Learn advanced skills and increase your repertoire by studying music and theatre at Southwestern Michigan College.

Get started on almost any music-related degree with an Associate in Arts in Music from Southwestern Michigan College.


The AA in Music can be used as the first two years of any music-related degree and can transfer to almost any school in the country.

Transfer Icon Use this degree to transfer to study...

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Merchandising
  • Music Business
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education
  • Music Ministry

Program guide, AA in Music


  • Music Therapy
  • Performance
  • Sound Production and Technology
  • Stagecraft
  • Theatre Design
  • Theatre Technology
  • Vocal Performance



Aquinas College
Bethel College
Central Michigan University
Columbia College
Eastern Michigan University
Goshen College
Grand Valley State University
Indiana University South Bend

Northern Michigan University
Oakland University
Roosevelt University
University of Michigan
VanderCook College of Music
Wayne State University
Western Michigan University

About AA Arrow  About the AA in Music

The AA in Music can be used as the first two years of a music-related degree and can transfer to almost any school in the country.

Students can choose an emphasis in band, choir and/or theatre.

Music students will study aural recognition, writing, and singing of scales, intervals, triads and elementary rhythms; music history and the music repertoire of Western Europe and non-Western traditions; jazz and pop music in America; the pronunciation of English, Latin, Italian, German and French languages; two-, three-, and four-part melodic dictation and sight-signing; harmonic materials of the 18th century; harmonic dictation including modulation, chromatic harmonies and advanced rhythms; and music history.

Ensembles vary by student-interest each semester, but often include Jazz, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Men’s and Women’s Ensembles.

Ensembles perform in two shows each semester, some perform for the spring musical; some participate in an additional performance for the commencement ceremony and some go on tour. All students, regardless of major, are eligible to audition for ensembles; music students are encouraged to sign up for multiple ensembles. Ensembles require an audition or recommendation from a previous teacher.

Theatre-focused students learn all the principles of the field including movement and relaxation exercises; vocal technique; character analysis and development; managing stage fright; period-style acting; stage combat; poetry, sonnets, and classical pieces; scoring, scansion and interpretation of classical works; stagecraft—including design, direction, business and construction and operating crews; play production—including set design, lighting, costume design, makeup and publicity; and improvisation including monologues and storytelling.

Theatre students often combine their coursework with music studies for a comprehensive stage and musical production education.

Annual fall plays and spring musicals provide plenty of opportunities for students to apply their skills and build their repertoire.

Why Music at SMC?

  • Accomplished faculty—All faculty have experience working as a professional musician.
  • One-on-one training from professional musicians—Applied Music classes are personal training courses that allow you private training to develop your skills.
  • Small class sizes—Get to know your instructors and classmates.
  • Perform multiple times each semester—Band and choir concerts throughout the semester, a fall play and spring musical, and performing arts tours provide plenty of opportunities for you to showcase your talents.
  • Perform in multiple ensembles—Flexible schedules let you participate in multiple ensembles to stretch your skills.
  • Perfect-sized theatre—The 390-seat theatre in the Dale A. Lyons Building is the perfect place for you to warm up to the stage.
  • Great opportunities—Like performing with Jason Robert Brown and Kenny Rogers, workshops with Josh Salt, trips to professional exhibits and performing in New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall.
  • Reputation in community—SMC is known for its quality music program. High school band and choir directors, local symphonies and others recommend SMC to high school students and often say they are impressed with the level of talent and quality of performance from our students.
  • Supportive environment—SMC has always been very supportive of the Performing Arts program, contributing dollars, facilities and time to constantly improve opportunities for students.
  • Collaborations with local groups—Performing with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Southwest Michigan Orchestra.
  • Anyone can come—We accept people from all backgrounds and all skill levels so you can enhance your music skills no matter what your prior experience.
  • High-caliber productions—Phantom of the Opera, Parade, Into the Woods and more!
  • Extra-curricular activities—Like volunteering to staff the Summer Choral Camp and work with aspiring high school students.

Individual Course Plans

If you know which school you want to transfer to, SMC advisors will look at that school’s requirements and show you which classes to take to transfer to that school.

If you don’t know which school you want to transfer to, you can figure that out while you’re here. Career Planning Center advisors will help you discover the ‘perfect fit’ school for you. Learn more about transferring at the Career Planning Center.

Almost every bachelor’s program requires you to take general education and pre-requisite courses for the first two years. You can save a ton of money by taking those courses at SMC.

Average tuition and fees at top Michigan universities*


Tuition and fees at SMC


*University tuition and fees are averaged from the 16-17 estimates of University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. Most schools have not set 17-18 costs yet. SMC tuition is based on 17-18 costs.






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