Music

Music

Nurture Your Musical Talent

Music flows from your spirit through your hands and voice. Give your talent the spotlight it deserves at Kirkwood, the only community college in Iowa that has received accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Music.  

Immerse yourself in music and learn from our highly accomplished faculty, scholars, and active performers. Audition for our award-winning vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles. We also have concert choir, concert band, and steel drums open for all Kirkwood students to participate

As a Liberal Arts student, you’ll complete core humanities requirements and dive right into your choice of music electives. Classes focus on vocal and instrumental music, music history, and music theory. Prepare to transfer to study music education, business, therapy, media, or performance.

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Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university will work with a music advisor to plan out their academic path while at Kirkwood and beyond.

Students should work with their advisor to plan out their class schedule based on Kirkwood’s graduation requirements, as well as the admission requirements of their transfer school.

Music students should expect to take:

  • Four-semester Music Theory sequence
  • Participate in a major ensemble group each semester (Concert Choir, Concert Band, or Jazz Ensemble)
  • Enroll in upper-level applied lessons with performance seminar
  • Class piano or applied piano to ensure proficiency

Many people assume music careers lead only to performing or teaching. But new music-related careers are being created all the time such as music event planner, musicologist, and music development for video games.

MajoringInMusic.com

Check out the resources provided by MajoringinMusic.com to learn more about the ways you can pursue your education in music and turn your passion into a career you love.

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), administrated by Indiana University, provides annual information about current occupations of arts alumni, where artists reside, education satisfaction and how many arts alumni have gone on to earn graduate degrees.

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Career Coach offers the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training.

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Our music faculty includes 20 highly qualified, enthusiastic instructors – many who are professional performers themselves. Visiting guest artists frequent Kirkwood to help you develop next-level skills.

Choose Your Ensemble

Vibe with likeminded musicians in a Kirkwood ensemble. Special scholarships are available for students who participate in ensembles, and you'll also receive elective credit for participating.

Build on your strengths with internationally recognized educators, performing artists and musicians in one of these eclectic ensembles:


Instrumental Ensembles

Concert Band
Large, non-auditioned instrumental ensemble open to Kirkwood students and community members.  

Chamber Ensemble
Small instrumental ensemble featuring woodwinds, brass, strings, or Celtic instruments.  

Jazz Combo
Small instrumental ensemble performing traditional and contemporary jazz with an emphasis on improvisational techniques.  

Jazz Ensemble
Twenty-piece jazz band that explores both traditional and contemporary jazz pieces.


Vocal Ensembles

Jazz Transit
Auditioned eight-voice a cappella ensemble that performs a variety of styles.

Chamber Singers
Auditioned ensemble of eight to 16 singers who perform challenging literature in a variety of styles.

Concert Choir
Auditioned mixed chorus of 40-60 members who perform concerts throughout the year.

Halona Poor - Kirkwood Music Student

“Kirkwood has been such an unexpected experience for me and the productions have been truly amazing processes creating lifelong friendships.”

Halona Poor,
Mount Pleasant, Iowa

$140,000 in Music Scholarships

You may need to audition to be eligible for some music-specific scholarships. To audition for a music scholarship, you’ll need to complete the minimum requirements:

  • One solo, classical, or popular work with accompaniment (if applicable);
  • Sight-reading
  • 2.5 minimum GPA
  • Must be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in art, music, or theatre.
  • Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Must demonstrate financial need.
  • Must be a graduate of a high school in Linn County, Iowa, with preference for Cedar Rapids Community School District graduates.
  • Must be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in music—with preference given to vocal music student.
  • Must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 or college GPA of 2.5.
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA to receive second-year funding.
  • Preference given to student who participated in high school tennis.
  • Must demonstrate financial need.
  • Must maintain at least eight semester hours, including at least one course in a subject other than music, theatre, or art.
  • An initial audition and/or portfolio review is required.
  • Applications are screened each term to determine continuing eligibility.
  • Fine and Performing Arts scholarships are awarded to students pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in music or theatre as well as those pursuing degrees with other academic interests.
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Must actively contribute to the music, theatre and/or art programs, including enrollment in ensembles and/or productions.
  • Must be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in music—with preference given to a band student.

Contact the fine and performing arts specialist at 319-398-4956 for application information.

