New Student Programs

Music

About Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music provides students with a solid training that encompases traditional as well as contemporary music and practical application with hands-on experience. Students can choose from five different concentrations: Composition, Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, Jazz Studies, and Contemporary Urban and Popular Music. Students broaden their knowledge with courses in theory, harmony, aural skills, keyboard, music history, and analysis. Throughout this course of study, students also participate in ensembles and private lessons specific to their concentrations.


For Orientation


On Campus: Freshmen Students

Please fill out the Music Student Area of Focus Intake and complete the Music Theory Assessment at least 24 hours before arriving on campus for Orientation. The Theory Assessment is our way of evaluating the level of musical knowledge and skills you bring as an incoming student in order to place you at the appropriate level of music theory coursework. The assessment requires a code for access. Email Becky Harlow, Academic Coordinator, at rharlow@colum.edu for your personalized code and access instructions.

If you don’t have any background in music theory or don’t know how to read music, don’t worry! Work your way through as much of the assessment as you can. Whether or not you have studied music, this assessment serves as a tool to help determine your current skill level.

The assessment will take you through a series of questions and exercises on the computer. It will ask you to identify intervals, key signatures, different kinds of scales, and chords, and demonstrate your knowledge of part writing. You will have 90 minutes to complete the 150-question assessment. If you feel as though you didn’t perform at your best, you may take the exam one additional time after a period of 48 hours has elapsed, but note that the system will only keep track of the most recent attempt. The Music Theory Assessment should be completed in Mozilla Firefox.

As soon as you submit your answers, you will see your score.

  • • If you achieve a score of 0-38, no further assessment is necessary.  You should plan to register for 32-1100, Music Prep.
  • • If you achieve the score of 39-47, please plan to register for 32-1120, Theory I; 32-1110, Aural Skills I; and 32-1131, Keyboard I.
  • • If you achieve a score of 48 points or better, you will be contacted via email with instructions for further assessment.

Students with Keyboard Experience:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please register for 32-1131, Keyboard I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Keyboard I, you are encouraged to meet with a faculty member for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29) for advanced placement.  Please prepare to demonstrate knowledge of keyboard registers, note names, and finger positions.  You will also be asked to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Guitar:

If you achieve a score of 0-38 on the Beginning Theory Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1000-03, Recital Attendance – Workshop for Year One Guitarists.  If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the Beginning Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1321, Guitar Techniques I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Guitar Techniques I, please bring your guitar to Assessment Day (August 29) for further assessment.  Prepare to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Voice:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please plan to register for 32-1700, Introductory Private Voice, and 32-1511, Techniques in Singing I.  If you have had college-level private voice instruction and believe you should be placed beyond these classes, please be prepared for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29).  Prepare to sing one selection—in any style or genre—that demonstrates your vocal abilities.



On Campus: Transfer Students

Please fill out the Music Student Area of Focus Intake and complete the Music Theory Assessment at least 24 hours before arriving on campus for Orientation. The Theory Assessment is our way of evaluating the level of musical knowledge and skills you bring as an incoming student in order to place you at the appropriate level of music theory coursework. The assessment requires a code for access; email Becky Harlow, Academic Coordinator, at rharlow@colum.edu for your personalized code and access instructions.

If you don’t have any background in music theory or don’t know how to read music, don’t worry! Work your way through as much of the assessment as you can. Whether or not you have studied music, this assessment serves as a tool to help determine your current skill level. Transfer credit within the Music major is initially assessed based on a student’s final placement within Columbia’s Music Core curriculum, so the theory assessment is very important to this process.

The assessment will take you through a series of questions and exercises on the computer. It will ask you to identify intervals, key signatures, different kinds of scales, and chords, and demonstrate your knowledge of part writing. You will have 90 minutes to complete the 150-question assessment. If you feel as though you didn’t perform at your best, you may take the exam one additional time after a period of 48 hours has elapsed, but note that the system will only keep track of the most recent attempt. The Music Theory Assessment should be completed in Mozilla Firefox.

As soon as you submit your answers, you will see your score.

  • • If you achieve a score of 0-38, no further assessment is necessary.  You should plan to register for 32-1100, Music Prep.
  • • If you achieve the score of 39-47, please plan to register for 32-1120, Theory I; 32-1110, Aural Skills I; and 32-1131, Keyboard I.
  • • If you achieve a score of 48 points or better, you will be contacted via email with instructions for further assessment.

Students with Keyboard Experience:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please register for 32-1131, Keyboard I. If you believe your playing ability is beyond Keyboard I, you are encouraged to meet with a faculty member for further assessment on your Transfer Orientation date for advanced placement.  Please prepare to demonstrate knowledge of keyboard registers, note names, and finger positions. You will also be asked to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Guitar:

If you achieve a score of 0-38 on the Beginning Theory Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1000-03, Recital Attendance – Workshop for Year One Guitarists. If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the Beginning Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1321, Guitar Techniques I. If you believe your playing ability is beyond Guitar Techniques I, please bring your guitar on your Transfer Orientation date for further assessment. Prepare to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Voice:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please plan to register for 32-1700, Introductory Private Voice, and 32-1511, Techniques in Singing I. If you have had college-level private voice instruction and believe you should be placed beyond these classes, please be prepared for further assessment on your Transfer Orientation date. Prepare to sing one selection—in any style or genre—that demonstrates your vocal abilities.



