Music Department

Music. Do what you love.
Imagine doing what you love for a living. If what you love is music, the NSU Music Department will help you achieve that dream.


Learn how to apply and audition HERE.

Training, productions, ensembles

Northern's music ensembles include three bands, a college/community orchestra, three choral ensembles and jazz ensembles.

Faculty members strive to help you discover and develop your fullest potential and stimulate creativity and artistic expression in music through music classes, private instruction and participation in musical ensembles. 

The 50-member Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony (AUCS) performs 3 full orchestra concerts per season, plus a fall musical and other concerts. The AUCS provides an exciting and rewarding experience to Northern students and community musicians who are interested in performing great orchestral music.


Music teachers are in high demand – and if you graduate with a music degree from Northern, you will be prepared for the challenge. In addition to teaching, employment opportunities include performing, church music, music therapy and piano tuning.

Festivals, Clinics and Workshops

We offer annual music education and entertainment opportunities for the region, including the NSU Band Clinic and South Dakota Jazz Festival. Learn more HERE.

Current music students: Find resources on myNSU.

Learn More About the Music Department!




Professor giving violin lessons
Graduate Assistantships

Two graduate research assistantship positions provide an exciting opportunity for a string player to pursue a graduate degree while teaching and doing research at NSU! Positions offer generous tuition remission and a stipend for up to two years.

Current openings are for:

  • A string player pursuing a graduate degree in education at NSU with emphases in music, ESL, special education or education administration   

Apply Now

  • A string player pursuing a graduate degree in education at NSU with emphases in music, ESL, special education, education administration, or sport performance and leadership

Apply Now

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€œI chose Northern because ... of the quality of music instruction here. Under the incredible tutelage of Mr. Michael Skyles, I have won numerous competitions, regional recognition, and heartfelt praise for my performances.€

Anthony Rohr, music graduate

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Being in the Music Department has been such a positive experience. They really want you to achieve and get the most from your education.

Larissa Buchholz, vocal music education major, theater minor