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Music Program

Afro-Cuban Drumming and Styles, RCMUSIC 258

Playing and listening to music uses the whole brain at once. [Alluri et al., University of Jyväskylä, Finland].

Learning to play an instrument raises your IQ. [Schellenberg, University of Toronto Missisauga].

Playing music makes people better readers, and better students. [Kraus, Harmony Project, Northwestern University Auditory Neuroscience Lab].

When people play music together, their brainwaves get synchronized. [Lindenberger, Li, Gruber and Müller, Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin].

Don’t take our word for it – the studies quoted here are only the tip of the iceberg of recent neuroscience studies about the benefits of musical education. Music classes make students better, smarter and happier.

Each semester, the RC music program offers 7-10 different classes, educating 136-190 students. See the full list here. 

Traditionally, music is taught in the college-conservatory setting strictly within the musical disciplines: musicology (humanities), music theory (science), performance (performing arts), composition (creative arts), technology (engineering). In contrast, most RC classes are interdisciplinary by nature, mixing music theory and musicology with performance and the making of music. We do this in order to offer a broader experience in music for the non-music majors, and to help students apply the topic specific skills in their own music making. 

Chamber Music, RCMUSIC 320

RC music classes generally fall into one of these categories:

  • 1-2 credit Performance and Theory labs: Chamber music, Choir, Chinese Ensemble, Creative Musicianship theory lab, all 300-level RCMUSIC courses
  • 4 credit Recitations: interdisciplinary classes mixing performance, history, theory, composition, improvisation and technology depending on the skill set of the particular class: Foundations of Music, Electronic Music, Afro-Cuban Drumming and Styles, Found Instruments, Improvisation, Creative Musicianship, RCMUSIC courses offered at 200- and 300-levels
  • 3 credit Lecture/seminars in musicology  (Rotating Music topics class, History of the Symphony, Opera) under the RCHUMS subject code

See the list of courses for the next term here.

The program supports RC non-major students seeking to fulfill the RC Arts Practicum, the students majoring in the RC Arts and Ideas, as well as the LSA music majors and minors, who may have difficulty in finding fitting classes at the School of Music or do not have the capacity to go between Central and North Campus. Most RC music classes have no pre-requisites: the RC classes often focus on self-directed creative projects that are conducted at the individual skill levels. 

Chinese Music Ensemble, RCMUSIC 321


Need another reason to take an RC Creative Arts Class, like music? Check out this video: