Music Option

Liberal Arts A.A. Degree with Music Option

The Music Option delivers a curriculum of music theory and practice designed to help each student develop skills in analysis, composition and ear training.  It allows students to learn about music history and music in world cultures, as well as music theory.  They will also develop their listening skills by recognizing different ensembles and groups of instruments including the human voice.  Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Music can easily transfer to Lehman College or any other CUNY senior college.

Students will engage with known faculty musicologists and performers.  They will be able to participate in the college’s dynamic programming of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture that features musicians from diverse backgrounds and styles.  Field trips to concerts at Carnegie Hall and/or Lincoln Center are an integral part of the curriculum.  Students will provide written reports of all concerts they attend.

The Option provides students with the opportunity to learn first-hand what it means to work in the 21st century world music industry. Career opportunities have exploded in various fields of music and performing arts such as arts administration, music teaching, and sound production management; students can gain exposure to these professional opportunities.
Requirements for the Music Option

In addition to any courses taken as part of the Common or Flexible Core, students must take at least 9 additional credits from the offerings below:
VPA 141 Music Appreciation (CE)  3 credits, 3 hours 
Co-requisite: ENG 91 or ESL 91  The course explores the basic components of music and how these have manifested themselves in different cultures at different times in history.  The students will acquire a musical vocabulary, auditory skills and an understanding of a wide range of musical styles.  Offered in English and Spanish.
VPA 151 Fundamentals of Music Theory at the Piano I, 3 credits, 3 hours
Fundamentals of Music Theory at the Piano I is designed to develop a basic knowledge and practice of Music Theory as applied to the keyboard for students with no previous musical training. Topics will include melodic and rhythmic notation, intervals, scales and basic keyboard harmony. Ear training and dictation will be included, as well as simple digital sequencing. 
VPA 152 Fundamentals of Music Theory at the Piano II 3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: VPA 151
Fundamentals of Music Theory at the Piano II is designed to further develop a basic knowledge and practice of Music Theory as applied to the keyboard for students who completed Fundamentals of Music at the Piano 1. Minor scales, augmented and diminished intervals and chords, musical forms, non-harmonic tones and more advanced keyboard harmony will be covered. Ear training and dictation will be included, as well as more advanced digital sampling.
VPA 153 Music Theory 3 credits, 3 hours 
The student will discuss the physics of sound; read notation; identify pitch, beat, rhythm; write major/minor triads; identify basic chord progressions; sing solfeggio exercises; sight read; identify pitch with a given octave; play scales; and coordinate reading and playing. Offered in English and Spanish. 
DM 103 History of Electronic Music  3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ENG 110
This course will introduce students to the historical precedents, societal influences, and core technological concepts of electronic music. Beginning with the birth of recorded sound in Edison’s Menlo Park lab, we will follow the growth of the recording industry, its varied practices and technologies, as well as their effect on popular music and culture. Students will gain a historical perspective on the recording arts, examine and compare various forms of sound reproduction, be introduced to sound synthesis, and gain important insights into the record industry. Lectures and in class discussions will be augmented by weekly reading, listening, and viewing assignments. Related reaction papers will allow the students to assess the relevance of the material to the course and their own experiences. In addition to exams at both the midterm and end of term, a research paper and presentation will be assigned. 
DM 106 Introduction to Recording Techniques 3 credits, 3 hours
This course will give students experience with the recording process by introducing them to varied approaches and techniques, individual hands on projects involving many of the most valuable tools and components, and by explaining how these techniques and components are used in common applications. In this process, students will be exposed to basic electronics, signal flow, elementary acoustic design, microphone types, microphone placement, and a myriad of signal processing tools and techniques. A series of projects will give students hands on experience and help them to develop a stronger applicable skill set as well as improve their critical listening skills.
 VPA 161 Chorus 1 credit, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ability to participate in group singing.  The student will study and present standard and contemporary choral literature for mixed voices and appear in concert at college ceremonies and functions.  Offered in English and Spanish. 
BLS 161 The Hip Hop Worldview 3 Credits 3 Hours
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 110
This course is designed to explore the sociological realities of the Hip-Hop community, from its most visible recognition in the 1970s, to its current form at the inception of the twenty-first century. Thus, students will examine the historical, cultural, economic, and political dynamics out of which Hip-Hop culture emerged, and learn about how various social institutions have interpreted it in various ways.
ENG 242 - Writing about Music
The prerequisite is successful completion of ENG 111.
Writing About Music focuses on ways to think and write about music. The course is generally divided into reading and listening assignments in preparation for writing assignments. Assignments will include descriptive and narrative writing, and expository and analytical assignments about music and its relationship to culture. In addition, students will explore various themes and topics, such as the connection between music, narrative, and cultural memory. Students will develop the ability to think and write about the means and goals of musical expression as well as the components of musical forms in their most inclusive sense. Additionally, the course will develop the students’ writing through musical perceptivity and sharpen the students’ awareness of the relation between writing and musical thought, expression and performance.