The Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) is offered with concentrations in music, theatre, and the visual arts. Students who pursue an A.F.A. will be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution by obtaining some of the required fundamental courses in their chosen area of concentration as well as some general education required courses. The receiving four-year institution will determine whether the course will count as general education or pre-major/elective credit. Students in these programs who transfer may still have additional general education requirements to meet at the four-year institution to which they are transferring. Upon earning an A.F.A. in music, students will be prepared for admission auditions and for the placement and proficiency examinations at a four year institution. There is also a 2+2 agreement for the UNC Charlotte B.A. Music.
The Central Piedmont Music department, with over 100 music majors and serving over 2,000 students each academic year, and in the Sloan-Morgan Building, offers a full range of courses in music for both college transfer and for avocational interest. Whether you are working towards a degree in music or simply wish to learn more about music in the classroom, performing onstage in concerts of classical, jazz, opera or early/new music, the music department can meet your needs. The music program offers a solid foundation in music theory, history, and performance, and also enables students with a wide variety of interests to work and study together. The faculty are dedicated teachers and accomplished musicians. The facilities are first-rate, and our connection to the Charlotte arts community is strong. Whether your interests are in performance, recording technology, or preparation for transfer to a four-year program, Central Piedmont provides the classes and skills you need. Undecided? This is the place to come to explore, discuss, examine, and create. We offer small classes, ensembles, and other performance opportunities, and faculty whose own interests range from 20th century classical music, to jazz, to opera, and to early music. They are performers and composers, as well. Most importantly, our faculty are interested in your musical development. The Associate in Fine Arts in music is the equivalent of the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program and makes transfer is easy.
Music Degree Requirements
Placement exams are used by the music department to determine placement into Theory 1 or Fundamentals of Music, as well as level of piano study required. In addition to the music degree program courses, the Associate in Fine Arts requires that you complete general education courses. For detailed information on Associate in Fine Arts in music course requirements, visit the college catalog.
Music Applied Study
Applied study is an integral part of the music degree program. In order to study applied music, you must first audition for the full-time faculty at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. On a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the full-time faculty, you will be assigned to an instructor and to one of the following:
- two-credit applied study (MUS 161)
- classroom instrument/voice study
- non-credit preparation for applied study
You can register for classroom instruction according to the Central Piedmont registration schedule. Once you have been assigned a course of study and an applied instructor, you pay the two-credit tuition fee plus a $200 activity fee. If you play one jury piece in its entirety on the applied student recital, that piece is not repeated at the final jury. If applied study is interrupted for either the fall or spring semester, you are required to re-audition in order to resume private lessons.
Music Two-Credit Applied Study
This course of study consists of the student receiving 12 one-hour lessons during the course of the semester (more if required by the applied instructor). The lessons culminate in a final jury performance where three pieces (instrumentalists) or five pieces (vocalists) are performed before the full-time faculty and the student’s applied instructor (optional). During the course of the jury the student may also be asked to demonstrate some knowledge of the pieces (its key, historical style period) as well as sight-reading. Registration for two-credit applied is done exclusively through the program office assistant.
Music Classroom Study
This course of study is for students who will need guided preparation in order to achieve the musicianship necessary for private applied study. The requirements for this course are determined by the classroom instructor. The student will then need to audition again in order to take applied study.
Non-credit Preparation for Music Applied Study
In some cases, the full-time music faculty will elect to ask the student to study privately without credit and re-audition for applied study at a later date. This is done also at the discretion of the full-time music faculty.
Music Practice Rooms
The music department has practice rooms available for enrolled music students. The practice rooms are controlled through an electronic locking system monitored by Security Services. You must have an access card to gain entry to a practice room. Access cards are distributed by music faculty teaching theory or ensemble courses. If you are a music student and would like an access card, please request one through one of your music instructors. Your music instructor will have you fill out an agreement form prior to issuing you an access card. If you are a Central Piedmont student but you are not a music major or if you are not enrolled in a music class but would like access to the practice rooms, please contact the music department chair. Access may be given at the discretion of the music department chair. Non-music students still need to complete an access card agreement form and will only have access the the practice rooms on the first floor of Sloan-Morgan. All access cards must be returned by the last day of the semester to your music instructor or to the music library. If students lose the access card assigned to them, or if they do not return it by the end of the semester that it was issued, the student will have a $5 fee placed on their student account. Additionally, all access cards not returned by the last day of the semester will be deactivated.
