2011-12 Student Catalog 
    Feb 07, 2023  
2011-12 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, AS

Contact Information


Associate in Science





Major Code


The Career

The Associate in Science Degree program is designed for students who have had previous music experience in an academic setting. The degree offers students quality music academic courses, coaching and performance opportunities to facilitate successful transfer to a four-year college, university or conservatory.

After graduating from NCCC and completing a successful transfer audition, NCCC students have gone on to graduate from four-year programs in: music education, music business, music therapy, music performance, sound recording technology, musical theater and minister of music programs. The completed degree has also served as a foundation for course work in other specialized fields such as Audiology and Speech Therapy.

NCCC graduates have attended schools such as Buffalo State College, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, Nazareth College in Rochester, Ithaca College and out-of-state schools such as Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and Ohio State University.

The NCCC Approach

Successful Music students enter the curriculum having studied classical music on their major instrument (instrument or voice) with a private instructor. They also have basic piano skills, experience in the application of aural and written music theory and some music history knowledge.

At NCCC, students will concentrate on the performance of their major instruments as the degree program prepares them for transfer into baccalaureate programs. Successful transfer auditions demonstrate the student’s proficiency in performing music requiring a high caliber of skill and technical ability. It will demonstrate the student’s ability to read music at sight and recall and repeat musical patterns. Students will be required to exhibit appropriate audition decorum. In addition, transfer students will require placement tests in aural and keyboard skills, written theory and music history.

At NCCC, required degree courses include New York State’s General Education requirements for the Arts (AR), Communication (BC), Humanities (H), Foreign Language (FL), Mathematics or Natural Science (M) (NS), Social Sciences (SS). With advisement, elective courses can fulfill all additional required general education courses, Other World Civilization (OW), American History (AH), and Western Civilization (WC).

Transfer Institutions

The Music program currently has transfer agreements with:

SUNY College at Buffalo
SUNY College at Cortland
SUNY College at Fredonia
SUNY College at Potsdam

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students are not required to audition for acceptance into the music degree program. The program is designed for students who have had previous music experience in an academic setting. Prospective students whose background lacks academic musical training are encouraged to enroll in NCCC’s Music certificate program. Once complete, the certificate’s thirty credit hours complete the first 30 credit hours of the associate in Music degree.


The NCCC Music Department features a spacious rehearsal and recording space with Steinway Grand pianos, an instructional smart classroom and a 700-seat, state-of-the-art theater. Access to such facilities enables the music student to experience true-to-life performance practice.

Students will need to supply their own portable electronic keyboard with headphones. The keyboard is required equipment for Written Theory and the Aural and Keyboard Skills courses. The keyboard should be small enough to fit in a backpack and powered by AA batteries. Also, it is essential for students to have had knowledge of and experience with a computer and the internet. Music degree courses require extensive use of technology including musical dictation software and accessing textbook websites.

Private lesson instruction is encouraged for students preparing transfer auditions. Students may retain their private lessons teacher or the Music Department Coordinator will assist in finding an appropriate instructor. All lesson fees for private instruction must be paid by the student directly to the teacher. When applying for financial aid the cost of private lesson instruction, keyboards and instruments can be included. In addition, some music students have qualified for financial assistance through the NCCC Foundation.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To prepare students for a successful audition leading to acceptance as transfer students into Music Education, Music Performance, Recording Technology, Music Business or other music-related programs at four-year colleges, universities and conservatories.
  • To provide students with a well-rounded music and liberal arts education.
  • To assist students in meeting a minimum of seven of the ten SUNY General Education requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Identify, distinguish and notate written and aural elements of music theory.
  • Discuss compositional techniques in all musical style periods.
  • Describe characteristics of historical music time periods.
  • Describe characteristics of major composers.
  • Sight-read and perform simple piano compositions in major and minor keys.
  • Perform in a variety of small ensemble settings.
  • Performance experience in a variety of venues.
  • Demonstrate preparation for a transfer audition.


Minimum Degree Requirements (MUSI)

  1. A total of at least 62 credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the degree.
  2. Music: A minimum of 30 credit hours to include:
    1. MUS 117 - Music History & Repertoire I 
    2. MUS 118 - Music History & Repertoire II  
    3. MUS 133 - American Popular Music 
    4. MUS 171 - Written Theory I *
    5. MUS 172 - Written Theory II *
    6. MUS 181 - Aural and Keyboard Skills I 
    7. MUS 182 - Aural and Keyboard Skills II 
    8. MUS — Music Elective
    9. Six (6) credits of Music Ensemble
  3. Arts & Media: A minimum of 3 credit hours chosen from courses prefixed by ART, SPE or THA.
  4. Recommended Electives: A minimum of 6 credit hours by advisement.
  5. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2 credit hours.
  6. Humanities: A minimum of 12 credit hours to include:
    1. ENG 101 - Writing I 
    2. ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature 
    3. 3 credit hours of Foreign Language
    4. LIT — Literature Elective
  7. Sciences or Mathematics: A minimum of 3 credit hours.
  8. Social Sciences: A minimum of 6 credit hours


Typical Program

Total Credit Hours: 15

Total Credit Hours: 17

Third Semester

  • MUS — Performance Experience 2 Cr.
  • Foreign Language elective 3 Cr.
  • LIT — Literature elective 3 Cr.
  • Mathematics or Science 3 Cr.
  • Social Science elective 3 Cr.
  • Recommended elective 3 Cr.

Total Credit Hours: 17

Fourth Semester

  • MUS — Performance Experience 2 Cr.
  • MUS — Music elective 3 Cr.
  • Social Science elective 3 Cr.
  • Health/Physical Education elective 2 Cr.
  • Recommended elective 3 Cr.

Total Credit Hours: 13


* Students must register for the lecture and laboratory component.

Scholarship Opportunities

All matriculated students in this curriculum are eligible for scholarships. See scholarship  area of this catalog for specific information and criteria, including the following:

Ruth J. McDonald Music Scholarship 

For more information about this program call the NCCC Admissions Office at 614-6200.