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Study Music at TCC

Develop your musicianship and turn your passion into a college degree.

Photo of students playing string instrumentsTCC's music courses will give you a solid foundation in literacy, theory, and performance standards in this rewarding field. TCC's Music Program provides you an opportunity to pursue a pathway toward successful transfer into a bachelor of music program.  As you prepare for transfer to a 4-year university, our music faculty and curriculum will help train you to reach your degree and career goals in music.

Where does my path start?

Begin with an Associate in Music (AM) degree with possible transfer into a Bachelor program in Music.  The Associate of Music degree is a Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program (DTA/MRP) - pending successful audition and placement exams of the transfer institution - and prepares students to transition successfully into a Bachelor’s degree at Washington State 4-year universities. The Associate of Music, is awarded for completion of a transfer curriculum paralleling the first two years of university study music major (BA in Music). The degree requires 101 credit hours and includes in addition to basic and distribution requirements courses in Music Theory, Studio Lessons, Music Ensembles, and Piano Proficiency.  

TCC also offers the Associate in Arts (AA) degree with a Music track. 

Additionally, TCC’s Music Program provides non-Music majors the opportunity to continue training and participate in our diverse ensembles.  Our faculty are committed to helping you reach your individual music goals.

Throughout the year, the Music Program offers a variety of courses and activities ranging from regular classes and individual instruction to recitals and performing groups. Student, community members and faculty perform regularly in TCC's 344-seat theater.



Music Faculty Advisors

General Academic Advising

Career Planning

International Advising


Where can I transfer?

Students can transfer to a number of public and private colleges and universities in the U.S., but the Direct Transfer Agreement applies only within Washington.  Successful transfer may also include meeting music audition and  academic placement exams.  The following colleges in Washington offer a bachelor’s degree in Music, which may require specific courses for admission. Contact the Music department at your chosen four-year school(s) for more information. 

Central Washington University

Cornish College of the Arts

DigiPen Institute of Technology

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Northwest University

Pacific Lutheran University

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

St. Martin’s University

University of Puget Sound

University of Washington Seattle

Walla Walla University

Washington State University

Western Washington University

Whitman College

Whitworth University  


What can I do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music?

Students who major in Music gain a depth of knowledge, skills and experience that can be applied to a wide range of careers. Music majors become performers, music educators, arts administrators, private lesson teachers, church musicians, producers, composers, and more. With additional education, music majors can become certified school music educators, music therapists, copyright lawyers, music professors, arts journalists, and more.

In addition to the most common career options in music, performing and teaching, technology is creating new avenues for consuming music, innovative products, new teaching methods, and expanding uses of music as a therapeutic, all of which translate to new career options in a rapidly changing world of music. See http://majoringinmusic.com/what-can-you-do-with-a-music-degree/ for further guidance on careers in Music.

Potential employers include: self employed performer, self-employed music teacher, public school districts, private schools, churches, music industry vendors, recording studios, entertainment venues, music publishers, colleges and universities.


Music Program – Courses to take**

The following courses are recommended for students who wish to major in the Associate of Music Degree (college transfer). Some substitutions may be made for some courses. Students should also contact the Music Department of their intended transfer institution in order to learn of any special course preferences, audition requirements, and transfer placement exams that college may have.

** This unofficial guide is intended to support you as you prepare for your major. Please consult with an advisor and your chosen four-year school(s), as program and admissions requirements vary and may change without notice.


