Music Majors and Minors

Ideally, exploration in the department – whether through ensembles, applied music lessons, or academic classroom work – should start early, in the first year. Students anticipating, or even considering, a major or minor in Music should plan to complete the prerequisite course, MUSC 105: Introduction to Music, winter quarter of their freshman year (preferable), but no later than winter of their sophomore year. (Students with previous experience in music theory may consider completing the MUSC 105 requirement by testing out of it; please contact Professor Bothwell for more information.) In the winter of your Sophomore year, all students can officially declare their major and/or minor at a campus event called Declaration of Major Day; outside of this event, one may also declare his/her major by filling out the Declaration Form with the College Registrar.

Music Majors are highly encouraged to select a member of the Department faculty as an Academic Advisor; Double Majors or Minors are also welcome to do this, or may simply choose to meet with Department faculty on a less formal basis. Either way, Music faculty can assist in music course selection and scheduling of classes, answer questions regarding the major/minor, and review career objectives.

The full requirements for the Music major or minor can be found in the College course catalogue. The courses therein are offered annually and biannually at the times and quarters. See the Annual Department Schedule to know when courses are offered. Please note that in addition to this standard coursework, Majors are expected to complete a Comprehensive Exam (which takes place as part of the Senior Seminar, a required course), as well as demonstrate aural skills and piano proficiency, accomplished through labs attached to the courses in the theory sequence.

Requirements for the Major in Music

Number of Units

Eleven units are required in addition to the prerequisite. AP credit accepted to meet prerequisite only.

Required Courses

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 105 completed with a grade of C- or above. This prerequisite may also be met by examination or an AP score of 4 or 5.
  • MUSC 175, 275, and 375 Music Theory Sequence
  • MUSC 150 and 155 Music History Sequence
  • MUSC 160 Music of World Cultures
  • MUSC 490 Senior Seminar

Electives

Music Majors are encouraged to consult with a professor in the Department about choosing electives (and potentially even courses in other departments) in a manner that helps define an intentional and directed area of focus.

Four full units of elective courses selected from:

  • Ensembles (at least one of the four electives must be an ensemble; see "About Music Ensembles" for more information)
  • Applied Music (see "About Applied Music" for more information)
  • MUSC 120, 121, or 123 Instrumental Methods
  • MUSC 165 Jazz Explorations
  • MUSC 204 Intellectual Flows of Black Music
  • MUSC 205/SEMN-256 Music and Identity (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 207/SEMN-210 Listening Across Cultures (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 260 Conducting
  • MUSC/ANSO 315 Sound and Culture in the Middle East
  • MUSC 320 Arts Entrepreneurship
  • MUSC 465 Music Education Seminar

Additional Expectations and Opportunities

In order to successfully complete the Music Major, students must also pass a comprehensive integrative exam (administered as part of the Senior Seminar), and demonstrate aural and basic keyboard proficiency (accomplished through labs attached to the three-course theory sequence). With permission of the department, limited transfer courses and coursework completed abroad may count toward the Major. Majors who plan advanced music studies in graduate school or who aspire to professional careers are strongly encouraged to complete their senior integrated project in the department. Majors are also encouraged to participate in an ensemble beyond their one required unit, and to study applied music in each quarter of residency. With few exceptions, a full unit of applied music credited toward the Major must be achieved by the study in the same instrument. Musical performances on campus should be attended by Music Majors, including concerts by invited guests, by Music Department Faculty, and by fellow music students.

In addition, Majors may consider incorporating three recommended programs available to all students at the College into their own musical K Plan:

  1. The Career and Professional Development Internship Program.
  2. Study Abroad: The University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Queen's University in Northern Ireland offer particularly robust opportunities for qualified students to continue actively making music while abroad. In addition, with sufficient advance consultation with music faculty and the CIP office, it may be possible to create opportunities to continue music at several other study abroad sites.
  3. New York Arts Program: This domestic study away program offers an opportunity for qualified sophomore and junior student artists to live in New York City and work as interns with professional artists. The application process begins in late spring quarter for internships the following winter quarter. Information is available from campus faculty representative Andrew Koehler.

Requirements for the Minor in Music

Number of Units

A minimum of six units in addition to the prerequisite are required for the minor in music. AP credit accepted to meet prerequisite only.

Required Courses

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 105 completed with a grade of C- or above. This prerequisite may also be met by examination or an AP score of 4 or 5.
  • At least one unit from MUSC 175, 275, or 375 Music Theory Sequence
  • At least one unit from MUSC 150, 155 Music History Sequence, or MUSC 160 Music of World Cultures.

Electives

Four full units of elective courses selected from additional courses in the required list and/or:

  • Ensembles (See "About Music Ensembles" for more information)
  • Applied Music (See "About Applied Music" for more information)
  • MUSC 120, 121, or 123 Instrumental Methods
  • MUSC 165 Jazz Explorations
  • MUSC 204 Intellectual Flows of Black Music
  • MUSC 205 Music and Identity (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 207 Listening Across Cultures (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 260 Conducting
  • MUSC/SEMN 295 The World Through New Orleans (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC/ANSO 315 Sound and Culture in the Middle East
  • MUSC 320 Arts Entrepreneurship
  • MUSC 465 Music Education Seminar

Additional Expectations and Opportunities

With permission from the department, limited transfer courses and coursework completed abroad may count toward the Minor. Music Minors are encouraged to participate in an ensemble and to study applied music in each quarter of residency. With few exceptions, each full unit of applied music credited toward the Minor must be achieved by study in the same instrument. Musical performances on campus should be attended by Music Minors, including concerts by invited guests, by Music Department Faculty, and by fellow music students.

