Registration Guide - Bachelor of Music

Welcome to the Bachelor of Music

First-year course selection for the Bachelor of Music is very simple. Most of the courses are required music courses, and there is only one elective subject that you will need to choose.

Each MUSI course is 3 credits (with the exception of the ensemble courses which are 1.5 credits each) and is either offered in one semester.

First-Year Course Pattern
MUSI 101 – Structure of Music I (first term)
MUSI 103 – Jazz Theory I (second term)
MUSI 146 – Vocal Ensemble I (first term)
  or MUSI 147 – Instrumental Ensembles I (first term)
MUSI 156 – Vocal Ensemble II (second term)
  or MUSI 157 – Instrumental Ensembles II (second term)
MUSI 165 – Jazz History (first term)
MUSI 166* - Basic Keyboarding skills (first or second term)
MUSI 181 - Applied Performance I (first term)
MUSI 195 - Applied Performance II (second term)
MUSI 265 - Jazz Styles ad Literature: The Bebop Era (second term)
Arts, Science or Open Elective course(s) – 6 credits, normally in one subject (full year)

* Students with sufficient piano skill may test out of MUSI 166 upon passing a proficiency exam.  Students exempted from this course are required to complete a music elective in place of MUSI 166.  This replacement course may be taken in first year, or in a future year.  Those who wish to take that music elective in a future year can take an arts or science elective instead in first year.

Arts/Science Requirement
In addition to your required MUSI courses, which total 24 credits, you will choose 6 credits in an arts or science subject.

Note that some first-year arts and science courses are full-year, 6-credit courses. Most departments, however, have two 3-credit courses (one each term) that together provide 6 credits of introductory study in that subject.

Please note that the subjects displayed in the following tables are also links to their respective pages on this website.  If first-year, 100-level courses are offered in a particular subject, their course descriptions are displayed at the bottom of the applicable subject page.

Arts Subjects
Art (Art History and Studio Art)
Catholic Studies
Celtic Studies
Classical Studies
Climate and Environment **
Computer Science *
Development Studies
Mathematics (& Statistics) *
Political Science
Public Policy and Governance
Religious Studies
Women’s and Gender Studies

* Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science is a department in the Faculty of Science, but for purposes of pairs (see definition below) and electives in the music programs, courses in this department are considered as arts courses.  Students may complete a pair in mathematics and statistics, and/or a pair computer science.

**Climate and Environment can be considered an arts or a science, so can be considered as an arts subject for purposes of pairs in the Bachelor of Music.


Science Subjects
Earth Sciences

When making your choice, you need to be aware of some important notes regarding the way in which these elective credits will be used in your degree pattern:

  • Degree programs in music require the completion of two "pairs".  A pair is essentially 12 credits in one subject, with at least 6 credits at the 200-level or above (see the Glossary of Terms for a full definition).  Therefore, it is advisable in first year to choose a subject in which you think you might be interested in taking another course or two in the future.  If you enjoy your first-year elective enough to take additional credits in the same subject, you will then need to take 6 additional credits in that subject in a future year to complete one pair.
  • However, the music degree programs also require open electives.  So if you find, at year end, that you'd prefer not to take any additional courses in your first-year elective subject, you won't have to.  You will be able to use your first-year course(s) as 6 credits of open electives, and try a new arts or science subject in second year with which to attempt to begin fulfilling your pair requirements.
  • Most first-year students choose a subject from the arts, but a science subject is an allowable option for you. If you choose a science, however, be aware that only one of your pairs may be in a science subject. The other required pair must be in an arts subject.  There is no requirement to complete any science courses in the Bachelor of Music, and many students do choose arts subjects for their two pairs and for their open electives.  But you are more than welcome to take science courses if you wish.


