Associate of Arts Degree

The Music Department offers a comprehensive program designed to provide a wide variety of musical experience for the student seeking to transfer to a baccalaureate program in performance or music education for a career as a musician or music teacher.

  1. This degree may require additional lower division requirements at CSU and UC campuses.
  2. Students MUST complete CSU GE or IGETC pattern.
  3. Students MUST complete Proficiency Requirements for AA degree:
    • Reading for graduation
    • Information Competency
    • Cultural Diversity

Students who complete the Associate in Arts in Music will be able to:

  1. Critique musical performances with an awareness of vocabulary, musical style, performance practice, and interpretation suitable for transfer to a school of music.
  2. Read and write music notation with a proficiency level suitable for transfer entrance examination.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency suitable for a transfer audition on voice or instrument, incorporating accurate performance practice based on historical eras and diverse musical styles.

Careers in Music include:

• Composer or Arranger • Film, TV, Gaming, Commercial Jingles • Symphony Orchestra • Opera • Ballet • Band, Orchestral, Choral Music • K-12 school ensembles • College, Conservatory & University ensembles • Community ensembles • Churches and synagogues • Music Publisher • Music Copyist • Music Licensing Consultant • Conductor (Vocal or Instrumental) • Concertmaster (Orchestra) • Section Leader (Orchestra) • Section Member (Orchestra) • Orchestra Manager • Choir Director (Church, Community) • Cantor (Church, Synagogue) • Church Organist • Opera Singer • Music Director (Musical Theater) • Musical Theater Singer • Music Librarian • Public/Private School Music Teacher • Public/Private School Music Supervisor • College or University Music Teacher • Private Music Teacher (Vocal or Instrumental) • Music Therapist • Music Producer • Sound Designer • Sound Technician • Songwriter • Lyricist • Recording Artist • Studio Musician • Collaborative Pianist (Accompanist) • Educational Settings (K-12, College, University) • Church & Community Settings • Community Choirs • Recitals • Background Music (Hotels, casinos, clubs, department stores) • Band Member (Instrumentalist or Vocal) • Floor Shows (Hotels, casinos, clubs) • Dance/Cover • Cruise Ship Musician • Radio Music Director • Music Store Manager • Music Instrument Sales Representative • Music Instrument Repair and Restoration Specialist • Music Instrument Builder/Designer • Piano Tuner/Technician

Music majors should meet with a full-time faculty member for advising and planning for timely completion of the AA degree in Music.

  1. Music majors with prior piano experience may meet the Piano Proficiency requirement (Music 031A/B) via credit by examination. Music majors with no prior piano experience should enroll in Beginning Piano (MUS 030A/B) to remediate prior to enrolling in Intermediate Piano (MUS 31A/B).
  2. Music majors deficient in knowledge of scales, key signatures, intervals and chords are advised to take Fundamentals of Music (MUS 005) to remediate prior to enrolling in Theory Level 1 (MUS 3A).
  3. Audition is required for admission to large ensembles (MUS 42ABCD, 48A, 49ABCD), and the Applied Music program (MUS 39). Admission is based on the likelihood the student will be able to meet transfer audition requirements two years hence.
  4. This is a high-unit program due to multiple, sequential subject matter courses beginning in the first semester in accordance with National Association of Schools of Music standards. It will require the student take classes during Winter and/or Summer intersessions in order to complete the program including all transfer GE requirements in two years

Core Requirements: Theory, Musicianship, History, Applied Music: 27 units

Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 1 Music History 3 units
MUSC 2 Music History 3 units
MUSC 3A Music Theory Level 1 4 units
MUSC 20A Musicianship Level 1 1 unit
MUSC 3B Music Theory Level 2 4 units
MUSC 4A Music Theory Level 3 4 units
MUSC 4B Music Theory Level 4 4 units
MUSC 31A Intermediate Piano, Level 3 1 unit
MUSC 31B Intermediate Piano, Level 4 1 unit
MUSC 39 Applied Music 0.5 unit
MUSC 66 Computer Literacy for Musicians 1 unit

Core Requirements: Large Ensemble: 4 units

Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 42A Concert Choir – Early Music 1 unit
MUSC 42B Concert Choir – Classical Music 1 unit
MUSC 42C Concert Choir – Modern Music 1 unit
MUSC 42D Concert Choir – World Music 1 unit
  OR  
MUSC 48A Symphony Orchestra 1 unit
  OR  
MUSC 49A Symphonic Band – Marches 1 unit
MUSC 49B Symphonic Band – Chorales 1 unit
MUSC 49C Symphonic Band – Film and Popular Music 1 unit
MUSC 49D Symphonic Band – Modern Literature 1 unit