Associate in Music (DTA/MRP)

Music CoreCommunication and Quantitative Skill RequirementsRemaining Degree Requirements
  • MUSC& 141 – Music Theory I
  • MUSC& 142 – Music Theory II
  • MUSC& 143 – Music Theory III
  • MUSC& 241 – Music Theory IV
  • MUSC& 242 – Music Theory V
  • MUSC& 243– Music Theory VI
  • 6 quarters of Applied Instrument Instruction*
  • 6 quarters of Performance Ensemble
  • 3 quarters of Class Piano
  • ENGL& 101 – Composition I
  • ENGL& 102 or 103 – Composition II or III
  • MATH& 107 or MATH& 146
  • Humanities - 5 Credits: Foreign Language
  • Natural Sciences - 15 Credits: ENVS& 101, CHEM& 110, BIOL& 100
  • Social Sciences - 15 Credits:
  • PSYC& 100, ANTH& 100, HIST& 126

Total: 104 credits


Sample Schedule

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

ENGL& 101

Math& 107 or 146   


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

ENGL& 102 or 103 

PSYC& 100


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

ENVS& 101

ANTH& 100

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

MUSC 124 Piano I

Humanities Elective (See Note below)

BIOL& 100


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

MUSC 125 Piano II

HIST& 126


MUSC Applied Lessons

MUSC Performing Ensemble

MUSC 126 Piano III

CHEM& 110


Check with your intended transfer institution regarding foreign language requirements.

  • UW Seattle has a language requirement which is “Foreign Language through 3rd quarter, three years of high school, placement by exam out of the first year level, or native speaker status (minimum grade C or 2.0 for 3rd quarter class)”.
  • UW Tacoma and UW Bothel require 2 years of high school language or 2 college quarters.
  • If you have finished your language requirement, you can take literature, art, communication, or film to meet your Humanities requirements.



The TCC Music Program faculty team is exceptional.  Our music faculty are prominent performers, scholars, and educators. Besides appearing in numerous community venues, our instructors make music on campus with students, serving as role models of professionalism and dedication.

TCC’s Music Program faculty wish to share our skill and passion for Music with you and prepare you for successful transfer, completion of your degree, and achievement of your professional goals.


Music Faculty

Dr. John Falskow, Chair for Music, Director of TCC’s Instrumental Ensembles, Music Faculty and Advisor

Dr. Anne Lyman, Director of TCC’s Vocal Ensembles, Music Faculty and Advisor

Anna Barbee, Music Instructor

Djhan Christos-Darby, Music Instructor

Margaret Dees-Moseley, Music Instructor

Jeffrey Lund, Music Instructor

Cindy Renander, Music Instructor

Erik Steighner, Music Instructor

Eric Stevens, Music Instructor

Byron Weigel, Music Instructor



Community Networking

Tacoma Community College and the Humanities Program are well connected with our community; become connected with us!

Student Clubs - Start networking at TCC!  TCC students organize many student clubs.  Every year there are new opportunities available to get involved: https://www.tacomacc.edu/campuslife/organizationsandactivities/

Social Media – Join us on Facebook and learn what’s happening in Music specifically, in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and at TCC in general.

Regional Music Networks: Become part of the vibrant music community in our region:




Professional Internships, Experimental Learning, Service Learning, Study Abroad

The Music Program enables you to embed professional internships, experimental learning, service learning, and study abroad in your educational experience at Tacoma Community College. Please connect with a Music Faculty Advisor for guidance.



Effective intercultural communication skills, critical thinking, and an understanding of the complexities of the human experience are important and valued skillsets in our society.  Organizations and private donors invest in scholarship funds to make the educational pathway in the Humanities more affordable and also more relevant to today's and tomorrow's needs.  We recommend you consider some of the initiatives and opportunities funded so that you can not only identify potential funding sources to support your educational pathway but may potentially even enhance it with a study abroad or other educational enrichment opportunity that will enable you to distinguish yourself in your educational and professional career pathway and open more doors for life-long success.

Here are some of the scholarships available to students of Music:

Tacoma Community College Foundation Scholarships: The TCC Foundation offers dozens of scholarships each year in Art, Humanities, and other General Scholarships. Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year are open from January 1 - April 17, 2016. To learn more, click here.

