The F&M music curriculum is divided into three categories:
history and culture - the study of musical styles and context
theory - the study of music's vocabulary
composing and performing - the creation and re-creation of music
Courses in fundamentals, Western music, jazz, and American music are open to all students, with or without previous musical background. More advanced courses in theory, composition, music history and culture, and music criticism are also offered.
The music major program requires eleven courses and is designed to accommodate particular interests in the areas of history and culture, theory, or performance. A student need not be a solo performer to major in music, although performing experience in a choral or instrumental ensemble is required to complement the classroom experience. Students interested in majoring in music at F&M are encouraged to make their interest known as early as possible to set up the best sequence of the eleven courses that are required. The major program can be tailored to the individual interests of students in many ways. Some students, such as those in pre-professional majors like Pre-Med, select music as one area of a double major.
Two music minor programs, requiring six courses, are also available. One emphasizes performance and the other history/culture and theory. These can provide a good start toward a lifetime involvement with music.
Students with special interests also study individually with faculty members. Music majors develop an independent study project in the senior year that focuses on their own interests and postgraduate objectives. All students have access to practice and rehearsal rooms, as well as to the state-of-the-art audio-visual center equipped with CDs, CD-ROMs, laser discs, records, and tapes. The department has its own computer lab with synthesizers, tone generators, and notation and ear-training software.