Department of Music and Theatre

Opportunities for Non-Music Majors

The Department of Music provides a wide range of musical experiences to enrich the education of all Xavier University students. A variety of music courses and ensembles are open to all.


Non-Major Courses

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Several music courses have no prerequisite at all while others require some ability to read music, which may be learned via enrollment in Basic Music Theory (MUSC 100 - 3 credit hours). If in doubt about whether or not you meet the prerequisite, contact the instructor. The following courses were designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in studying music (Not every course listed is offered every year. Please refer to the Course Catalog for the most current listings.):

  • MUSC 100 - Basic Music Theory (3)
  • MUSC 108 - Music, Love, and Death (3)
  • MUSC 109 - Music, War, and Peace (3)
  • MUSC 111 - Music: The Art of Listening (3)
  • MUSC 112 - Music: Now! (3)
  • MUSC 113 - American Popular Music (3)
  • MUSC 116 - Women in Music (3)
  • MUSC 117 - History of Rock (3)
  • MUSC 118 - Heavy Metal: Music and Culture (3)
  • MUSC 120 - Behind the Music (3)
  • MUSC 123 - Music, Politics, and Rebellion (3)
  • MUSC 150 - Class Piano (1)
  • MUSC 151 - Class Voice (1)
  • MUSC 152 - Class Guitar (1)

Minors in Music

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Many students find that the combination of a minor in music with any other major is an attractive option at Xavier.

Private and Group Lessons

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Instrumental and vocal lessons are available for credit to non-music majors. A non-music major may register for private applied study for one credit hour if (1) the student demonstrates a level of ability and experience appropriate to college music study, and (2) the applied music instructor has room in his or her load to teach a non-music major. Variable fees apply to each course and are specified in the course listing.


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Xavier's performing ensembles frequently attract non-music majors. Each year several hundred students earn academic credit by participating in ensembles. Most are non-music majors but are talented musicians who make a high-level commitment to musical performance as an ongoing part of their University experience. Non-music majors should note:

  • Ensembles are regular classes and carry one credit hour.
  • Most ensembles require a placement audition, occurring at the beginning of the semester.

Ensembles with the largest population of non-music majors are:

  • MUSC 260 - Concert Choir
  • MUSC 261 - Women's Chorus
  • MUSC 265 - Symphonic Wind Ensemble
  • MUSC 270 - Chamber Orchestra
  • MUSC 271 - Jazz Orchestra
  • Pep Band (perform at Xavier basketball games!)

Performing Arts Grants

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These highly competitive grants in amounts up to $2,000 per year are annually awarded to excellent student musicians who participate in select instrumental or vocal ensembles, regardless of their major course of study.

Learn more about PAGs