Courses & Requirements

Music Major

Music is studied at Vassar in each of its distinct but interrelated aspects: theory, history, composition, and performance. For those students planning on majoring in music, Music 105/106 should be taken in the first year if possible, as these courses are prerequisites to all subsequent courses in the major.

Any student wishing to take MUSI 105 must take an Entrance Exam, a 2-minute online exam which simply verifies that a student can identify pitches in treble and bass clef. If a student cannot fluently read treble/bass clef, then MUSI 101 is the best class to start with. The exam is available here: Entrance Exam

An Advanced Placement Exam is offered for students who think they might be eligible to test out of MUSI 105 (directly into MUSI 106 in Spring semester). This exam expects outstanding proficiency in four-part writing and voice-leading, harmonic (roman numeral) analysis, and figured-bass realization. The exam will take place on Tuesday, August 24 from 9 a.m.–11:30 a.m., in Skinner Hall room 205. You may contact Professor Motazedian if you have any questions.

Correlate Sequences in Music

The music department offers four correlate sequences, each requiring 6 units of credit of which no fewer than 5 should be taken at Vassar. No more than one course counted toward the Music & Culture correlate may be taken NRO. Specific courses to be taken within each sequence are outlined below. Students interested in pursuing a correlate sequence in music should discuss it with the music department chair as well as their major advisors during their sophomore or junior year, and they will be assigned a correlate advisor from the music faculty. Correlate sequences in music must be declared by the end of the junior year.

Students interested in a Music Correlate should fill out the following form:

Before filling out the form, please review the description of the Correlate Sequence in Music for which you are applying in Vassar’s Catalogue:

Please discuss the application with your major advisor, and the Chair of the Music Department, Kathryn Libin.

Private Lessons

Students may elect private study in the following: piano, jazz piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, classical guitar, jazz guitar, and harp. An audition (held at the beginning of the fall semester) is required for all voice and some instrumental lessons. Enrollment is limited in each instrument with preference given to music majors and those students electing credited lessons. View more information about music lessons.

Scholarship Assistance

Information about general scholarship funds may be obtained by writing to the Director of Financial Aid at Vassar College. A number of special scholarships that cover fees for performance study are awarded each year on the basis of merit and need. Information about these may be obtained from the same office.