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Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music degree (B.A. in Music) includes a core of intensive music study alongside Bachelor of Music peers: Musicianship (music theory and aural skills), Historical and Cultural Studies in Music, and an array of Music Electives (including applied instrumental/vocal studio, large and small ensemble performance, Music Technology). At the same time, the B.A. degree emphasizes the study of music in the context of TCNJ’s competitive Liberal Arts experience. In addition to fulfilling the Liberal Learning requirements for all TCNJ students, B.A. in Music students plan a course of Free Electives and are mentored to pursue interdisciplinary academic and creative perspectives on music. Secondary majors, minors, and/or concentrations are also possible, and encouraged, as is study abroad. B.A. in Music students have successfully double majored or minored in a variety of fields, such as African American Studies, Anthropology, Business, Communications, History, Interactive Multimedia, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Nursing, Religion, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. And while at TCNJ, B.A. in Music majors have embarked on semester-length courses at universities in Austria, China, and England.

The B.A. in Music degree prepares students for a diverse range of careers depending on their individualized courses of study. Recent B.A. students are pursuing graduate degrees and careers in Composition, Education, Library and Information Science, Music Therapy, Musical Theater, Musicology, and interdisciplinary Performance Studies, at prestigious institutions including Brooklyn College, Kings College (London), Minnesota State, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, the University of Florida, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music, with an Interdisciplinary Minor in Music Technology @ TCNJ

Among the many compelling programs to pair with TCNJ’s B.A. in Music degree, students may find the new Interdisciplinary Minor in Music Technology to be of interest. Launched in Summer 2020, the Interdisciplinary Minor in Music Technology offers multiple avenues to create, record, produce, and study music through media and technology design practices. It strengthens TCNJ’s existing offerings in the growing field of music technology, encompassing electronic music, composition, sound design, studio recording, audio production, podcasting, interactive music systems, creative coding, instrument design, data analysis, and signal processing. And it opens the possibility of powerful connections between multiple aspects of music study–performance, composition, theory, Historical and Cultural Studies–and technology.

In order to complete the Interdisciplinary Minor in Music Technology, students must take five courses offered through the Departments of Music, Interactive Multimedia, and Communication Studies. The Fundamentals requirement can be satisfied by cross-counting a Musicianship course. To satisfy the Composition and Sound Design component, it is recommended that students take Electronic Music (MUS 345) during their 2nd year as a complement to their upper-level Musicianship courses (MUS 263 and MUS 264). A comprehensive list of requirements and course options can be found in TCNJ’s Undergraduate Bulletin. Please contact Dr. Heisler (wheisler@tcnj.edu) for advisement on course sequencing and planning, and reach out to Dr. Nakra (nakra@tcnj.edu) for questions about course content and prerequisites for the Minor.

Note that applicants for the B.A. in Music degree must demonstrate that they possess the skills to participate successfully in a curricular ensemble or in an applied studio as determined through an audition with the applicable area coordinator and ensemble director.

Contact:

Dr. Wayne Heisler
Coordinator of Bachelor of Arts in Music

Bachelor of Music in Music Education

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education prepares students to be certified public school teachers. There are three tracks in this degree: Instrumental (Wind, Strings, and Percussion), Keyboard, and Vocal (Keyboard, Guitar and Harp have either a vocal or instrumental emphasis in determining large ensemble requirements). Successful completion of the degree qualifies students to sit for the Praxis examination as part of the teacher certification process. Graduates of this program also qualify for certification in other states, subject to the individual processes of each state. The Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree is constructed on a solid core of performance experiences and, as such, also prepares students for graduate study. Certification qualifies students to teach instrumental and choral classes K-12 in the NJ Public Schools.

The student who pursues this major will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Learn more about this program.

Contact:

Dr. Nicholas McBride
Coordinator of Music Education

Bachelor of Music in Performance

The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Performance program at TCNJ develops the holistic musician within each student and prepares them to be relevant artists in a diverse, global world. Our approach is to train future performing artists in a well-rounded Liberal Arts setting that is also in close proximity to the world-class performing centers of Philadelphia and New York, giving students the tools to become accomplished, innovative, and entrepreneurial musicians. Highlights of TCNJ’s music performance degree program include:

  • The opportunity to study with world-class artist-teachers, many of whom perform in top orchestras, opera companies, and ensembles in Philadelphia, New York, and the region. 
  • Close musical, academic, and professional training and mentorship by faculty dedicated to undergraduate teaching.
  • Significant performance opportunities and cultural experiences on- and off-campus. 
  • Innovative, valuable options to pursue a minor or area of interest that complements the music performance major in the 21st century, including, music technology, theater, social justice, and more. 
  • Affordable tuition, which is only a fraction of many of the country’s top private conservatories.

Contact:

Dr. Gary Fienberg
Performance Affairs Committee Chairperson