UMass Boston

Student Resources

Music lessons, Honors opportunities and other student resources are available.

Applied Music Lessons

Private, one-on-one music lessons for students from all majors, graduate and undergraduate. Whether you’re picking up an instrument for the first time, or continuing a years-long journey in music, our world-class faculty tailor their instruction to your needs, goals, and genre. Twelve one-hour, lessons, scheduled between you and your instructor, will cover performance techniques and musicianship, and begin or continue your musical growth.

Lessons in voice, guitar, piano, violin, cello, horns, bass, drums, percussion, flute, woodwinds, and more. One Credit.

Email the Performing Arts Department at, to arrange for an instructor, and register.

MUSIC 184 – Applied Music Lessons: For students from all majors and levels. 
MUSIC 185 – Applied Music: Music Majors only, includes a required juried performance at semester’s end. 

Our Applied Music Faculty

Ashley Addington – Flute, Woodwinds
Linnea Bardarson – Piano  
Ervin Dhimo -- Bass Guitar, Jazz Upright Bass
Paul Geresy – Drums, Percussion
David Giessow -- Voice
Todd Carter Gordon -- Voice
Terry Halco -- Piano
Seth Hamlin -- Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium 
Peter Janson – Guitar
Russell Kniffin – Guitar
Catherine Lawlor – Piano
Adam Levin – Guitar
Timothy McFarland – Piano
Dennis Montgomery – Piano
Ryan Noe – Trumpet
Kenneth Mok – Violin
Mary Oleskiewicz – Flute
Mario Perrett – Saxophone, Woodwinds
Darren Sacks – Upright Classical Bass
Brooke David Sofferman – Drums, Percussion
Priscilla Taylor – Violin, Cello
Holly Zagaria – Voice, Piano

Honors Opportunities

Department of Performing Arts majors may receive departmental distinction as graduating seniors, issued at the time of spring commencement or by completing a senior honors project.

This page provides more information about these two options, which are awarded directly by the Performing Arts Department. Please visit the Honors College website for more information about the honors degree option.

Departmental Distinction

Each spring a graduating senior is elected by the faculty for departmental distinction. Criteria may include GPA, performance abilities, scholarship, or other factors. For more information, please contact the Department of Performing Arts.

Senior Honors (Music)

Students in music may, at the discretion of the faculty, elect to pursue senior honors in a particular area of excellence, such as music education, musical composition, music history, jazz, or musical performance, with the guidance of a tenured or tenure-track faculty member as the honors advisor. The student must have senior status and possess a GPA of 3.25 or above. Those who meet the above requirements and are interested in pursuing department honors research should secure the sponsorship of a department faculty member willing to supervise the project. Deciding on an appropriate topic for an honors project is a complicated matter, and the initial idea may come from work done in a previous course, some personal experience out of the classroom, or from a student’s general interest in a problem or question of musical relevance. A suitable faculty supervisor for the project should be someone with interests related to this field or problem. Frequently the final choice of research topic is based on a protracted dialogue between the student and the faculty sponsor. A final decision about the research topic should be made before the student begins the semester of the honors project.

Honors in Performance (Music)

Successful completion of a Senior Honors Recital (MUS 498, 3 credit hours), fulfills honors in musical performance. The student will work closely together with an agreed-upon faculty advisor and, normally, also the student's primary applied teacher in preparation of the recital. Work towards the recital may include the creation of scholarly program notes and/or text and translations (if in voice), or other requirements agreed upon in advance.

To pursue senior honors in other areas, please contact the Department of Performing Arts for additional information.

Music Ensembles

University Chorus MUSIC 101 (No audition required; open to all university students). Contact:  David Giessow, director.

Chamber Singers MUSIC 102 (Audition required). Contact: David Giessow, director.

Jazz Band MUS MUSIC 104.  Open to all students and levels, regardless of major. There are some limitations in terms of ensemble size and instrumentation, but multiple groups are formed. Auditions are required at first and second class meetings. A questionnaire from the director will be sent via WISER once a student register, or contact him ahead of time directly. Contact: Peter Janson, director.

Chamber Orchestra MUSIC 106. Auditions for students registering for credit will take place at the first class meeting. Audition requirements include two contrasting orchestral excerpts for your instrument, and two scales from memory (minimum two octaves). Contact: Sommer Forrester, director.

Don't know if you're a Tenor/Bass or Soprano/Alto before registering? Contact the professor, or download DaTuner Lite to your smartphone through Google Play. Tenor/Bass will have a fundamental speaking pitch near 120Hz (approximately one octave below middle c) and Soprano/Alto Al will be near 220Hz (three semi-tones below middle c). Singing ranges will be measured in the first session. 

Theatre Productions

Auditions for shows are held at the beginning of each semester and are open to all UMass Boston students. See Announcements for upcoming dates and audition information, or contact Theatre Faculty.

Production Practica in stage management, costume design, scenic design, lighting design, and technical design are open to all UMass Boston students for each show. Contact Theatre Faculty for more information.

Additional Links & Resources

At UMass Boston

Boston Public Library

Note: Students may obtain a Library Consortium sticker at the Healey library circulation desk (2nd floor, catwalk level) that allows full use of many Boston area libraries. E-cards for Boston Public Library may be obtained instantly online.

  • BPL Website [View]
  • BPL Music Electronic Resources [View]
  • BPL Theatre, Dance and Film Electronic Resources [View]