What is the difference between the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program and the Bachelor of Music (BM) program?
The BM degree plan means that, essentially, your major is the study of your chosen instrument and the art of performance in that instrument. Daily practice, performance, and participation in ensembles becomes the major focus of your degree plan. Of course, the study of music theory and music history is also an important component of the curriculum. A rigorous series of auditions, juries, and recital requirements must be fulfilled.
The BA series of degree plans, although allowing for the study of performance, places emphasis on music and its role in society and its value as a cultural entity within a global perspective. Your degree and many of your courses will be in Music, but you will also take a variety of different courses to round out your Liberal Arts degree.
When do I need to decide between the BA and BM?
As soon as possible. If you are questioning, you should pursue the BM program first so you do not get behind in your studies. The BA program is much more flexible, so it allows for a smoother transition into the degree if you come into it later than your first year, decide to double major with another department or are still undecided.
Do I need to audition?
If you intend to declare the Bachelor of Music (BM) degree plan; you MUST audition.
You may declare the Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies without auditioning. Many students who are quite advanced and proficient in instrumental or vocal performance may still choose the BA degree plan options. We have many fine performers every year who decide on the BA degree plan based on their personal goals and aspirations.
If you would like to study private lessons in an instrument, voice, or composition, you must audition for placement in lessons. You may audition in January for a space in private lessons taught at UCSB. The Music Department provides lessons to all BM students, and then allocates spaces to BA students and non-majors in order of priority. Auditions for individual class placement also take place at the beginning of the quarter. Auditions for performance ensembles are normally held at the first class meeting.
Priority for lessons in instruments and voice is given to BM majors and graduate students.
Can I declare a Music Major without auditioning?
You may declare the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music Studies without auditioning. If you would like to study private lessons in an instrument or voice and/or composition in the Class Composition setting, you MUST audition for placement in lessons. Priority for lessons in instruments and voice is given to BM majors and graduate students. The Faculty does their best to accommodate as many students as possible. Auditions for individual class placement also take place at the beginning of each quarter
When will my individual lessons instructor be assigned?
During the first week of classes.
Do I need to take placement exams?
Yes, in music theory and musicianship and also for class piano, even if you have no prior experience.
Does the Music Department make decisions on who will be admitted to the University of California at Santa Barbara?
No. The results of our auditions/composition portfolios and interviews only serve to assess undergraduate freshmen and transfer applicants. All recommendations for degree emphasis are contingent on acceptance to the University of California by the Office of Admissions.
The Office of Admissions at the University of California at Santa Barbara carefully considers all elements of an applicant’s admission request. Any other questions about this process should be directed to the Office of Admissions. We do submit the results of our auditions to the Office of Admissions.
When does the Music Department have auditions?
Auditions are normally held during the last two weekends of January for the following Fall entrance.
Is there a minor in music?
Yes, there is a Music Minor option. The Music Minor requirements may be viewed here.
May I participate in ensembles without being a music major?
Yes, each year we have many students who are studying in other majors across the University, and who participate in many of our Music Department ensembles. A list of ensembles and their audition requirements can be viewed by clicking Ensembles in the main menu. Contact the faculty, or review the information provided on the webpage to get information on how to audition for the ensemble.
Can I use the Music Department practice rooms even though I am not studying or participating in official Music Department lessons or ensembles?
No. The Music Department practice room facilities are limited to students who are music majors or who are enrolled in the study of instrumental or vocal music through the Department of Music. The Music Department does not have enough practice rooms in order to allow students who are not studying in the Department of Music to use the facilities.
Are scholarships available from the Department of Music?
Yes, each year the Department of Music awards many scholarships to incoming students majoring in Music based on the results of their audition. Scholarship awards from the Department of Music are limited to students who have declared and maintain a “Music Major” as their degree plan emphasis.