School of Music
Music majors & non-music majors welcome.
For music majors, we have a two-year program that specializes in performance and culminates in an Associate of Music degree which transfers to many colleges and universities. For non-majors, we have a variety of ensembles, private lessons, and listening-oriented music history courses which satisfy General Education Requirements.
Joseph.Erman@bucks.edu (215) 504-8667
Mission & Handbook
The School of Music at BCCC provides students with a comprehensive and individualized education to prepare them for lifelong success as professional and nonprofessional musicians while enriching the cultural life of our diverse community.
The Music Major
Students develop musicality in their applied area by taking four sequential college-level private lessons for one hour weekly, known as Principal Lessons. Students must master their assigned repertoire to advance to the next level by passing a mandatory jury examination at the end of the term. The adjudication panel is comprised of faculty members and private instructors. A Performance Class is a co-requisite course with Principal Lessons. In this environment, students perform before an audience of their peers, guided by an instructor, and learn to listen critically to each other and provide constructive commentary.
Essential musicianship skills are developed in a four-semester sequence of courses in both theory and ear training. These co-requisite courses explore the primary rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic principles indispensable to all musicians. Students will advance from diatonic and chromatic harmony through contemporary idioms and gain proficiency in analysis, composition, sight-singing, and dictation.
Music performance is a primary focus of our program; therefore, students are encouraged to participate in as many ensembles as they like. Repertoire for any given ensemble is diverse in style, character, native origin, etc. Each ensemble presents an end-of-semester concert and may also perform for other functions on campus or at external venues. Music majors must take one ensemble per semester. Concert Choir is required as one of four total ensembles and is to be taken during the first semester.
All music students must take Group Instruction in Piano, which is designed to address practical keyboard skills (sight-reading, harmonization, improvisation, transposition, scales, chord progressions, and elementary repertoire) that can be applied universally and productively across the curriculum. Students must pass a Piano Proficiency Exam before they graduate. It is possible to retake this course multiple times, or conversely, as student may wish to hone his/her piano skills by enrolling in a weekly ½ hour private secondary piano lesson.
Our program provides ample opportunity to explore a wide range of music repertoire through listening-based survey courses such as Introduction to Music (standard music appreciation of Western art music), World Music, History of Jazz and American Pop Culture: History of Rock.
Getting Started in the Music Major
Schedule Your Audition
Admission to the Music Program is by audition. Please contact our Administrative Assistant, Joseph Erman, at Joseph.Erman@bucks.edu or (215) 504-8667 in the Arts and Communication Department to schedule your audition. As a reminder, if you haven't done so already, you must take the standard College-wide assessment tests in English Composition, Reading, and Math.
At your scheduled audition, you will perform on your intended principal instrument (piano, guitar, voice, saxophone, etc.) repertoire of your choice that best demonstrates your ability and skill level. You should be prepared to perform two selections in contrasting styles. Original compositions cannot be used for this purpose.
Music Skills Assessment
After your audition, you will be assessed in music theory, piano skills, sight-reading, pitch matching, and aural identification of triad qualities, scale types, etc. You can take the music theory assessment test at the audition, or, alternatively, you can contact our administrative assistant to take it in advance by scheduling an appointment to do so.
Advising & Registration
At the end of your audition, a music faculty member will help you choose your courses for the upcoming semester. You will also be instructed on how to register.
Scholarships are administered by the Foundation Office and the Financial Aid Office for use at Bucks County Community College.