  • Must be enrolled in at least eight semester hours and pursing a degree with career interest in music, theatre, or art as well as degrees with other academic interests.
  • Talent, reliability, grade point average, and level will be considered.
  • Preference given to a student pursuing a degree with career interest in fine arts.
  • Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Must demonstrate financial need.

Contact the fine and performing arts specialist at 319-398-4956 for application information.

  • Must be a full-time student and an advisee of the director of the applicant’s major.
  • New and returning students are encouraged to apply.
  • Must be enrolled in Applied Music, Music Education, Theatre or Theatre Education.
  • At least one course per semester must be in an area outside of music or theatre.
  • Must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students who have been out of school for more than five years may submit a portfolio in lieu of a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • Must attend an audition on the stated day and time listed in the Performing Arts department promotional materials.
  • New and returning students must have their applications and supporting materials submitted to the college by June 1, preceding the fall semester for which they are applying for the scholarship.
  • Must submit three references to the advisor who auditions them.
  • Students may be eligible for this award for a maximum of four semesters (consecutive semesters or nonconsecutive semesters will be considered).
  • Students must demonstrate talent, commitment, and responsibility as observed by their directors.
  • If a student does not maintain eligibility for the Honors Scholarship, but retains eligible for a regular Performing Arts Scholarship, he or she may, at the discretion of the director, be given a lesser award.

Contact the fine and performing arts specialist at 319-398-4956 for application information.

  • Must maintain at least eight semester hours including at least one course in a subject other than music or theatre (need not be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in music or theatre to apply).
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Must actively contribute to the music and/or performing arts program, including enrollment in ensembles and/or productions.
  • An initial audition is required.

Steve West of West Music established this scholarship to support students for two years at Kirkwood studying degrees in music education. Students must have the intent to complete their degrees at the University of Northern Iowa. Pending audition and acceptance to the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music, students will be awarded two years of support at UNI.

  • Must be full-time pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in music.
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Must demonstrate financial need. 

Explore Our Music Courses

Learn the basics of dictation and sight singing as well as how to identify scales, intervals, and chords by ear.

MUS-102 Music Fundamentals (3)
Introduces music majors and non-majors to the principal elements of music theory including notation, melody, choral harmony, and musical form. Intended for students with strong interest but limited background in music theory. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-120 Music Theory I (3)
Studies the notation of pitch and rhythm, meter, major and minor key relationships, melodic structure, intervals, triads, two-part counterpoint, the basics of four-part harmony, and instrument transposition. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-135 Music Theory Lab I (1)
Supports the objectives in MUS-120 by developing skills in ear training (aural identification of scales, intervals, and chords), dictation (rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic), and sight singing. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/2/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-121 Music Theory II (3)
Studies seventh chords (spelling, quality, inversions, Roman numerals and figures) and the use of all inversions of diatonic seventh chords in four-part harmony, melodic phrase structures and the harmonization of melody, the concepts of modulation and tonicization (secondary-dominant function chords), and binary and ternary forms. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: MUS-120; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-136 Music Theory Lab II (1)
Continuation of Music Theory Lab I. Supports the objectives in MUS-121 by developing skills in ear training (aural identification of scales, intervals and chords), dictation (rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic), and sight singing. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/2/0/0), Prereq: MUS-135; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-220 Music Theory III (3)
Studies plainchant and modal theory; early polyphony in 2, 3 and 4 voices; inventions and fugues; borrowed, Neapolitan and augmented sixth harmonies; harmonic and melodic variations; sonata form and rondo form. Examines and analyzes music from the medieval period through the early Romantic era. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: MUS-121; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-235 Music Theory Lab III (1)
Supports the objectives in MUS-220 by developing advanced skills in ear training (aural identification of scales, intervals, and chords), dictation (rhythmic, melodic and harmonic), and sight singing. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/2/0/0), Prereq: MUS-136; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-221 Music Theory IV (3)
Studies enriched and chromatically altered harmonies and enharmonic modulation; instrument transposition and the orchestral score; the materials of Impressionism; tonality in the 20th century; and atonality, set theory and twelve-tone structures. Examines and analyzes music from the 1820s to the present. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: MUS-220; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-236 Music Theory Lab IV (1)
Continuation of Music Theory Lab III. Supports the objectives in MUS-221 by developing advanced skills in ear training (aural identification of scales, intervals, and chords), dictation (rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic) and sight singing. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/2/0/0), Prereq: MUS-235; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-191 Jazz Improvisation (2)
Studies theoretical principles and techniques used in the jazz idiom. Provides opportunity for application of music theory at the performance level to include scales, chord progressions, melodic patterns, and rhythmic elements. Recommended for both instrumentalists and vocalists. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-193 Jazz Improvisation II (2)
Continues the study as outlined in Jazz Improvisation. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Prereq: MUS-191; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Discover how the world of music was impacted by historical events. Study the works of famous composers and discover musical evolution in the U.S.

