GETTING STARTED WITH MUSIC FUNDAMENTALS
Welcome to the Department of Music at Coastal Carolina University! Among the core
requirements of every music degree are four semesters of music theory, musicianship (sight
singing & ear training), and keyboard skills. In the most general sense, you need to understand
the music you hear, play and read. Knowing how music “works,” how to communicate with
other musicians, how to read standard music notation, how to identify the things you hear, will
be an important component of your future success as a musician.
Everyone comes to us from their own unique background and experiences. University music
programs have developed different strategies for ‘leveling the playing field,’ so that students in
the same classes are prepared for the college music curriculum. These may include requiring
students to take an exam to place out of remedial music fundamentals classes in order to start
the required sequences mentioned above or adding an extra semester to these sequences and
allowing students with stronger backgrounds to automatically get credit for the courses where
they already know the materials.
At Coastal Carolina, the Department of Music uses a slightly different approach. Once you pass
an audition and are accepted into the program, you may enroll in the first semester core classes
in music theory (MUS 115), musicianship (MUS 117) and keyboard skills (MUS 172). This allows
everyone to get started together. Ideally, everyone would have a least a certain level of
familiarity with the basics of music notation, theory, listening and keyboard from the start, and
that is why we are providing you with materials to help you get ready.