For a full list of Perimeter Fine Arts events,
click on the “Public Events” button above.
How do I become a music major?
There are two steps to becoming a music major at Perimeter College: applying to Perimeter College, and then passing the music entrance assessments.
Prospective students have to pass two music entrance assessments before enrolling in music major coursework: an entrance audition in voice or an instrument, and the music theory entrance exam. Both of these assessments presume that students have been studying music formally (private lessons, music theory training) for at least a couple of years before coming to Perimeter College. Students who do not possess the necessary skill set to pass these assessments, but are assessed by the faculty to have the potential to work toward music major status, are allowed to enroll in preparatory music courses. However, these courses will add an additional year to degree completion.
The music faculty hear entrance auditions at the beginning and end of each fall and spring semester. Students can schedule the music theory entrance exam during regular business hours AFTER being admitted to Perimeter College and activating their Campus ID (email, PAWS login). Students should contact the Clarkston campus Fine Arts office at 678-891-3563 to schedule these entrance assessments. Below are the requirements for each assessment:
Voice: Candidates for a vocal music emphasis will perform two classical solos, arranged for voice and piano: 1) an art song, aria, or indigenous folk song in a foreign language (Italian, German or French); and 2) a song in English. Candidates are encouraged to select repertoire from anthologies such as the Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias anthology and the First Book of [Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano/Alto, Tenor, Baritone/Bass] Solos series, both published by G. Schirmer. Candidates will perform both of these selections from memory and need to bring a copy of the sheet music, in the proper key, for the pianist. Perimeter College will provide a pianist for the audition.
Piano: Candidates must perform, from memory, two classical piano solos of contrasting styles and musical eras, chosen from the traditional piano literature. Candidates should also be able to execute the following skills from memory:
- all major and all harmonic minor scales, 4 octaves, hands together, in 16th notes; minimum metronome speed of quarter note = 84;
- all major and minor arpeggios, 4 octaves, hands together, in 16th notes; minimum metronome speed of quarter note = 40; and
- primary chord progressions in all major and minor keys (Major: I-IV64-I-V7-I / Minor: i-iv64-i-V7-i).
Winds/Strings/Percussion: Candidates will perform two selections of contrasting style, from memory or with music. Additionally, candidates must be prepared to play any of the major scales and arpeggios.
MUSIC THEORY ENTRANCE EXAM
Students can schedule an exam session during regular business hours. This is a timed exam (one hour), so students need to have a firm command of the material. Students who cannot pass the Music Theory Entrance Exam after two attempts, or have little or no prior music reading ability, have the option of passing the course “Fundamentals of Music” (MUS 1430) with a grade of “C” or higher in lieu of the Music Theory Entrance Exam.
Here is a list of the skills that are necessary to pass the Music Theory Entrance Exam:
• Be able to read time signatures and rhythm patterns
• Be able to identify pitches on the treble and bass staves, as well as identify the interval between two pitches
• Be able to identify all major and minor key signatures, and be able to identify major and minor scales
• Be able to notate major and minor triads, as well as dominant seventh chords, in root position and inversions
• Be able to explain notations commonly found in sheet music (tempos, dynamics, articulation, etc.)
At what campuses do you offer music courses?
All of the music major courses and ensembles meet on the Clarkston campus. Additional music courses for non-majors are offered on the Dunwoody and Decatur campuses, as well as online.
What genres of music do you study?
The Perimeter College music program, like most college music programs, focuses on classical and jazz studies. The skills developed from performing and analyzing these styles of music can be applied to many other musical genres.
What courses will I take as a music major?
The Music Pathway (Associate of Science in Music) largely mirrors the first two years of most bachelor of music degrees, such as those offered at the Georgia State University School of Music. Students take several semesters of each of the following courses: private music lessons in voice or an instrument, music theory and analysis, aural skills and sight-singing, group piano classes, and music ensembles. The full breakdown of courses can be found in the GSU associate level catalog.
How will the Associate degree in music prepare me for bachelor's level study?
The Associate degree in music contains the courses that any bachelor’s level music student would take during his/her first two years (applied lessons, music theory and aural skills, group piano, ensembles, concert attendance). A student can then transition from Perimeter College to the Georgia State University Atlanta Campus School of Music and complete any of the music bachelor degrees offered: Bachelor of Music in Performance, Music Education, Composition, Jazz Studies, or Music Technology (audio engineering); or the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Management. A student can also take the credits earned at Perimeter and apply/audition to transfer to another four year college or university music program.
