Academic Tracks within Music
The Department of Music recognizes and celebrates the diversity of musical experiences – from performance and education to music business and production! Music majors at Washington College work towards a BA in Music. Our BA degree program is flexible and divided into specific advisory “tracks.” The tracks include:
Performance (vocal and instrumental)
This track is designed for students who aspire to careers in performance, whether as a classical soloist, musical theatre and opera, or as a member of an instrumental or vocal performance ensemble. Students on this track learn skills, concepts, and methodology sufficient to demonstrate a level of proficiency on his/her principal instrument typical of that generally required in professional performance. This is achieved through private lessons, which include proficiency-based final exams, instrumental or vocal labs, and performance studies classes. During their senior year, students on this track perform a senior recital that typifies current professional performance standards.
Students in the Instrumental or Choral Music Education program receive a solid grounding in educational and pedagogical skills, primary and secondary instruments, and music theory and history, preparing them for vocation in teaching and/or further graduate studies in the area of music education. Students interested in completing certification requirements for music education work towards a minor in secondary education through the Department of Education, which allows students to complete coursework in education as required by the State of Maryland.
Music History and Criticism
This track focuses on the study of the historical construction of music as a social and intellectual phenomenon and the analysis and criticism of musical literature. This pathway prepares students for graduate programs in musicology or ethnomusicology.
World Music is the term used to describe all of the musical traditions found throughout the world today, including music of the past, traditional music, ritual and ceremonial music, as well as newer popular forms. This track focuses on the study of music in its cultural context using the methodologies of ethnomusicology, an interdisciplinary field that merges musicology with the methods of cultural anthropology. Students in this track leave with a minor in anthropology and are encouraged to pursue a double major.
Theory and Composition
This track allows students to concentrate on the creative aspects of theory and composition to prepare them for graduate school in theory or composition or work as a professional composer. Students are required to continue to study an instrument or voice while they take composition private study. Composition students benefit from use of the music technology studio of the music department.
Traditional (Liberal Arts)
This track is modeled after the traditional Bachelor of Arts curriculum at Liberal Arts colleges. It is designed to provide a broad-based knowledge of all aspects of music history, theory, performance and pedagogy for students seeking a general understanding of music to compliment a career in any profession. Students in this track often combine the music major with a variety of other minors and programs. Common pathways of past students have included coupling the music major with a minor in Business, Drama, or Art, or with pre-professional programs like Pre-med and Pre-law. Music majors are very successful at pursuing careers in these professions.