Program: Music



The Music program at Long Beach City College is designed to provide students with the technique and repertoire for a successful audition into a university major program, and the coursework necessary to complete core academic courses required for a lower-division major program. The curricular components needed to achieve these goals are music theory, musicianship, piano, and the applied performance program, which requires an audition for entrance into the program. The ultimate career goals after transfer would be a bachelor’s degree in music performance, education, composition, or musicology (theory or history), preparing one for a teaching or performance career. 


Music, Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T)
Music, Associate in Arts (AA)
Commercial Music, Certificate of Achievement (C-ACH)

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(New students need to refer to the current academic year for the most up-to-date info) 

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The goals of the Associate Degree are academic transfer to a university and preparation for audition into a university music program. There are a number of curricular components that are needed to achieve these goals: theory, musicianship, piano, and the applied performance program. The ultimate career goals for the AA in Music would be to receive a bachelor’s degree in music performance, education, composition, or musicology (theory or history). This would prepare one for a teaching or performance career and/or admission to a graduate program.

To explore potential jobs in this field of study, we strongly urge you to visit LBCC Career Center. Working with a career counselor, we will assess your strengths, skills, interests, and accomplishments to help you identify internship opportunities and career goals that match your educational and professional needs.


Do I need to be a music major to play in the ensembles?

All LBCC students are welcome to join ensembles, regardless of major. You do not need to be a music major to join any ensembles. Non-music majors are most welcome to join any/all ensembles!

How do I become a music major?

Visit the “Music Major” page, as well as the AA and AA-T degrees.

If I am accepted into the music major program, do I have to pay for my private lessons?

No, lessons are free to all students who are accepted into the music major program.

I am a music major transferring to LBCC – who should I contact?

Visit the “Music Majors” page. If you still have questions, contact Dr. Peter Knapp about theory/musicianship placement, as well as your primary ensemble director. For example, if you are a classical voice major, reach out to Skye Angulo, director of choirs.

Can I participate in more than one ensemble?

Yes! In fact, if you are a music major, participation in multiple ensembles is highly recommended. Certain instrumental students are required to enroll in multiple ensembles.

Do I need to audition for the ensembles?

A few of the ensembles do require an audition. See the ensemble page for more details.

When can I audition to become a music major?

Auditions will occur at the beginning and the end of each semester. There may also be audition dates throughout the spring semester. Visit the music major page for more details.

How long does it take to complete the music major program?

Students typically complete a music degree in 2-3 years. Two years is the minimum amount of time it will take because of a two-year course sequence. Some students who enter the program at a lower performance level will often take an extra semester/year to complete the program requirements. Along with the music courses, general education courses are required. Students can take these GE courses during the summer or winter session if they choose.

Can I transfer to a 4-year program before I complete the music degree?

Yes, you can but it is not recommended. If a student decides to transfer prior to finishing their music major degree at LBCC, they will be beholden to the school of transfers’ general education requirements. Many of the courses that were taken at LBCC may not fulfill that school’s GE requirements and there may be extra courses to take.

Can I minor in Music?

LBCC does not have a music minor. A minor is only offered at 4-year colleges.

Can I “test out” or “skip” any Music Major Courses?

Some students who have taken AP music theory or piano courses may be able to test out of some sequential courses. Please contact Dr. Knapp with questions.

Do I need to take piano courses if I am a Music Major?

Piano courses are not a part of the AA-T degree but are a part of the AA degree. After a student transfers from LBCC, most 4-year colleges have a piano proficiency requirement. This requirement will be attained through piano courses or testing. Check the entrance requirements at the college you are looking to transfer to.

How long can I take private lessons?

Students who are in good standing are offered free private lessons for up to 5 semesters.