The department offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program that includes studies in music theory, music history and literature, and musical performance. Music majors also take individual lessons in instrumental and vocal performance and participate in musical ensembles. Advanced placement is available for qualified students, and any of the programs described below can be modified to suit the needs of individual students, as circumstances warrant.
Students contemplating a career in school music teaching may pursue either a regular Music major or a dual major in Music and Childhood Education. Those who graduate with a major in Music receive thorough musical training but must continue study after graduation in order to attain teaching certification. The dual major combines a reduced program in Music with training in Education and student teaching.
Students interested in arts management or the music business may pursue a major in Arts Administration with a concentration in Music. This program combines a reduced set of music requirements with training in business and arts management.
The department also offers a minor in Music for students who wish to receive recognition for their serious study of music while pursuing a different major. As in the Music major, students create their own programs from a variety of offerings in music theory, history, and performance.
The Music Major (B.A.)
The Music Department integrates studies in music theory, music history, and performance in a liberal arts program that prepares students for careers as teachers, arts administrators, and performers or for further graduate training. Students participate in musical ensembles and have the option of taking individual music lessons and performing recitals. Students also attend professional concerts, opera, and ballet performances in the region. Additional options for students supported by the Music Department include the Dual Major in Music and Childhood Education and the Music concentration of the Arts Administration major, as well as the music minor. An audition is recommended, but not required for admission into any of the Wagner Music programs.
Music Theory and Musicianship – 7 units as follows:
MU 111, 112, 116, 132, 211, 212, 215, 216, 231, 232. Note: MU 116, 132, 215, 216, 231, and 232 are half-unit courses. Proficiency examinations in music theory and musicianship are given at the beginning of each fall semester. Students excused from one or more units of theory and musicianship on the basis of these examinations take a corresponding number of additional units from the electives listed below.
Music History and Literature – 4 units as follows:
MU 102 (special section for Music majors) plus either MU 208 or MU 307 and any two of the following: MU 205, 207, 209, 241, 242, 243, 291, 307, 308.
Senior Learning Community – 2 units as follows:
Music 400, 491. Music 400, the reflective tutorial, encompasses a substantial experiential project, typically a recital or a lecture-demonstration. Music 491, the senior seminar, is a capstone course in which students carry out research on the cultural context, performance history, and published criticism and analysis of music and musical works.
Students who are excused from any Music requirements listed above may substitute any of the following elective courses: MU 205, 207, 208, 209, 237, 238, 241, 242, 243, 291, 307, 308, 321, or any ensemble, with a maximum of one unit in music ensembles.
Performing ensembles are open to all qualified students; an audition is required (see the listings of ensembles below, under Applied Music). Students may register for ensembles on a unit or non-unit basis; students registered on a non-unit basis receive non-academic grades (such grades are recorded on the academic transcript but are not counted toward the student’s grade-point average).
A number of required courses and electives include concert trips within the New York region. Students registered in these courses pay a fee that covers concert tickets (generally at reduced rates) and, in many instances, transportation. Music majors are expected to take at least four such courses.
The weekly Performance Hour (MU 020) provides an experiential complement to other Music Department courses, featuring performances and other presentations by students, faculty, and visiting professionals. All music majors are encouraged to participate in Performance Hour, and it is required of music majors each semester in which they are enrolled in individual lessons.
Juries and Recitals
The Music Department sponsors public recitals by qualified students, especially as parts of the senior learning community. In addition, music majors enrolled in individual lessons must perform before a departmental jury at the end of each semester. These juried performances serve as final examinations for the semester’s lessons. A student intending to perform a recital must demonstrate a sufficient level of achievement before a jury during the preceding semester.
Requirements for the Dual Major in Music and Childhood Education
The Music component of the dual major consists of a total of 9 classroom units together with the additional requirements listed below. In addition, students in this program are strongly urged to take individual or group lessons in piano, although this is not required. For the Education component of the dual major (other than the one course listed below in Music Education), please consult the Education Department’s webpages.
Required Classroom Courses:
Music Theory and Musicianship – 3 units as follows:
MU 111, 112, 116, 132 (MU 116 and 132 are half-unit courses)
Music History and Literature – 2 units as follows:
MU 102 (special section for Music majors) and one other course selected from the following: MU 205, 207, 208, 209, 241, 242, 243, 291, 307, 308, 491
Music Education – 1 unit (in addition to other Education requirements)
Electives – 3 units from any other Music courses, including ensembles, with a maximum of one unit in Music ensembles
Dual majors enrolled in individual lessons are required to attend Performance Hour (MU 020) for two semesters.
Requirements for a Major in Arts Administration with a Concentration in Music
Arts administration majors concentrating in music must earn 7 units in Music courses, with a maximum of one unit in music ensembles. In addition, two semesters of Performance Hour (MU 020) are required of students taking individual lessons. Note: MU 211 is a prerequisite for a number of music courses above the 100 level.
Requirements for a Minor in Music
Students in the music minor take six units in Music courses, with a maximum of one unit in ensembles. Two semesters of Performance Hour (MU 020) are required of students taking individual lessons. Note: MU 211 is a prerequisite for many Music courses above the 100 level.