Community College for Music

How can you get your money’s worth out of starting music school at a community college?

If your grades or audition didn’t allow you to get accepted to the music school of your choice, your finances make it impossible to pay for a 4-year music school, or if you’re just not ready to commit to a 4-year college, a community college with a strong music program may be just the ticket.

If you plan to attend a community college with the intention of transferring to a 4-year school:

  • Find out whether the community college has an agreement with a 4-year school that will accept your credits. If it does not, check with the 4-year school you’d want to transfer to, to see whether you’ll get credit for classes taken at the community college.
  • Figure out the right classes to take so you don’t have to spend additional time and therefore money at a 4-year school. Classes like music theory, musicianship and and applied lessons on your primary instrument (along with a regular practice schedule) will keep you from getting behind and also make you a better candidate for any required auditions.
  • Consider what you want to do with a music degree, knowing that your plans may change the more you learn. While studying music provides many transferable skills that are useful in pretty much any career field, having a sense of how you’d like to use your degree will help direct your choices and decisions as you move forward.

Note that some community colleges offer terminal 2-year certificate programs in areas such as music technology, recording, and music business. Ask about job options before committing to these programs unless your intention is to add to your skill set for your current or future work.

For more ideas on how to make community college work for you, see: Community College for Music Students…Guidelines for Making It Work.


    • There are strong music programs in a number of community colleges all over the U.S. Look for the kinds of music classes offered at community colleges you’re considering, along with the faculty and degrees offered. Find out what students who enroll in these programs do once they leave.

      Some of the community colleges with strong music programs we’re familiar with include Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College, College of the Canyons (California); Miami Dade College (Florida); Bergen Community College (New Jersey); Queensborough Community College (NY); Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio). Also read this article to learn more: Community College for Music Students…Guidelines for Making It Work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *