Lionel Hampton School of Music

Sean ButterfieldDirector (205 Music Bldg. 83844-4015; phone 208-885-6231; 

The Lionel Hampton School of Music, so designated in 1987 in honor of the eminent American jazz musician, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Established as a department in 1893, it was elevated to school status in 1969.

The courses and curricula in music seek to prepare elementary, secondary, and college teachers of music; to train professional musicians; to enrich the cultural environment for students and provide liberal-arts instruction; and to engage in research in music performance and teaching for the general benefit of the public and the discipline of music.

Students in this school learn by performing, listening, analyzing, and creating music. Emphasis is on the understanding of musical styles and techniques of all eras, including contemporary music. Musical studies balance the aesthetic and the practical, with ample opportunity for exploration and self-reliance.

The formal undergraduate curricula of the School of Music consist of degree programs in the following areas:

  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) in performance
    • Specialization in voice, piano, guitar, or any orchestral instrument.
  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) in composition
  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) in music education
    • Specialization in vocal music education or instrumental music education, with the option of adding a supplemental minor in vocal and instrumental music education.
  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) in music business
    • Core studies in music combined with studies in accounting, economics, statistics, management, and marketing.
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in applied music
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in applied music

The B.Mus. is professionally oriented and is the normal preparation for graduate study in music or for teacher education. The B.A. and B.S. emphasize a broad liberal-arts education. Acceptance to the B.Mus., B.A., or B.S. degree programs requires an audition. The School of Music also offers minors in music, jazz studies, vocal and instrumental music education (as a supplement for music education majors), and musical theatre. The ensembles and performing groups sponsored by the School of Music are open to all students, regardless of major.

The music building houses faculty studios, ensemble rehearsal areas, classrooms, an electronic music lab, a music education materials center, and a recital hall. Individual practice rooms are available in nearby Ridenbaugh Hall. Additional faculty offices are located in Blake House. Recording, radio-television, language listening lab, and computer facilities of the campus are also used by music students. In addition to organ, harpsichord, and piano practice instruments, the school maintains two performance pipe organs, three concert grand pianos, and a concert harpsichord.

The School of Music offers degrees at the master's level; Master of Music (M.Mus.) degrees are available in music education, performance, composition, choral conducting, collaborative piano, and piano pedagogy and performance studies. The Master of Arts (M.A.) option is in music history. Acceptance into the M.Mus. degree programs requires an audition, except in music education, which requires a supplementary information packet.

The school offers prospective graduate students a wide range of individual and group instruction opportunities as preparation for professional careers in music either as performers, composers, scholars, or music educators. Study is enriched through participation in recitals in addition to participation in both small and large vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Admission to the Master of Music program varies by area of concentration. Please see the Lionel Hampton School of Music website ( for the requisite application materials listed by concentration. Admission to the M.A. or M.Mus. program in this school normally requires a baccalaureate degree in music from an accredited institution. During the first semester of enrollment, a supervisory committee and a chair of that committee will be appointed. Students are encouraged, and in some cases required, to participate in one organized ensemble each academic session in residence.