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Music (General Overview)


Ramapo College Office of Admissions

McBride House 505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 07430

p: (201) 684-7300
f: (201) 684-7964

About Music (General Overview)

Ramapo College is one of the only colleges in the U.S. that provides a distinctly forward-thinking approach to music education, embracing inclusive interdisciplinary teaching philosophies, widely diverse creative and performance opportunities, and advanced technologies in a liberal arts environment. A uniquely progressive foundation in musicianship and music history enables you to delve into popular, non-Western and European art musics, and develop entrepreneurial strategies that empower you to turn your passions into a successful career. Faculty mentors encourage music majors to explore combining music Concentrations (out of the five Concentrations below), flexible course options, independent projects, or teacher certification. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to earn a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Music Technology through our 4+1 program.  

Ramapo music majors study with faculty who have internationally prestigious careers as producers, composers, performers, directors, managers, technologists and researchers. Explore and develop skills in our leading-edge studio facilities, and establish the foundation for your post-college music career through our highly regarded internship program that enables you to gain professional experience with top level music companies in New York City. Join our diverse, creative musical community and make your contribution to shaping the future of music.

Music Education

Music Education prepares students for careers teaching music. The progressive curriculum balances traditional and contemporary music studies with a global perspective, diverse hands-on experiences, creative teaching projects, and individualized instruction. With this forward leaning and flexible foundation, students are prepared for success in today’s diverse music classrooms. Students may complete Teacher Certification through the Teacher Education program in coordination with the Music Education concentration.

Music Industry

Music Industry prepares students for careers in the contemporary music business. The curriculum features studies in music copyright, music publishing and recording industries, music marketing, promotion, and touring and live concerts. The relationship of music, business, and technology in the rapidly changing digital media landscape is strongly emphasized. Music Industry students are also responsible for the management and oversight of Ramix Music, a college-sponsored record label.  

Music Performance

Music Performance provides students with wide-ranging opportunities to develop strong technique, build performing skills, and find their unique sound and style. Solo and group performance experiences span from award-winning international touring Choral Ensembles, Ramapo Chorale, Gospel Chorus, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble to Brazilian Latin Percussion Ensemble,, digital performance, singer-songwriting and student-led bands.. Students interested in teaching may combine the Performance and Music Education concentrations.

Music Production

Music Production emphasizes a creative approach to a wide range of topics relevant to music technology including sound synthesis, electronic composition and performance, audio mixing and mastering, acoustics, interactive media and live concert sound.  Students have access to state of the art resources in the Ramapo Les Paul Recording Studio and Electronic Music Lab.

Music Studies

Music Studies focuses on the analytical and interpretive disciplines of music, honing skills to research and write about music in historical, cultural, and international contexts. The concentration includes music performance and interdisciplinary studies. Music Studies prepares students for graduate studies in musicology/ethnomusicology and careers in music journalism and art administration.

Students completing this program will receive a B.A. degree. A flexible Minor in Music is available.

Classes you can take:

Business of Music, Digital Music Performance, Gospel Chorus, Film Music, History of Jazz, History of Rock ‘n Roll, History of Rap & Hip-Hop, Improvisation, Intermediate Performing Ensemble (Chamber, Jazz, Concert Band, Vocal), Music in Asia, Music in the Classroom, Music in Latin America, Music Online, Music Performance, Ramapo Chorale, Recording Arts, Song Writing, Technique classes for Guitar, Keyboard and Singers

See Full Program Requirements

Career Opportunities

Whether you’re interested in creating electronic music, singing or playing an instrument professionally, teaching elementary or secondary students, or managing a record label, your music degree will provide you with the tools necessary to start your journey.

Hands-On Learning

The Music major begins with foundational studies in three areas: musicianship, music history and culture, and musical technologies and media. You will then select from one of four concentrations:

  • Music Industry: The Music Industry concentration focuses on the many facets of the creative and professional worlds in the rapidly changing international music business.
  • Music Performance: Music Performance is particularly experiential, developing musical skills and fostering individual expression in diverse styles and also provides a foundation for students who might pursue K-12 music teaching.
  • Music Production: Music Production emphasizes original composition, recording, sound synthesis and multi-media, including training in major music software programs such as Pro Tools, Logic, and Ableton Live in our state-of-the-art Music Lab.
  • Music Studies: Music Studies centers on the more analytical and interpretive disciplines, writing about music, and the preparation for graduate school.

Want real world music experience? Ramapo music majors have had internships with: Sony Music – RCA Records, Sirius FM, Quad Studios Lakeside, Relix Magazine, Roulette, and Warner Music Group-Alternative Distribution Alliance and many more.

On campus, you have plenty of opportunities to fuel your passion including your pick of choral, jazz, chamber, and world music ensembles, a vibrant weekly open-mic night, and an active radio station. In addition to the incredible opportunities available in nearby New York City, there are international exchange programs allowing you to gain experience abroad. The choirs tour internationally as well, with recent trips to the Pacific Summer Music Festival, Russia, Costa Rica, Vienna, and the Czech Republic.