Program Structure

The Music major at NYU Abu Dhabi focuses on developing well-rounded students, no matter which track they choose. In the Music Practice track, students develop a well-rounded artistic practice combining composition, technology, and performance. The Music Studies track produces well-rounded scholars of music with proficiency in research and a sophisticated understanding of music as a global cultural phenomenon.

NYUAD Vocal Ensemble directed by Professor Clare Lesser.

Cross-Disciplinary Education

Music Program faculty engage with multiple disciplines in our scholarly work, creative work, and teaching. The Program maintains key participation in the extant and proposed minors in Anthropology, African studies, Peace Studies, and Sound and Music Computing, as well as curricular synergies with Film, Theater, and Interactive Media.

By taking advantage of the uniqueness of Abu Dhabi as a cosmopolitan city and an international hub, the Music Program offers students opportunities to learn firsthand about a diverse range of traditional and popular musics spanning various cultures and styles.

Local and Regional Connections

We connect our students to the thriving music and media scenes in Dubai and the other dynamic urban centers in the MENA, East Africa, and India (not to mention Europe and North America), by facilitating artist visits, field trips, and various opportunities for study and internship.

What is more, the close relationship between the Music Program and the NYUAD Arts Center opens many opportunities for our students to engage with world-renowned artists through a range of activities, from educational workshops to recording sessions in our state-of-the-art facilities.


The Music program organizes a wealth of activities during the academic year, ranging from workshops and masterclasses with the technical team and special guests, to the program’s Concert and Lecture series that hosts a variety of events including lectures by important music scholars and artists, concerts, and student-led symposia.

Capstone Project

The Capstone Project in music is customized per student. Each student will work with his or her Capstone adviser(s) to arrive at a project that is substantial, ambitious, and creative, but also disciplined, finite, and likely to succeed within the constraints of student ability, time, budget, and resources. A music Capstone project should exhibit innovative thought and present an original contribution to the discipline and include a transnational/international component. The music Capstone project may principally involve musical practice or it may be a scholarly work. 

Study Abroad

Music majors who are interested in studying abroad should plan to do so during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Occasionally, Music majors can take a second semester abroad, and need permission of their mentor and the approval of the Music Program to do so.