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

Music Major & Courses

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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. 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.