The bachelor of music is the initial professional degree in music. Its primary emphasis is on the development of skills and knowledge necessary to function as a teacher, performer, composer and scholar.

The areas of concentration include:

  • Vocal or instrumental performance
  • Choral or instrumental music education
  • Composition
  • Jazz studies

Sample course offerings:

Music 306 - Global Transformations: “World Music” and the “World”
In this course we will examine the ways in which various world music practices and genres exemplify the main issues related to the process of globalization. While often regarded as “pure” entertainment, music provides powerful modes of interaction within and across cultures. Music also often serves as a metaphor and can be a first indicator of social and political transformations. Some of the questions we will address are: What is globalization, and how is it expressed in world music? How does music influence various aspects of globalization? In what ways are musical practices heralding social and political shifts in today’s world? Partially satisfies University Writing Intensive requirement.

Music 311 - Chromatic Harmony
Chromatic Harmony explores secondary function, modulation, form, mode mixture and the Neapolitan chord. Through part-writing and analysis, students learn to recognize and use these common chromatic techniques.
Required for all music majors.

Be sure to review the Undergraduate Course Catalog for complete details on course descriptions and degree requirements.

Note: The bachelor of music degree requires successful completion of the liberal learning curriculum and all major and elective courses.

The bachelor of arts in music provides a strong education in the liberal arts, irrespective of specific career aspirations. The major in music provides a fundamental knowledge of written and aural skills, the history and development of music, and performance. This degree serves individuals who seek a broad program of general education rather than intense specialization.

Sample course offerings:

  • Music 125/126 - Elementary Improvisation Skills
    These courses develop basic improvisation skills. The areas of study include theory, style, composition, scale patterns and harmonic progressions, and experimentation with various sound sources, manipulating common elements in non-traditional ways. Music 125 is required for all music majors.
  • Music 200 - Music Technology
    This course explores publishing, music notation, digital recording and video techniques. Creating and editing musical scores for printing and publication are a major focus of the course.
  • Music 265 - Foreign Language Diction I
    This course is designed to introduce the correct pronunciation of English and Italian for singing. The class does not concentrate on the grammatical structures of the languages but, instead, upon the correct and proper use of the sounds of the language as appropriate for classical singing.

Be sure to review the Undergraduate Course Catalog for complete details on course descriptions and degree requirements.

Note: The bachelor of arts degree with a major in music requires successful completion of the liberal learning curriculum and all major and elective courses.

The master of arts in teaching (MAT) is offered with concentrations in choral and instrumental music education. Students accepted into the MAT program graduate in four years with the bachelor of music degree with a concentration in either instrumental or choral music education and then complete an additional year of study leading to the MAT degree and teacher certification (PK-12). For more information, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Sample fifth year course offerings:

  • Music 510 - Foundations of Music Education
    This is a comprehensive course focusing on the instruction and management of an instrumental music program from middle school through high school. Methods and materials for beginning through secondary instrumental music students are discussed and experienced through reading, writing and practicum.
  • Applied Music 531 - Applied Music
    The study of applied music at the graduate level is to develop further the synthesis of technique, expression, repertoire and performance. Through weekly 30-minute lessons, intense study of selected repertoire, and performance, the student will continue to develop the knowledge and skills expected of a professional musician.
  • Music 537 - Music in Elementary Schools
    Learn fundamental procedures of and experiences in teaching elementary school music, stressing music materials suitable for the first six grades. Methods discussed and practiced include those of Orff, Kodaly, Suzuki, Manhattanville and Dalcroze. An introduction to fretted instruments and recorders is also included.

Be sure to review the Graduate Course Catalog for complete details on course descriptions and degree requirements.

Acceptance into CNU's Department of Music is highly competitive.

In addition to applying for admission to CNU, you must also do the following: 

Once you have been accepted to CNU and the Department of Music, you are automatically eligible for all departmental scholarships.

Entrance Auditions
Auditions are held in the Ferguson Center the same weekends as our university Open Houses unless otherwise noted. Please choose an audition date from the available dates below and follow the instructions. Then proceed to the "Entrance Requirements" section below.

  • November 8, 2014
  • February 21, 2015
  • March 21, 2015
  • March 22, 2015

When you come for your audition you will:

  • Perform two works or movements of contrasting style for your instrument; composers should present a portfolio of their works, including recordings, if possible
  • Be tested on your knowledge of music theory and your sight-singing and keyboard skills
  • Participate in an interview if you are a composition or education major

No auditions or CDs will be heard after the final March audition date. All scholarships are awarded at the end of the audition cycle. Remember, composers must submit at least one score and a recording, if available. If you live more than 250 miles away from CNU, you may submit a recorded audition, but a live audition is strongly recommended.

Pre-audition review:

Audition requirements for individual applied music areas:

Composition Organ
Harpsichord Percussion
Instrumental Piano
Jazz Voice

For questions regarding the application process, auditions and interviews, please contact Elise Rose, Music Program Coordinator, at (757) 594-7089 or

Entrance Requirements
The Department of Music only admits approximately two majors per part each year. A student intending to apply to our music program must first satisfy all entrance requirements, including acceptance into the University, an entrance audition, interview, two professional recommendations by music educators, and entrance examinations in music theory, ear-training and keyboard.

  • Apply to the University using the Common Application for Undergraduate College Admission.
  • Apply to the Department of Music.
  • Within the Department of Music application is a Music Recommendation form to be completed by two professional musicians (such as a high school band director and private teacher) who have seen you develop as a musician. The form will automatically be sent to the individuals whose email addresses you provide in the application. The Music Recommendation form is to be completed and emailed to the Department of Music. It is your responsibility to ensure the recommendations are received in our office.
  • Once you have been accepted to the University and the Department of Music, you are automatically eligible for all departmental scholarships and eligible to participate in Music Major for a Day.

Applying to CNU:

For questions regarding the University's application and admission process, please contact the Office of Admission at (757) 594-7015 or by email at

For questions regarding the Department of Music's application process, auditions and interviews, please contact Elise Rose, Music Program Coordinator, at (757) 594-7089 or