Music Program Requirements



Download PDF

Faculty

  • Brandon Derfler
  • Chris Puckett (Chair)

View Music Courses

Program Goals

Our goal is to graduate students with unique abilities to:

  • Perform with a high degree of competency on one or more instruments or voice in both solo and ensemble capacities and different settings
  • Apply the subdisciplines of music theory, aural skills, and music history to learning, insightfully interpreting, and successfully creating or performing music
  • Communicate effectively about music in a variety of fundamental ways beyond performance—perhaps most essentially through teaching, writing, analysis, and public speaking
  • Evaluate music as a cultural phenomenon closely connected with other art forms, increasingly interwoven with traditions and influences from around the world, and reflecting and affecting all local and global communities
  • Synthesize and acquire the musical and technological skills necessary to succeed within the ever-changing, complex world of professional music-making

Objectives

The Florence J. Gillmor School of Music at Westminster offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music and also offers a music minor. Music majors must select an emphasis in vocal performance, piano performance, or music studies. The BA degree in music is an excellent choice for talented students who plan to pursue graduate work in music, for liberal arts students pursuing two majors in preparation for graduate school, and for musical pre-law or pre-med students. It is also a degree that would qualify students for any number of music-related jobs following college. Among musicians with sufficient talent and training for careers in the field, those with degrees in music are at an advantage over those without.

The School of Music also offers opportunities for anyone on campus interested in making music, regardless of backgrounds or areas of formal study. School performing ensembles—open to capable and committed students and, in some cases, members of the community—include the Westminster Community Choir, Westminster Chamber Singers, SugarTown, Westminster Chamber Orchestra, Westminster Jazz Ensemble, Westminster Chamber Players, and Westminster Opera Studio. (All of the above require at least an informal audition.) Private lessons and WCore courses in music are also available to students.

Program Requirements

An audition is required for status as a major or minor in music. Students must choose a primary instrument and audition on that particular instrument (e.g., piano, voice, guitar, violin, etc.). Live auditions are held each year on specific dates as announced on the School of Music web page. Music major aspirants auditioning before the end of March who are planning to enroll as first-year students the following fall semester will automatically be considered for music scholarships. Due to strict course sequencing, students wishing to graduate with a music major within a four-year course of study must begin their required course work fall semester of their freshman year, and audition for status no later than the end of their first semester.

Students seeking a music minor must audition before their sophomore year and begin their required course work no later than fall semester of that same year. In order to maintain music major or minor status, each student must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in music courses, and additionally pass each required music course with a minimum grade of C-.

Transfer students wishing to complete a music major at Westminster must complete at least half their total number of required music credits at Westminster, and be enrolled in a performing ensemble each semester while at Westminster. Transfer students wishing to complete a music minor must complete a minimum of nine credits of music—including two semesters of ensemble credit—at Westminster College. For more information, email the Music Department Chair, currently Dr. Christopher Puckett, at cpuckett@westminstercollege.edu.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Music major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Music Studies Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.    
II. Performance-Based Coursework 14  

Piano Proficiency Requirement: 

Students must demonstrate reasonable piano proficiency, either through successful completion of a diagnostic test or alternately by taking a group piano course or private piano lessons at the discretion of the student’s music advisor.

   
Private Lessons (primary instrument) 8  

Four consecutive semesters are required.

MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292 

2 credits each  
Performing Ensembles 6  
One of the following must be taken six different semesters:    
MUSC 315

Westminster Community Choir 

1 placement audition required
MUSC 325

Westminster Jazz Ensemble

1 audition required
MUSC 335

Westminster Chamber Orchestra 

1 audition required
MUSC 345

Westminster Chamber Singers 


Six semesters required for all voice students

1 audition required
MUSC 365

Westminster Opera Studio

1 audition required
MUSC 375

Westminster Percussion Ensemble

1 placement audition required
MUSC 385

Westminster Chamber Players

1 audition required
MUSC 395

SugarTown Acappella

1 audition required
III. Academic Coursework 19  
MUSC 171 Music Theory I 3 Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 207 World Music, World Perspectives 3  
MUSC 271 Music Theory II 3 MUSC 171
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II 2 MUSC 181
Choose two of the following:    
MUSC 372 Music History I 3 MUSC 171
MUSC 373 Music History II 3 MUSC 271
MUSC 374 Music History III 3 MUSC 271
IV. Elective Courses 14  
Fourteen hours of music coursework and music-related WCFAH courses (any 100-level or higher music courses). A minimum of eleven elective credit hours must be upper-division academic music courses.    
V. Senior Project 2  
MUSC 421 Senior Project 2 MUSC 292
Total Hours for the Music Studies Major 57  

Recommended Plan of Study for BA Music Studies

Music Major– Performance Emphasis (Piano)

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.      
II. Performance-Based Coursework 24  
Private Piano Lessons   16  

Two credits must be taken every semester except the eighth.  

MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292, 391, 392, 491  

   
MUSC 420 Senior Recital (final year) 2  MUSC 491
Performing Ensembles  4  
Must be repeated for four semesters.      
MUSC 385 Westminster Chamber Players 1 audition required
Collaborative Piano Performance 4  
MUSC 331 Collaborative Piano I 2  
MUSC 332 Collaborative Piano II 2  
III. Academic Coursework 38  
MUSC 171 Music Theory I  3  
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I 2  
MUSC 207 World Music, World Perspective   3  
MUSC 271 Music Theory II   3 MUSC 171
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II   2 MUSC 181
MUSC 372 Music History I   3 MUSC 171
MUSC 373 Music History II   3 MUSC 271
MUSC 374 Music History III   3 MUSC 271
MUSC 371 Music Theory III   3 MUSC 271
MUSC 381 Aural Skills III 2 MUSC 281
MUSC 471 Music Theory IV  3 MUSC 371
MUSC 481 Aural Skills IV   MUSC 381
MUSC 341 Piano Literature I   2  
MUSC 342 Piano Literature II  2  
MUSC 343 Piano Pedagogy   2  
IV. Elective Courses 4  
Four hours of music coursework and music-related WCFAH courses (any 100-level or higher music courses).    
Total Hours for the Piano Performance Major 74  

Recommended Plan of Study for Piano Performance Major

74

Music Major– Performance Emphasis (Vocal)

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.      
II. Performance-Based Coursework 28  
Piano Proficiency Requirement    
Students must demonstrate reasonable piano proficiency, either through successful completion of a diagnostic test or alternately by taking a group piano course or private piano lessons at the discretion of the student’s music advisor.      
Private Music Lessons (voice)   16  

Two credits must be taken every semester except the eighth.  

MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292, 391, 392, 491 

14  
MUSC 420

Senior Recital (final year) 

2 MUSC 491

Performing Ensembles

10  

At least one of the following must be taken every semester.  

   
MUSC 345

Westminster Chamber Singers 

1 audition required
MUSC 365

Westminster Opera Studio

1 audition required

Conducting Courses

2  
MUSC 301

Choral Conducting

2  
III. Academic Coursework 37  
MUSC 171 Music Theory I   3 Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I   2  
MUSC 207 World Music, World Perspective   3  
MUSC 311 English & Italian Diction for Singers 2  
MUSC 312 French & German Diction for Singers  2  
MUSC 271 Music Theory II   3 MUSC 171
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II 2 MUSC 181
MUSC 371 Music Theory III 3 MUSC 271
MUSC 381 Aural Skills III 2 MUSC 281
MUSC 471 Music Theory IV 3 MUSC 371
MUSC 481 Aural Skills IV 2 MUSC 381
MUSC 303 Vocal Pedagogy   2  
MUSC 320 Vocal Literature Survey   2  
Choose two of the following:    
MUSC 372 Music History I 3 MUSC 171
MUSC 373 Music History II 3 MUSC 271
MUSC 374 Music History III 3 MUSC 271
Total Hours for the Vocal Performance Major 73  

Recommended Plan of Study for BA Music– Vocal Performance

Music Minor

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Piano Proficiency Requirement 0–2   
Students must demonstrate reasonable piano proficiency, either through successful completion of a diagnostic test or alternately by taking a group piano course or private piano lessons at the discretion of the student’s music advisor.      
II. Performance-Based Coursework 4–6   
Private Lessons (primary instrument) 2-4  

Two consecutive semesters are required.  

MUSC 191, 192

1-2 credits each  
Performing Ensembles   2  
One of the following must be taken two different semesters.      
MUSC 315 Westminster Community Choir  1 placement audition required
MUSC 325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble 1 audition required
MUSC 335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra   1 audition required
MUSC 345 Westminster Chamber Singers   1 audition required
MUSC 365 Westminster Opera Studio 1 audition required
MUSC 375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble   1  
MUSC 385 Westminster Chamber Players   1 audition required
MUSC 395 SugarTown Acappella 1 audition required
III. Academic Coursework 16  
MUSC 171 Music Theory I   3 Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I  2  
MUSC 271 Music Theory II   3 MUSC 171
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II 2 MUSC 181
Choose two of the following:    
MUSC 372 Music History I  3 MUSC 171
MUSC 373 Music History II 3 MUSC 271
MUSC 374 Music History III 3 MUSC 271
IV. Elective Courses 4  
Four hours of music coursework and music-related WCFAH courses (any 100-level or higher music courses).      

Total Hours for the Music Minor

24–28  

Recommended Plan of Study for Music Minor

Note: Ensemble and elective scheduling are flexible within the four-year plan of study, but the Department of Music strongly encourages every music minor to participate in a music ensemble whenever his/her schedule allows.