The Associate in Fine Arts - music degree program will prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university and major in music.

What You Will Learn

The Associate in Fine Arts (A. F. A.) degree ensures you can transfer to a four-year institution having already fulfilled general education and major-specific course requirements. The program prepares you to audition for admission and to take proficiency examinations at a four year institution.

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

The Uniform Articulation Agreement ensures that your foundation-level course credits will transfer seamlessly to any UNC institution and many independent institutions — meaning you can enter a four-year, public college as a junior. Many students choose this path in order to not incur a lot of student debt. That's because at Central Piedmont, you can save more than $42,000 in tuition over two years, compared to many four-year schools.

We also have a 2+2 agreement that makes it easy for you to transfer into the UNC Charlotte Bachelor's of Arts in music.

With the Career & College Promise dual enrollment music pathway, you can start studying music while you're still in high school — graduate high school having already completed some of the requirements of a four-year music degree.

The Central Piedmont music department, with over 100 music majors and serving over 2,000 students each academic year, 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.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Music at Central Piedmont

Music Careers and Average Salaries

Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed music career requirements and opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

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The Details

  • Program Options

    Earn an Associate in Fine Arts - music. The college catalog details the Associate in Fine Arts - music program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements currently available at Central Piedmont. The school you transfer to will determine how your courses will transfer.

    Suggested course sequence

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer music course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's continuing education provides non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Requirements and Suggested Transfer Course Sequences

    For detailed information on Associate in Fine Arts - music program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog. The music department uses placement exams to determine which major courses you will start with.

    Suggested course sequences for Central Piedmont transfer degrees

    Music Applied Study

    Applied study is an integral part of the music degree program. If you wish to audition for applied music study, meet with a department faculty member to discuss your background and receive guidance on selecting a piece to prepare. You will then be given information on the date, time, place, and content of the audition, and be directed to any music faculty member to sign-up. It is important to be on time for your audition. 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.

    Two-Credit Applied Study

    This course includes 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 applied study instructor (optional). During the course of the jury, you 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.

    Classroom Study

    This provides guided preparation in order to achieve the musicianship necessary for private applied study. The requirements for this course are determined by the classroom instructor. An audition is then required to take applied study.

    Non-Credit Prep for Applied Study

    In some cases, the full-time music faculty may ask you 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.

    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. All ensembles perform at the end of the semester. 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. 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. To learn more about music performance opportunities at Central Piedmont visit our Performing Arts page.

  • Available Courses, Locations, and Delivery Methods

    Courses available and their schedules can change each semester. Check the Associate in Fine Arts - music program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements each semester.

    Shriner Music Library

    Practice Rooms

    The music department has practice rooms for music students. You must have an access card to enter 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. There is a $5 fee for the loss of a card or for failure to return the card by the last day of the semester that it was issued. All access cards not returned by the last day of the semester will be deactivated.

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  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

  • Related Programs, Other Associate/Transfer Degrees

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Advisor

    If you are currently enrolled and taking classes, log in to Watermark or download the Watermark Student App to find your assigned academic advisor.

    If you do not have an advisor, you can:

  • Auditions

    Students must audition to register for applied lessons. Applied lessons are a required part of the AFA Music degree. Auditions for the Fall 2024 semester will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2024. Please be prepared to perform one song , scales, and sightreading. Although it is preferred, audition pieces do not have to be memorized. To request an audition, please submit the Music Department Audition Request Form. Completion of this form does not guarantee an audition. We will contact you with an audition time once the form is completed. For more information on auditions, please email Mahari Freeman. Any student registered for applied lessons must also take the co-required repertoire class and perform in all midterm and final recitals.