Required for the Major

For students who matriculate Fall 2024 or later:
Seven required Music courses (including MUSC 0160 or passing placement test score.)
• MUSC 0101
• MUSC 0160 OR passing placement test score
• MUSC 0209 
• MUSC 0260 
• MUSC 0261 
• MUSC 0333 
• MUSC 0334 
• One performance course at the 0200-level or above (MUSC 0205 counts)
• Two electives at the 0200-level or above
• MUSC 0400 (0101, 0209, 0260, 0261, 0333, and 0334 taken prior)
• MUSC 0704 (senior work) is not a core requirement, but it is required for departmental honors
  eligibility. Additionally, joint majors are required to take MUSC 0704 but not MUSC 0400, one
  performance course at the 0200-level or above (MUSC 0205 counts), and one elective at the 0200-
  level or above.

For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2024:
Majors are required to take MUSC 0101; MUSC 0209; MUSC 0260-0261; MUSC 0333; MUSC 0334; a performance elective such as MUSC 0240, 0243, 0244, or 0500; two 0200-level or above elective music courses; and MUSC 0400 senior seminar.

Demonstrated proficiencies

Music majors will be required to demonstrate basic piano and sight-singing proficiencies in the semester at the end of Theory II (MUSC 0260). If preparation is needed, music majors are required to take a semester of  keyboard harmony, arranged through the music office.

In addition to the curricular requirements, majors are required to participate for three semesters in at least one departmentally-approved ensemble: African Music and Dance Ensemble, Afropop Ensemble, Middlebury College Orchestra, Middlebury College Choir, Middlebury College Community Chorus, The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble, or Middlebury Community Wind Ensemble.

Required for the Joint Major

Joint Majors are required to take MUSC 0101; MUSC 0260-0261; MUSC 0333; MUSC 0334; two 0200-level or above elective music courses; and MUSC 0704 (senior work that combines both majors and is agreed upon by the advisers and department or program chair)

Required for the Minor

Students who pursue the minor in music are required to complete five music courses, two of which may be general introductory courses (0100 level) and three other courses at the 0200-0400 levels.

Music Theory Placement Exam

Students may test into MUSC 0209 (Composition I) and MUSC 0260 (Music Theory II) by taking a placement exam rather than taking the pre-requisite MUSC 0160 (Theory I). Incoming students must take the placement exam before classes begin and only at the designated time at orientation. Current students must send an email to Professor Matthew Taylor at to schedule the exam. Note: Placement tests should be arranged by November 1, and April 1, for the following semesters.

Departmental Honors

Departmental honors in music reflect a student’s overall achievement in and contribution to the department, as well as demonstrated excellence in MUSC 0704 (Senior Work). To take MUSC 0704, students must have at least B+ grade average in music courses; and must submit a proposal for senior work (of one or two semesters in length) by April 1 of the junior year. Of note: MUSC 0704 (Senior Work) does not count as a course toward fulfillment of the music major. Grade averages of B+ in senior work and B+ in departmental courses will be eligible for honors; A- in senior work and A- in departmental courses will be eligible for high honors; A in senior work and A in departmental courses will be eligible for highest honors.


The African Music and Dance Ensemble is the core of MUSC 0244, for which enrolled students earn one (1) credit. The Ensemble gives students (with or without a musical background) a rich, hands-on experience with numerous East African (Ugandan) music and dance cultures through regular rehearsals and end-of-semester concerts. See course listing of MUSC 0244. (D. Kafumbe).

The following ensembles require two semesters of enrollment to earn (1) credit:

Afropop is a dynamic and diverse blend of traditional African music with R&B, rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, funk, EDM, and many other Western and Afro-diasporic styles. Students learn songs by ear and create their own arrangement—most songs use three or four chords and pentatonic melodies. There are no prerequisites. The ability to read music is not required. See course listing MUSC 0205(D. Kafumbe)

Middlebury College Orchestra auditions for instrumentalists at the beginning of the semester. Twice-weekly rehearsals take place in Robison Hall in preparation for performances featuring music from all periods. See course listing for MUSC 0205. (E. Bennett).

Middlebury College Choir performs concerts each fall and spring, participates in Baccalaureate and other College functions, and tours or engages in other projects annually. Audition required, with attention to sight-reading, listening skills, and vocal production. Intent to participate full year/multiple semesters strongly encouraged. Open to all students without prerequisite. See course listing of MUSC 0205. (J. Buettner).

College Community Chorus performs concerts each fall and spring, usually including a major choral work for chorus and organ or orchestra. Open to all without audition; rehearsals focus on developing choral musicianship. See course listing of MUSC 0205. (J. Rehbach).

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble uses traditional big-band instrumentation, playing the best of contemporary jazz arrangements as well as classic charts from the 75 years of swing and jazz band history. The ensemble also features student compositions and arrangements when available. An active performance schedule is typical. See course listing of MUSC 0205. (D. Forman).

Middlebury Community Wind Ensemble is an off-campus community ensemble that students are invited to join that features woodwind, brass, and percussion; no auditions necessary. There are two performances each semester. Rehearsals take place at Middlebury Union High School. (M. McHugh).

Other Chamber Ensembles: String quartets, woodwind and brass ensembles can be formed and coached for interested students. Independent projects (MUSC 0500) can be arranged for these groups.

Private Music Lessons

Music majors and non-music majors are welcome to take private music lessons with Middlebury College Affiliate Artists. No auditions are required; private music lessons are considered extracurricular and do not confer course credit. The fall and spring lessons series include ten 45-minute lessons; the winter term series includes four lessons. Fees are billed directly to the student’s account (discounts may apply). More information is available online at