Campus News

Shaping the future of music degrees

This academic year, students in Kirkwood’s music program now have the opportunity to attain a full music credential which leads to an Associates of Applied Music degree (A.A.A.) following a recent articulation agreement with  the University of Iowa and Coe College. 

“The fully transferable two-year degree provides a more streamlined pathway to achieve a Bachelor of Music while allowing incoming music students to start their emphasis concentrating specifically on music courses  upon initially entering the program,” said Dean of Arts and Humanities Jennifer Cunningham.  

In previous years, music students would earn an Associates degree but spend a majority of their credit hours in general education courses instead of music, she said, creating more than the required number of credit hours for an A.A. degree.  

This overage in hours ultimately led some students to experience difficulties in exceeding the maximum number of courses required to continue to receive Financial Aid, Cunningham said. Moreover, there has been a rise in matriculating students with 38 music students total  and 27 in the A.A.A. 

The increase in student enrollment is in part due to the dissipating COVID-19 Virus, Cunningham added, noting that the program is well above fall 2019 enrollment numbers.   

Additionally, the music department is reaching out to its most recent graduates from the past few years to have their credit hours applied toward the A.A.A. if they are interested in obtaining the credential. Second-year student Emma Dickinson says she likes the program because “it perfectly sets up music education majors to transfer to a 4-year university, and it allows you to work closely with a lot of music professors who are willing to help you in your success.” Additionally she added that there are several new students now enrolled compared to last year’s music program.   

Requirements for earning the A.A.A. degree include courses in music theory, applied instrumental and voice lessons,  as well as anticipation in large and small ensembles such as the colleges’ concert choir, jazz bands and orchestra.

Additionally, the college offers several scholarships to all Kirkwood students regardless of their major based upon an annual audition held each spring.

Associate of Applied Arts in Music Program Facts:

27 students currently in the program

Several scholarships for this program

Previous graduates can return and earn the A.A.A.

Course work is mix of humanities, core music, and music electives

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