Orlando Music Degree Programs
Students interested in careers in music have several options to choose from in the Orlando metropolitan area. This article covers the coursework and, in some cases, performance requirements for three institutions. Also included is a table of school facts and figures as well as info on a few other area schools.
- Valencia College, located about seven miles from downtown Orlando, offers technical certificate and associate's degree programs in music; students can earn a two-year degree that can transfer toward a four-year degree at a college or university.
- Rollins College is located in nearby Winter Park about four miles from central Orlando. Through its Department of Music, students can pursue a minor or bachelor's degree program in the field.
- The University of Central Florida has a central campus about 11 miles from downtown Orlando, with 11 additional campuses across central Florida. Its Department of Music offers programs in performance, composition, and education at the bachelor's and master's degree levels.
Comparison of Schools
Factors like acceptance rates, student enrollment numbers, campus environments and, of course, costs can all affect your choice on where to pursue training in music. Use this table to learn about these and other areas for each of the three schools.
|Valencia College||Rollins College||University of Central Florida|
|School Type||Four-year, primarily associate's; public||Four-year; private not-for-profit||Four-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||44,834*||3,278*||66,059*|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$2,474 in-state; $9,383 out-of-state*||$48,335*||$6,368 in-state; $22,467 out-of-state*|
|% of Incoming, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||75%*||91%*||87%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||Open admissions policy*||64%*||50%*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||N/A||83% of full-time students*||90% of full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate within 150% of the Normal Time for Their Program (for students who began Fall 2011)||41%*||75%*||70%*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics - College Navigator.
Valencia College, located in downtown Orlando, offers technical certificate and associate's degree programs in sound and music technology and an associate's degree program in music performance that's designed to transfer to a bachelor's degree program.
Technical Certificate in Sound and Music Production-Audio Visual Production
Students seeking to enter a career in audio visual and/or sound production can earn a technical certificate at Valencia College. This program includes coursework in audio production and live sound reinforcement. Students also can choose to take two of the following three classes: audiovisual technology, audiovisual production, or MIDI.
Associate in Arts in Music Performance
The A.A. in Music Performance program at Valencia College incorporates courses that are commonly required to enter a bachelor's-level music program; however, to be certain they take the correct prerequisites, students should contact the music department at the school to which they plan to transfer. Requirements for the A.A. include three credits each in the humanities, math, science, and social sciences. Students also take nine credits in music history and literature. Other typical music courses include music theory and aural skills, in addition to applied private lessons and participation in performing ensembles.
Associate in Science in Sound and Music Technology
The A.S. program at Valencia College prepares students to enter a career in music, with possible emphasis in areas including audio engineering, music performance and sound, or sound technology. All programs require coursework in writing and U.S. government, as well as digital sound, recording, and MIDI. Students concentrating in audio engineering are taught to work with computers, audio equipment, and analog and digital sound systems. They take highly technical coursework that focuses on training with various equipment and in such topics as music theory, music production, post-production, acoustics, speech, and algebra. Elective courses include harmony, trigonometry, and guitar, voice, piano, and ensemble performance.
Students who choose to concentrate in music performance and sound develop knowledge of both music technology and music business. They take foundational courses in music theory, audio production, piano, aural skills, music literature, music business, and performance, with advanced courses in math or science and MIDI technology; they can participate in for-credit instrumental and choral ensembles as electives. The sound technology specialization is similar to the other specializations, while also teaching students to produce soundtracks and master tracks. In addition to many of the courses listed already, they fulfill an internship in audio technology or business and take coursework in jazz and rock music history, freelancing and entrepreneurship, and the maintenance and design of audio systems.
Rollins College, rated number two in best Regional Universities South in the 2019 rankings by U.S. News and World Report, boasts a teacher to student ratio of ten to one. Students can minor or major in music; music majors are encouraged to pursue an additional major or choose a non-music minor.
The music minor at Rollins College requires 28 semester hours of music classes. Students participate in music ensembles and take lessons in their instrument. They also must take courses in harmony and keyboard and choose two music electives, one of which is at the advanced level.
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Students seeking a B.A. in Music from Rollins College must audition before a faculty panel. Students can choose to concentrate in one of 12 areas of music, including composition, history, theory, education, business, technology, jazz/contemporary, conducting, voice, piano, winds/percussion or strings. The program requires 56 semester hours of coursework, with requirements in musicianship and performance. Courses in musicianship cover music and society, tonal and chromatic harmony, form and analysis, keyboard, and music history courses covering the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. To fulfill performance requirements, students must participate in music ensembles and take private lessons in their instrument. In addition to core coursework, students take four music electives, three of which are at an advanced level.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) Department of Music offers an undergraduate minor, three bachelor's degree programs, and one master's degree program. Students working toward a bachelor's degree are encouraged to complete study in a minor subject.
Students who are not majoring in music can pursue a music minor, which requires 19 credit hours of courses. Students take music theory and fundamentals of music in addition to nine credit hours of electives in music history, music theory, conducting, and/or performing ensembles.
Bachelor of Arts in Music
The B.A. in Music at UCF is a flexible liberal arts program that allows for music study in one or more areas; students must audition to be admitted to the program. Students are required to take two semesters of foreign language and complete 36 credit hours of general education in communications, history, math, science, and social sciences. Music coursework covers music theory, history, literature and technology, musicianship, piano, and performance. Students can take both music and non-music electives to fulfill credit requirements. The program culminates in a capstone project.
Bachelor of Music
Students seeking a Bachelor of Music can concentrate in instrumental or vocal performance, composition or jazz; all programs require an audition prior to acceptance. Those concentrating in performance can specialize in voice, piano, guitar, woodwinds, brass, percussion, or strings, while those concentrating in jazz can choose trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, bass, guitar, or drum kit. All students must complete 36 credit hours of general education courses in communications, history, math, science, and social sciences; they also take classes in advanced music history and theory, participate in music ensembles, and receive eight semesters of applied instruction in their instrument or composition. Composition students take additional courses in conducting, music analysis, and orchestration. Prior to graduating, all students must present at least one public recital; performance and jazz students must present two such recitals. The program prepares students for a professional music career or pursuit of graduate studies in music.
Bachelor of Music Education
The BME offered at UCF prepares students for K-12 music teacher certification in Florida; students must audition and interview to be admitted. After meeting 36 credit hours of general education requirements in communications, history, math, science, and social sciences, students fulfill coursework with both the music and education departments. Music courses cover theory, piano, performance, history, literature, and conducting, while education courses cover the roles of diversity and technology in the classroom, as well as teaching methods, practice, and theory. Students can choose to focus on instrumental, choral, or elementary music education. Prior to completing the program, students take part in field experiences, including two internships.
Master of Arts in Music
The M.A. in Music is a flexible, individualized program designed to accommodate working professionals, with evening and late afternoon classes. To be admitted, students must have a bachelor's degree in music or its equivalent. The program involves 11 credit hours of music courses covering research methods, history, and analysis; students also take 17 credit hours of electives in this program that requires 30-34 credit hours, minimum, for completion. It's recommended that students who wish to pursue doctoral study complete a thesis; students who do not complete a thesis complete other advanced work, such as a final project or recital.
Located about 33 miles from central Orlando, Stetson University in DeLand, FL, offers undergraduate music degrees with several specializations, including music education. Students also can study music in Lakeland, FL, at Florida Southern College or Southeastern University, which both offer a variety of music concentrations. These schools are both located 49 miles from downtown Orlando.