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Columbus State University

Bachelor of Music
Music Performance - Instrumental Concentration

College of the Arts

Schwob School of Music

Program Description

The Bachelor of Music in Performance degree is for students who aspire to become professional performers. Students study privately under the direction of our artist-faculty and are held to the highest performance expectations, and classroom instruction with low student-to-teacher ratios in the core areas of music theory, ear training, and music history provide the fundamental background necessary for success as a well-rounded musician.

Students perform in our large ensembles (symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, jazz band) as well as have the opportunity to grow through the chamber music experience each semester. These ensembles are coached by faculty and include multiple performance opportunities in our world-class facilities and throughout Columbus and the surrounding region. Celebrated guest artists from around the world come to the Schwob School of Music to teach and perform with and for our students. Students can also elect to take courses in areas that supplement their performing skills such as music business, audio technology, and body mapping, creating well-equipped performers for the 21st century marketplace.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Music in Performance degree is for students who aspire to become professional performers.

  • music performance
  • production
  • studio instruction and related areas

Admission Requirements

Prospective music majors must demonstrate basic aptitude in a performance medium through a placement audition and interview. Transfer students should call the Schwob School for additional audition requirements.

Any Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach from WTC, Allegro (I movement) from sonata by J. Hadyn, W.A. Mozart, or L. van Beethoven, one virtuoso étude by F. Chopin, F. Liszt, or S. Rachmaninoff. Any work from the romantic era by F. Chopin, R. Schumann, J. Brahms, or F. Liszt.

One Hymn written in four-part chorale style, presented with an introduction, one stanza employing standard part-playing techniques, and an (optional) second stanza, which employs a re-harmonization or descant or other appropriate treatment. One work by J. S. Bach, which was originally conceived for the organ. One work contrasting in style to the J. S. Bach work presented, from the 19th or 20th Centuries, originally conceived for the organ. Sight-reading and manual and pedal scales will be examined.

Two works or movements of works in contrasting styles, preferably from memory. Cadenza from the Tchaikovsky Waltz of the Flowers. One Pozzoli Etude, free choice.

Technique Three octaves minor and major scales (candidate's choice), including double stops, thirds and octaves.One etude or caprice by Rode, Dont, Dancla, Gavinies, Wieniawski, or Paganini.
Bach: Two contrasting movements from a sonata or partita for unaccompanied violin.
Concerto: One movement from a standard 19th or 20th century concerto (if 1st movement, include cadenza).
Short piece
: One short work of the candidate's choice.

Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Scales in 3 octaves.
Two contrasting selections or movements representing two of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic or Contemporary. A selection from the standard concerto repertoire and a movement of Bach is highly recommended (from 6 Sonatas & Partitas for Violin/Viola solo or from 6 Suites for solo cello/viola/bass).

Etudes: Viola: 2 etudes from Kreutzer, Fiorillo or Rode. Cello: 2 etudes from Popper, Dotzauer, Feulliard or Greutzmacher. Bass: 2 etudes from Bille, Rabbath or Simandl.

Three pieces in contrasting style, one arpeggio study (Carulli, Carcassi, Giuliani, etc.) and two-octave scales in four major and harmonic and melodic minor keys.

One or two solos or concerto movements (or characteristic etudes) that demonstrate both lyrical and technical skills. Chromatic scale, 12 major scales with arpeggios, and sight-reading.

One or two solos or concerto movements (or characteristic etudes) that demonstrate both lyrical and technical skills. Sight-reading, all major scales and arpeggios, and a full-range chromatic scale.


Snare drum: ONE etude from Anthony Cirone's Portraits in Rhythm, or Delécluse 12 Etudes, or Mitchell Peters Intermediate Snare Drum Studies Timpani: ONE etude from Mitchell Peters Fundamental Method for Timpani (from #44, 45, 47, 49), or 3-4 drum etude from Goodman Modern Method for Timpani Keyboards: Choose ONE mallet piece from the following:

  1. Any xylophone ragtime solo by G.H. Green
  2. One movement from a Bach Cello Suite or Violin Partita
  3. One page etude from Goldenberg Modern School

ONE short four mallet solo or etude from Burritt, Smadbeck, Bobo, Sammut, Stout, Peters, Tyson, Gomez, Musser,

Sight reading will be required for snare drum and mallets.

