Majors-Music

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Let’s take it from the top.

Maybe it was the first four notes of A Love Supreme or the operatic harmonies of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Whatever it was that ignited your passion for music, you can stoke that fire as a music major in any of four tracks of study: performance, composition and music theory, music history and criticism, and music technology.

As a music major, you’ll get involved and begin playing the moment you arrive on campus. Whether you’re obsessed with recording technology or raring to get on stage, you’ll meet and collaborate with innovative professors and peers, benefiting from a liberal arts education that will enable you to study and create music across disciplines.

Requirements for:

Why Study Music at Clark?

  • Hone your musicianship in Estabrook Hall’s rehearsal space, recording studio, and practice rooms — or take to the stage in Razzo Hall, in the Traina Center for the Arts. You also can perform as a member of Clark’s many vocal and instrumental ensembles.
  • Build practical foundations in the nonprofit and industry aspects of the field, and pursue internships in arts administration and teaching.
  • Explore music’s potential to advance social causes, and use your talents to generate political action and social justice — whether by serving at-risk youth in Worcester, or volunteering with a local arts organization.
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Your Will. Your Way.

The Major Path

As you begin to study music at Clark, you’ll take foundational courses that begin to build the intellectual and critical tools you’ll need for advanced work in music performance, theory, history, and technology. As you complete foundational courses, you’ll put your knowledge into action through workshops and seminars, and learn the intellectual, practical, and personal skills that are the hallmark of Clark’s LEEP model of education. In workshop courses, you’ll build “communities of practice” by bringing your developing proficiencies and interests to bear on challenging project-based tasks that require collaboration and integration of skills. For example, in MUSC 225: Jazz and Popular Music Composition and Performance, faculty mentors work with students as composers, performers, critics, and audio engineers to create new compositions from concept to recording.

Learn about the private voice and instrumental lessons available to students.

Clark Visual and Performing Arts Department (V&PA) majors are a motivated, tight-knit group. In fact, many music majors often double-major or complete a minor in another V&PA discipline (art history; media, culture and the artsscreen studies; studio art; or theatre arts), each of which has its own distinct curriculum — and faculty who encourage collaborative work.

Skills you will learn include:

  • Music theory — the study of the practices and possibilities of music
  • Critical thinking and analysis — music composition and music history
  • Collaboration — performance and academic workshops and group projects
  • Technical skills —  audio engineering/sound synthesis studio
  • Leadership — performance groups, academic workshops, and group projects

As a music student, you’ll spend a lot of time in the Traina Center for the Arts, which features a recital hall, multimedia center, and resource library, and in Estabrook Hall, which includes rehearsal space, practice rooms, and a recording studio.

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the music honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis or project on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors topics are:

  • Thesis: “Just Like ‘Clockwork:’ An Analysis of the Symbolism of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Anthony Burgess’s and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange
  • Composition: “Craven angels” for String Quartet; premiered: Razzo Hall, Clark University, QX String

The LEEP difference

An education merging knowledge, action, and impact

With Liberal Education and Effective Practice, lessons begin in the classroom but never end there. Your learning includes world and workplace experiences that forge your skills and shape your path.

Learn more

Explore what the Visual and Performing Arts Department has to offer.