Commercial Applied Music I – CMUS 151

CG • Section 16WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/20/2023

Course Description

Private lessons appropriate to commercial music disciplines, which include voice, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, recording engineering and producing, songwriting, film scoring, and other solo instruments.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course is to develop technical fluency, expressive musicianship, and professionalism in performance. Private instruction is the most effective way to develop a high level of musical skill.

Course Assignment

Assigned readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Lesson Assignments (12)

The vocal/instrumental student will be assigned technical exercises, etudes, and/or repertoire. Technical facility will be demonstrated in all three of the above categories, while expressiveness will be demonstrated in repertoire. Performance should be stylistically appropriate, informed by both stylistic and theoretical analysis.

The songwriting/film-scoring student will be working on individual projects and will be expected to show improvement each week in his/her applied lesson based on instructor feedback. The student will be expected to submit files each week showing steady progression as the student prepares for the final project.

Instructional delivery method is video conferencing through platforms like Zoom, Skype, or MS Teams. Grades are assigned in the learning management system. An accompanist, if required, can be present with the student. When an accompaniment track is appropriate, the track can be played from a phone through a Bluetooth speaker while the student’s laptop is used for the live video conference with the professor. A lesson grade will be assigned by the instructor each week based on completion of the assignments given in the previous lesson. 

The songwriting and film-scoring student will be required to use the appropriate software/technology as necessary for his/her weekly projects. 

Final Performance Assignment

At the end of the semester, the student will video record a final performance and upload a link to this video to the learning management system. This performance consists of assigned selections prepared during the semester. In this performance, the student should demonstrate technical fluency and expressiveness, give a stylistically appropriate performance, and demonstrate professionalism in performance.

Quiz: Lesson Scheduling Availability and Applied Background

In this quiz, the student will communicate his/her schedule availability to the instructor. The student must communicate all available times when a lesson could occur, being clear about the time zone in which he/she lives. The student must also indicate his/her top 3 preferred times. The student will answer questions about applied lesson goals and experience. A video of the student playing/singing or example of recent composition is also required, depending on applied area of study.

This quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module. This quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 8 short answer questions, and will have no time limit.