Music Theory and Technology

Certificate of Achievement in Music Technology (COA)

The Music Technology Certificate of Achievement is designed for students seeking a career as a professional musician. It will better prepare a student to secure a job in the music industry by building skills related to music technology. After successfully completing this certificate a student could be hired as a composer, recording artist, music production assistant, assistant audio engineer, audio technician, assistant music supervisor, or artists & repertoire (A&R) assistant.

Time to Complete: 1 year

Download the Program of Study


Course Offerings

Introduction to Music Technology (MUS M03 – 3 credits)

This class serves a wide range of students, both declared music majors and non-majors.  This is a project-centric class, where students can create portfolio pieces by using digital audio workstations (DAWs) and notation software.  Students prepare for a variety of workplace scenarios by composing and arranging music for commercial settings, live performance, and interdisciplinary projects.  Topics for discussion include the history of music technology, aesthetics, ethics, authorship, plus an introduction to MIDI, hardware, and synthesis.

Beginning Electronic Music (MUS M05 – 3 credits)

Introduces the techniques and elements of electronic music production. Includes topics such as synthesis, sampling, and MIDI sequencing. Requires the creation of compositions utilizing electronic music techniques.  In this course, students get a thorough exposure to the fundamental concepts of synthesis along with exposure to current trends in live electronic performance. 

Introduction to Music Business (MUS M07 – 3 credits)

Introduces the study of the music industry. Emphasizes and examines the various areas of the music business, the functions of each area, and the relationships between areas. Includes the topics of music publishing; copyright and intellectual property; music licensing; unions and guilds; performance rights organizations; personal and business financial management; artists and management; and recording industry.  

NEW Songwriting (MUS M11 – 3 credits)

Explores the process, skills, and techniques of songwriting. Analyzes the chord structure, form, rhythm, melody, harmony, and lyrics of various songs. Requires demonstration of understanding through composition and performance of original song.  

Music Theory and Musicianship Overview

We offer four semesters of music theory, with a sequence designed to help students gain a deep understanding of what makes music so powerful and effective as an artistic medium.  Here students gain a strong foundation in harmony, voice leading, intervals, melodic and phrase structures, rhythm, form, and notation.  There is also a historical component to the curriculum, which aims to expose students to the Western tonal music tradition from the Common Practice Era through the 20th century.  Students will also gain a fluency in musicianship skills such as solfége, dictation, conducting, and a familiarity with the keyboard.  The purpose is to gain a high literacy in these areas to be able to apply them in a wide variety of musical settings.