Music Performances and Recitals
Listening to a wide variety of music is an essential part of music education, and it's fun! The department sponsors free concerts, recitals, and lectures all year long. Semesters begin with performances by faculty, former students, and professional musicians. At the end of the semester all ensembles perform. Some weeks have two to four events at a variety of times so students can attend. The Student Class Recital offers public performance opportunities for students enrolled in piano, guitar, and voice. The Student Honors Recital showcases music majors performing pieces they have studied. Many events are Thursdays at 12:30 in Bryant Hall. We encourage students to arrange their class and work schedules to free-up this important hour, both to hear the music and to participate in the life and community of the department. Each year as a part of ArtsFest, the Central Piedmont music department honors the memory of Gene Bryant, founder and longtime chair of the music department. The nature of the Arts & Communication division is a direct result of his vision, spirit and tireless energy as his impact still resonates throughout the music department, college and community. To learn more about music performance opportunities at Central Piedmont visit our Performing Arts page.
Admitted Students: Find Your Associate in Fine Arts - Music Faculty Advisor
Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name:
Music Program History
The Central Piedmont Community College Music Department dates to the earliest years of the college with Gene Bryant, the first instructor and director, who shaped the formation of the program. College mythology says that Gene asked Mary Lou Paschal to create a recorder ensemble and she demurred as not “knowing enough.” He promptly put the course on the schedule with her name beside it: early music was born at Central Piedmont. The philosophy for early music ensembles at the college is to study and perform a wide variety of music from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. In the earliest days the members were novice music students; soon a core of experienced players and life-long learners emerged to strengthen the ensembles. Life-long learners bring continued passion and increasing knowledge and skill. They also own a variety of instruments, expanding the college’s holdings. Experienced players provide younger students with an opportunity to rub shoulders with more advanced players and the ability to perform diverse and more difficult music. The college benefits from such diversity in the classroom. In the early 1970’s the college had a faculty recorder ensemble: Gene played tenor, Mary Lou played soprano and Webb Wiggins, bass. Webb, a pianist, developed an interest in harpsichord; Gene, ever the supportive boss, secured an instrument for the college. In 1975 Richard Kingston, then an emerging builder and now recognized as a master craftsman, delivered a French double harpsichord to the campus. Webb excelled as a harpsichordist and is now on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory. The recorder ensemble evolved into the Central Piedmont Early Music Consort, MUS 141E. Consort means “family” (of like instruments). Represented now are the families of recorder, harp, viola da gamba, and krummhorn. Consorts can be “broken” by mixing the groups and by adding other instruments such as cornetto and mute cornetto, sackbut, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipe, flute, pipe, shawm, jews harp, flute, psaltery, and others. The ensemble usually prepares two concert programs a semester. Nearly 25 years ago a folk music curriculum was instituted in collaboration between the college and members of the Charlotte Folk Society. Most of the courses (old-time jam, claw-hammer banjo, old-time fiddle, Appalachian dulcimer, etc) were taught in the oral tradition by skillful area practitioners. At the same time the Tuesday Evening Recorder Ensemble, MUS 141R, was born. Comprised of life-long learners and an occasional music major, the ensemble, which requires no audition, is an entry level course into early music at the college and performs at the end of each semester. Early music lovers are fortunate that Dr. Scott Bauer, former Division Director of Arts and Communication (now known as the Arts Division: Visual, Performing & Interior Design), was familiar with early music, was supportive of the program and worked to provide three excellent early music venues. He helped oversee the renovations to convert Sloan-Morgan, a former office building, into the primary space for music; SL 101 – Bryant Hall is an effective combination of small venue and classroom. He worked on the performance halls in the new Overcash building: the 145-seat Recital Hall and the thousand-seat Halton Theater are excellent venues, both visually and acoustically. The Wednesday evening Baroque Ensemble, MUS 141B, class began in Fall 2004. Students play in small ensembles with literature tailored to their technical, musical and ensemble skills. This semester’s class contains three music majors, a recently immigrated oud player who is learning to play figured bass, and seven life-long-learners; instruments include harpsichord, flute, violin, harp, recorders, violas da gamba, oud, and bagpipe. Once again, the open door brings a variety of students and their diversity enriches the learning environment.