Being a Music Major at OSU


Three Areas of Study

Music majors take classes in three areas: Music Practice, Music Theory/History and General Education Courses (called BACC Core at OSU). In addition to these areas, music education majors take additional courses to work towards admission into the Master of Arts in Teaching program and toward Oregon Teacher Licensure.

Music Practice

All music majors study privately on their major instrument each term. In addition to the private study, they perform in major ensembles (wind ensemble, wind symphony, chamber choir, Bella Voce, Meistersingers, Symphony Orchestra). Students may also choose to perform in the jazz ensemble, marching band and pep band, or chamber ensembles such as trombone choir, flute choir, etc.

Music History and Theory

Music majors take classes in music history and music theory. When taking music theory, you will also take courses focusing on aural skills. Don't worry if you have never taken a music theory class (or never heard of it). We start at the beginning with the basics to build a solid foundation for more advanced studies. Music majors will also take courses in class piano to augment their musicianship skills.

Music Education Courses

Music education majors take courses to learn how to teach as well as to learn how to play instruments beyond their primary instrument. They also complete field experience in public schools in preparation for admittance to the Master of Arts in Teaching program and as a requirement for Oregon Teacher Licensure.

General Education (BACC Core)

BACC core courses are university required classes in subjects such as mathematics, science and English. There are a wide variety to choose from. These courses are important in helping you form a well rounded education.

Tips for preparing to be a Music Major

When you become a music major, we will teach you many things "from scratch." Music theory, aural skills and piano are all subjects that we teach from the very beginning in order to build a solid foundation for future growth. We have found that study in these areas can be made easier with some basic preparation.

All music majors will take music theory. For many students, music theory is brand new. We encourage you to prepare for music theory by completing the free lessons found at Complete as many as you are able before arriving at OSU. This is not a requirement, however we do strongly recommend it as it will help you be more successful in first year music theory.

Sing! If you haven't joined a choir in high school, do so. Take voice lessons if you are able. If these options are not available, find other ways to making singing a part of your daily life.

Take basic piano lessons.