3 Questions for Music Students

Nestled in the lesser known Laughlin building at Chatham University—James Laughlin Music Hall—is a music program that hits all of the right notes. Thanks to ample performance opportunities, private instruction from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members, and music-specific scholarships, our musical students flourish. We caught up with three students to gain some insight into their Chatham experience:


Justine Barry,
Music & psychology ‘19

Name: Justine Barry
Major: Music & Psychology ‘19

What made you choose Chatham’s music program?
It was a lot more diverse than programs at other universities. Chatham’s program lets students explore other areas of interest all while taking core music classes like music theory, music history, and applied lessons in your instrument. For example, I am a double major in music and psychology. I have found that being able to study both of these disciplines while being here has helped me to explore what it is I would like to do with my life. This program is one of a kind, thanks to the attention paid to the student and the smaller class sizes. These factors make the program perfect for anyone looking to study music.
What instrument(s) do you play? I am a Ruud Scholar (music scholar) at Chatham. I have a concentration in vocal performance.
What experience has been a highlight of your music education at Chatham so far? I have had amazing opportunities at Chatham. I have worked with talented and knowledgeable professors, and had opportunities to perform in places only the pros get to. I’ve also been offered hands-on learning opportunities throughout my time here. I would say those experiences are the highlight of my music education here.


erion morton,
Music ‘20

Name: Erion Morton
Major: Music ‘20

What made you choose Chatham’s music program?
I chose Chatham for music because I felt that I would do best in a small setting with more one-on-one instructor attention. I developed a close relationship with my instructors and I like that I can come to them at any time if I need help or guidance. Since Chatham is small, there are a lot of opportunities for exposure on campus if you have a craft or talent; you are able to attend unique, intimate concerts and easily talk to the musicians afterwards. You also get to make connections through your instructors and can get exclusive opportunities for music workshops and performance gigs. 
What instrument(s) do you play? I play alto and tenor saxophone, and I am learning the basics on several other instruments in methods courses.
What experience has been a highlight of your music education at Chatham so far? I was able to play holiday songs before Candlelight in 2017 in a saxophone trio composed of myself, my instructor, and another Chatham student. I liked the exposure of having my peers outside of the music department get a glimpse of the music program in a more creative way than the student recitals, which usually only consist of other music students. 



Name: Kaitlyn Salmon
Music ‘21

What made you choose Chatham’s music program? I chose Chatham’s music program because of the Ruud scholarship. The scholarship not only gives me extra lessons and class time every week but it pays the full price of my lessons.
What instrument(s) do you play? My main instrument is voice but I play saxophone, oboe, mellophone, trumpet, flute, guitar, and piano.
What experience has been a highlight of your music education at Chatham so far? I have enjoyed learning with Walter Morales and Kelly Lynch. They are amazing teachers and they have taught me so much. I look forward to continuing with them.



Check out some of the music-specific opportunities we have to offer incoming undergraduates:

chatham MUSIC scholarships

Minna Kaufmann Ruud Scholarship — Up to $3,500 annually for qualified vocalists who plan to major in music or incorporate music into an interdepartmental major at Chatham
Instrumental Music Scholarship — Up to $3,500 annually for qualified instrumentalists who plan to incorporate music as a minor or music into an interdepartmental major at Chatham


One of my main reasons for choosing Chatham’s music program was the opportunity to pursue the Music Education Certification. I really appreciate that I have this opportunity to attend two schools for music under Chatham tuition only. If someone is willing to take the initiative, I think the Music Education track is the right program to join.
— Erion Morton

The Music Education Certification allows students to take classes at both Chatham and Carnegie Mellon while only paying Chatham tuition. At Chatham, students take the courses required for the Music major. Concurrently, at Carnegie Mellon, students cross-register for the courses required for certification in Music Education. In four years, upon successful completion of all courses in both programs, students receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Certification in Music Education.