Distance: Freshmen

Please fill out the Music Student Area of Focus Intake and complete the Music Theory Assessment at least 24 hours before you plan to complete your Distance Orientation module. The Theory Assessment is our way of evaluating the level of musical knowledge and skills you bring as an incoming student in order to place you at the appropriate level of music theory coursework. The assessment requires a code for access; email Becky Harlow, Academic Coordinator, at rharlow@colum.edu for your personalized code and access instructions.

If you don’t have any background in music theory or don’t know how to read music, don’t worry! Work your way through as much of the assessment as you can. Whether or not you have studied music, this assessment serves as a tool to help determine your current skill level.

The assessment will take you through a series of questions and exercises on the computer. It will ask you to identify intervals, key signatures, different kinds of scales, and chords, and demonstrate your knowledge of part writing. You will have 90 minutes to complete the 150-question assessment. If you feel as though you didn’t perform at your best, you may take the exam one additional time after a period of 48 hours has elapsed, but note that the system will only keep track of the most recent attempt. The Music Theory Assessment should be completed in Mozilla Firefox.

As soon as you submit your answers, you will see your score.

  • · If you achieve a score of 0-38, no further assessment is necessary.  You should plan to register for 32-1100, Music Prep.
  • · If you achieve the score of 39-47, please plan to register for 32-1120, Theory I; 32-1110, Aural Skills I; and 32-1131, Keyboard I.
  • · If you achieve a score of 48 points or better, you will be contacted via email with instructions for further assessment.

Students with Keyboard Experience:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please register for 32-1131, Keyboard I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Keyboard I, you are encouraged to meet with a faculty member for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29) for advanced placement.  Please prepare to demonstrate knowledge of keyboard registers, note names, and finger positions.  You will also be asked to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Guitar:

If you achieve a score of 0-38 on the Beginning Theory Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1000-03, Recital Attendance – Workshop for Year One Guitarists.  If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the Beginning Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1321, Guitar Techniques I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Guitar Techniques I, please bring your guitar to Assessment Day (August 29) for further assessment.  Prepare to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Voice:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please plan to register for 32-1700, Introductory Private Voice, and 32-1511, Techniques in Singing I.  If you have had college-level private voice instruction and believe you should be placed beyond these classes, please be prepared for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29).  Prepare to sing one selection—in any style or genre—that demonstrates your vocal abilities.



Distance: Transfer Students

Please fill out the Music Student Area of Focus Intake and complete the Music Theory Assessment at least 24 hours before you plan to complete your Distance Orientation module. The Theory Assessment is our way of evaluating the level of musical knowledge and skills you bring as an incoming student in order to place you at the appropriate level of music theory coursework. The assessment requires a code for access; email Becky Harlow, Academic Coordinator, at rharlow@colum.edu for your personalized code and access instructions.

If you don’t have any background in music theory or don’t know how to read music, don’t worry! Work your way through as much of the assessment as you can. Whether or not you have studied music, this assessment serves as a tool to help determine your current skill level. Transfer credit within the Music major is initially assessed based on a student’s final placement within Columbia’s Music Core curriculum, so the theory assessment is very important to this process.

The assessment will take you through a series of questions and exercises on the computer. It will ask you to identify intervals, key signatures, different kinds of scales, and chords, and demonstrate your knowledge of part writing. You will have 90 minutes to complete the 150-question assessment. If you feel as though you didn’t perform at your best, you may take the exam one additional time after a period of 48 hours has elapsed, but note that the system will only keep track of the most recent attempt. The Music Theory Assessment should be completed in Mozilla Firefox.

As soon as you submit your answers, you will see your score.

  • If you achieve a score of 0-38, no further assessment is necessary.  You should plan to register for 32-1100, Music Prep.
  • If you achieve the score of 39-47, please plan to register for 32-1120, Theory I; 32-1110, Aural Skills I; and 32-1131, Keyboard I.
  • If you achieve a score of 48 points or better, you will be contacted via email with instructions for further assessment.

Students with Keyboard Experience:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please register for 32-1131, Keyboard I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Keyboard I, you are encouraged to meet with a faculty member for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29) for advanced placement.  Please prepare to demonstrate knowledge of keyboard registers, note names, and finger positions.  You will also be asked to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Guitar:

If you achieve a score of 0-38 on the Beginning Theory Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1000-03, Recital Attendance – Workshop for Year One Guitarists.  If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the Beginning Assessment, please plan to register for 32-1321, Guitar Techniques I.  If you believe your playing ability is beyond Guitar Techniques I, please bring your guitar to Assessment Day (August 29) for further assessment.  Prepare to play scales, chords, and sight-read.

Primary Performance Area - Voice:

If you achieve a score of 39-50 on the beginning assessment, please plan to register for 32-1700, Introductory Private Voice, and 32-1511, Techniques in Singing I.  If you have had college-level private voice instruction and believe you should be placed beyond these classes, please be prepared for further assessment at Assessment Day (August 29).  Prepare to sing one selection—in any style or genre—that demonstrates your vocal abilities.



Recommended First Semester Classes


First semester courses are ultimately determined by placement results from the Music Theory Assessment or faculty recommendations made during an in-person assessment. However, most students begin with the following:

• 32-1100 Introduction to Music Prep

OR (all three)

• 32-1110 Aural Skills I

• 32-1120 Theory I

• 32-1131 Keyboard I

In addition to the above courses, all music majors must register for:

• Recital Attendance (32-1000) – Choose the section number that is most appropriate for your focus.

If you would like to add an additional music course to your schedule, we strongly encourage all students to enroll in one of the following beginning vocal ensembles:

• Columbia College Chorus (32-1800)

• Gospel Choir (32-1801)

• Jazz Pop Choir (32-1802)