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Music Minor

Music Studies for the Non-major. Students who are not interested in being a music major but still want to pursue their interests in music at Western Carolina University have several options:

  • Music Minor. The minor provides a foundation in musicianship along with several semesters of individual study in your performing area.
  • Approved Program in Music. If neither the major nor the minor match your musical interests, it is possible to custom design a program for your own personal interests.
  • Performing in Ensembles Most of our ensembles are available to any student. Auditions for ensembles are typically held during the first few days of Fall semester or at the end of Fall semester for the Spring semester.

Music Minor. The minor in music combines basic studies in musicianship with weekly individual lessons in your performing area (instrumental or vocal). Acceptance as a music minor requires a live audition for a panel of music faculty. Minors are expected to demonstrate the same level of ability that would allow their acceptance into the major. In other words, the minor is not for weaker performers, just for those who don’t currently plan to be music majors. 

The music minor requires only 18 hours and can be completed in as few as two semesters. It still provides a strong foundation in musicianship, yet has greater flexibility in the choice of electives. It is also designed to make it easier for a student to make an easy transition:

  • from the music minor as a freshman to the major as a sophomore
  • from the music major as a freshman to a non-music major as a sophomore.

Because the minor can be completed in only one year, it can be started in any year of study, depending on the availability of space in the studio in which you are interested.

Approved Program in Music. For students whose interests in music do not include performance study, it is possible to create an individually designed “approved program” from the more academic courses, such as:

  • MUS 118, 218, 318, 319 Music Theory I-IV (3 hours each)
  • MUS 101 Music Appreciation (3)
  • MUS 102 American Music (3)
  • MUS 300 Country Music (3)
  • MUS 302 History of Rock Music (3)
  • MUS 304 Jazz Appreciation (3)
  • MUS 469 Music in Motion Pictures (3)

An Approved Program based on courses like this could support majors in Theatre, English, History, Political Science, Communications, Philosophy, Business, Marketing, etc. It might lead to careers in broadcasting, arts management, museum work, and a wide variety of areas of business and retail.

Scholarships for non-music majors. In general, only music majors are eligible for music scholarships (and only if they have applied by the 1 February deadline), but we occasionally award a scholarship to a minor if we are particularly in need of their performing abilities in our ensembles. Students interested in scholarships might also consider taking the BA in Music as a double major.

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