In addition, Minors may consider incorporating three recommended programs available to all students at the College into their own musical K Plan:

  1. The Career and Professional Development Internship Program.
  2. Study Abroad: The University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Queen's University in Northern Ireland offer particularly robust opportunities for qualified students to continue actively making music while abroad. In addition, with sufficient advance consultation with music faculty and the CIP office, it may be possible to create opportunities to continue music at several other study abroad sites.
  3. New York Arts Program: This domestic study away program offers an opportunity for qualified sophomore and junior student artists to live in New York City and work as interns with professional artists. The application process begins in late spring quarter for internships the following winter quarter. Information is available from campus faculty representative Andrew Koehler.

About Music Ensembles

All students at Kalamazoo College may participate in ensembles. Generally meeting twice a week for periods of an hour and a half, ensembles should not conflict with the regular course schedule. A student may earn up to 5 full units in music ensembles and applied music (See "About Applied Music") combined toward graduation; as many as three of those may be applied to the Major or Minor, and at least one unit of ensemble credit is required for the Major.

Music Ensembles

MUSC E201 College Singers The largest choral organization on campus emphasizing diverse repertoire and varied performance experiences, including a major performance each quarter. Prerequisite: Vocal evaluation

MUSC E202 Bach Festival Chorus Participation in the annual College Festival in conjunction with the Kalamazoo community. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E204 Symphonic Band Emphasizing a variety of music for brass, woodwinds, and percussion; ability to play a band instrument required. Previous band experience expected.

MUSC E205 Jazz Band Performance of standard and contemporary jazz arrangements for band and/or small combo; music reading required, but no previous improvisational or jazz band experience needed. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E207 Kalamazoo Philharmonia A full symphonic orchestra that rehearses once weekly and performs at least one full program each quarter. Philharmonia members include community members and professional leaders in addition to students. Registered students also are required to participate in additional sectional rehearsals. Proficient string, wind, brass, and percussion players are invited to audition; previous experience is preferred. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E209 International Percussion Ensemble Performance and study of International percussion traditions from around the world. Students may choose to participate in West African drumming or Japanese Taiko. One college concert is presented each quarter.

MUSC E211 Improvisation Workshop For the inquisitive musician who desires to learn the why and how of jazz improvisation, theory, and composition, juxtaposed with intimate jazz ensemble playing with emphasis on improvisation.

MUSC E213 Bayati Middle Eastern Ensemble The Bayati Ensemble is a joint student-community chamber orchestra that performs a range of musical styles from Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, and related traditions. Some proficiency on an instrument/voice is assumed, but no audition is required.

MUSC E215 Pit Orchestra Offered during quarters in which the Theatre Department presents a musical.

About Applied Music

Professional performers and teachers from the community join with the regular faculty of Kalamazoo College to teach individual lessons for a wide range of instruments and voice. These courses are open to all students, regardless of level, and each accrues 1/5 unit per quarter of participation. A student may earn up to 5 full units in music ensembles (see "About Music Ensembles") and applied music combined toward graduation; as many as three of those may be applied to the Major or Minor. With few exceptions, each full unit of applied music credit toward the Major or Minor must be achieved by study in the same instrument.

Though these courses meet by default for the equivalent of 30 minutes per week, students have the option of taking hour-long lessons as well; in this event, the amount of credit accrued is 2/5 unit per quarter.  Students can only register for hour-long lessons through a Permission to Add form, signed by their instructor or the Department Chair, and submitted to the Registrar. 

At the end of each quarter, every student taking applied music must play a hearing before a group of music faculty members. Attendance at two performance area classes and the applied music recital each quarter is also required of students enrolled in applied music.

Upon the recommendation of the instructor, very advanced students may present a department-sponsored recital.

An extra fee is charged for applied music instruction. Please see the section of the catalog entitled "Policies: Expenses, Refund Policies, Fees" for more information.

Applied Music courses

MUSC L100 Concert Listening Experiential course in which students attend various concerts and reflect upon their listening experiences.

MUSC L217 Chamber Music Instrumental and/or vocal ensembles arranged with the music faculty. Offered by request.

MUSC L221 Group Music Production Fundamentals

MUSC L222 Music Production Prerequisite: MUSC-L221 or MUSC-L222 or Permission

MUSC L222H Music Production- Hour Lessons 

MUSC L224 Composition

MUSC L224H Composition - Hour

MUSC L225 Jazz Arranging and Composition

MUSC L231 Piano

MUSC L231H Piano - Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor permission required

MUSC L232 Jazz Piano

MUSC L233 Collaborative Piano

MUSC L233H Collaborative Piano- Hour

MUSC L234 Harp

MUSC L236 Organ

MUSC L241 Voice

MUSC L241H Voice - Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor permission required

MUSC L242 Jazz Voice

MUSC L242H Jazz Voice

MUSC L251 Violin

MUSC L251H Violin - Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor Permission Required

MUSC L252 Viola

MUSC L254 Cello

MUSC L255 String Bass

MUSC L256 Jazz Bass

MUSC L257 Group Guitar Fundamentals

MUSC L258 Classical Guitar

MUSC L258H Guitar - Hour Lessons

MUSC L259 Jazz and Popular Guitar

MUSC L259H Jazz Guitar - Hour Lessons

MUSC L261 Flute

MUSC L263 Oboe

MUSC L265 Clarinet

MUSC L266 Saxophone

MUSC L268 Bassoon

MUSC L271 French Horn

MUSC L273 Trumpet

MUSC L273H Trumpet- Hour Lessons

MUSC L275 Trombone

MUSC L276 Euphonium

MUSC L277 Tuba

MUSC L281 Percussion

MUSC L282 Mallet Percussion

MUSC L282H Mallet Percussion - Hour Lessons

MUSC L301 Advanced Conducting Prerequisite: MUSC-260