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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Music

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Performance/Guitar, Performance/Jazz Studies, Performance/Piano, Performance/Strings, Performance/Voice, Performance/Winds and Percussion
Program description

The Bachelor of Music is the initial professional degree in music. Its primary emphasis is on development of the skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional life of the musician. At the center of the instructional program for this degree is the music core curriculum, comprising 27 credits of instruction in aspects of musicianship that are fundamental to all music degree programs. Included are courses in music theory, aural skills, music history, and conducting.


Students in the instrumental performance concentrations spend eight semesters studying privately on their instrument with our esteemed faculty, and participate in a variety of large and small ensemble experiences throughout their time at VCU. The degree culminates in an hour-long capstone senior recital to showcase students’ musicianship and skill.


Students in the vocal performance concentration spend eight semesters studying classical vocal technique in a weekly private lesson with our esteemed voice faculty, and participate in large and small choral ensembles who perform a wide variety of diverse and challenging choral repertoire. The degree culminates in an hour-long senior recital to showcase students’ musicianship and skill.

Career opportunities

Students in the Bachelor of Music with a concentration in performance program pursue studies as instrumental soloists, opera singers, jazz musicians, chamber musicians and more.


The performance program prepares students for a wide variety of professional and entrepreneurial careers in music as well as postgraduate study in an area of chosen specialization. VCU Music has great opportunities for you whether you want to hone your skills on a specific instrument, learn the best techniques for teaching tomorrow’s musicians, collaborate with other great chamber or jazz musicians, or make music a foundation for other career goals.

Change of major requirements

An audition and application are prerequisites to the change of major process. Prospective students are required to schedule an audition here and submit their application here.


Typical application deadlines are November 1 (for spring applicants) and April 1 (for fall applicants).


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Choral Section Leader/Soloist
  • Collaborative Pianist
  • Music Coordinator
  • Music Supervisor
  • Musician/Performer
  • Voice Teacher
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Composer
  • Music Director
  • Music Professor
  • Music Therapist
  • Professional Opera Singer
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Music
Building/room location:
W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Room 134
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1166
Email:
music@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Connect with international artists and programs in VCU Music master classes led by guest artists and faculty performers.
  • If you want to study abroad, talk to your advisor about what semester will be best and how to adjust your curriculum to make that happen.
  • Join RAMmalogues to talk with peers about social identities in the context of acceptance, belonging, and inclusion in life at VCU.
  • Check out the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and follow @vcuomsa.
  • Connect with the Global Education Office to explore leadership and intercultural communication skill-building programs like the Peace Corps Prep Certificate.
  • Visit a study abroad fair and complete Rams Abroad 101.
  • Explore funding for international opportunities.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Focus on passing and excelling in the Theory and Aural Skills and Keyboard Skills sequences in preparation for upper-level coursework.
  • Get involved with a local program such as SPARC: Live Art, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Project, the Vocal Arts Project, or one of VCU’s pre-college programs.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Expand your knowledge of non-European musical cultures and practices in MHIS 120 Introduction to World Musical Styles.
  • Apply for a Dean’s International Study Grant.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Apply for scholarships to participate in summer music festivals or other summer opportunities.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Develop professional performance skills in lessons, theory and aural skills, and ensembles.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build your performance portfolio through recitals and participation in ensembles.
  • Complete junior recital in spring semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • As one of your music electives, consider participating in an ensemble outside of your primary area, such as an African drumming ensemble.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Use VCU Libraries' World Music databases to find music from around the world to inform your professional practice.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Ask professors and alumni to connect you with audition opportunities for local gigs.
  • Ask your professors for advice on choosing a graduate program and schedule visits to conservatories on your shortlist.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Create a professional website and use social media to connect with audiences and other musicians.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Discuss research interests with faculty and consider developing an independent study proposal.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete senior recital in spring semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Search the VCU Library collection of music scores for music composed by diverse artists and program those pieces in your junior recital.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Seek out opportunities to teach private lessons on your instrument or play in pit orchestras, recording ensembles, etc. to build your skills and resume.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete your capstone experience in APPM 492 where you will prepare your resume, website, and repertoire list.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Music

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Performance/Guitar, Performance/Jazz Studies, Performance/Piano, Performance/Strings, Performance/Voice, Performance/Winds and Percussion
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
  • Connect with international artists and programs in VCU Music master classes led by guest artists and faculty performers.
  • If you want to study abroad, talk to your advisor about what semester will be best and how to adjust your curriculum to make that happen.
  • Join RAMmalogues to talk with peers about social identities in the context of acceptance, belonging, and inclusion in life at VCU.
  • Check out the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and follow @vcuomsa.
  • Connect with the Global Education Office to explore leadership and intercultural communication skill-building programs like the Peace Corps Prep Certificate.
  • Visit a study abroad fair and complete Rams Abroad 101.
  • Explore funding for international opportunities.
ExperienceYear 2
  • Focus on passing and excelling in the Theory and Aural Skills and Keyboard Skills sequences in preparation for upper-level coursework.
  • Get involved with a local program such as SPARC: Live Art, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Project, the Vocal Arts Project, or one of VCU’s pre-college programs.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Expand your knowledge of non-European musical cultures and practices in MHIS 120 Introduction to World Musical Styles.
  • Apply for a Dean’s International Study Grant.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Apply for scholarships to participate in summer music festivals or other summer opportunities.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Develop professional performance skills in lessons, theory and aural skills, and ensembles.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build your performance portfolio through recitals and participation in ensembles.
  • Complete junior recital in spring semester.
  • As one of your music electives, consider participating in an ensemble outside of your primary area, such as an African drumming ensemble.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Use VCU Libraries' World Music databases to find music from around the world to inform your professional practice.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Ask professors and alumni to connect you with audition opportunities for local gigs.
  • Ask your professors for advice on choosing a graduate program and schedule visits to conservatories on your shortlist.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Create a professional website and use social media to connect with audiences and other musicians.
ExcelYear 4
  • Discuss research interests with faculty and consider developing an independent study proposal.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete senior recital in spring semester.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Search the VCU Library collection of music scores for music composed by diverse artists and program those pieces in your junior recital.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Seek out opportunities to teach private lessons on your instrument or play in pit orchestras, recording ensembles, etc. to build your skills and resume.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Complete your capstone experience in APPM 492 where you will prepare your resume, website, and repertoire list.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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