Music at RIT

COVID-19 impact on performing arts.

The show must go on, perhaps even virtually!
Learn more about our plans related to COVID-19

Better Living Through Music

For majors and non-majors alike, there are countless ways to study and enjoy music. At RIT, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue whatever ways interest you the most. Study subjects like music theory, composing for video games, or music history. Declare a music and technology minor to learn about audio engineering. Join an RIT ensemble where you can practice and perform for the campus community. Or, customize your education to align with your interests by combining subjects.

Whatever you decide, you’ll have access to world-class faculty and instructors who share your passion for music and will help you grow in your skills and knowledge of the craft.

Music Minors and Immersions

As part of their bachelor’s degree requirements, RIT students must complete an immersion—a concentration of three courses in a particular area. Undergraduate students also have the option of completing a minor, which can complement their major or enable them to pursue an area of personal interest.

Music Performance Minor
Music and Technology Minor
Music Immersion

Courses

At RIT you won’t just study music, you’ll live it. The courses you take will acknowledge the past, explore the contemporary, and focus on the future. Learn theory and put it into practice and pursue the endless possibilities created by the use and influence of technology.

Explore music courses

Private Lessons

An instructor playing the cello along with a student during a private lesson.

Students can receive private, one-on-one instrumental or voice lessons and participate in studio performance opportunities. Please note that most lessons are offered to support students participating in approved RIT music ensembles and therefore priority is given to ensemble members on a first come, first served basis. However, harmonica, guitar and piano lessons are open to all RIT students. Interested students should contact performingarts@rit.edu with any questions regarding private music instruction.

RIT offers private music instruction for the following instruments:

  • Piano (private or group)
  • Guitar
  • Strings
  • Cello
  • Harmonica
  • Percussion
  • Voice
  • Flute
  • Saxophone
  • Lower Brass
  • Trumpet

For questions or inquiries, contact ben.willmott@rit.edu

Ensembles

A conductor standing in front of an orchestra, conducting music.

RIT is proud to be home to eight music ensembles that offer academic credit: Orchestra, Concert Band, two Jazz Ensembles, RIT Singers, Steelband Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and the World Music Ensemble/African Percussion Ensemble, as well as the RIT Flute Ensemble that is non-credit bearing.

Auditions for each ensemble are typically held at the beginning of each semester. For audition details, as well as other information, please click on any ensembles of interest below.

Tiger Records

RIT’s own student-run record label, Tiger Records, provides a collaborative space for musicians, producers, recording engineers, artist managers, promoters, graphic designers, music journalists, marketing teams, and arts entrepreneurs to work together to promote music on campus. Whether your aspirations are as an artist or as a part of the team that drives the entertainment industry, there are many opportunities to participate!

Learn more about Tiger Records

Music Rooms

Student singers gathered in a circle around a piano, singing songs.

The RIT Music Program has several designated music rooms on campus, with most located on the A-levels of Liberal Arts Hall and the Student Alumni Union. All applied music lessons are conducted in the music rooms in Liberal Arts Hall (A-260, A-264, or A-269), while all official performance ensembles rehearse in the SAU (A-120 and A-130). RIT students, faculty, or staff who wish to inquire about the availability of any music rooms on campus, please contact Ben Willmott.

Individual students looking for practice space can utilize the practice rooms on the perimeter of SAU A-130 during regularly scheduled open hours. During these hours, an attendee will be stationed at the door to greet guests, answer any questions, and help students sign in/out. Practice rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis. 

Open hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 AM – 11 AM, 12 PM - 5 PM
Tuesday, Thursday: 11 AM – 2 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 10 AM

Learn more about music rooms

Instrument Storage and Instrument Loan Policies

An assortment of instruments laying on the floor, including: a guitar, a tambourine, a mic, maracas, cymbals, drumsticks, a snare, and a keyboard.

The RIT Music Program owns a variety of instruments for student use. These include all of the standard instruments used in Concert Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble. Availability of the instruments is based on seniority and need in the ensemble.

Students who receive approval to borrow an instrument owned by the RIT Music Program will be required to sign a form that provides that the borrower is liable for damage to or loss of the instrument. Please contact Ben Willmott if you would like to check the availability of an instrument owned by the RIT Music Program.

Drum Set Policy: The RIT Music Program owns two drum sets. Only students currently enrolled in an RIT Music Program ensemble are permitted to use these drum sets. RIT is unable to store student-owned drum sets at this time.

Amplifier Policy: The RIT Music Program owns bass and guitar amplifiers. Only students currently enrolled in an RIT Music Program ensemble are permitted to use these amplifiers. RIT is unable to store student-owned amplifiers at this time.

Instrument Storage Policy: There are several instrument storage cabinets in the A130 Music Room. Availability of storage for a personal instrument is based on a first-come, first-served basis with preference being given to students enrolled in the RIT Music Program ensembles. Storage for personal drum sets or other large percussion instruments is not available. Please contact Ben Willmott (ben.willmott@rit.edu) if you would like to check the availability of an RIT Music Program instrument storage cabinet.