Bachelor's Degree in Music

Transcending genres, cultures, and narrow artistic conventions, the Music program at Naropa will help you find your true voice.

Are you seeking a music program that looks beyond classical and jazz? Do you compose, write songs, make beats, or create digital music? Are you passionate about the world of music and not one small corner of it? 

Then consider the bachelor's degree program in Music at Naropa University. 

Transcending genres, cultures, and narrow artistic conventions, the Music program at Naropa University will help you find your true voice.

Through the study of music theory, improvisation, mindfulness, music technology, as well as through performance, you will develop into an artist capable of making the music that speaks to your soul.

Naropa University Music majors graduate to pursue advanced studies in music and ethnomusicology as well as become songwriters, studio musicians, performers, recording engineers, composers, college professors, concert promoters, and private music instructors.

Naropa University Music Ensembles

Perform with a variety of groups. Naropa University has rotating ensembles including a Rhythm Hemispheres: World Percussion Traditions, Indian Devotional and Raga Singing, and Naropa Ensemble, which features students’ original work.

Music Program Retreat 

Spend one day each semester in meetings and reflection with fellow music majors, minors, and faculty. We ask that you attend at least four retreats during your program.

Throughout the day we explore the connections between mindfulness, music, and community through sitting practice, group collaboration, improvisation, composition, music technology, and performance. You will also have the opportunity to gain insights into the business of music and meet one-on-one with faculty to set realistic goals and intentions for your musical journey.

Music Program Facilities and Multitrack Digital Recording Studio

Realize your professional and creative vision in Naropa’s music facilities:

The Music Studio is the primary music classroom used for ensemble rehearsals, teaching, small performances, and recording sessions.

The Recording Studio features an isolation booth and tracking room built around ProTools HD; also featuring Ableton Live and Logic Pro.

Digital Media Lab is a multi-use, multidiscplinary space for the digital arts with eight iMacs, midi keyboards, and HD video cameras. Software includes Ableton Live and Adobe Creative Suite.

Digital Practice Rooms have iMacs and Roland keyboards with ProTools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Sibelius, and Auralia.

Dance Studios are available for interdisciplinary work.

Music Program Capstone

Your music program will culminate in a final project—a performance, recording, or other creative endeavor that you will market and publicize—that synthesizes and encapsulates your Naropa training.

Featured Music Courses

  • Music Cultures of the World
  • Producing Music with Ableton Live
  • Solo Singing In Style
  • Improvisation
See all Courses


Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students demonstrate creative agency.
  • Students demonstrate sufficient technique on a musical instrument or voice to enable them to realize their creative vision.
  • Students demonstrate sufficient musicianship skills and an understanding of music theory and technology to enable them to realize their creative vision.
  • Students articulate their understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of music.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to collaborate effectively.
  • Students describe their role as an artist in society and identify an individual career path.


Credits Required


The Music bachelor's degree program is a 36-credit major, part of the overall 120-credit hour Naropa educational experience.

Niko Pappas

Student Highlight

“Last year I was required to compose a new piece of music every week for one of my music courses. Until that course I have written music only when the creative muse struck. However, this course taught me how to use my creative predisposition and pair it with a work ethic—a valuable skill to learn. This course also allowed me to come face to face with writers block and to be generous and compassionate to myself in the process.”

— Niko Pappas
Music BA, 2018


Mark Miller

Faculty Highlight

“In meditation, we practice openness, awareness and tenderness toward our experience. In improvisation, we offer this experience to others, affirming our shared humanity through the fullness of our different points of view. And in the classroom, students are encouraged to develop an individual artistic perspective as they study music theory, music literature, and technique as the foundation of their creative agency.”

— Mark Miller, MFA

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Core Faculty

learn more about the faculty

Alumni Spotlight

 “The kind of space that I try to create with music is to remind people of a primordial mystery, to become enchanted or like a child, and really remember newness. The Naropa experience and meditation practice have given me a real appreciation for space.”

— Johannes Rath
BA, Music, 2008

Musician/composer and inventor of a guitar-kalimba fusion instrument called the guitalimba


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