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Discover your life in music

Earn Your Degree in String Performance
1, 2 and 4 year programs available

String Performance

The String Performance program is designed to develop your instrumental technique, while expanding your musical repertoire so you can excel in a variety of settings, both on stage and in the studio. You’ll gain essential music skills through a combination of ensemble performance, session work and individualized instruction that respects tradition and encourages innovation. Whether you’re into rock, folk, country, bluegrass or jazz, you’ll have the support of experienced faculty to help you develop your own unique style and master the music you’re most passionate about.

We offer performance degrees for the following string instruments:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass (taught by the Bass Department)

By building a solid foundation in music theory, sight-reading, ear training, arranging, song interpretation, bowing techniques, improvisation and soloing, you’ll graduate prepared to succeed in a variety of career paths as a professional violinist, violist or cellist.

Ready For The Real World

As a String Performance major at McNally Smith, you’ll receive a hands-on education in environment that directly mirrors the music industry. From day one, you’ll be applying lessons learned in the classroom to real world projects — like recording in state-of-the-art studios while collaborating with Composition and Music Production majors, and playing professional gigs with fellow Performance majors on campus and around the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. You’ll learn how to interpret charts and lead sheets, how to write your own band arrangements, and how to market and promote yourself as a player and artist. And through our job board, you can find gigs with original bands and commercial groups.

You’ll get a head start on your music career by building your professional network while you’re still in school. With access to guest artists, internships and the thriving Twin Cities music and arts scene, you’ll be connected to the industry before you graduate.

Teaching For Tomorrow

To succeed as a professional string player, you need a well-rounded education that prepares you for the dynamic future of the music business. That’s why our String Performance degree program focuses on developing your creativity and musicianship while giving you the necessary technology skills to adapt and compete in the industry. You’ll also graduate equipped with the entrepreneurial concepts and business savvy you’ll need to accomplish your goals and establish your career.

With a comprehensive education that blends artistry, technology and entrepreneurship, you’ll be ready to make and sustain a life in music.

Your Career Path

Graduates of the String Performance program are prepared for a variety of career options, including:

  • Professional Musician
  • Touring Musician
  • Session Player
  • Band Leader
  • Music Director
  • Composer
  • Music Teacher
  • Private Lesson Studio
  • Clinician