Music Department

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Music major, a student will have developed a broad range of skills for the interpretation and understanding of music and demonstrated the ability to complete a significant independent project involving research or composition and to present that work in writing and in discussion. Majors will be able to:

  1. Interpret and understand music from a range of angles
    • Perform a formal music analysis of notated repertory
    • Demonstrate critical listening skills involving non-notated recorded examples
    • Engage with music as an object of historical and ethnomusicological inquiry
  2. Participate in a music performance, either as a soloist in a group:
    • Prepare for a performance or presentation of work with a private instructor and/or ensemble director
    • Respond appropriately to feedback
    • Demonstrate preparation through participation in a performance at a concert, in a performance class, or for an instructor
  3. Complete a significant independent project, either a research-based project or a composition project, that serves to critically explore a topic:
    • Choose and define a central question or object of analysis from the major field
    • Develop a methodology, framework or approach for testing or exploring a question
    • Conduct independent work with the support of an advisor
    • Respond appropriately to feedback
  4. Communicate research and/or creative work done
    • Write a clear and coherent document that is substantially longer than a traditional term paper or project and formatted in a style appropriate to the approach
    • Orally present, discuss and defend work done
    • In the case of composition and/or projects, perform or otherwise document the completed composition

The primary assessment tool for learning in the major at Reed and the level of student achievement in the major area is the senior thesis; the junior qualifying examination, which assesses a student's readiness for thesis, provides a second assessment tool. For more information on the senior thesis and the junior qualifying examination, see degree requirements.