Dana School of Music


Welcome to the Dana School of Music! Founded in 1869 in Warren, Ohio by William Henry Dana, the Dana School of Music is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the United States and is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. In 2004, the Dana School of Music became the first public university in Ohio to gain recognition as an All-Steinway School.

The Dana School of Music provides exceptional training for performers, educators, composers, and scholars that focuses on specialized educational and artistic experiences designed to prepare students for a myriad of careers in music. The School offers 8 undergraduate and graduate majors and programs in 14 areas of study and provides opportunities for students to diversify their studies with a variety of elective courses, minors, and skills they will use throughout their professional lives. Our world-class faculty of performers, composers, and scholars, who hold degrees from some of the world’s finest institutions, are dedicated to creating deep educational experiences that encourage innovation, develop leadership skills, and prepare students for the widely varied purposes of music in today’s world, no matter where their unique aspirations take them. The School also invites nonmajors to participate in classes and performances and provides numerous opportunities for students in other colleges to perform in ensembles, take General Education courses, or pursue one of our minors.

Dana School of Music alumni perform and record internationally, are Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members and Grammy® Award winners, work as academic faculty, are award-winning producers, arrangers, and audio engineers, artistic managers, and more. A degree from the Dana School of Music prepares students to define future goals and equips them with exceptional skills for successful careers. 

To learn more about our degree programs, faculty, students, facilities, entrance requirements, and scholarships, visit our website or contact the Dana School of Music at 330-941-3636. To schedule a personalized campus visit, contact the Cliffe College of Creative Arts Program Coordinator of Admissions and Recruitment at 330-941-2346 or sawaltman@ysu.edu. We would love to hear about your interests, show you our school, and become an important part of your future. 

Dr. Joseph Carucci, Director
(330) 941-1439
Dana School of Music

Mission Statement

The Dana School of Music fosters a vibrant community of student and faculty musicians/scholars who work across broad yet interrelated areas of inquiry including performance, improvisation, education, composition, pedagogy, theory, history, technology, research, and the music industry. The Dana School of Music leads in the pursuit of musical excellence and the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge; encourages creativity and collaboration; and advocates for the importance of the arts in society.

The Dana School of Music

  • Creates diverse educational experiences that develop ethical, intellectually curious students who advance the intellectual and cultural life of the university, regionally, nationally, and internationally through performances, recordings, research, teaching, and other public activities
  • Offers undergraduate programs in composition, performance, jazz performance, music education, and music recording
  • Offers graduate programs in performance, music education, jazz studies, conducting, music theory/composition, and music history and literature


Youngstown State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

  • Date of Initial Accreditation: 9/1/1947
  • Year of Most Recent Comprehensive Review: 2010
  • Academic Year of Next Scheduled Comprehensive Review: 2023-2024

Dana School of Music requirements for entrance and graduation are in accordance with the published regulations of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Degrees and Majors


  • Music (B.A.)
  • Music Composition (B.M.)
  • Music Education (B.M.)
    • Instrumental
    • Instrumental Jazz
    • Choral
  • Music Performance (B.M.)
    • Instrumental
    • Jazz
    • Music Recording 
    • Piano
    • Voice


  • Minor in Interdisciplinary Game Studies
  • Minor in Music

Academic Advising

The Cliffe College Academic Advising Office provides optimum assistance to help our students navigate through their undergraduate years and prepare them for academic and future career endeavors! Our Advisors can provide advice about staying on track with your degree program, combining your major with a supporting minor, finding resources to enhance your coursework with study abroad or other student enrichment experiences, career development, and more. Our goal is to see you succeed! The Academic Advisor for Music students may be reached at 330-941-3728 or smholdridge@ysu.edu.


Whether Dana students are rehearsing, practicing, studying, or performing, our facilities augment their education and artistic endeavors. The Dana School of Music is located in Bliss Hall, home of the Cliffe College of Creative Arts. The School of Music houses the 248-seat Bliss Recital Hall, 390-seat Ford Theater, 135-seat Spotlight Theater, large and chamber ensemble rehearsal spaces, a professional recording studio, and more than 140 studios, classrooms, practice rooms, and keyboard and computer laboratories. Our students perform in a variety of exquisite and historic spaces, ranging from a 300-seat hall to a more than 2,300-seat performance venue for large-scale productions, including The Butler Institute of American Art and Butler North, the DeYor Performing Arts Center, and Stambaugh Auditorium.

The Midi Classroom provides students with the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art technology. The classroom features 16 MIDI-equipped Macintosh workstations where students can access various DAWs, music notation software, music sequencing tools, and accompaniment applications. 

The Dana Recording Studio features a 12-core Intel Mac tower running Avid Pro-Tools, MOTU Digital Performer 7.24, and Apple Logic DAWs software. The studio utilizes Universal Audio Apollo interfaces and a Solid-State Logic Origin 32-channel recording and mixing console that is compatible for hybrid analog-digital production environments. Students have access to Kurzweil and Roland keyboards, controllers, and synths, as well as Reason 7 and the Native Instruments Komplete 10 software package. The microphone inventory includes an AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone, Shure Large Diaphragm Condenser mics, Audio Technica SDC mics, Shure Beta 58s and 57s, and a matched pair of Cascade Fathead II and Royer R-10 ribbon microphones.

An extensive collection of books, printed music, recordings, research journals, and additional technology are housed at YSU’s Maag Library.  In addition, Maag Library provides access to numerous databases of music scores, recordings, research journals, and other resources. The Dana School of Music also has band, orchestral, choral, and jazz ensemble libraries with literature representing musical periods from the Middle Ages to the present. 

