Why Study Music at New College?

Whether part of a performance that resembles experimental theater, through the ear buds of an iPod, through a dorm-room wall or as the song of the mockingbird at 3 a.m., the Music program at New College recognizes that music challenges as often as it comforts and represents conflict as often as it communicates a message of peace and understanding.

Music area of concentration

New College’s AOC in music aims to develop basic musicianship and allow students to engage with a wide array of musical styles and theoretical approaches. Required courses and activities require students to listen, observe, interpret, perform and create, as well as develop historically- and culturally-informed approaches to music and sound. Students are encouraged to integrate approaches across academic and artistic disciplines and areas of study to achieve the breadth that a liberal arts institution makes possible.

Students can also create their own areas of concentration by combining music with another major field (a “slash”), or study music as part of an AOC in Humanities, General Studies, or a Special AOC created by the student (e.g. Media Studies, Sound Studies, Performance Studies).

Performance at New College is seen as a further opportunity to integrate theory and practice. New Music New College presents world-class performers in concert and master classes, and involves students in at least one performance each academic year, emphasizing experimental approaches to music. Students can also perform in the New College Chorus or Chamber Music. Off campus, students may participate in the Sarasota Orchestra’s education program or State College of Florida’s concert band. The music program at New College also encourages students to perform in student-run groups on campus, such as Acapellago, an a capella singing group, and New Cats, a jazz ensemble; however, students receive tutorial credit for such participation only under unusual circumstances.

In addition, the music faculty can help students make connections with musicians in the Sarasota community, some of whom teach private lessons. Students can receive credit for lessons through tutorials; however, students must pay for those lessons over and above the tuition and fees that New College charges.

View Music Academic Learning Compact

View Music courses offered in last 5 years


Area of Concentration Requirements

An Area of Concentration in Music normally includes the following requirements:

  • Music Theory I & II. These two courses provide students a foundation in diatonic (Music Theory I) and chromatic (Music Theory II) harmony (Two Units).
  • Writing and Information Literacy: An introductory-level and intermediate-level writing-enhanced course (WEC) in music (Two Units).
  • Theory/History/Ethnomusicology/Composition music electives (including tutorials): Six to eight activities chosen in consultation with the advisor reflecting the student’s learning goals, including electronic music and production.
  • Keyboard Skills–ability to improvise harmony and sight read at a basic level. These skills can be acquired through enrollment in Keyboard Skills. Substitution of guitar or other harmony-based instrument possible with the approval of the faculty in music (one half unit to four units).

Highly Recommended courses and activities:
Secondary discipline: At least two courses or tutorials from a perspective outside of music that have implications for the study of music. These two courses could focus on anthropology (e. g. Anthropology of Performance, Ethnography), sociology (e.g. Sociology of the Arts), history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, political science, English,gender studies, environmental studies, biology, or any other discipline or area in which music as a subject may be considered. For advice in regard to your interests consult a faculty member in music.

Performance activities: while participation in music activities is not required, it is recommended for all the ways it might inspire new paths in experiencing sound and performance.

Private lessons: Private lessons are not required but support a student’s growth in musicianship.

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

Students at New College may combine their study of music with another discipline in what is often referred to as a combined area of concentration, or a “slash” AOC. A combined area of concentration including Music (a “slash” in Music), minimally requires the following coursework, as well as music as a component of the senior thesis and a faculty member in music serving on the baccalaureate committee:

  1. Music Theory I
  2. An introductory-level and intermediate-level writing-enhanced course (WEC).
  3. At least three additional music courses (Theory/History/Ethno/Composition) of the student’s choice

Performance activities are highly recommended.


Recent Theses

  • Woody Guthrie as Country Musician
  • Voodoo Fire: An Ethnographic Study of the Multifaceted Nature of New Orleans Voodoo
  • How Indie Killed Rock
  • A Composition for Melodic Drum Set

Careers of Music Graduates

Assistant Professor of Music in Musicology
New York University

Associate Professor of Music in Ethnomusicology
Columbia University

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Director of the UNLV Music Lab on Auditory Cognition and Development
University of Nevada Las Vegas

SAMPLE PATHWAYS to complete AOC Requirements

These pathways show how you could complete the AOC requirements within four years at New College or within two years after earning an associate’s degree. Please consult with your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate courses for your area of concentration.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Music

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1Music Theory I (LAC no. 1)ISP 1Music Theory II
Music and the Environment (LAC Course no. 2, First-Year Writing Seminar, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 1)Opera, Ballet, and the Supernatural (LAC Course no. 4; Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 2)
Elementary Language IElementary Language II
Performance (New College Chorus, Chamber Music, etc. Full term for mod credit)Electronic Music I (LAC Course no. 5; Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 3)
Optional: Nat Sci or Social Sci LAC (no. 3)Performance (no credit or full term for mod credit)
Year 2Electronic Music II (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 4)ISP 2Romantic Music (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 6)
Nat Sci or Social Sci LAC (no. 6)Music and Modernism (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 7)
Intermediate Language I (LAC no. 7)LAC no. 8
Popular Musics of the Caribbean (LAC no. 8, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 5)Elective
Performance (no credit or full term for mod credit)
Year 3Tutorial: Counterpoint (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 8)ISP 3Tutorial: Film Music (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 10)
Consonance and Dissonance (Intermediate Writing Course in Music, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 9Novella (Spanish Lit)
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)Performance
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)
Year 4Tutorial: Thesis

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Music

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3Music Theory IISP 2Music Theory II
Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 1Theory/History/Ethno/Comp no. 2
First-year writing in Music seminar (e.g. Music and the Environment)Elementary Language II
Elementary Language ITheory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 3 (e.g. Electronic Music I)
New College Chorus or Chamber Music (full term for mod credit)New College Chorus or Chamber Music (full term for mod credit)
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)
Year 4Tutorial: ThesisISP 3Tutorial: Music Composition
Music History/Theory/Ethno Elective no. 4 (e. g. Electronic Music II, Romantic Music, Popular Music of the Caribbean)Tutorial: Thesis
Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 5 (e. g. Electronic Music II, Romantic Music, Popular Music of the Caribbean)Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 6 (e.g. Opera, Ballet, and the Supernatural or Sound Design for Theater)
Intermediate Language I
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)