Recommended Electives: 6 units

Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 6 Introduction to Music Education 2 units
MUSC 7 Film Music Appreciation 3 units
MUSC 9 Jazz - Past and Present 3 units
MUSC 10 Music Appreciation 3 units
MUSC 20 Ear Training Fundamentals 1 unit
MUSC 26 Techniques of Jazz - Rock Guitar 2 units
MUSC 27 Introduction to Jazz Piano 2 units
MUSC 30A Beginning Piano, Level 1 1 unit
MUSC 30B Beginning Piano, Level 2 1 unit
MUSC 32A Beginning Voice: Classical Music 1 unit
MUSC 32B Beginning Voice: Folk Music 1 unit
MUSC 32C Beginning Voice: Musical Theatre 1 unit
MUSC 33A Intermediate Voice: Classical Music 1 unit
MUSC 33B Intermediate Voice: Musical Theatre 1 unit
MUSC 36A Beginning Guitar, Level 1 1 unit
MUSC 36B Beginning/Intermediate Guitar, Level 2 1 unit
MUSC 36C Intermediate Guitar, Level 3 1 unit
MUSC 36D Intermediate/Advanced Guitar, Level 4 1 unit
MUSC 40A Chamber Singers – Early Music 2 units
MUSC 40B College Chorale 1 unit
MUSC 43 A/B Techniques of Jazz Improvisation 1 unit
MUSC 44 Music Theater & Opera Scenes 1 unit
MUSC 52 A Ensemble Performance - Jazz and Pop 2 units
MUSC 54 History of Rock & Roll 3 units
MUSC 55 World Music 3 units
MUSC 56 Afro-Latin Percussion 1 unit
MUSC 62 A Solo Performance in Jazz & Popular Music 1 unit
MUSC 63 A Introduction to Music Production & Recording 3 units
MUSC 63 B Advanced Music Production and Recording 3 units
MUSC 64 Sound Design 3 units
MUSC 66 Computer Literacy for Musicians 1 unit
MUSC 67 A Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming: Foundations 3 units
MUSC 67 B Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 3 units
MUSC 68 Cinematic Orchestration for Film, TV and Gaming 3 units
MUSC 69 Commercial Music Theory/ Songwriting I 3 units
MUSC 70 Music Technology Lab 1 unit
MUSC 91, 92, 93 Directed Studies 1–3 units
MUSC 99 Practice Lab 1 unit

To be awarded an A.A. Degree, a student must complete

  1. All the major requirements.
  2. Minimum four ensemble courses distributed over four semesters.
  3. Minimum five units from electives.
  4. Additional units to meet the college graduation requirements.

Notes:

  1. Piano majors may meet the MUSIC 30A, B and 31A, B requirement via credit by examination.
  2. Music majors considering a career in music education should enroll in music electives MUSIC 27, 2A, B, C, 36, and 42A, 42B, 42C or 42D.

Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer (AA-T)

The Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer degree (AA-T in Music) is a 60 unit program which provides students the lower division coursework required for transfer to a CSU institution for the major in Music. Music 42, 48A and 49 are 1 unit courses that must be repeated 4 times to meet the requirement. Music 39 is a 0.5 unit course that must be repeated 4 times to meet the requirement. Students who complete the Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer degree (AA-T in Music) will be able to demonstrate the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with the elements of music, through sight-reading and musical analysis; perform standard solo and ensemble repertoire appropriate to their performance area at a collegiate level; create derivative or original music in extemporaneous and/or written form; demonstrate a working knowledge of music history and performance practices within their area of specialization.

Students must complete the following requirements:

  • 60 semester or 90 quarter CSU-transferable units
  • the California State University-General Education-Breadth pattern (CSU GE-Breadth); OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern.
  • a minimum of 18 semester or 27 quarter units in the major or area of emphasis as determined by the community college district.
  • obtainment of a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
  • earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis

Students are not required to complete the information competency requirements, PE requirements or cultural diversity requirements found in other degrees at the College.

NOTE: Majors will be required to pass a Piano Proficiency examination prior to graduation which includes sight reading a two-part grade 1 selection, and playing two stylistically contrasting pieces from Bartok’s Mikrokosmos Book II. Enrolling in MUSC 31A/B Intermediate Piano, using available elective units, is encouraged.


Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 3A Music Theory Level 1 3 units
MUSC 3B Music Theory Level 2 4 units
MUSC 4A Music Theory Level 3 4 units
MUSC 4B Music Theory Level 4 4 units
MUSC 20A Musicianship Level 1 1 unit

List A

Complete a total of 2 units taken over a minimum of 4 semesters of MUSC 39 (MUSC 39 is a 0.5 unit course that must be repeated 4 times to meet the requirement):

Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 39 Applied Music 2 units

List B

Complete a total of 4 units over a minimum of 4 semesters from the following list (4 semesters, 1 unit each - Music 42, 48A and 49 are 1 unit courses that must be repeated 4 times to meet the requirement):

Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 42 College Chorale 4 units
OR    
MUSC 48A Symphony Orchestra 4 units
OR    
MUSC 49 Symphonic Band 4 units
Total Major Units   22 units
GE Units (CSU GE or IGETC)   37–39 units
Total Degree Units   60 units

Commercial Music Production Certificate of Achievement

The Commercial Music Production Certificate at West Valley College focuses on the recording arts, music technology, and commercial music production. This is a comprehensive curriculum covering electronic music/sound design, recording arts, songwriting, MIDI/Digital audio, and audio for visual media. Featuring state-of-art facilities and ‘cutting-edge’ hardware and software, the courses are designed for students of all levels, providing hands-on experience and thorough training in the creative and technical challenges specific to commercial music production. Upon successful completion of the requirements of this program the student will be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to arrange, record, compose, evaluate, and produce in a commercial music format and style. Potential careers specific to these skills include but are not limited to: Recording Engineer Assistant Engineer Pro Tools Certified Programmer/Technician Logic PRO Certified Programmer/Technician Composer Performer Producer Game Audio/Film and TV Sound Design Sound Editor Session Musician Audio Technician Songwriter Music Supervisor Backup Musician Arranger Live Sound/Front of House/Monitors Music Technician Design and Repair DJ Music Director.

After completing the Commercial Music Production Certificate, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate digital audio workstation skills specific to multi-track recording, mixing, sound design, sequencing, and composition.
Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 63A Introduction to Music Technology 3 units
MUSC 63B Commercial Music Production 3 units
MUSC 64 Sound Design 3 units
MUSC 65A Recording Arts I 3 units
MUSC 65B Recording Arts II 3 units
MUSC 69 Commercial Music Theory/Songwriting I 3 units
MUSC 69 Commercial Music Theory/Songwriting I 3 units
Total Certificate Units   18 units

Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming Certificate of Achievement

The Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming Certificate of Achievement requires the successful completion of 4 semesters, 38 units. This program provides Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities in scoring for film, TV and gaming. This comprehensive curriculum covers areas in, but not limited to, music theory, musicianship, electronic and acoustic music composition, recording arts, songwriting and arranging, cinematic orchestration, software music notation, MIDI sequencing, and digital audio recording and editing. Featuring state of the art facilities, industry-standard hardware and software, the courses are designed for students of all levels, providing hands-on experience and thorough training in the creative and technical challenges specific to scoring for film, TV and gaming. Upon completion, certificate students will have acquired skills in composing, cinematic orchestration, digital audio recording and editing, MIDI programming, music notation, recording multi-track sessions, and commercial songwriting. These skills are specific to careers in, but not limited to, TV composer, commercial composer, film composer, video game composer, app composer, web composer, music editor, music supervisor, digital audio workstation operator, songwriter, orchestrator, copyist, and music licensor.

MUSC 39 (0.5 units) is repeatable and is taken two times.

After completing the Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming Certificate of Achievement, a student will be able to:

  • Students will be able to compose a music cue for film, TV or gaming in a selected genre.
Course Number Course Title Units
MUSC 3A Music Theory Level 1 3 units
MUSC 3B Music Theory Level 2 1 unit
MUSC 63A Introduction to Music Technology 3 units
MUSC 67A Scoring for Film, TV and Gaming: Foundations 3 units
MUSC 67B Scoring for Film, TV, and Gaming: Action, Adventure and Sci-Fi 3 units
MUSC 68 Cinematic Orchestration for Film, TV and Gaming 3 units
MUSC 4A Music Theory Level 3 4 units
MUSC 7 Film Music Appreciation 3 units
MUSC 4B Music Theory Level 4 4 units
MUSC 20A Musicianship, Level 1 1 unit
MUSC 30A Beginning Piano, Level 1 1 unit
MUSC 30B Beginning Piano 1 unit
MUSC 42A Concert Choir – Early Music 1 unit
MUSC 49 Symphonic Band – Marches 1 unit
MUSC 66 Computer Literacy for Musicians 1 unit
MUSC 31A Intermediate Piano 1 unit
MUSC 39 Applied Music: Composition 0.5 unit
last published: 5/10/18