College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

The Cal Poly Pomona Music Degree

The Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of the Cal Poly Pomona Music Degree

All bachelor’s degrees in music involve the student in basic studies of harmony and music theory, piano skills, performance in ensembles and individually, plus learning about the history of music literatures.

The CPP music degree is distinct in that the choices of options to study encompass a wide range of focus.  Traditional programs of study—such as music education and classical music performance—are offered.  In addition, students may opt to study commercial music performance or music industry studies. The latter is unique among such programs due to the partnership we have with AVID Technology, leading students to certification in Pro Tools and Sibelius while completing their bachelor's degree. Our “learn-by-doing” philosophy is distinctive in its pedagogical methods as students get hands-on experience via recording and technology labs, master classes with professional musicians, service learning classes, and a variety of performance opportunities.

Students of many levels of skill enter the program and all pass minimum skills barriers that are standard in collegiate music programs— and take additional classes in their option area.  Our students perform a variety of types of music from classical to electronic to multicultural to commercial; and our students have hands-on experience in music industry and the production and marketing of performances.

Graduates of Cal Poly Pomona's Department of Music work in all aspects of the field: performing, teaching, recording, promoting, and more.

To have a successful career in the arts, one must engage in applying his/her skills.  At CPP music, students have the opportunity to do just that—through performance in varied ensembles (choral, jazz, electronic music, songwriting, music theatre, soul ensemble, symphonic winds, and more), hands-on recording, and management through special projects and coursework.  These experiences provide students with the opportunity to work toward mastery of their skills and artistry.

Professional experts in various areas of performance and the broader music industry are brought in throughout the academic year to further enhance the students’ learning experience.  Masterclasses, tours, workshops, showcases, and festivals are all a part of the CCP music program.

Learning outcomes align with this fully-realized approach to education in the department. In our music programs of study we stress high performance skill level, communication about music, personal growth, and detailed knowledge in specialized areas.

The department uses a variety of measurement tools and strategies to determine student progress and the effectiveness of the department.  Sophomore focus groups are included in an annual online survey to ensure the department is successful in its intentions for student success.  Students demonstrate their musical growth several times a year through performances and project presentations.  At the conclusion of each period of study, juries are conducted during which students play or sing their required repertoire. Student progress is measured as they present the performance-ready music for faculty members at these juries.  Each year, senior reflective essays are written and read by faculty members.  Together with a senior exit survey, the department committee is able to ensure continued high quality education and experiences to all students. The capstone senior project may be a recital, a recording, marketing plan, or other research representing the student’s best work. A growing alumni association is helping us track graduate success after they leave CPP.