Scholarships and Awards

Dana School of Music scholarships reward academic and artistic merit and reduce financial need for many students, including undergraduate, graduate, incoming, and continuing. Our scholarships are competitive and are only available to students who have been admitted to or have declared a major in Dana. They supplement other YSU scholarships as well as any additional financial aid. To be considered for as many YSU, YSU Foundation, and College scholarships as possible, it is recommended to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholarship recipients are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and enroll in an assigned ensemble during each term of their award (with the exception of the Student Teaching semester).

Musical Performances

Each year, the School presents over 150 concerts by students, faculty, and guests. In addition to individual pursuits, students have the opportunity to perform in our outstanding ensembles, including bands, choirs, jazz ensembles and combos, world and contemporary groups, orchestras, chamber music, opera productions and musicals, and more. Internationally renowned guest artists supplement performances by students and faculty, all of which provide the greater Youngstown community with the chance to hear some of the world’s finest musicians. The majority of these outstanding concerts are free and open to the public.

Other performing arts programs presented by YSU include:

  • The Pipino Performing Arts Series
  • MUSE: A New Music Series
  • University Theatre Season

For a schedule of all Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Dana School of Music performances, call 330.941.2307 or visit Cliffe College Events.


The School has numerous performing ensembles. Students who are not music majors are invited to participate in most of the School's ensembles. For information, visit the Course Catalog or contact the Music Academic Advisor at 330-941-3728 or smholdridge@ysu.edu.

Admittance to Dana School of Music 

Admittance to Dana School of Music is granted upon acceptance to YSU and completion of a successful audition. Auditions are typically held during the spring of a prospective student's senior year. 

For information about acceptance to YSU, please visit YSU Admissions or call the Admissions Office toll free (877) 468-6978 or local (330) 941-2000. For information about music auditions, visit the Admission to Dana page or contact the Cliffe College of Creative Arts Program Coordinator of Admissions and Recruitment at 330-941-2346 or sawaltman@ysu.edu.

Applied Study


Acceptance into a performance area is contingent upon an audition. At the discretion of the applied instructor and Director of the School of Music, a student who does not qualify for major-level lessons (e.g., PIAN 1501, FLUT 1501) may take the relevant minor-level lessons (e.g., PIAN 1500A, FLUT 1500A).

After an assessment of skills by members of the faculty, advanced standing in performance may be granted tentatively (e.g., for transfer students). The final classification is made at the end of the first semester of resident study. Enrollment in applied lessons is contingent upon the approval of the Director of the Dana School of Music, with priority given to full-time music majors and music minors participating in major ensembles.


Assignment of students to teachers for applied music lessons is made by the area coordinator in consultation with the Director. Requests for change of teacher should be addressed to the Director of the Dana School of Music in writing. To the extent possible, a student's choice of applied teacher will be taken into consideration, but the final assignment resides with the Director.

Students registered for 4 s.h. applied lessons receive 50-minutes of individual instruction and one 50-minute seminar weekly; they are required to practice three hours daily. Students registered for 2 and 3 s.h. applied lessons receive 50-minutes of individual instruction and one 50-minute seminar weekly; they are required to practice two hours daily. Students registered for minor-level lessons receive individual instruction for 30 minutes each week and are required to practice one hour daily.

If a student misses more than three lessons in any semester, no credit will be given in applied lessons. Lessons missed due to legal holidays or school closings will not be rescheduled. In the case of prolonged student illness, the lessons may be rescheduled at the discretion of the applied teacher.


Recognizing that performing for an audience plays a vital role in musical and artistic growth, the Dana School offers its students many opportunities to perform in public as a way to foster that development. All undergraduate music majors are required to attend 12 approved performances each semester for six consecutive semesters, beginning in the freshman year.


In partial fulfillment of graduation requirements, candidates for the Bachelor of Music degree are required to give a senior recital. Performance majors will present a half-hour recital their junior year and a one-hour recital their senior year. Composition majors will present 75 minutes of music, and music education majors a half-hour recital of music. Outstanding students may present non-degree recitals, subject to certain conditions. For more information, students should speak with their studio faculty. Student recitals should include a varied and balanced repertory, preparation of a printed program and program notes, and consideration of performance aspects such as attire, stage deportment, and marketing to an audience. A minimum of 21 days prior to the projected recital date, a recital hearing will be held. During that time, a student who plans to present a degree recital must be prepared to perform the recital program for faculty approval.


During examination week of each term, performance faculty members convene to determine if students may proceed to the next proficiency level of applied study. Frequency of required examinations differs among the various performance areas (for specifics, consult the syllabus of the performance area concerned). Transfer students are examined at the end of their first or second term of study, as established by the individual performance area. Students presenting an approved degree recital may be granted a waiver of examination for the term of the recital. Students who have earned a grade of C or lower, or with a grade of PR, may be retained in the same proficiency level. Students who fail to meet the standards of the examining faculty may be required to reduce the number of credits for which they register in subsequent terms or withdraw completely from the course sequence.

To meet certain needs, each applied area (e.g., piano, brass, strings) may vary the above requirements. For details, consult with your applied instructor.

For more information, visit the Dana School of Music.

General Procedures and Policies

Students are responsible for knowing about degree requirements and university and Dana School of Music policies and procedures. This information may be found through the Dana office, from the Music Academic Advisor, or from several sections of this Catalog, including Academic Policies, Rights, and Responsibilities and College of Graduate Studies sections.