Commercial Music Program

Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music

The B.A. in Commercial Music at USC Upstate provides students with the skills to adapt and thrive in today's rapidly changing music industry

  • By preparing students for careers in performance, songwriting, composing / arranging, recording / producing, music instruction, worship music, music publishing, artist management, event promotion, musical theatre, or music journalism
  • By developing core skills in performance, musicianship / theory, music history, digital production technology, and music business
  • By providing a general B.A. that equips students for the larger workforce with a secondary area of emphasis outside of music
  • By providing performing experience with our five musical ensembles and private lessons from working professionals
  • By offering hands-on music technology classes with industry standard DAW software in our new digital media lab

Minors and cognates are also available in Commercial Music and Jazz Studies. For more information contact Dr. Griffin Woodworth

Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

1. The student will demonstrate high level of musicianship so that they will be adequately prepared for work as a performer, private instructor, band leader/music director, and/or songwriter.  

1.1 The student will demonstrate a high level of performance on at least one instrument/voice (e.g., repertoire related to Commercial Music, scales, etudes, etc.) 

1.2 The student will demonstrate an acceptable level of sightreading ability.

1.3 The student will demonstrate an acceptable level of aural skills.

1.4 The student will demonstrate a knowledge of harmony, form and other aspects related to music theory.

 2. The student will be able to utilize technology to enhance their level of musicianship and employability. 

2.1 Using standard notation software, the student will be able to prepare lead-sheets, scores and parts of existing and/or original at a level appropriate for other musicians to use in performance. 

2.2 The student will be able to use music technology in order to promote their work for future employment.

2.3 The student will be able to use music technology, such as websites and computer software, to enhance their musicianship (i.e., performance and aural skills).

3. The student will learn appropriate research methods, writing skills, and oral communication skills in order to effectively communicate their findings to musicians and/or non-musicians. 

3.1 The student will write effectively about music in a scholarly manner.

3.2 The student will create and deliver an oral presentation on a musical topic.

4. The student will learn the basics of the music business to adequately prepare them for employment in the music industry. 

4.1 The student will exhibit a working knowledge of performance rights organizations, copyright law, mechanical licensing and other aspects of music business.

4.2 The student will be able to compile and prepare audition/interview materials related to their career ambitions.