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Music – Instrumental, Vocal, or Keyboard Performance Transfer AA

image of old sheet music

Last updated 6/30/2015

Associate in Arts Code: 1023

Program Contacts:
QC Campus
Jonathan Palomaki, 309-796-5478, palomakij@bhc.edu
Edgar Crockett, 309-796-5479, crockette@bhc.edu


The music curricula are primarily intended for those planning to transfer to a four-year school to complete a bachelor’s degree in a music-related field. Four-year degree programs in music are complex and highly structured, making careful preparation and course selection in the first two years essential. Students are urged to study the general information given below, follow the suggested curricula closely, and consult often with music faculty or an advisor. It is also recommended that prospective students be auditioned by a music instructor before enrolling at Black Hawk College.

Students planning to major in music at a four-year institution should follow the Black Hawk College Associate in Arts curriculum. Since requirements for a music major vary at four-year institutions, students are encouraged to work closely with academic advisors at Black Hawk College in conjunction with the transfer institution(s) of choice.

Music Achievement Awards Available: The music program offers achievement awards to both music and non-music majors. Students must audition before the full-time faculty. Awards are given in varying levels of credit hour waivers. Contact the persons listed above for more information.

Music Fundamentals, Music Theory, and Music Literature
All the music curricula require classes in music fundamentals (MUSC 110 or proficiency) and music theory (MUSC 111 and 112). All curricula require one semester of music literature (MUSC 113). Note: In order to satisfy the Humanities/Fine Arts general education component for graduation, you must submit and have approved a “Course Substitutions and/or Waiver for Graduation Form” that substitutes MUSC 113 for MUSC 154. See Mr. Palomaki for details.

Performance Groups
Each music student should participate in a performing group each semester, either instrumental ensembles (MUSC 101, 102 or 103), or choral ensembles (MUSC 107 or 109). Music students may also participate in other performance groups for additional elective credit. Performance groups are open to all Black Hawk College students. No more than 4 credits in each ensemble can be counted toward graduation requirements.

Applied Major Lessons (Music Major with Primary Focus)
An important part of a music major’s curriculum should be individualized instruction on a chosen musical instrument and/or voice. This form of instruction is called Applied Major Lessons. Students choose one instrument or voice for primary study, and the instruction they receive in that instrument or voice constitutes their applied major area. All applied lesson classes may be repeated two times for credit. However, music majors can count only 12 credits of applied lessons toward graduation requirements. Lesson classes numbered 200 or above may be taken only by sophomores or by students with two semesters of instruction in the corresponding 100 level class.

The following course numbers are for music majors with a primary focus in these instrumental/vocal areas:

  • MUSC 125, 225 Voice
  • MUSC 127, 227 Piano
  • MUSC 129, 229 Organ
  • MUSC 131, 231 Brass Instrument
  • MUSC 133, 233 Woodwind Instrument
  • MUSC 135, 235 String Instrument
  • MUSC 137, 237 Percussion Instrument

Applied Elective Lessons (General Student or Secondary Focus)
Music majors may choose one or more additional instruments or voice for less intensive study, and these form the Applied Elective Lessons. Non-music majors or any general student may also select to study an instrument or voice, and they will also take courses under this Applied Elective Lesson area. All applied lesson classes may be repeated two times for credit. However, non-majors may count only up to 4 credits of applied lessons toward graduation. Lesson classes numbered 200 or above may be taken only by sophomores or by students with two semesters of instruction in the corresponding 100 level class.

The following course numbers are for non-music majors, any general student, or a music major with a secondary instrument or voice:

  • MUSC 121, 221 Elementary Voice
  • MUSC 123, 223 Elementary Piano
  • MUSC 129, 229 Organ
  • MUSC 141, 241 Elementary Brass Instrument
  • MUSC 143, 243 Elementary Woodwind Instrument
  • MUSC 145, 245 Elementary String Instrument
  • MUSC 147, 247 Elementary Percussion Instrument

Piano Proficiency Exam
All music majors are expected to complete the BHC Piano Proficiency Exam by the end of their sophomore year. As such, applied lessons in piano are encouraged for each semester of study in order to adequately prepare for this exam.

Music – Instrumental, Vocal, or Keyboard Performance Transfer AA
Associate in Arts Code: 1023
Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)
First Semester
CS 100 — Introduction to Computers (3)
ENG 101 — Composition I (3)
MUSC 101 — Instrumental Ensemble  or (1)
MUSC 102 — Stage Band  or
MUSC 103 — Instrument Chamber Ensemble  or
MUSC 107 — Choir  or
MUSC 109 — Chamber Singers
MUSC 110 — Fundamentals of Music (2)
MUSC 111 — Theory of Music (4)
Physical Science (3)
1See specific recommendations for music lessons, etc.

Second Semester
ENG 102 — Composition II (3)
MUSC 101 — Instrumental Ensemble  or (1)
MUSC 102 — Stage Band  or
MUSC 103 — Instrument Chamber Ensemble  or
MUSC 107 — Choir  or
MUSC 109 — Chamber Singers
MUSC 112 — Theory of Music (4)
MUSC 113 — Exploring Music Literature (3)
Mathematics (3)
Social and Behavioral Science (3)
1See specific recommendations for music lessons, etc.

