The first two years of college music study are, in many ways, the most important years in the education of a musician. Skills and understanding, which are well-learned at this time, provide an adequate base for a successful music vocation. Because of this, SWCC's music curriculum focuses on thoroughly developing in the student these most essential musical skills.

The philosophy and pedagogy of the program are guided by the following principles:

  • The most "freeing" education is a process of learning to see and think clearly and to understand relationships.
  • The transfer of information from teacher to student, while important, is secondary.
  • Effective education is not possible without internal motivation and self-discipline.
  • Understanding and skills are the key to musical competence.
  • Understanding results when the desire to learn and the creative teacher meet.
  • The pursuit of musical competence, when undertaken deeply, provides a mirror for self-examination and understanding.

Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations (SMV) is committed to preparing its students for music careers in a stimulating and efficient way. The program is one of the only two-year vocational music programs in the United States. Our goal is to help the serious musician gain musical mastery, which will enable him/her succeed in and contribute to the art of music, whether in performance, education, or both.

SWCC Professional Music Brochure

Awards Available

Professional Music:  Associate of Applied Arts

Professional Music Degree Sheet

Potential Careers

  • Professional vocal or instrumental musician
  • Teacher, director, composer, or arranger
  • Entertainer or performer
  • Sound engineer (recording/studio)

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • describe significant genres of music, using appropriate music staff notation and vocabulary.
  • aurally identify characteristic elements of music.
  • analyze and critically evaluate a musical performance.
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of and skill level in the use of music technology.
  • demonstrate effective communication skills in music notation and written assignments.
  • identify significant social, cultural, aesthetic and historical trends in music and assess the implications and consequences of these trends
  • perform through participation in Music Department vocal and/or instrumental groups


Instructor Dr. Jeremy Fox