Music at Gustavus represents the departmental commitment to providing a musical education of recognized excellence and sustaining the vigorous cultural life of this college, the latter most notably though performances in Björling Concert Hall and Christ Chapel. The educational commitment is met by curricular offerings based on a variety of individual and group pedagogical approaches, often including musical performances as extensions of the classroom.

Student/faculty research is a component in several courses in the department. As both individually structured and cooperative learning experiences, music lessons routinely involve the selection, analysis, preparation, and performance/presentation of repertoire; this process often involves independent research. In addition, studies in composition, analysis, musicology and conducting create collaborative research possibilities for student musicians.

The department has long-standing commitments to both general education and interdisciplinary studies, and affirms the role of its courses as an integral element in the liberal arts tradition. Non-major involvement in the music curriculum is strongly encouraged and valued.

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