Principal Instrument: Strings

During your first semester at Berklee, you will declare a principal instrument. 

No matter what major you end up pursuing, you will complete at least four semesters of private instruction, labs, and ensembles with this instrument. This fulfills your performance core requirement.

The string family includes:

  • banjo,
  • cello,
  • mandolin,
  • harp,
  • viola, and
  • violin.
Entrance Requirements

During orientation, you will audition with the String Department to get your ensemble ratings. These are used for placement into private instruction and ensemble courses. Learn more about placement auditions.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of the performance core, students will:

  • synthesize and integrate knowledge of contemporary and traditional styles into musical interpretation;
  • synthesize and integrate knowledge of posture, breathing, and instrumental technique into their daily practice routines;
  • demonstrate technical proficiency on their principal instrument;
  • demonstrate the ability to sight-read music in a variety of styles;
  • play music in a variety of contemporary and traditional styles;
  • play in ensembles of varying size, instrumentation, and stylistic orientation; and
  • apply knowledge of musical styles and harmonic practices in improvisation.
Required Courses

All students complete four semesters to fulfill their performance core requirement:

Performance majors have an additional four semesters. See the details here.

Professional music majors and music education majors have an additional two semesters.

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