Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are getting ready to start the music program at SLCC, there are a few things you should be aware of so that your transition into the program will go as smoothly as possible:

Audition for an Ensemble. Every semester you are in the program, you need to participate in one of SLCC's performing ensembles. General auditions for these ensembles are typically held in February or March for placement in an ensemble the following Fall. If you will be joining the music program in Spring Semester, or if you have already missed the general audition date for the coming Fall Semester, you should contact the ensemble's director as soon as possible for placement in an ensemble. See Auditions for more information.

Take Music Theory. From your first semester, you should also begin to take the series of Music Theory and Ear Training classes, starting with Theory I (Music 1110) and Sight Singing/Ear Training I (Music 1130). If you do not possess the ability to read music, knowledge of the 12 major and 12 minor scales, and the ability to identify major and minor keys by their key signature, you should take the Intro to Theory class (Music 1100) first.

Students who are signed up for Theory I but have not taken Intro to Theory will be tested within the first couple weeks of class for placement in either Theory I or Intro to Theory.

For any questions regarding the theory classes at SLCC, contact Thomas Baggaley.

Take Recital Attendance. Another class you should be signed up for every semester that you are in the music program is Recital Attendance (Music 0990). This is a zero-credit pass/fail course in which you will be required to attend departmental recitals during the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, the course instructor will notify you (usually via your campus e-mail) how you can obtain credit for attending these concerts. All music majors are required to take Recital Attendance every semester.

For any questions regarding recital attendance, contact Craig Ferrin.

Taking private lessons is encouraged. Although it is not technically a requirement to receive your associates degree, we also recommend that you take private lessons in the area of your specialty (vocal or instrumental performance or composition). In addition to being an invaluable part of your music education, most four-year degree programs have a private instruction requirement that you will need to meet if you transfer.

The department has also provided a suggested two-year plan for completing your degree.

Piano Proficiency. It is increasingly important for musicians to develop at least a functional level of proficiency on a keyboard instrument, regardless of their individual performance focus.

As part of their degree requirements, music majors at SLCC should take two semesters of Group Piano (Music 1150 and Music 1160). It is suggested that these be taken during the first year of study (concurrent with Music Theory I and II).

Students with sufficient keyboard proficiency may test out of this requirement.

Contact Thomas Baggaley for any questions regarding the piano proficiency requirement or to schedule a test of your keyboard proficiency.

Recording Arts / Music Technology. With the new expansion and update of the music computer lab, music technology is one of the fastest growing areas of SLCC's music program. The courses currently offered in Media Music/Music Technology include Songwriting I (Music 1050), Introduction to MIDI/ Electronic Music Composition (Music 1520) and Basic Audio Production (Music 2900 Section 1).

Scholarships are available for talented students in the music program. These scholarships are always tied to a student's participation in one of SLCC's performing ensembles. Students audition for a scholarship and placement in an ensemble at the same time. To apply for a scholarship, fill out the department's scholarship application form (follow the link to be added soon) and bring it to your audition. For more information, see Auditions.

Students who transfer to a four-year institution's music program having only completed their General Education requirements will most likely need at least another four years to complete a bachelor's degree in music.

The main reason for this is that students are required take two years of music theory before they are allowed to take the majority of upper-division music classes. As a result, students who have completed their General Education requirements but have not taken any music classes will be entering the first year of a four-year program, not the third.

Failure to take music theory while you are SLCC will unavoidably delay your graduation from a four-year institution.

Complete your associates degree in music. This will complete your General Education requirements and a majority of the Freshman/Sophomore-level classes in your four-year program.

Additional recommendations to help you prepare to transfer to a four-year institution:

  • Take private lessons in the area of your specialty. While not technically a requirement for your associates degree, any four-year program in music will have a private instruction requirement.
  • Take Music 1010 (Intro to Music) to complete your Fine Arts General Education requirement. Music 1010 will be very helpful to you as you continue your music studies and prepare you to take more in-depth classes in music history as part of your four-year program.

You do not need to be a declared music major to participate in and benefit from SLCC's music program.

While music majors needing credits for graduation will typically be given precedence, you do not have to be a music major to take most of the classes offered by the music department. This is especially true of SLCC's performing ensembles where non-music majors play an important role every semester. For information about auditioning for a performing ensemble, see Auditions.

For those still needing to complete a Fine Arts General Education requirement, the department offers Introduction to Music (Music 1010) and Bridging the Arts (Music 1090) - each of which can fill that requirement.

The Music and Technology class (Music 1500) introduces students to a variety of technology-based solutions to musical problems and fulfills the Interdisciplinary (ID) General Education requirement.

For fun, non-music majors usually enjoy Songwriting I (Music 1050), Group Piano I and II (Music 1150 and Music 1160), Group Guitar I and II (Music 1610 and Music 1620), Intro to MIDI/Electronic Music Composition (Music 1520) and Basic Audio Production (Music 1515).

SLCC instructors also offer private instruction in vocal or instrumental performance or music composition.

Pursuing a degree as a part-time student can be very challenging. Part-time and evening-only students often have to pick and choose and prioritize, being sure to catch classes when they are offered at a time that will fit into their schedule.

If you are a part-time student, especially if you work during the day and are only able to take classes at night, we recommend that the theory and ear training classes be the highest priority in your scheduling plan. Each of the four Music Theory and Sight Singing/Ear Training classes should be taken concurrently with each other (for a total of four credits).

The Theory/Ear Training sequence is rarely offered in the evening - beginning a new sequence at most only every two years (so if you miss it, you will need to wait two more years before the sequence will start again). Students will need to be sure to start the sequence when it is offered at a time that you can take it and commit yourself to completing the sequence in the four subsequent semesters.

Other required classes, especially General Education classes are offered with greater frequency in the evenings.

Aside from this, music classes that are regularly offered in the evenings include Songwriting I (Music 1050) and Intro to MIDI/Electronic Music Composition (Music 1520). These classes are extremely popular and tend to fill up; it is recommended that sign up for them early to reserve your seat in the class.