Southern university

Purpose of the Music Program

The purpose of the Southern University Music Program is to maintain a sustainable and creative center of learning in the Department of Visual & Performing Arts and to meet the current and future needs of Southern University students. While committed to serving students from diverse cultural backgrounds, the Music Program offers programs that develop and enhance skills in musicianship, performance, music education, music technology, professionalism, and artistic demeanor. The major goals of the Music Program are to promote the full development of the music major:

The Music Program offers a Bachelor of Music degree and minor in music with concentrations in education and performance. In addition to its primary role of providing professional and pre-professional training for its majors, the department serves as a major cultural center and resource for the University and offers a wide range of activities and courses which promote the aesthetic development of the general University population.

All majors and minors in the department are required to participate in co-curricular organizations and/ or activities of respective programs, which serve as laboratories for training in their respective disciplines. Specific graduation requirements are listed in the curricula for each discipline.

All majors in the department must fulfill the stipulated University and Board of Regents general education core requirements; specific requirements of the college in which the student is enrolled (College of Education, Arts & Humanities); and the University’s requirements in community service and in the African-American experience. All majors are required to pass the writing proficiency examination and the department comprehensive examination in the respective disciplines. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to published schedules for the administration of the above tests and for applying for graduation. All music majors, minors, and other students enrolled in applied music for credit must perform before a faculty jury at the end of each semester.

Majors and minors are required to participate in ensembles of the major applied concentration. Voice and piano students fulfill this requirement in concert choir. Students in the Bachelor of Music (education concentration – instrumental) program will enroll in two semesters of marching band and two semesters of concert band in the spring, as well as a minimum of three semesters of a small instrumental ensemble, i.e. brass ensemble or jazz ensemble. Students in the Bachelor of Music (performance concentration – instrumental) program will take two years (four semesters) of concert band and two years of the small ensemble appropriate to their instruments. Students must enroll in an ensemble throughout matriculation as a music major or minor. Students in education concentration may not enroll in student teaching until all core music requirements have been successfully completed and may have no more than six remaining hours of other unfulfilled requirements.

Departmental policy requires that music education concentration majors enroll in two semesters of concert choir. A grade of “C” or better must be earned in every course in the core music requirement. Music majors and minors must repeat courses in which a grade of “D” or “F” was earned during the semester immediately following the semester during which the failing grade was earned (or in the next semester during which the course is offered), and before progressing to the next level of courses in sequence, or to courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite.

Students in voice and instrumental music must pass a Piano Proficiency Examination before graduation. Music majors are required to take the basic music core courses for respective degrees and a core of courses that satisfy the general education requirements set by the University and the Board of Regents. Students must meet the graduation requirements of the College of Education Arts & Humanities.

The professional teaching degree, Bachelor of Music (concentration in education – Piano and Voice or Instrumental), is awarded through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. While the professional education component is offered in the degree-granting department, since the music subject content is sequential and skills-intensive, it is mandatory that students be advised in the Department of Visual & Performing Arts Music area, as well as in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for the duration of their matriculation.

Minors in music must take a minimum of 20 hours in core music courses and applied music, and must participate in an ensemble of the applied discipline. Enrollment in Concert Choir fulfills this requirement for applied piano minors.


Applicants to the music program must audition in a major area of performance for admittance to one of the music curricula. In addition, entering freshmen are required to take a placement examination testing aural ability and knowledge of elementary theory. Provisional admittance is granted to applicants whose placement results indicate the need for preparatory study in theory and/ or performance. All students are encouraged to have pre-college work in basic theory as well as study in performance areas, i.e., piano, voice, and instruments.


Majors are required to attend the weekly performance and recital class, which is part of the applied music and departmental requirement. The performance requirement also includes attendance at a stipulated number of faculty and other artist recitals, performances by departmental ensembles, and other specified performances on and off campus. Majors must fulfill the performance requirement for the duration of enrollment in applied music or for a minimum of eight semesters. Minors must fulfill the same requirements for the duration of enrollment in applied music.

Majors are required to be in continuous enrollment in applied music through completion of the senior recital during the last semester in residence, which is a requirement for majors in the Bachelor of Music program. Students with a concentration in Music Education may prepare a senior project in lieu of the senior recital.


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