MUS-100 Music Appreciation (3)
Includes study of elements and forms of music with attention to major historical periods and composers of historical significance and survey of indigenous music. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-127 Great Composers (3)
Examines composers and musical compositions specific to the Western classical music tradition. Uses the case studies of nearly 30 specific composers and works to answer these questions: Is there such a thing as a "masterpiece of music" and, if so, why do these masterpieces endure? Expands the student's knowledge of classical masterworks and their creators and offers a broader appreciation of the historical and cultural significance of classical concert music through listening exercises, class discussions, and attending live performances. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-207 Introduction to Film Music (3)
Familiarizes students with the major genres of film and notable film composers from the early twentieth century to the present. Analyzes movie soundtracks to discover how film composers influence the mood of the film, affect the development of characters, and propel the narrative. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-208 American Popular Music & Jazz (3)
Examines the evolution of American popular music styles and jazz genres from their early stages to the present. Emphasizes important individual works, composers and performers of jazz, rock, folk, blues, and others. Enlarges the use of basic music vocabulary, improves aural perception of style and genre, and encourages a fuller understanding of how popular music and jazz enrich life, function in society, and reflect cultural diversity. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUS-209 Topics in Western Music History (3)
Examines style periods, composers and works of Western art music from c. AD 600 to the present and explores the issues that influenced their composition. Through reading, listening, and discussion the course builds a basic musical vocabulary, improves aural perceptions of form and genre and encourages a deeper appreciation for music as cultural expression and personal enrichment. Music reading is helpful, but not necessary. Intended for students with strong interest in music. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Build your performance skills and get expert instruction in tone production, technique, and musicianship.

MUA-101 Applied Voice (1-2)
Provides weekly applied lessons and guided instruction in tone production, technique, musicianship, and performance practice. Students advance their skills through weekly lessons and regular practice of fundamental techniques, repertoire, and performance. This course is not intended for students who wish to pursue transfer study in music. One weekly 30-minute lesson is one credit. One weekly 60-minute lesson is 2 credits. May be repeated for credit. Credits: 1-2, Hours: (1-2/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUA-119 Class Piano (1)
Introduces a wide range of basic functional performance skills enabling students to utilize the piano/keyboard for enjoyment and as a stepping stone for further piano studies. Includes sight-reading, harmonization, repertoire, accompanying, transposition, improvisation, and other creative activities. Students with a transfer interest in music, and no prior piano skills should enroll in this course. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/2/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUA-147 Applied Instrumental (available to all instruments) (1-2)
Provides weekly-applied lessons and guided instruction in tone production, technique, musicianship, and performance practice. Students advance their skills through weekly lessons and regular practice of fundamental techniques, repertoire, and performance. This course is not intended for students who wish to pursue transfer study in music. One weekly 30-minute lesson is one credit. One weekly 60-minute lesson is 2 credits. May be repeated for credit. Credits: 1-2, Hours: (1-2/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

MUA-300 through 319 Applied (instrumental and voice for transfer students) (2)
Instruction intended for advanced students and those with a transfer interest in music. Provides weekly one hour applied lessons and a weekly performance seminar. Includes guided instruction in tone production, technique, musicianship, and performance practice. Students advance their skills through weekly lessons, seminar, and regular practice of fundamental techniques and solo repertory. May be repeated for credit. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


Health & Safety Within Visual & Performing Arts

Health is becoming an increasingly serious issue in the arts community. Please read and familiarize yourself with the medical issues that visual and performing arts students face. Help is available!


Questions?

Arts & Humanities
336 Cedar Hall
319-398-4913
arts@kirkwood.edu