Music Department FAQs

This FAQ will answer many standard questions.  The Music Department has many unique offerings.  If you are interested in Music we strongly encourage you to stop by the Music Department Office to get a more detailed picture of the program.

Applying to Wesleyan

  • 1. Is a live audition required for admission to Wesleyan if I intend to become a Music major?
    • The Music Department does not require an audition as part of the admissions process to the University.  Students declare the music major in the second semester of the sophomore year.  There is no audition requirement to declare the music major.
  • 2. Should I submit a recording as part of my Application for Admission to Wesleyan?
    • The Music Department does encourage you to upload a sample of music as part of the Arts Supplement with your application.  The recording is reviewed by a member of the Music Department and an evaluation of your work is placed in your admissions file for consideration as part of the admissions process.

  • 3. Does the Music Department require a copy of the recording submitted as part of the application?
    • No. The Music Department does not require an additional copy of your recording for evaluation.  The department receives all submissions for review from Admissions.
  • 4. Are there specific pieces that I should perform for my recorded material? How much music should I include?
    • Though we have no specific repertory requirements, we recommend that you select works of a variety of styles, periods, or tempos.  Submit two or three samples of music that best represents your strengths.  There is no recommended length for each piece.

Music Major & Courses

  • 1. Is it possible to double major with Music?
    • Yes, the Music Major may be completed along with another major.
  • 2. Is it possible to minor in Music?
    • No, the Music Department does not offer a minor in Music.
  • 3. How many students major in Music at Wesleyan?
    • Generally about 55 junior and senior students major in music.
  • 4. Do I have to be a Music major to participate in ensembles or to enroll in classes in the music department?
    • No, ensembles are open to both majors and non-majors by audition. Auditions for the ensembles are conducted at the beginning of each academic semester. Similarly, all classes are available to majors and non-majors.
  • 5. Does Wesleyan offer degrees in Music Education or Music Therapy? Does Wesleyan have a Performance Major focusing on a particular instrument such as Piano or Voice?
    • The music degree at Wesleyan is a B. A. in Music.  Wesleyan does not offer a degree in Music Education or in Music Therapy.  Wesleyan does not offer a degree in Piano Performance, Vocal Performance or a specific degree in performance of any other instrument.  A student may focus on performance while completing the requirements of the B.A. in Music, but there is no formal declaration or degree in undergraduate performance.
  • 6. Should I take music classes during my first year at Wesleyan even though I cannot declare a Music major until my second year?
    • Students considering the music major are strongly encouraged to begin courses in music in the first year of studies.
  • 7. What courses should I take to prepare for the Music major?
    • Prospective majors should plan to complete the prerequisites for the major in their first and second years of study.

      Prerequisites to the music major:

      - 1 course in the music theory capability (one of MUSC103, 201, 202, 210). Note:  MUSC103 is a prerequisite for all other theory classes that may be waived on the basis of a placement test administered online.  See Advanced Placement below for AP Music Theory credit questions.

      - 1 course in the history/culture capability (one of MUSC102, 106, 109, 110, 111, 115) Note:  For students in the class of 2019, the history/culture capability prerequisite can be met with any course in that category.

      - 1 performance course (excluding Private Lessons)—Private lessons taken before the junior year (MUSC405) will not count toward the course requirements for the major.

  • 8. Does AP credit allow me to "place out" of MUSC 103?
    • If a student receives a 4 or 5 on the AP test, the student may be allowed to pass out of MUSC 103. Passing out of MUSC 103 does not reduce the requirement for four Theory/Composition credits to complete the music major.  Four courses would still be required.  If the AP credit is officially placed on the Wesleyan transcript the student may count this credit as one of the four Theory/Composition credits.
  • 9. Does the Music Department administer placement tests to allow students to place out of MUSC 103 and MUSC 201?
    • If a student wishes to pass-out of MUSC 103 and MUSC 201, he or she should contact the faculty instructor who administers the placement test at the start of the semester.  If the student demonstrates a sufficient level of achievement on such a test, he or she may pass out of the course at the discretion of the instructor.
  • 10. Whom should I consult for advising questions?
    • For issues involving your major, see your advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in that department. You may also meet with your Class Dean for assistance.
  • 12. Can I declare a Music major if I am planning to study abroad?
    • Yes.  Please be sure to have any courses that you plan on taking abroad and intend to count towards your major approved by the Music Department Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Please provide a copy to the Music Department office so the record of approval is placed in your file.
  • 13. If I take a Music Major Seminar (MUSC 300) before I declare a Music major, will it count as one of the two required seminars for the major?
    • Yes, this course can count towards the Music Major.
  • 14. If I am a double major and am writing a joint thesis in two departments, do I have to register for the thesis tutorial in music?
    • You may register for a tutorial in music one semester and the other department for one semester. It is also acceptable to register in the other department both semesters, as long as you are also consulting with faculty in music. Either way, when you register online for the thesis tutorial, you should indicate that you will be applying to be an honors candidate in both departments.

Private Lessons

  • 1. Are private music lessons offered for credit?
    • Yes, students can take private lessons in voice or a variety of instruments for credit.  Private Lessons is a one credit course.  Non-majors may count up to four semesters of private lessons towards graduation.  Music majors may count two semesters of lessons taken as a music major (MUSC 406) towards the four required performance credits for the music major.  Only lessons taken at Wesleyan through Wesleyan Private Lessons Instructors will count for credit towards graduation.
  • 2. How does a student go about signing up for lessons?
    • Students interested in lessons must visit the Music Studios lobby during the first week of classes to sign up for an Interview with the Private Lessons Instructor.  If you are interested in an instrument that does not require an Interview (see the Private Lessons Interview Schedule) please contact the instructor directly.
  • 3. May I take lessons in more than one instrument?
    • Yes, you may take lessons in more than one instrument.  Please note that no matter what section of MUSC 405 you take (any combination of instruments and/or voice), only four credits will count towards graduation.  You may take additional semesters of lessons, but they will show on your transcript with the designation of AUDIT.
  • 4. Is there an additional charge for private lessons?
    • Yes.  The fee for private lessons is $795 per semester for 12 one-hour weekly lessons.   The fee is billed to the student account once the student is registered for lessons.
  • 5. Is there a discount if I am a Music major?
    • Yes.  Music majors receive a partial discount for private lessons.  The discount is calculated each semester, based on the number of majors taking lessons.
  • 6. Is there financial assistance available for private lessons for non-majors?
    • There may be financial assistance for students who meet the requirements.  Please see the Financial Support section of the Private Lessons web page for details.
  • 7. Can private lessons taken abroad count as performance credits towards the major?
    • No.  Only private lessons taken at Wesleyan will count towards the performance credits.  Please also note that the major waiver for private lessons will not apply to lessons taken abroad.


  • 1. How does a student go about joining an ensemble?
    • Auditions for all ensembles are held at the beginning of each semester.  Most ensemble auditions are held during the first class.  Please check the Music Studios bulletin board or WesMaps for additional audition information.
  • 2. May I participate in more than one ensemble?
    • Yes.  Students may participate in more than one ensemble per semester.
  • 3. Are all ensembles offered every semester?
    • No.  Students should check WesMaps to determine which ensembles will be offered in a particular semester.
  • 4. Are ensembles offered for credit?
    • Yes.  Students may participate in ensembles for credit.  Please note that as a non- major you may receive credit for four semesters of the same ensemble, two of which may be graded.  You may take additional semesters of the same ensemble, but they will show on your transcript with the designation of AUDIT.  Music majors may count two semesters of the same ensemble towards the four performance credits required for the music major.