Music Performance - Guitar
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? No
Emphasis within the major: all aspects of solo and ensemble performance, pedagogy, music theory, music history, entrepreneurship
Popular second majors: business administration, education, psychology, music technology, digital arts
All guitar students study with international concert artist Stephen Robinson, Ph.D.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
The bachelor of music with a major in guitar performance provides an opportunity for students to prepare for graduate study and a career as a professional musician. This diverse and competitive degree program offers a solid foundation in instrumental technique, performance, repertoire, pedagogy and musicianship in preparation for careers in performance and/or advanced-level teaching or graduate study in any area related to music and the arts.
Equal balance is placed on the value of performance and academics, resulting in a strong graduate ready for the rigor that performance and graduate study demands.
A Distinctive Program
Because the guitar major is an exclusively undergraduate program, all guitarists study guitar with international concert artist Stephen Robinson. Performance opportunities are vast, and the personal bonds forged with the professor are invaluable.
Stetson University's School of Music focuses on the undergraduate student. As one of only 220 students in the School of Music, incoming students enjoy personal attention along with the resources of the larger university community. Students develop as artists as well as people.
Academics and Research
Every student prepares a junior and senior recital with the guidance of their guitar professor. Students compete in state, regional and national competitions as well as in the School of Music's annual Concerto Competition. Many also participate in the Stetson Showcase, held each spring semester.
Facilities and opportunities
Guitar majors frequently perform in concerts and student recitals on Stetson University's historic Elizabeth Hall stage, at the Gillespie Museum and in diverse community venues off campus. Each semester, the guitar ensemble performs on and off campus, and guitarists perform with various chamber ensembles, including the Stetson University jazz ensemble and university choirs.
Presser Hall and McMahan Hall, the university's music buildings, include three ensemble rehearsal halls, 32 practice rooms, 30 teaching studios, a computer lab, a percussion studio and three computerized voice labs. Stetson University is the only School of Music in the country with multiple computerized voice labs solely dedicated to student instruction. This equipment offers students immediate visual and aural feedback on many aspects of their singing, including pitch, volume, overtones and vowel accuracy. The voice lab computers are also used in instrumental instruction. All faculty studios are equipped with sound systems, which include facilities for recording private lessons. The School of Music houses a music-computer lab, and music students have access to a digital arts studio, a multimedia studio and a computer science research and graphics lab.
Preparation for graduate study
The rigor of the academic coursework and the high expectations of performance faculty prepare Stetson students for the finest graduate schools. The amount of performance experience gained completing the undergraduate performance degree equips the student with the confidence, artistry and technical ability to successfully audition for reputable graduate schools nationwide. The depth and breadth of the academic coursework in music theory, music history and pedagogy fully prepares the student for entrance-level exams required for graduate work in all music-related areas.
Awards and Recognition
Stephen Robinson, Ph.D., is a professor of music at Stetson University, where he is the founding director of the guitar program, which was established in 1983.
Robinson tours extensively as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist. He has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras, and performs recitals and conducts master classes at leading musical institutions and festivals worldwide, including Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, Yale University, Oberlin Conservatory, France's Moulin d'Andé, Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Germany's Iserlohn Gitarren-Symposium and others.
A top prize winner in five major international competitions, including the XXIII Concours International de Guitare in Paris and the VI Concurso Internacional de Guitarra in Venezuela, Robinson is an alumnus of the distinguished Affiliate Artists Touring roster. He has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants, including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalists Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award and a Fulbright Fellowship for Performance and Research in Music to Canada.
Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.
Undergraduate awards and honors
The School of Music presents several awards for undergraduates, including the Presser Scholarship, membership opportunities in Pi Kappa Lambda, and special scholarships based on achievement and performance during the undergraduate career.
Beyond the Classroom
The School of Music offers two courses in career skills that are designed to prepare music majors to be successful working graduates of Stetson University. There is an exploration of career opportunities emphasizing entrepreneurship, individual research and dialogue with musicians working in the field. Importance is placed on professional areas not covered in private lessons or other music courses, on organizational skills, on internships, on preparation for graduate school, and on continued development of writing and speaking skills important to professional musicians.
Stetson University's guitar program will prepare you for graduate studies in music or for a career as a professional artist, performer or teacher. Alumni have studied at Yale School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, University of Florida, Florida State University and Real Conservatorio de Madrid, among many others. Several alumni have received Fulbright Scholarships, many are awarded teaching assistantships during their graduate study, and numerous alumni now hold prominent positions in the professional music world.