Learning Outcomes

  • Applied music major proficiency, including sight-reading
  • Knowledge of literature appropriate to the applied music major
  • Rehearsal and conducting skills
  • Proficiency in a secondary applied area
  • Understanding of music theory and aural/visual/verbal analysis
  • Ability to apply knowledge of form and composition in all areas of music study
  • Knowledge of various styles, cultures, and media, and ability to place music in historical/cultural/ stylistic contexts
  • Ability to compose in original and historical styles
  • Ability to improvise
  • Knowledge of current technology related to all areas of music study
  • Understanding of the interrelatedness of all areas of music study and the music professions
  • Ability to form and defend value judgments about music
  • Knowledge of capabilities (range, transposing characteristics, and normal use) of the voice and the major band and orchestral instruments and their normal function in homogeneous and heterogeneous ensembles
  • Ability to sing at sight tonal and atonal melodies
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of singing
  • Ability to apply knowledge of pedagogical skills in vocal and/or instrumental idioms
  • Ability to articulate, in oral and written form, the role and importance of music in society
  • Ability to detect errors in music performance

Additional Program Requirements

In order to be accepted as a music major, each student must demonstrate aptitude in his/her major instrument or voice through a placement audition and interview with a member of the music faculty. All newly admitted music majors also must take placement examinations in music theory and piano. Music majors who take time off before completing degree requirements will be required to re-audition if they have missed a full academic year (fall and spring, or spring and fall).

Transfer students: Please note that placement in music courses is based on audition and testing results and not necessarily on previous college credit.

General Requirements

All music majors are required to attend all master classes in their major instrument and must perform at least once each semester in a recital or master class. All students enrolled in applied music must be concurrently enrolled in the major music ensemble activity that corresponds to their major instrument (Strings-Orchestra, Winds/Percussion – Wind Ensemble, Voice-Choral Ensemble).

Additional Requirements

Students must consult the Schwob School of Music Student Handbook for additional information on requirements for graduation.  The handbook may be found at

Program Of Study

Area A Essential Skills Required Hours: 9
ENGL 1101 (with a grade of "C" or better)
ENGL 1102
(with a grade of "C" or better)
Select one of the following courses:

Area B Institutional Options Required Hours: 4-5

COMM 1110
Select two of the following courses:

Select one of the following courses:
Foreign Language 1001, 1002, 2001, or 2002
Any Area C-E course with a study abroad component.

Note: the extra hour may be used as an elective.

Area C Humanities/Fine Arts/Ethics Required Hours: 6
Select one of the following humanities courses:

Select one of the following fine arts courses: *ITDS 1145, though listed under both humanities and fine arts, may be taken only once.

Area D Science/Math/Technology Required Hours: 10-11
Select two science courses from the list below, one of which must include a lab.

Select one of the following courses or a science course from above:

Area E Social Sciences Required Hours: 6

Select one course from the following two courses:
HIST 2111
HIST 2112

Take the following course:
POLS 1101

Wellness Requirement Required Hours: 3
PHED 1205
Select any one PEDS course.
MUSC 1206 Body Mapping

Area F Courses Related to Major Required Hours: 24
A minimum grade of "C" is required in each of the following courses:

Area G Required Hours: 38

A minimum grade of "C" is required in each of the following courses:

Area H Required Hours: 22

Wind, Brass, and Percussion students:
Select twenty-two hours of MUSA, MUSC, MUSE, MUSP courses; at least 7 hours must be 3000 level or above.

Guitar students:
MUSA 1215 Jazz Guitar
MUSC 5223 Guitar Literature 1
MUSC 5224 Guitar Literature 2
MUSE 3217 Guitar Pedagogy
MUSC 3307 Fretboard Harmony

Select thirteen hours from MUSA, MUSC, MUSE, MUSP courses

String students:
MUSC 5236 String Literature
MUSP 3359 Small Ensemble (take this course seven times)

Chose one group of pedagogy courses from the following:

MUSE 3261 Cello Pedagogy 1 AND MUSE 3262 Cello Pedagogy 2 OR
MUSE 3281 Violin/Viola Pedagogy 1 AND  MUSE 3282 Violin/Viola Pedagogy 2 OR
MUSE 3216 String Bass Pedagogy 1 AND  MUSE 5205U String Instrument Repair

Select nine hours of MUSA , MUSC , MUSE , MUSP courses .

Total Hours Required: 123

4 Year Course Schedule

Suggested four year course schedule for Strings
Suggested four year course schedule for Guitar
Suggested four year course schedule for Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion