What You’ll Study

Focus your music studies on the string band and vocal traditions of Southern Appalachia and the surrounding region. You’ll take courses in Appalachian history and music, music theory, vocal harmony, and music cultures while taking advantage of private instruction in banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, flatfooting, voice, or songwriting. You’ll also have the opportunity to join ensembles such as Beginning String Band, Tunewriting Ensemble, Old-Time String Band, and Bluegrass Band.

The program fosters an inclusive, intergenerational artistic community where you’ll acquire a shared musical language and develop your own unique voice. We celebrate the African, European, and Indigenous roots of Southern Appalachian music and the unique perspective that each listener and practitioner brings.

Taught by Professional Musicians

Our faculty includes the following accomplished musicians and experts:

  • Parrish Ellis fingerstyle and flatpick guitar
  • Phil Jamison fiddle, banjo, flatfoot dance, Appalachian square dance, ballad singing, Old-Time String Band; Appalachian music and dance; Professor Emeritus
  • Kevin Kehrberg upright and electric bass; Old-Time String Band; Gamelan Ensemble; musicology
  • Ben Krakauer new acoustic and bluegrass banjo; flatpick guitar; Bluegrass Band; Tunewriting Ensemble; ethnomusicology
  • Emolyn Liden dance; old-time fiddle; Old-Time String Band
  • John Miller mandolin, songwriting; Old-Time String Band
  • Suzannah Park voice, College Choir
  • Natalya Weinstein bluegrass, klezmer, classical, and old-time fiddle; Beginning String Band; Klezmer Ensemble; Appalachian studies

Explore Classes in This Program

MUS 2320

Appalachian Music and Dance

You’ll explore the music and dance traditions of the southern Appalachian region by tracing their historical development from their Scots-Irish and African folk roots to the present day. You’ll focus on topics such as ballads and folk songs, sacred singing, dance music, early hillbilly recordings and radio, bluegrass and early country music, clogging, and square dancing.

MUS 3510

Exploring Music Vocations

How do people make careers in music? What kind of paths might a music major pursue to prepare for their post-graduation goals? This course, designed for upper-level music majors, explores these important questions. It provides an opportunity to learn from people who have made careers in various aspects of the music business. It also requires students to think through their own remaining work as music majors and prepares them to undertake their own signature work project.

Meet Our Faculty

As a professor, I love that Warren Wilson students are unafraid to take risks, to challenge themselves, and to engage a topic or a work of art despite whether it aligns with their opinions or preferences.

Kevin Kehrberg, Ph.D.
Faculty Member Kevin Kehrberg sits behind a instrument outside of Kitteridge.
Kevin Kehrberg, Ph.D.

At Warren Wilson, I seek growth opportunities for my students, colleagues, and myself by approaching learning with curiosity, compassion, collaboration, and critical engagement.

Ben Krakauer, Ph.D.
Ben Krakauer, Ph.D.

I love how music constantly fills the air at Warren Wilson College, whether it’s a songwriting class in the amphitheater, a marimba outside of the percussion studio, the full voices of the choir down at the pavilion, or the rhythms of the West African Drum ensemble.

Natalya Weinstein Miller
Natalya Weinstein Miller, MA
Faculty Member Kevin Kehrberg sits behind a instrument outside of Kitteridge.
Meet Our Faculty

We'll Meet Again Sweetheart

Faculty members Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller (of Zoe & Cloyd) with Kevin Kehrberg and Ben Krakauer, perform a classic bluegrass number “We’ll Meet Again Sweetheart”