The Fine Arts are important manifestations of the intellectual growth of the educated person. The liberal arts program at Saint Michael’s College emphasizes students’ awareness of the significance of artistic media against a background of history and literature. Music is a central pursuit of human culture and relates to the other fields in the humanities that study the variety and meaning of artistic expression; through the study of music one gains insight into many aspects of culture. Therefore, the Music program is not a separate pre-professional performance-focused program, but an integral part of the liberal studies curriculum of the College and is focused on understanding music as a liberal art.
Music courses offered by the Fine Arts Department cover (1) music theory, analysis, and composition, (2) music history and repertory, and (3) performance. By senior year music majors have (1) knowledge and experience of the theory and analysis of music, particularly but not exclusively the highly systematic genres of the West, (2) familiarity with representative styles and repertory of European music from the Middle Ages through the present and characteristics of American and non-Western music, (3) performance experience both on a primary instrument (or voice) and in ensembles in music of various styles, and (4) educated tastes and opinions about a wide range of musical repertory that they can express fluently in both oral and written forms.
The Fine Arts Department offers students the opportunity for private study for credit with a local teacher on a variety of musical instruments or in voice. The additional fee for private study under this program is partially subsidized for music majors and minors. For more information on precise fees and qualification for the subsidy please contact the Registrar’s office. Registration is done in person at the registrar’s office after the student secures an instructor during the regular registration period in the semester before the lessons take place.
The Fine Arts Department maintains spaces dedicated to classroom teaching, individual practice, group rehearsal, and performance in music. In addition, the department sponsors the Chorale, Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra, String Orchestra, and West African Drummers. All of these groups perform on campus and off.
Students transferring into Music from other majors after the sophomore year must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and permission of the department chair.
Note: Music majors are encouraged to explore double majors or major-minor combinations in any of the other concentrations that lend themselves to music, i.e. computer science, education, journalism, history, etc.