Music, General

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About the Music Major

If music sounds good to you, why not make a career out of it? A general music degree program allows students to study music in a liberal arts setting. Students begin by taking classes in music theory, where they learn the fundamentals of musical notation, including major and minor key signatures, scales, and intervals. These courses set the stage for more advanced courses that involve in-depth exploration of music structure and form, history, genres and cultures, composition, conducting, aural and vocal skills, literature, and even language. Many programs involve learning and playing the keyboard, thereby making musical concepts easier to comprehend and put into practice.

Prior to pursuing a major in music, almost all students have some kind of vocal and/or instrumental experience. As such, students are usually required to take music ensemble courses, many of which can be applied towards the credit requirements for their degree program. In addition, schools usually offer private lessons and spaces for independent practice. Many programs conclude with a senior project, often involving a large-scale composition and/or performance.

For students wishing to get a more focused music education, concentrations and specific programs are available in composition, performance, theory, and even specific genres of music, such as jazz and religious music. A popular emphasis is music teacher education, where students learn how to teach music in a formal educational setting.

Students graduate with a set of skills that will allow them to succeed as professional musicians, composers, musicologists, theorists, educators, and other positions in music businesses and organizations.
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