The Department of Music regards the study of music as an artistic discipline that has an essential role in liberal arts education. Through courses in music history, theory, ethnomusicology, performance, and composition, the department cultivates the growth of students by fostering their creative, intellectual, and critical abilities. The department's introductory courses offer a solid foundation in musicianship, including music reading, sight singing, ear training, and critical listening and individual instruction is offered at three levels. Our website provides guidance on selecting courses and all courses are also designed to contribute in various ways to the College’s Learning Goals and the Music Department's Learning Goals. The requirements are below and please see the Music chapter of the course catalog for more detailed requirements.
Students can declare a music major as early as the second semester of their first year provided they have completed one classroom course at Mount Holyoke that leads to the major or minor, i.e. Music 131 (Basic Musicianship), Music 281 (Music History I), given each semester, or Music 231 (Theory I), given in the spring semester. Students must make an appointment with the Department Chair to discuss courses they plan to take and to obtain necessary signature. Students who major in music at Mount Holyoke will take courses in all aspects of the field: theory, history, ethnomusicology, analysis, composition, and performance. The major requires a minimum of 32 credits in classroom courses and 8 credits in ensemble and performance studies. All majors must demonstrate a level of keyboard proficiency sufficient for the reading of elementary keyboard repertory.
Students can also plan a special (self-designed) major with a music component. Approval of the department chair is required and students must have a music department faculty member among their advisors.
In order to declare a major, students must have already completed one of the following courses: Music 131, 203, 226, 231, or 281.
Students can declare a music minor as early as the second semester of their first year provided they have completed one classroom course at Mount Holyoke that leads to the major or minor, i.e. Music 131 (Basic Musicianship), Music 281 (Music History I), given each semester, or Music 231 (Theory I), given in the spring semester. Students must make an appointment with the Department Chair to discuss courses they plan to take and to obtain necessary signature.
The music minor is a flexible program designed to be responsive to students' varied interests. The minor requires a minimum of 20 credits above the 100 level; students may choose from courses in theory, history, ethnomusicology, performance, or composition.
In order to declare a minor a student must have already completed one course that leads to the minor: Music 131, 203, 215, 220, 226, 231, 239, or 281.
Five College Ethnomusicology Certificate
Through the Five College consortium, students may take courses for credit at any campus. In addition, students with a special interest in ethnomusicology may pursue the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, a program that allows students to develop a unique, multi-disciplinary curriculum focused on their individual research interests
Teacher Licensure in Music Education
Students interested in pursuing Teacher Licensure in the field of music can combine their course work in music with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. Students wishing to pursue teacher licensure should consult the music department before the first semester.