The Music Department offers:

Starting a major

Students interested in any of these Music majors normally begin by taking:

  • MUSIC 112-Introduction to Musicianship or MUSIC 114-Musicianship: Tonality (see placement info below)
  • Lessons on a primary instrument (see placement info below)
  • A Music Ensemble (see placement info below)

Major Auditions occur twice a year. Students wishing to do any of the music majors must successfully complete an audition as per the information found here:

Are there courses students MUST/SHOULD/CAN take their First Year?


  • MUSIC 112 or MUSIC 114 (see placement info on page 2)
  • Lessons
  • Music Ensemble


  • MUSIC 161-Piano Class I (see placement information below)


  • Following MUSIC 112, students can take MUSIC 141-Intro to Musicology
  • Students with a background in music composition can take MUSIC 223-Composition
  • Following MUSIC 112, MUSIC 114 and MUSIC 141, students should consult a music advisor to decide which courses would best suit them as they continue in the major


  • Musicianship All potential music majors should contact David Castro ( to take a placement test to be placed into either MUSIC 112-Intro to Musicianship or MUSIC 114-Musicianship: Tonality
  • Keyboard Screening All potential music majors should contact the music office to take a keyboard screening to be placed into MUSIC 161, 162, 261 or 262-Piano Class I, II, III or IV
  • Lessons All St. Olaf students are welcome to sign up for music lessons by contacting Cheryl Bristol as per the information found here:
    • Music majors are required to take music lessons.
  • Music Ensemble All St. Olaf students students are welcome to audition for music ensembles by contacting the conductor as per this list:
    •  Music majors are required to be in an ensemble each semester they are on campus.

Non-major offerings:

Students not wishing to major in music can take the following courses:

MUSIC 112-Intro to Musicianship

MUSIC 141-Intro to Musicology

MUSIC 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136 – a range of general interest music courses

MUSIC 164-Voice Class

MUSIC 223-Composition

MUSIC 225-Music in the Electronic Medium

MUSIC 229-Jazz Improvisation

MUSIC 231-History of Jazz

MUSIC 235-Music in Christian Worship

MUSIC 237-World Music

MUSIC 245-Music and Social Justice

Credit for previous coursework

  • No major credit is offered for high school courses, although students receive 1.0 general college credit if they earn a 5 on the AP Music Theory exam

Informational Events

  • Advising Information Sessions during Week One

Other Information/College Catalog Link/Website Link

Contacts & Department Location

The Music Department has 2 primary buildings, CHM (Christiansen Hall of Music) and HOM (Hall of Music). The Music Department Office is located in HOM 245

To download and print, click on this link: Music Information Sheet