Music Department

The Simpson College Department of Music trains professional musicians. It has received full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947. It offers a rigorous academic music program with more than 35 full- and part-time music faculty and staff members, and confers the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree in Music Performance and Music Education and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Music through its regular day program. It also offers the Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Choral Conducting through an intensive three-summers program of study. The Department of Music also offers a minor in music and a minor in arts administration.

Music at Simpson is widely recognized as offering a premier education for instrumental, vocal, and piano students. Simpson develops the unique gifts of each student through a combination of one-to-one music instruction, classroom teaching, and generous performance opportunities.

We offer programs that prepare students for performing careers, train music teachers, and lay the groundwork for graduate studies in performance, conducting, stage direction, musicology, music education, jazz studies, and arts administration. Our alumni can be found in all of these areas at the highest levels of the profession. Aspects of the program have been cited as outstanding by U.S. News and World Report and the program in voice as exceptional by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Simpson College is the performing home of the Des Moines Metro Opera, with which it enjoys an historic, close partnership. It provides Simpson students with the invaluable opportunity to experience professional opera and a professional arts organization on their doorstep, and to serve as interns and production staff in the summer opera festival. Many singers from Simpson have taken part in the DMMO Apprentice Artist Program, an opportunity afforded usually to only the most talented graduate students and young professional singers from all over the United States.

Music at Simpson Viewbook

View pictures of our students and facilities, read more about what makes our department so unique, and hear what our music students have to say about our music program.


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Success Stories

Erik Lickiss ’09- From The Football Field To Singing In Germany

Erik Lickiss had his life mapped out. He would attend a big university. He would play football. He would enjoy a long career as a physical therapist. Then everything changed. More…

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