Our faculty utilize the depth of Washington, DC, as part of their classes. Whether you're in class exploring the hip-hop and go-go scene in DC or attending performances at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, or any number of nationally important venues, we are plugged into one of the most vibrant cities in the nation.
Our Studio Faculty
Many of our private instructors are nationally recognized performers and members of the best known ensembles and companies in Washington, DC including:
- The National Symphony Orchestra
- The "President's Own" Marine Band
- The US Army Band
- the Washington National Opera
Over 75% of our students get real-life experience while still working on their degree through internships. We partner with national and international organizations based in DC, including:
- Washington National Opera
- the Smithsonian Institution
- National Endowment for the Arts
- Folkways Records
- National Symphony Orchestra
- Folger Shakespeare Library
- John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- National Public Radio
- DCBass Camp
- Sirius XM Radio
- Strathmore Music Center
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Summer Programs & Study Grants
Each summer we host and co-present the Washington National Opera's Institute for Young Singers at American University. This program draws thirty of the best budding high school opera singers from around the globe. Our students have the opportunity to work as program assistants and resident assistants. Earn summer money in the arts and get to attend every session! Our students also work with the institute singers to help guide them in making the most of their experience at AU.
Our innovative Koster Foundation Summer Study Grant, provided by the American University Music Program and The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation, allows students to design and propose their own summer projects. Previous grant winners have conducted ethnographic research, studied primary sources in the National Archives, taken lessons with internationally known composers and performers, and attended vocal and instrumental camps in Vienna, Berlin, and elsewhere. Imagine all the possibilities made possible by a grant program that allows our undergraduates to dream and think about their artistic/scholarly development and receive funding to explore during the summer months!
We offer an array of fantastic study abroad programs that music majors and others can take full advantage of towards their program of study. Students have recently traveled to partner institutions in: Vienna, Paris, Kenya, London, Italy, and Australia. In addition, ensembles regularly tour to international destinations.
Find programs at AU Abroad.
Transforming Arts Institute
TAI Madrid School of the Arts is a nexus for concerts, art exhibitions, theatre, festivals, film and photography shoots, and master classes conducted by top Spanish and international artists.
AU students at TAI benefit from the support of the AU Madrid Center including housing, field trips in and around Madrid, and the possibility of an internship placement at a performing arts organization.
Pictured: student Nicole Vaughn and AU Madrid Center director Paco Gómez.