Music Minor in Music

About the Music Minor

Express yourself while expanding your knowledge of music.

Nurture your interest in music with a music minor at PennWest California. No matter which academic program you choose as a major, adding a 24-credit music minor expands your knowledge base, fosters your musical talent and lets you express yourself as a soloist or ensemble performer.

You'll also form bonds with students in a variety of majors who share your love of music.

Music minors at PennWest California gain a foundation in:

  • Music theory: Read and write music.
  • Music history: Learn about music's role in society from a historical perspective.
  • Music technology: Get hands-on experience in music-related technology or businesses.
  • Music instruction: Play your instrument of choice more skillfully with individualized lessons.
  • Music ensemble: Build performance skills by playing with other musicians.

Gain access to PennWest California's exceptional music facilities.

Students who declare a music minor can take private music lessons from the talented teachers and performers who comprise PennWest California's music faculty. No audition is required.

Music minors also have swipe-card access to the Music Technology Lab and practice rooms in Gallagher Hall, the same top-quality facilities used by PennWest California's commercial music technology majors.


Top faculty: PennWest California's music faculty are not only excellent instructors, they are actively performing in the field. For example, Dr. Yugo Ikach is principal conductor and music director for the Washington Symphony Orchestra - and he regularly incorporates student performances into WSO concerts. Piano instructor and jazz vocalist Dr. Yana Tyulkova has toured internationally and produced three CDs.

Performance opportunities: Music minors are encouraged to showcase their talents. Instrumentalists can entertain fans at Vulcan football games and band festivals with the PennWest California Marching Band, or perform with the concert band, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble or California Orchestra. Vocalists can perform with the University Choir, audition for the California Singers or an a cappella ensemble, or join the Young and Gifted Gospel Choir.

Hands-on experience: Music minors take six credits of required music technology course work and complete 120 hours of field experience in music technology or business.

Learn about applying

Credits are required for a music minor at PennWest California.
A cappella singing groups are among the many ensembles that perform regularly on and off campus.
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Benefits of the Minor

The music minor can be combined with any of PennWest California's major programs of study. Students simply declare the minor and meet with the department chair, who serves as a secondary adviser. Education majors seeking employment in school districts may find that a music minor makes them more attractive job candidates.

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Graduate Outcomes

Music students learn to work hard, perform consistently and collaborate with other musicians to realize a finished product - skills that are valued in any career field. Graduates report that their experiences with instrumental or vocal groups remain some of their fondest memories of their college years.


Music Courses and Related Programs


Course Credits
Required Courses 9
MUS 100  Introduction to Music   3
MUS 215  Comprehensive Musicianship I 3
MUS 315  Comprehensive Musicianship II 3
History, Theory and Education Electives
(Select from following list)
MUS 275  Music and Recording Technology I 3
MUS 300  Jazz: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 304  American Musical: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 305  African American Gospel and Caribbean Music: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 306  The Opera: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 310  Music in the Media 3
MUS 313  Rock 'N Roll: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 314  The Music Industry: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 372  Creative Arts for Elementary Ed 3
MUS 375  Music and Recording Technology II 3
Applied Electives
(Select from the following options)
Option 1 (select one)  
MUS 104  Voice Class 3
MUS 211  Keyboard Class 3
Option 2* (Private Instruction - select 3 credits)  
Brass - MUS 109, 209, 309, 409 1
Piano - MUS 119, 219, 319, 419 1
Percussion - MUS 129, 229, 329, 429 1
Woodwind - MUS 149, 249, 349, 449 1
Voice - MUS 159, 259, 359, 459 1
Guitar - MUS 170, 270, 370, 470 1
Strings - MUS 179, 279, 379, 479 1
Performance Electives**
(Select from the following list)
MUS 187  Guitar Ensemble 1
MUS 188  String Ensemble 1
MUS 191  University Choir 1
MUS 192  California Singers 1
MUS 193  University Gospel Choir 1
MUS 196  Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 198  University Marching Band 1
MUS 199  University Concert Band 1
MUS 307  Special Music Project 1
MUS 485  Music Tech Practicum 1
Total 24

* Courses are repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits each.

** Courses are repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits. The option to continue without credit is available. 

Program Notes: 9 of the 24 credits for the minor must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Bachelor's Degree
  • PennWest California also offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music Technology. The B.S. program combines coursework in music, acoustics, digital music production and other areas to prepare students for careers in the recording industry. Program graduates are certified in ProTools, the industry standard for recording, editing and mixing music and sound.
A student plays the guitar on campus.

Find your community

Gain knowledge in a field you enjoy while getting to know other students who share your passion for music. This minor program introduces you to men and women from different academic disciplines and makes it easy to get involved with music-based activities on campus. 

A PennWest California student play the trombone.

Added value

A minor in music, even if it's not related to your major academic program, can add to your college experience and help your resume stand out. It demonstrates your versatility and lets employers know that you have a variety of interests and abilities.

View Why You Should Minor in Music?