Music

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Faculty: Christopher Quinn (Director), Karlyn Bond, Brandon Derfler (Chair)

Program Goals

  • A solid understanding of music theory from the common practice period to the present, including tonal theory (i.e. harmony, the rules of voice leading, and four-part writing), and post-tonal theory
  • Aural skills sufficient for competent melodic/harmonic/rhythmic dictation and sight-singing—collectively necessary for a balanced understanding of music theory, the ability to learn music accurately and efficiently, and to perform it capably and artistically
  • Knowledge of the basic history of Western classical music—its forms and styles, and its connections to Western culture; and more in-depth knowledge of a few special topics within this overarching history
  • Excellence on a particular instrument or voice in solo and ensemble performance
  • The ability to write clearly and meaningfully about music and subjects relating to it

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. All auditions taking place after March 31 will be for major or minor status only. 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-. All students must additionally meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to those of the music major: 1) 124 total hours, 2) 30 upper-division hours, and 3) W-Core requirements. 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. Brandon Derfler, at bderfler@westminstercollege.edu.

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course descriptions.

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

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Music Major—Music Studies Emphasis

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 16
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 (8)
One of the following must be taken eight different semesters:
MUSC 115/315 Westminster Community Choir (1) placement audition required
MUSC 125/325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble (1) audition required
MUSC 135/335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1) audition required
MUSC 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) audition required
MUSC 155/355 Westminster Flute Choir (1) audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) audition required
MUSC 175/375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble (1) placement audition required
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
MUSC 195/395 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 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3) MUSC 171
MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3) MUSC 271
MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3) MUSC 271
MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3) MUSC 271
IV. Elective Courses 15
Fifteen hours of music coursework and music-related WCFAH courses (any 100-level or higher music courses). A minimum of 9 elective credit hours must be upper-division academic music courses.
V. Senior Project 2
MUSC 421 Senior Project (2)  MUSC 292
TOTAL HOURS FOR MUSIC STUDIES MAJOR 57

Recommended Plan of Study for Music Major—Music Studies Emphasis

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
World Language
Music Ensemble


MUSC 292
World Language
Music Ensemble

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353
Music Ensemble


MUSC 352 or 354
Music Ensemble

Senior Year

Music Ensemble


Music Ensemble
MUSC 421


Note: Music electives can be fit in where necessary, particularly during the student’s junior and senior years.


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 Music Lessons (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 (4)
Must be repeated for four semesters.
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
Collaborative Piano Performance (4)
MUSC 231 Vocal Accompanying (2)
MUSC 232 Instrumental Accompanying (2)
III. Academic Coursework 38
MUSC 171 Music Theory I (3)
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I (2)
MUSC 271 Music Theory II (3) MUSC 171
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II (2) MUSC 181
MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3) MUSC 171
MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3) MUSC 271
MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3) MUSC 271
MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (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 (2) MUSC 381
 MUSC 241 Piano Literature I (2)
 MUSC 242 Piano Literature II (2)
 MUSC 243 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 PIANO PERFORMANCE MAJOR 74

Recommended Plan of Study for Performance (Piano) Music Major

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year
MUSC 231
MUSC 185
MUSC 191
MUSC 243
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 185
MUSC 192
Sophomore Year
MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
World Language

MUSC 292
MUSC 371
MUSC 381
World Language
Junior Year
MUSC 351
MUSC 391
MUSC 471
MUSC 481

MUSC 352
MUSC 385
MUSC 392
MUSC 232
Senior Year
MUSC 241
MUSC 353
MUSC 385
MUSC 491

MUSC 242
MUSC 354
MUSC 420

Note: Music electives can be fit in where necessary.


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 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) [x6] audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) [x4] 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 201 English & Italian Diction for Singers (2)
MUSC 202 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
Choose three of the following:
  • MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3)
  • MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3)
  • MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3)
  • MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3)
MUSC 171
MUSC 271
MUSC 271
MUSC 271
Choose two of the following:
  • MUSC 203 Vocal Pedagogy (2)
  • MUSC 204 Art Song Literature Survey (2)
  • MUSC 205 Opera Literature Survey (2)
TOTAL HOURS FOR VOCAL PERFORMANCE MAJOR 73

Recommended Plan of Study for Performance (Vocal) Music Major

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year
Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 145
MUSC 191
MUSC 201
MUSC 145
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
MUSC 202
Sophomore Year
MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
MUSC 345
World Language

MUSC 292
MUSC 345
MUSC 371
MUSC 381
World Language
Junior Year
MUSC 165
MUSC 345
MUSC 391
MUSC 471
MUSC 481
MUSC 351 or 353

MUSC 165
MUSC 203
MUSC 301
MUSC 345
MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 392
Senior Year
MUSC 204
MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 365
MUSC 491

MUSC 205
MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 365
MUSC 420

 


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 115/315 Westminster Community Choir (1) placement audition required
MUSC 125/325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble (1) audition required
MUSC 135/335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1) audition required
MUSC 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) audition required
MUSC 155/355 Westminster Flute Choir (1) audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) audition required
MUSC 175/375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble (1)
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
MUSC 195/395 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 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3)
  • MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3)
  • MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3)
  • MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3)
MUSC 171
MUSC 271
MUSC 271
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 MUSIC MINOR 24–28

Recommended Plan of Study for Music Minor

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year Piano Proficiency Requirement
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281


Music Elective(s)

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353


MUSC 352 or 354

Senior Year

Music Elective(s)


Music Elective(s)

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.

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