The St. Olaf College Music Department provides aspiring musicians with a variety of training and performing opportunities that prepare them for the challenges of this rich artistic pursuit.
Each semester, over 120 St. Olaf students take private lessons from one of the nine professional string faculty who are specialists on their instruments. Instruction in violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, and Hardanger fiddle for music majors and non-music majors is offered in private weekly half-hour or hour lessons.
String students have the opportunity to perform as soloists in solo recitals, group recitals and studio classes. A thriving chamber music program usually sees about a dozen quartets rehearsing and performing regularly. The large ensembles frequently feature student soloists on concert programs, tour programs and in the St. Olaf Orchestra’s annual Senior Soloists concert in May.
St. Olaf also offers course in literature and pedagogy, which focus on methods of teaching and include opportunities to teach. In addition, the January Interim term and the programs of independent study and research, and collaborative undergraduate research provide opportunities to create projects that fulfill individual needs and interest. Music majors may elect an interim or semester abroad; offerings include programs in Milan, Vienna or Copenhagen specifically designed for music majors.