What careers can I pursue with a music degree?
A degree in music develops skills that are critical in a competitive job market, such as collaboration, creativity and discipline. Even beyond the music industry, a number of individuals at the top of their fields engaged in formal music study: former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (trained as concert pianist), actor Forest Whitaker (operatic tenor), and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (violinist and guitarist) are but a few examples.
Looking specifically within the music industry, a music degree can open the door to a variety of careers:
- Music Educator (K-12 or college level)
- Private Music Teacher (one-on-one lessons)
- Music Textbook Writer/Editor
- Concert Music Composer
- TV/Theater/Movie Composer
- Performing Artist (concerts, recital)
- Studio Musician
- Audio Engineer (recording)
- Sound Designer (theater)
- Music Software Designer
- Music Production (producer)
- Arts Administration
- Artist Management
- Music Entrepreneur
- Church Musician/Minister
- Music Therapist
- Music Historian
- Music Journalist or Critic
- Radio Programming Specialist/Personality
- Orchestra Manager/Librarian
- Music Equipment Representative
- Music Publisher (print and online)
Are there opportunities for Perimeter College students who are not music majors?
Yes! There are several options for non-majors to explore their musical artistry.
All college music ensembles are one credit hour courses that are available to any currently-enrolled student. The Perimeter College Chorale welcomes members who can sing in tune, while the instrumental ensembles (Community Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, DeKalb Symphony Orchestra) invite students who already read sheet music and play an instrument to audition for membership. Contact the director of the appropriate ensemble for more information.
The music program also offers beginner music classes for students who want to sing or play an instrument: Beginning Voice for Non-Music Majors (MUA 1600), Beginning Piano for Non-Music Majors (MUA 1700), and Intro to Guitar (MUA 1800). More advanced students can audition for private lessons, based on faculty availability.
Metro Atlanta Community Members
Can I participate in your ensembles without being admitted as a Perimeter college student?
The Community Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Guitar Orchestra are open to community members with musical training. For more information, please contact the director of the ensemble you are considering.
Do you have a calendar of events?
Visit our Upcoming Events page for a full listing of music concerts, recitals, and masterclasses.
Student and Community Ensembles
The Perimeter College Community Wind Ensemble, founded in 1967, consists of Perimeter faculty and students, high school students and community musicians. The Wind Ensemble has been invited to perform at regional and national conventions throughout the Southeast.
The Perimeter College Jazz Ensemble is a community performing group comprising Perimeter students and some of the finest amateur, semi-professional and professional jazz musicians in the Atlanta area.
The Jazz Lab Band provides an environment for Perimeter students to study and perform the stylistic elements of jazz, including improvisation.
The Perimeter College Chorale is a mixed-voice (male and female) choral ensemble that is open to all Perimeter students and faculty. The Chorale sings a variety of styles of music in concerts on campus and throughout metro Atlanta.
Founded in 2013 as a cornerstone element of the Atlanta Guitar Guild’s Education and Outreach program, the orchestra performs seasonal concerts of music on guitar in all of its stylistic variety.
The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra (DSO), established in 1964, is composed of community members, Perimeter College students and select professional orchestra musicians. The DSO offers a season of up to 15 concerts a year, including its popular annual Children’s Concert, Picnic Pops Concerts and free Community Concerts.
Peach State Opera (PSO) is a professional touring company that enriches the cultural life of small communities in the Georgia region and nurtures the careers of emerging professional opera singers. PSO presents condensed, audience-friendly, English-language productions of famous operas.
The flute quartet “Perimeter Flutes” was created in 2005 to bring the rich cultural diversity of flute literature to Atlanta area audiences through concerts, recitals, public broadcasts, and recordings.
Attending Perimeter College was a unique experience for me because I grew up as a self-taught singer. Perimeter College’s Clarkston music program exposed me to a very effective and innovative approach to learning classical repertoire for piano and voice. I never played the piano a day in my life, but after one semester at Perimeter, I performed my first piano recital and my first classical vocal recital — all because God graced me with the pleasure of learning from really great teachers like Dr. (Brian) Bonin, who believed in my gifts as a musician and motivated and supported me every step of the way. I approached Perimeter like another opportunity to learn, perform, have a good time making music and build my career. Already a gospel singer coming into Perimeter, I gained skills that have propelled my career, and I’m honored to have been a part of Perimeter’s music program.
Perimeter College Alumna 2014-2016
Inspirational Gospel Singer Anjolic Sky