Admissions Blog Posts

Music for Nonmajors

So you’ve been playing an instrument your entire life, but what if you’re not ready to commit to it at the college level? Yes, Furman’s music program is largely centered on classical training, and the course load for majors is just as, if not more, rigorous than any of the academic programs. Even so, that doesn’t mean that you have to be Beethoven to keep pursuing what you love to do. Furman offers amazing opportunities for all levels of interest in music in many different fields and genres.

At Furman, all auditions for ensembles are open to the general student population. Groups like orchestra, marching band, and all of our jazz programs hold open auditions at the beginning of each school year. Personally, I loved participating in choir and playing piano while I was in high school, and I was lucky enough to secure a seat in the tenor section of the Furman Singers and play piano in a jazz ensemble. The music faculty are extremely supportive of everyone who comes in, whether or not they want to be professional musicians or just keep up with their favorite hobby.

Furman Singers is one of the oldest organizations on campus, and even though the traditions have a modern twist on them, students still feel like they are part of something historic and bigger than themselves. I remember being so nervous sitting in Harper Hall with all the vocal performance majors for my first rehearsal, but it ended up being one of the most welcoming groups of people at Furman!

Furman students at a gathering

Ya like jazz? If the classical conservatory-style training seems a little outdated for you, Furman has a big band and as many smaller combos as they need to allow students the chance to play together. Every semester the jazz bands hold concerts in the recital hall, and during some events like the coffee lounge before finals, they are invited to a live performance to provide some ambience. My experience working with the jazz professors has been incredible, and the program attracts some incredibly talented players that will hype you up on your solos just as much as you do for them.

No matter what your level of interest or proficiency is with singing or playing an instrument, if it is something you want to do in college, there is a place here at Furman for you to do it. So the next time someone mentions an audition over in the music building, I will always recommend going to try it out!


-Bennett Kesler