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Program: B.M., Music

Vocal Arts

Program Description

The Bachelor of Music option in Vocal Arts offers classical vocal students a full range of opportunities to develop their singing voices through individual lessons, choral ensemble, opera, oratorio and art song recital (entrance audition required). Capstone experience: one-hour recital. In addition, students take classes in French, German, English and Italian diction, as well as pedagogy, song literature and performance techniques. Operas are fully staged and costumed, and they are performed in the original language with orchestra. Students who audition for the B.M. option in Vocal Arts should possess a strong background in academics as well as in vocal and musicianship training.

Program Requirements

A. Admission to the Major

Admission to the major in Music for all undergraduate degrees is determined by audition. Those auditioning for the Performance options must exhibit a high performance competence in the audition. Audition procedures and standards are listed on the Department of Music—Audition and Placement website.

Transfer students seeking admission to Performance options must audition at the appropriate entrance level determined by the number of transferable units accepted by the University. (Example: At the time of the audition, students with more than 60 transferable units must demonstrate musical proficiency at the junior level for admission to a Performance option.) Exceptions to this policy are rare and are at the discretion of the Music department.

B. Lesson and Ensemble Requirements

To qualify for individual lessons in any semester, an undergraduate student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units, including lesson units and the correct number of ensemble units required by his or her option.

Enrollment in the designated ensemble(s) for the student’s instrument is a corequisite of enrollment in private lessons each semester of enrollment. Students who do not meet this requirement by the third week of the semester will not be eligible for lessons that semester. Students enrolled in music ensembles in the Fall semester normally are expected to re-enroll in the same ensemble for the Spring semester. The nature of these classes makes it essential that consistent personnel be maintained throughout the year.

All students enrolled in individual lessons must demonstrate their progress in the major before a faculty jury at the end of each semester of study. Students receiving lower than a grade of “C-” in that semester of lessons will need to take additional study at their own expense to achieve their required level of performance before resuming department-paid lessons.

C. Grade Requirement

Students in all options of the B.A. and B.M. Music degrees must earn a grade of “C-” or better in all courses in the Music curriculum, including those required courses that are offered in other departments.

D. Course Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (37 units)

MUS 110A Keyboard Musicianship I (1)
MUS 110B Keyboard Musicianship II (1)
MUS 112/L Musicianship II and Lab (1/1)
MUS 191/L Fundamentals of Music Technology and Lab (2/1)
MUS 201 Style/Literature of Western Music I (3)
MUS 202 Style/Literature of Western Music II (3)
MUS 210A Keyboard Musicianship III (1)
MUS 210B Keyboard Musicianship IV (1)
MUS 211/L Musicianship III and Lab (1/1)
MUS 212/L Musicianship IV and Lab (1/1)
MUS 213 Harmony I (3)
MUS 214 Harmony II (3)
MUS 311/L Musicianship V and Lab (1/1)
MUS 312/L Musicianship VI and Lab (1/1)
Individual Lessons (2-2)
Ensembles (4)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (9 units)

MUS 307 Music from a Global Perspective (3)
MUS 316 Musical Analysis (3)
MUS 483ME/L Music Entrepreneurship and Lab (1/1)
MUS 495 Recital/Senior Project (1)

3. Vocal Arts Option Requirements (33 units)

MUS 339ABD Diction for Singers (1-1-1) A: IPA/English/Italian; B: German; D: French
MUS 468 Pedagogy of Singing (2)
Individual Lessons (12)
Ensembles (12)

Select one of the following two courses:

MUS 403 Vocal Literature (2)
MUS 412 Choral Literature (2)

Select 2 units from the following:

MUS 291 Alexander Technique (1)
MUS 363/L Choral Conducting and Arranging and Lab (2/1)
MUS 427 Performance Techniques (1-1)
MUS 428 Opera Workshop (1-1)
MUS 488 Opera Roles (2)
Secondary Choral Ensembles (1)

Vocal Arts majors must pass the Foreign Language Proficiency examination in Italian, French or German prior to their senior year. Students who elect to take one year of foreign language study in Italian, French or German are exempted from the Foreign Language Proficiency examination.

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
The following 9 units of Music courses count for GE: MUS 191/L, MUS 202 and MUS 307.

Total Units in the Major/Option: 79

General Education Units: 39

Additional Units: 2

Total Units Required for the B.M. Degree: 120


Department of Music
Chair: Steve Thachuk
Cypress Hall (CY) 116
(818) 677-3181

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with the elements of music, through sight-reading, basic keyboard proficiency and musical analysis.
  2. Perform standard repertoire appropriate to their performance area, as individuals, members of ensembles and/or conductors.
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of music history within their area of specialization and an acquaintance with the history, cultural background and repertoires beyond that area, including a wide selection of Western and world music literature.
  4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of music technology and its application to their area of specialization.
  5. Develop pedagogical and/or clinical skills fundamental to their area of specialization for application across a variety of music and music-related professions.
  6. Demonstrate professional competence in the execution of business processes and practices commonly employed within their area of specialization.
  7. Create derivative or original music in both extemporaneous and written form.