Students come from all across campus to pursue their scholarly interest in studying, playing, and producing music at NYU. For example, at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, students can explore courses like Recording Technology for Non-Majors, Vocal Training for Non-Majors, and Jazz/Pop Piano for Non-Majors. In addition, at the College of Arts and Science, nonmajors can take music courses like Introduction to Celtic Music and Interpreting Song.
Emerging student musicians can showcase their work at New Major Records, a student-run record label at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, or at WNYU, the award-winning student radio station. Both provide a prime platform for students like senior Social Work major Marcus Harley, who performs as Swami Sound. “Because I’m a musician, people are always asking me if I go to Clive Davis [Institute of Recorded Music],” Marcus says. “When I tell them I’m studying at Silver [School of Social Work], they’re so surprised. But I tell them there’s a musical community everywhere you go at the University.”
If you’re more of a team player than a solo star, Steinhardt offers several vocal ensembles, all of which are open to anyone who can pass the audition. The Contemporary and Jazz Vocal Ensemble, for example, focuses on small-group singing, while the Background Vocal Recording Techniques Ensemble highlights background vocals and recording practices.
Musical clubs run the gamut, too, from culturally specific groups like Rhythmic Impulse, which teaches students how to play traditional Korean drums, to First Performance, an outlet for students interested in composing and producing their own music.
“I came to NYU because I wanted to challenge myself academically but continue to develop my craft and grow as a performer,” says Morghan Brown, a College of Arts and Science junior majoring in Dramatic Literature who is also on the prelaw track. “When I looked at schools, this was the only place I felt I could truly do both, without one taking a back seat to the other. It’s the thing I love most about NYU: you can be an artist even if you’re not getting a degree in that field.”
Singing Groups That Need No Instrumental Accompaniment
A cappella singing has become a treasured tradition on NYU’s New York City campus.
Mass Transit: NYU’s original all-male a cappella group.
The Vocaholics: Formerly all-male, the Vocaholics now pride themselves on being gender-inclusive.
The Cleftomaniacs: The only all-female group on campus.
Ani V’Ata: Performing in both English and Hebrew, Ani V’ata is NYU’s premier Jewish a cappella group.
APC Rhythm: NYU’s oldest coed a cappella group.
N’Harmonics: Known far and wide as NYU’s “loudest” a cappella group.
SHINE: A Christian a cappella group that performs both spiritual and mainstream songs.
The Mixtapes: The Mixtapes’ motto is “no instruments, no problems.”