fine Arts

College of Fine Arts

School of Music

105 Fine Arts Building

Lexington, KY 40506

Program website


  • BM

Music Performance students are trained as professional musicians with a strong foundation in music theory and history. Students will perform with various ensembles and benefit from private lessons with our renowned faculty throughout all years of study. 


The School of Music at the University of Kentucky provides an intimate environment for study with all the resources of a large, research university. The more than 50 full-time and 15 part-time faculty members are recognized for excellence in teaching, performance, and research. They are leaders in their disciplines. With a low faculty-to-student ratio, the School of Music provides personal attention with small classes and excellent private applied instruction. Students will gain experience in performing in outstanding ensembles, including the University Chorale, University Choristers, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Choir, Symphony Orchestra, UK Philharmonia, Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Wildcat Marching Band, and three Jazz Ensembles among other smaller ensembles.

The School has achieved awards and national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, music therapy, composition, theory and music history. Our faculty has gained national and international prominence in their respective fields. Music Performance alumni benefit from our faculty's reputation in their fields, opening up exceptional opportunities for graduate study and networking within the music world.

"I knew I wanted to study with Dr. Everett McCorvey because he is one the best voice teachers in America and runs one of the best opera programs in America, too. His students and many other UK Opera Theatre alumni are singing all over the world."

Reginald "Reggie" Smith, Jr.

Music Performance, Grand Finals Winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Classes & Requirements


What You'll Study

The Music Performance degree program provides students with a solid foundation of music theory and history in addition to private lessons and experience performing with various ensembles. Music Performance majors will complete a solo recital in their senior year in order to graduate. Additionally, all majors in the School of Music must pass a piano proficiency exam in order to graduate.

The specific course requirements vary by the student's instrument. See the current Major Sheet below for a full curriculum outline. Students will also complete 30 hours of UK Core. The College of Fine Arts additionally requires that all majors complete 6 hours of coursework outside their departments but within the College of Fine Arts and at least 39 hours of courses at or above the 300-level.


School of Music Audition

All students applying to pursue a degree in the School of Music (Music Performance, Music Education or Bachelor of Arts in Music) must audition for admission. Students will apply to UK as pre-majors (Pre-Music Performance, Pre-Music Education, or Pre-Music) and will be transitioned into full major status upon successfully passing the audition. After applying to the University of Kentucky, students should request an audition with the School of Music at the link below. Students must be accepted by the University of Kentucky before they may be accepted by the School of Music. 

In addition to the preferred audition dates listed on the audition request form, individual auditions for admission to the School of Music can usually be arranged any time during the year by special arrangement with a faculty member in the student's area of interest. Students who audition after the preferred dates may not be able to compete for certain University and School of Music scholarship opportunities, and there is a possibility that some programs could be filled to capacity. Also, the audition process is competitive -- for students who audition before these dates, acceptance decisions may or may not (at the discretion of the faculty) be delayed until after students have been heard on the preferred dates.

Request an Audition

Major Requirements 

All Music Performance majors will complete at least five semesters of Music Theory and at least 12 hours of Music History in addition to a Recital Attendance Requirement and the specific ensemble and lesson requirements for the student's major instrument of study. Major instruments are classfied into four categories: Instrument, Piano, Organ and Voice. Explore the specific requirements of each instrument category below:

Imagine Your Future

Musicians and Singers

Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Musicians and singers often perform in settings such as concert halls, churches, and clubs. Part-time work is common, and work schedules may vary and include mornings, nights, or weekends.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Martina Vasil

Dir. of Undergraduate Studies

School of Music, College of Fine Arts

College of Fine Arts

School of Music

105 Fine Arts Building

Lexington, KY 40506