Start your music career off on the right foot!

Do you love music and want to solidify a career in the music industry?

From classical and jazz to rock and pop music, a degree in music offers a sophisticated knowledge of the theory, history, and performance standards of all fields of music. Whether your plan is to transfer to a 4-year institution or earn the A.A. degree in Music here at COM, we can help you accomplish your goal!

Careers in Music

  • Become a performer or a private music teacher.
  • Continue your studies and become a secondary school teacher or music therapist.
  • Hone your skills and become a sound engineer or sound technician.
  • Use your industry knowledge to work as a marketer, talent agent, or events organizer.

Transfer Opportunities and Pathways

A Music major can be found at many bachelor’s granting institutions. Some universities and colleges may even have similar, but more specified majors to explore, that could align better with your interests. Examples include Music History and Theory, Music Management, Music Production, Musical Theater, Art Therapy, Music Teacher Education, Ethnomusicology, and many more.

  • Search a list of Music related majors at the UCs’ and CSUs
  • Compare average admit GPAs across similar majors at the UCs
  • Learn what major prep courses you need to take in order to transfer to the UCs or CSUs
  • Explore similar majors at private and out-of-state institutions

What courses do I need to take?

All Music majors — whether their focus is the AA degree or transfer — should aim to complete the following courses:

  • 4 semesters of Theory: Theory I, Theory II, Theory III, Theory IV
  • 4 semesters of Ear Training: Ear Training I, Ear Training II, Ear Training III, Ear Training IV 
  • 3 semesters of Piano: Piano I, Piano II, Piano III
  • 1 semester of Music 101: Introduction to Classical Music
  • 1 semester of Music 102: Music Masterworks 
  • 4 semesters of performing ensembles (choose from our many band, orchestra, and choir options)

Here is a handy checklist to keep track of your progress: Music Courses Checklist.

When are these courses typically offered?

  • Offered every semester: Piano I-III, all performing ensembles
  • Fall semester only: Theory I, Ear Training I, Theory III, Ear Training III
  • Spring semester only: Theory II, Ear Training II, Theory IV, Ear Training IV
  • On a rotation based on need: Music 101, Music 102

Here is a helpful PDF with 2- and 3-year plans of study, organized by semester: Music Plans of Study

Which performing ensemble(s) should I take?

  • String players (violin, viola, cello, bass): Orchestra
  • Guitarists: Jazz Band
  • Pianists: Jazz Band, College Chorus (to build singing skills), or Wind Ensemble (to learn percussion)
  • Singers:
    • Beginners and those learning to read music: College Chorus
    • Intermediate: College Chorus or Oratorio
    • Advanced: College Chorus, Oratorio, or Chamber Singers
    • Percussionists: Wind Ensemble or Orchestra
  • Woodwind players: 
    • Intermediate: Wind Ensemble
    • Advanced: Wind Ensemble or Orchestra
  • Brass players:
    • Intermediate: Brass Band or Wind Ensemble
    • Advanced: Brass Band, Wind Ensemble, or Orchestra 

What other Music courses should I take?

  • Composers, arrangers, producers: Desktop Musician I and II
  • Singers: Voice I, II, III, and IV
  • Pianists: Piano IV, V, and VI
  • Performers of any kind of popular music: Jazz Improvisation; Rock, Pop, and Jazz
  • Double majors, especially with social science: Music in Society
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