Visual and Performing Arts Majors

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in performing arts is possible in a variety of subject areas. Read on the learn about degree programs offered, prerequisites, course topics, and areas of specialization. Schools offering Theatre degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What are Some Visual and Performing Arts Majors?

Theater, studio art and music are just some of the visual and performing arts majors available. Typically, graduates of these programs earn a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. These programs combine hands-on coursework that helps you develop your artistic talents with classes where you will study the critical theory and history of your chosen major. Due to the hands-on and performance-based nature of artistic fields, these degree programs aren't available online.

Degree Programs Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, Studio Art, and Music
Prerequisites Auditioning, meetings with advisors, portfolio of prior work
Theatre Major Courses Acting techniques, vocal performance, set dressing
Studio Art Major Specializations Photography, ceramics, painting
Music Major Courses Music theory, composition, performance (voice or instrument)

Are There Any Prerequisites For These Programs?

If you're interested in pursuing a music major, most programs will require you to audition. Some programs require that theater majors meet with advisors after their first year to determine a specific track of study. In studio art programs, there are usually not set prerequisites, but some advanced courses may require you to present a portfolio of your prior work before enrolling.

What Classes Will I Take as A Theater Major?

As a theater major, you can specialize in performance or theater production. If you're interested in performing, you'll take classes in acting techniques and vocal performance. You'll also be required to act in your school's theater productions. Should you specialize in theater production, you'll take courses in set dressing, lighting and costume design. In addition, all theater majors can expect to take classes where they will read and analyze a variety of dramatic works.

What is the Curriculum For a Studio Art Major?

As a studio art major, you may be required to choose an area of emphasis like photography, sculpture, ceramics, painting or drawing. You'll often find yourself immersed in hands-on studio classes, where you'll experiment and develop your talents in your chosen medium. For example, if you're interested in ceramics, you may learn to make mix your own glazes in one studio class and operate a kiln in another. In addition to studio courses, you'll take classes in art history and color theory. Most studio art programs will also require you to present your artwork in school-sponsored exhibitions.

What Can I Expect as a Music Major?

As a music major, you can choose to focus on a specific style of music, like jazz or classical music. You can also elect to study a specific instrument, like the piano, flute or guitar. Additionally, you may choose to study the technical aspects of music production, including sound design and the use of audio production equipment.

If you're studying a particular genre, you'll complete courses that examine the lives of influential musicians within the genre. You'll also study the history and evolution of the genre as well as its characteristics.

Should you choose to study a particular instrument, you'll focus on developing a mastery of its use. You'll perform often, either solo or in a symphony or orchestra, depending on the instrument chosen. You'll learn how to compose music for your instrument and study masters of the instrument as well.

If you choose to study music production, you'll take classes in music theory, composition and the use of digital production equipment. Some music production programs also include courses on the music business itself, including examinations of an artist's rights, recording contracts and marketing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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