College Announces New Music Minor

Oberlin is offering a new minor in Music following recommendations put forth by the One Oberlin report to expand “opportunities for private lessons, classroom study, and performing” for College students.

Elizabeth Hamilton, associate dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences and co-chair of Musical Studies, highlighted the opportunity that this program creates for students to expand their studies.

“The new minor creates a clearer formal structure than we’ve ever had for Arts and Sciences students to pursue rigorous study of music,” Hamilton wrote in an email to the Review. “It taps into their musical passions and talents and integrates advanced study from conservatory faculty into their overall B.A. degree. Students at Oberlin don’t separate their love for music from their love for other areas of inquiry.”

The minor is overseen by the Musical Studies Committee, which is made up of College and Conservatory faculty and staff members. The requirements have been designed to be open-ended enough that students have the freedom to pursue their interests, while also requiring them to experience multiple areas of the discipline. Students minoring in Music might take private lessons or lessons in ensemble performance as well as classes in music theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, technology in music and related arts, and music composition, among others.

Peter Swendson, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and co-chair of Musical Studies, emphasized the role this new program will play in expanding the relationship between the College and the Conservatory.

“The minor will also create a more defined cohort of musically-inclined College students, for whom Conservatory faculty can create classes, performance opportunities, and outreach experiences,” Swendson wrote in an email to the Review. “Many of these students are already in Conservatory classes, much to the benefit of Conservatory students and faculty. Creating new opportunities for College students will not in any way limit or curtail what we provide for Conservatory students.”

According to Hamilton, some students have already declared their minor in Music.