Learning Goals in the Music Major

Music offers a comprehensive basic major, along with the opportunity to pursue advanced study leading to a concentration in one of five areas: performance, musicology, music theory, composition, and music education with certification. In completing the major curriculum all students will develop a wide set of academic and musical proficiencies.

Knowledge Base

  • Comprehend the chief historical styles of Western music.
  • Acquire skills in fieldwork methodologies through an exposure to the discipline of ethnomusicology.
  • Develop facility with tonal and post-tonal systems, culminating in advanced training in counterpoint, analysis, and jazz harmony.


  • Develop skills in aural reception, sight singing, and the keyboard.
  • Perform in an ensemble.
  • Enhance musicianship skills through the private study of an instrument or voice.


  • Follow a departmental information literacy sequence, leading to a knowledge of the methodologies and materials of music research.
  • Develop writing and presentation abilities.

Beyond the College

  • Prepare for a lifelong relationship with music.
  • Discover a set of vocational possibilities in the realms of performance, composition, post-graduate education and teaching, music education, and technology.

Additional Goals of the Concentrations

  • Concentration in Applied Study : Develop advanced facility with an instrument or voice, leading to numerous performances with an ensemble and in solo recital.
  • Concentration in Musicology : Complete advanced work on a research project, focusing either on historical musicology or ethnomusicology. Students interested in ethnomusicology will base their research on field work, done in the US or abroad.
  • Concentration in Music Theory : Carry out advanced theoretical study in current fields, including set theory, transformational theory, and Schenkerian analysis, culminating in an extended paper.
  • Concentration in Composition : Compose in both acoustic and electronic media as a means to understand musical pacing, structure, and logic.
  • Concentration in Music Education: Undertake advanced study in current trends in education, human development, curriculum design, classroom management, modes of assessment, and theories of music learning, culminating in a semester of student teaching in an elementary or secondary school. Develop extended musicianship skills including the performance and pedagogy of a range of woodwind, brass, string, and percussion instruments, and the voice, along with ensemble conducting.