Music Performance - Guitar

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Major
  • Minor

Have you always played guitar and can't imagine doing anything else? As part of the Stetson Guitar Program, you will work together with other students to take their musicianship to the next level.

Related programs:
Music Music Performance - Orchestral Instrument Music Performance - Organ Music Performance - Piano Music Performance - Voice


View the program requirements.



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Program Overview

The Bachelor of Music with a major in guitar performance or with an outside field provides an opportunity that prepares students for graduate study and a career as a professional entrepreneurial musician. These diverse and competitive degree programs offer 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. Choosing to combine the study of guitar with elective study in an outside field will prepare you for professional opportunities in both of your chosen fields.

Learn more about the School of Music.

Program Benefits

Because the guitar major is an exclusively undergraduate program, all guitarists study guitar with our highly trained and experienced faculty. Performance opportunities are vast, and the personal bonds forged with the faculty are invaluable. Frequent performance in concerts and student recitals on Stetson University's historic Lee Chapel stage, at the Gillespie Museum and in diverse community venues off campus will occur. 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. You will also prepare a junior and senior recital with the guidance of your one-on-one guitar teacher. Students compete in state, regional and national competitions as well as in the School of Music's annual Concerto Competition. You may also qualify to participate in the Stetson Showcase, held each spring semester.

Stetson University's School of Music focuses on the undergraduate student. As one of only 220 students in the School of Music, you will enjoy personal attention along with the resources of the larger university community. You will develop as an entrepreneurial artist as well as a person.


Career Significance

Stetson University's guitar program will prepare you for graduate studies in music or for an entrepreneurial career as a professional artist, performer, teacher, administrator and/or in a secondary chosen field. The amount of performance experience gained equips you with the confidence, artistry and technical ability to successfully audition for reputable graduate schools nationwide. 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, academic and business worlds.

Success Stories

Dr. Kevin Manderville, Bachelor of Music, Guitar Performance, 1996, Stetson University

  • Director of the Guitar Program Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School, Montgomery, AL
  • Guitar Faculty, Huntingdon College, Montgomery, AL
  • DMA, Guitar Performance, Florida State University, 2006
  • MM, Florida State University, 1998

"My time at Stetson University prepared me to succeed as a concert classical guitarist, teacher, and all-around musician. Beyond the top-notch instruction in my applied area, my music theory and history courses helped me develop a solid musical foundation that allowed me to thrive in graduate school and beyond. It was also very motivating to be around students of a high caliber in all areas of performance.” Dr. Kevin Manderville

Dr. Michael McCallie, Bachelor of Music-Guitar Performance, 2005, Stetson University

  • Executive Director at GuitarChattanooga, Chattanooga, TN
  • Guitar Faculty, Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, TN
  • D.MA, Guitar Performance, Florida State University, 2015
  • M.M., Guitar Performance, 2008

"I loved my time as a student at the Stetson University School of Music. Every aspect of the experience was exemplary: the professors were inspiring and supportive, the courses were stimulating and my applied lessons prepared me for auditions to graduate school and life as a professional musician and educator. In many ways, the faculty and students during my years at Stetson feel like family and Presser Hall will always be my home away from home!” Dr. Michael McCallie

Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, MT-BC, Bachelor of Music Education-Guitar, 2001, Stetson University

  • Director of Music Therapy, Associate Professor of Music Therapy, Drury University, Springfield, MO
  • PhD, Music Therapy/Music Education, Florida State University, 2010
  • MM, Music Therapy, Florida State University, 2003

"I chose to teach at a small, private liberal arts university because I had such an amazing experience when I was a music major at Stetson University. The mentorship and individual attention that I received as an undergraduate student at Stetson has shaped the kind of professor that I am today and for that I will always be grateful.” Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk

Career Outlook

The demand for talent is always high, and students graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree, whether in composition, performance or theory, will discover career paths aligned to their specific talents and capabilities. Some students go on to more in-depth study in graduate programs, and some find their calling by bringing music to their communities and schools. The Career Insight tool is built on a national database of job openings, postings and requirements, but for many students in Stetson's School of Music, career connections are made during their course of study and through their practice and performance, and with the guidance of their faculty and colleagues. Approximately one-third of positions related to performing arts and teaching ask for a Bachelor's degree, and nearly half of all openings are for candidates with one to two years of experience — a good indication there is demand for music graduates.

Source: Burning Glass Technologies 2019.

Use the Career Insight tool to see what opportunities look like for you.

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