Music Department

Popular Music

Bachelor of Arts Degree with a focus in Popular Music

Students in the music department can receive a BA (Bachelors of Arts) degree with a focus in popular music. Auditions may be in the genre with which the student is most familiar, and while the ability to read standard musical notation is encouraged, and will be a part of the course of study in the program, it is not a prerequisite in order to audition. Performance requirements will be met by the Popular Music Ensemble (MUS 109), which is a standard rock band format, but with flexible instrumentation. Instrumental lessons are in a wide range of popular styles and techniques, and the goal is on acquiring the highest level of professional skills so that the student is equipped to succeed in the contemporary musical environment.

Coursework within the music department follows the same core curriculum as all other music students, although there is a separate second year theory track specific to popular music. Electives include songwriting, film music, recording and production techniques, the business of music, as well as history classes on popular music both in America and around the world. As a complement to specialized music studies, the degree track allows the student to take electives in other areas, like business, communications, arts administration, or any other field, which might further their preparation for a successful career in music.