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The Department of Art and Music offers a major in art, an interdepartmental major in arts administration, and two tracks in the music major.
Courses in art are designed to strengthen the student's perceptual powers and to develop articulate visual intelligence in art history through study of works of art and in studio work through direct practice in drawing, painting, and photography. Such study complements other areas of study and practice in the humanities. Students in sciences and professional areas also benefit from strengthening their powers of visual thinking and discovering that active visual imagination is crucial to creative work.
Music has never been created in a vacuum. By its very nature, music absorbs prevailing musical, social, and expressive influences from many diverse cultures, thereby becoming truly international in spirit. Courses in music are designed as cultural enrichment for students whose principal interests are in other disciplines and for students considering a major in music. Music courses develop the student's ability to listen intelligently to a wide spectrum of music from many traditions. The introductory courses present a general appreciation of music by exploring traditional Western music as well as the music of non-Western cultures. Such experience is extremely beneficial to a liberal arts education and will enhance the student's creative work and performance in the humanities, sciences, and other professional areas. It also provides an excellent background for more specialized offerings.
There is no strict sequence in which music courses must be taken; however, the introductory courses (MUS 110, 120, or 121) are normally taken first.
Students who wish to take MUS 349 Directed Study at the New England Conservatory are required to take MUS 110, MUS 111, MUS 120, or MUS 121 before or at the same time as their first semester of applied music. Depending upon the student's musical background and with the permission of the instructor, it is possible to fulfill the course requirement for directed study with any Simmons music history or theory course.
A student's proficiency with any instrument or voice should be at an intermediate level or above. Therefore, a consultation with the music faculty is necessary before registration can be completed.
The department welcomes students wishing to develop joint majors with other departments; such students should consult with the music faculty about ways to integrate their interests.