Music BA

Recommendations for the Music Major

Exploring the Major— Students considering Music as a major should begin exploring the discipline through private applied music lessons (MUA), piano or voice classes (MUS 101 or MUS 103), and participation in one or more music ensembles (see Course Description section to follow). It is recommended that students complete or waive MUS 118A and MUS 118B during their first year. Students also begin in the first or second year with MUS 115 (after MUS 118A is completed or waived), as well as the sequence of theory-skills courses (MUS 220/MUS 222 and MUS 320/MUS 322) and ear-training courses (MUS 221/MUS 223 and MUS 321/MUS 323).

Private applied music lessons (MUA) are offered as one or two half-hour lessons weekly, or as one full-hour lesson, depending on the decision of the teacher and needs of the student. Students taking two half-hour lessons per week or one full-hour lesson receive one-half (1/2) course credit. Students who take one half-hour lesson per week receive one-fourth (1/4) course credit. Applied Music students will also attend a monthly departmental recital.

Students enrolling in musical organizations/ensembles may take the work for repeated academic credit, or as noncredit. Attendance and participation requirements apply equally to all members regardless of whether the ensemble is taken for credit. A maximum of two (2) full course credits in ensemble will count toward the Music major curricula.

Admission to the Major— The work of all prospective Music majors is reviewed by the Music faculty during the term in which the student has completed at least 15 course credits at the college, prior to formal admittance to the Music major. This review includes performance on the major and minor instrument, if applicable, and a three-minute oral presentation by the student about their background and interest in music, choice of major, and career goals.

Course Sequencing Considerations and Department Recital Attendance Requirement (in orderto complete degree requirements within eight terms)— First- and second-year courses (see Exploring the Major, above) are followed by more advanced courses in history, literature, and methods designed to advance the student toward a particular focus or concentration. All Music majors are required to attend a minimum of eight Music Department recitals each term as part of their applied music study. Failure to meet this requirement will result in an “incomplete” grade being assigned for the applied major instrument lessons for that term. The “incomplete” grade will remain in effect until the student makes up for the shortage by attending extra events during the following regular term (the amount of the shortage plus that term’s eight regular events). If the shortage is not made up by the end of the next regular term, the incomplete grade will be recorded as an “F.” All students enrolled in applied lessons must also attend three Department performance classes per term.

Proficiency Requirements for Retention in and Completion of the Major— A thorough review is conducted at the end of the junior year to evaluate progress toward the completion of the Music degree. The oral presentation in the junior interview focuses on the student’s self-evaluation, future plans, and career goals. In addition to all core curricular requirements, all Music majors must satisfy departmental standards for written and oral communication by successfully completing the sophomore and junior interview, MUS 330MUS 331, and Senior Seminar requirements. 

Other Considerations in the Major— In addition to completing specified course requirements, each student must satisfy departmental standards for effectiveness in written and oral communication. Students still can perform in recitals that may count toward .5 credit in MUS 400Senior Seminar. Students in Music may complete MUS 400 (1/2 course credit) and MUA 400 (1/2 course credit) to fulfill the Senior Seminar requirement if they pass a recital preview and perform a successful recital. Other Music majors will complete MUS 400 as a one-credit course.

Music Ensemble Requirement

All music majors (general and Music Education) and minors are required to participate in music ensembles. The specific requirements vary, according to the degree program. The ensemble requirements for each degree are listed below.



MUSIC (general)

Students must earn a minimum of 1.5 credits in one or more ensembles related to the student's principal applied instrument(s) and/or career goals by participating in at least one ensemble each term for six separate academic terms. More than one ensemble may be elected in any given academic term, but earning those credits does not excuse the student from required participation in at least one ensemble for each of the six terms. Students are strongly advised not to participate in more than three ensembles in any given term.


Concert Choir each term except during professional term. (8 or 9 terms)


Wind Ensemble each term except during professional term. (8 or 9 terms)


Students must earn 0.5 ensemble credits (2 terms of any ensemble)