Third Semester
MUSC 101 — Instrumental Ensemble or (1)
MUSC 102 — Stage Band  or
MUSC 103 — Instrument Chamber Ensemble  or
MUSC 107 — Choir  or
MUSC 109 — Chamber Singers
MUSC 211 — Theory of Music (4)
2Humanities (3)
Life Science (4)
Social and Behavioral Science (3)
1See specific recommendations for music lessons, etc.

Fourth Semester
(Music Ensembles are strongly encourages during the fourth semester)
MUSC 212 — Theory of Music (3)
SPEC 101 — Principles of Speech Communication (3)
2Humanities  or  Fine Arts (3)
Non-Western Studies – MUSC 158 recommended (3)
Social and Behavioral Science (3)
1See specific recommendations for music lessons, etc.

Minimum total hours required for degree (64)

1Lessons

  1. The music performance major should enroll in a minimum of one hour of applied major lessons each semester (two hours preferred).
  2. The music performance major should enroll in a minimum of one hour of applied elective lesson each semester.

(MUSC 123 or 223 for all students with applied major lessons other than piano. MUSC 121 or 221 for all applied major students in piano.)

Participation in a recital is expected in the sophomore year.

2Students planning on majoring in music with an emphasis on performance at a four-year institution should enroll in two semesters of German or French. Those courses taken at the 202 or above level can be counted as part of the Humanities electives.

Courses for this program include: »

CS 100 Introduction to Computers
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 1 lab hour per week.
Prerequisite: Appropriate placement score or REA 093 “B” or better.
Introduction to computer concepts, computer applications, and the impact of computers on society. Applications include problem solving methods, word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation graphics software. Basic Algebra or equivalent is recommended.

ENG 101 Composition I
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: ACT English score of 22 or above; or appropriate COMPASS score; or English 091 “C” or better.
English 101 is designed for students who are competent in the fundamentals of composition. Students will write essays using a variety of expository strategies and will apply standard techniques of documentation when appropriate. IAI: C1 900

ENG 102 Composition II
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: English 101 “C” or better.
English 102 is a continuation of English 101, is a required composition course that involves reading, discussion, and analysis of a body of literature to generate ideas for critical and persuasive papers, including one documented research paper. IAI: C1 901R (Grade of “C” or higher required for this course to be eligible to be included in the IAI General Education Core Curriculum.

MUSC 101 Instrumental Ensemble
1 cr. hr.;
0 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Standard instrumental literature as well as chamber music and other material as required. No auditions required. No more than 4 credit hours will apply toward a degree.

MUSC 102 Jazz Ensemble
1 cr. hr.;
0 lecture hours; 3 lab hours per week.
Preparation, exploration, and performance of jazz literature from a variety of stylistic eras. No more than 4 credit hours will apply toward a degree.

MUSC 103 Instrumental Chamber Ensemble
1 cr. hr.;
0 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Performance of selected chamber music according to the group instrumentation. No more than 4 credit hours will apply toward a degree.

MUSC 107 Choir
1 cr. hr.;
0 lecture hours; 3 lab hours per week.
Rehearsal and performance of sacred and secular choral literature from early Renaissance to the 21st Century. No audition required. No more than 4 credit hours will apply toward a degree.

MUSC 109 Chamber Singers
1 cr. hr.;
0 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Rehearsal and performance of vocal literature suitable for a chamber ensemble. A Cappella music is emphasized. Auditions required first week of class. No more than 4 credit hours will apply toward a degree.

MUSC 110 Fundamentals of Music
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Musical notation, scales and intervals, triads, seventh chords, sight-singing and fundamental keyboard skills. Recommended for music majors, elementary teaching majors, and other interested students.

MUSC 111 Theory of Music
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: MUSC 110 or placement examination or instructor consent.
Structure of music, notation, scales, intervals, harmonic progression, part writing, sight-singing, keyboard skills and composition.

MUSC 112 Theory of Music
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: MUSC 111 or instructor consent.
A continuation of MUSC 111, with an emphasis on part writing, harmonic progression, form, aural skills and keyboard proficiency.

MUSC 113 Exploring Music Literature
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: MUSC 110 and MUSC 111 or instructor consent.
Study of representative vocal and instrumental works illustrative of the principal forms and styles from the Medieval period to the present.

MUSC 211 Theory of Music
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: MUSC 112 or instructor consent.
Continuation of sight-singing, ear-training and dictation, with review of tonal harmony. Emphasis in harmony on analysis and composition in tonal harmonic styles using musical examples to the late 19th century.

MUSC 212 Theory of Music
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: MUSC 211 or instructor consent.
Continuation of MUSC 211. Late 19th century and 20th century harmonic practices.

SPEC 101 Principles of Speech Communication
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
The oral communication course combines communication theory with the practice of oral communication skills. The oral communication course: (1) develops awareness of the communication process; (2) provides inventional, organizational, and expressive strategies; (3) promotes understanding of and adaptation to a variety of communication contexts; and (4) emphasizes critical skills in listening, reading, thinking and speaking. IAI: C2 900