University of Washington Transfer Scholarship: Martin Family Foundation Scholarship Programs
The Martin Family Foundation supports two community college transfer scholarship programs to enable community college students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their bachelor’s degrees at the UW Seattle campus. These include the Martin AchievementScholarship and the Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship Program, both of which support community college transfers who will earn their bachelor degree at the UW Seattle campus. Each program funds students at different points in their community college careers. The award may be renewable each year for up to a total of three years of undergraduate support.

National and International Independent Scholarships for Music Majors


Scholarships for Study Abroad

Below please find a listing of potential funding sources.  We recommend you consider study abroad and review these resources as soon as possible so that you will know what opportunities you can strive to make part of your educational plan.  

AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants and Financial Support Each year, more than $800,000 in scholarships, grants and financial support is awarded to deserving students & institutions. Funds are available for both summer and semester programs.

American Association of University Women - the largest source of funding exclusively for graduate women in the world, supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented.

American Austrian Foundation: Offers numerous awards to support exchanges to Austria in the fields of medicine, science, communications and the arts.
Level: varies by award / Award amount: varies

Association of Commonwealth Universities - Provides lists of scholarships and fellowships to and from over 480 universities drawn from the Commonwealth countries of Africa and Asia, Australasia and the South Pacific, Canada and the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Malta.

DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service - The Undergraduate Scholarship is a flexible scholarship program which offers SHORT-TERM scholarships for participation in summer study abroad, internships, senior thesis research or summer courses at German universities and LONG-TERM scholarships for semester or year study abroad.

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) - German Academic Exchange Service - association of the institutions of higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany, whose goal is to promote closer international relations among universities and other institutions of higher education, especially through the exchange of individual students and scholars.

Delta Phi Alpha Scholarship Awards: The national honor society for German awards scholarships to undergraduate student members wishing to further their German studies with research and study abroad in a German-speaking country. Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000-$2000

Fulbright Scholarships - For both Americans going abroad and incoming foreign students. Grants are made to citizens of participating countries, primarily for: university teaching, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

Child Family Health International - Child Family Health International is pleased to offer partial scholarships for select program dates. Since 2007, we have provided CFHI Global Health Scholars with more than $100,000 in scholarship funding. CFHI is committed to working globally and addressing inequities. In line with this global lens, it is our policy to actively seek a diverse pool of candidates from a variety of backgrounds who are committed to the mission and vision of CFHI.

The Christianson Grant - The Christianson Grant is awarded to individuals who have arranged their own work abroad programs. Proposed programs must be at least six months in length and emphasize a work component. The grant program does not support independent research projects or academic study abroad programs.

Congress - Bundestag Youth Exchange Program: The U.S. State Department funded Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) is for motivated high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required.

Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) the organization’s Mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. They are an international nonprofit organization with no political or religious affiliations.

CCIE: “Every student should reap the benefits of study abroad – to get a leg up on future employment and a fresh perspective that comes from encountering another culture. That’s why CIEE does more than any other international educational organization to make study abroad affordable. Every year, we award up to $5 million in scholarships and grants for study abroad. Our comprehensive approach addresses three distinct areas to ensure we reach students of diverse academic, ethnic, and economic backgrounds:

Academic Excellence Scholarships for students who excel in academic pursuits and are devoted to specialized areas of study

Access Grants and Scholarships for students who have historically been unable to study abroad because of financial circumstances

Ambassador Grants for motivated, high-achieving, students who are committed to capturing and sharing the many transformative benefits of international education after they return to campus.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs): Selected participants work for one academic year in a school or university in a foreign country in Europe, Asia, or South America, assisting in the teaching of English language and American culture. Participants are integrated into the life of the host country. Program details differ from country to country, but participants receive a stipend, paid round-trip airfare, and other benefits. Applicants must have B.A. at time the award year begins. Level: B.A. in hand / Award amount: varies

German Academic Exchange Service This is the official German Academic Exchange Service.  They provide funding for a number of initiatives and opportunities for undergraduate and also graduate students.