Notes Regarding Science Courses

  • Although music students are permitted to take science courses, some of the science subjects may be more readily accessible than others during your initial registration.
  • If you are interested in Earth Sciences, the introductory courses are definitely open to you, and you are very welcome to take them. (Note that the introductory Earth Sciences courses do not have labs, though they do have bi-weekly two-hour tutorials.)
  • Physics is also an option and there are usually seats available for non-science students. Note that in addition to the "normal" introductory physics courses, the department offers two first-year astronomy courses, PHYS 171 and 172, that were developed for non-science students. These courses cannot be used as part of a pair, so are not recommended for first-year music students. In the music programs, they can be used as open electives only.  If you are interested in these courses, it is recommended that you take them in a later year, after your pairs have been established.  Students interested in completing a physics pair should take PHYS 101 and 102.
  • Biology and chemistry may be restricted to science students until all have registered. You may be able to register for CHEM 101 and 102 or 121 and 122 or for BIOL 111 and 112 when you register for your other courses.  However, if you try to do so and receive a "College Restriction" error message, contact the relevant department chair to request to be added to a waiting list.  Usually, non-science students are ultimately able to register in these courses, but sometimes not until later in the summer.  In the meantime, be sure to choose and register in a different course, in case you are not able to get a seat in the science course that you want.


Things to Remember

  • Take the opportunity to explore subjects that are new to you as you contemplate your options for your arts/science elective subject. You do need to choose carefully, as discussed above, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be adventurous and try something new!
  • Though the following tips may sound a little confusing at the moment, they will become clearer to you as you move along the process, and actually begin to build your schedule. You can always refer back to this page later.
  • When building your course schedule, be sure to begin with your required music courses, which are offered in only one timeblock, and schedule your elective course(s) around those. (This reference to “timeblock” will also become clearer as you navigate through this website.)
  • If you are a vocalist, and therefore taking MUSI 146/156, be sure to register for section 11 (not section 12). Section 11 is for students in the music program; section 12 is for non-music students.
  • When scheduling your elective subject, you will need to avoid choosing a course that meets between 2:15 and 5:00, Monday through Thursday.  This translates to timeblocks in band 3 on the schedule including: O7, O8,

     U7, U8, W7, W8, X7, X8, Z7, Z8.  All music students need to leave these blocks open for “Combo Time” (when combo rehearsals are held) and for improvisation classes and master classes with visiting artists.  After you are assigned to an ensemble, your schedule will be adjusted, and you will be able to take courses in your free timeblocks.


Other Important Information

  • All students should plan to be on campus a few days before the beginning of the fall term in order to get settled; to meet with their respective studio teachers to schedule lessons; and to take ensemble placement auditions.
  • There will be a General Music Department Meeting scheduled during the first week. This will inform students about departmental policies and practices. The time and place of the meeting will be posted in Gilmora Hall – the Music Building – during the first week of the term. All students are to attend.
  • The time and place of ensemble placement auditions will be posted in Gilmora Hall. These auditions include reading, improvisation, and repertoire components. All students must audition for their placement in ensembles.


Questions You Might Have

1. I am interested in Development Studies, but there is only one 3-credit course available at the 100-level. How can I work this subject into my degree pattern?
Unfortunately, DEVS 101 will conflict with your required courses in first year so this is not an option for you.  However, you may be able to take this course in a future year.  You may also have the option of taking the core foundational courses, DEVS 201 and 202, in second year (or later) without having taken DEVS 101.  DEVS 101 is not a prerequisite for 201 and 202..

2. I am interested in Public Policy and Governance, but there is only one 3-credit course available at the 100-level. How can I work this subject into my degree program?
Unfortunately, PGOV 101 will conflict with your required courses in first year so this is not an option for you.  However, you may be able to take this course in a future year.

3. What if I am interested in taking a course in a subject that is not mentioned above?
The other subjects offered at StFX are in our professional or applied programs: Aquatic Resources; Business Administration; Engineering; Health; Human Kinetics; Human Nutrition; Nursing. These courses are not considered arts or science courses, so cannot be used to fulfill your pair requirements, but any courses taken from these programs may be used in partial fulfillment of your open elective credits. Most courses in these departments are restricted to students in these programs. There are a couple of exceptions, however.  BSAD 101 and 102 are available to non-business students, if there are seats available after registration has concluded for first-year students, but these courses are only usable as open electives in the Music programs. There are also a 200-level Human Nutrition course and two 300-level Nursing elective courses that are open to students outside of their respective programs. If you are interested in taking other courses from any of these professional departments, you will need to contact the relevant department chair, but such permission is not routinely granted.

Because of the limited number of open electives in the Music programs, and because your program requires you to take courses from the arts (and sciences if you wish), you are strongly advised not to consider taking courses from any of these applied program departments in first year.