Gilman International Scholarship Program - The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. This program seeks to lower barriers to undergraduate study abroad by offering scholarships to students with financial need, and we encourage those underrepresented in study abroad to apply. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000 for fall and spring programs, and $3,000 for summer programs.

Applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad in a country in which the language is predominantly spoken will automatically be considered for the Critical Need Language Award, for a total award of $8,000. Please note that this award is competitive and offered to a limited number of students each year. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 60 Critical Need Language Awards were offered.

Global Learning Semesters - There are many financing options available for semester and summer abroad programs at Global Learning Semesters students. Learn more about how you can use our scholarship and loan programs to finance an extraordinary study abroad experience.

Golden Key Study Abroad Scholarships: Ten scholarships awarded annually for members of the Golden Key Honor Society for undergraduate study abroad. Awards will be made based on academic merit and relevance of study abroad program to major field of study. Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000

GrantNet - Funding Opportunities for Training in the Biological and Medical Sciences.

The Interexchange Foundation Working Abroad Grant - The Working Abroad Grant through The Interexchange Foundation is open to applicants who have already been accepted to an Interexchange Aupair, Internship, Teaching English, Volunteer, or Work & Travel program. Award amounts will cover the Interexchange program fee plus $2000 towards airfare and other expenses while traveling abroad.

International Education Financial Aid IEFA is the premier Internet resource for financial aid information for students wishing to study in a foreign country. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist students in their pursuit to study abroad.

Walter Jensen Scholarship for Study Abroad: Awarded to a future teacher of French to help pay for a semester or a year studying French abroad in an accredited program in any Francophone country. Student must be currently enrolled in an established teacher education program in French and must be sponsored by a member of the American Association of Teachers of French. Awards are based on financial need and can be used to cover tuition, fees, travel, or housing costs. Level: undergraduate or graduate / Award amount: $1500

National Security Education Program (NSEP) & Boren Awards - Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The Project Go Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Army ROTC, and provides funding for undergraduatestudents pursuing degrees in one of the Army’s designated critical need languages. To be eligible for the program, students must be enrolled in the ROTC, with the intention of completing a term of service as an enlisted officer in the U.S. Army.

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Scholarships: The national honor society for foreign language students awards scholarships for undergraduate study in programs abroad to its members.
Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000

Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies - Merit based scholarships are being offered for the Fall and Spring semesters 2010-2011. There are also scholarships available for the winter session 2010/2011. Selected students will be immersed in intensive Arabic language classes as well as other cultural programs such as cooking, calligraphy, and trips to venues of cultural interest and significance throughout Morocco. The scholarship covers all costs of tuition and housing for the duration of the semester dates indicated on the attached flyer. Students will study at our state of the art facility with full amenities. Details of the scholarship and application requirements are attached and can be found on the Qalam Center website.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: The Rotary Club offers 3 different types of scholarship: Academic Year Ambassadorial Scholarships for 1 year of study abroad, Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships for 2 years of degree-oriented study abroad, and Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships for 3 or 6 months of language study and cultural immersion abroad. Applicants must be a citizen of a country that has Rotary Clubs and must have completed at least 2 years of college-level coursework or equivalent professional experience before commencing their scholarship studies. Level: undergraduate or graduate / Award amount: $13,000 - $25,000

U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational and training programs.

US Department of Education, Financial Aid Information



TCC Ensembles
Read more details about our instrumental and vocal ensembles.

Concerts & Events
See what's happening on campus and don't miss our fabulous concert series.

Concert Video
Watch recordings of recent concerts!

Music Links
See our list of useful and interesting resources for music majors and music lovers.

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Jobs and Careers
Research jobs and careers for this area of study.



Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or if you have any questions, suggestions or need guidance. Thank you!



Tacoma Community College, Building F-2

*      Music Program Advisor:  Dr. John Falskow

*      Music Faculty Advisor and Chair: Dr. Anne Lyman

*      Dean for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Dr. Yvonne Unnold

*      Administrative Specialist: Denise Levine

*      Faculty Support: Deborah Lewis

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