student playing an instrument

Music Program

The Music program provides an array of possibilities for undergraduate music majors, community members and college students. Students have the opportunity to study music appreciation, theory, aural skills, literature, world music, American music, music business and digital recording techniques.

The program offers the first two years a general education music degree program including musicianship sequences in theory and ear training and a sequence of four class piano courses designed for non-pianists. Applied lessons on most instruments and on a variety of music ensembles are offered to meet performance requirements.

Performing groups are open to all students regardless of major, and include Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, Chamber Singers, Community Jazz Ensemble, DuPage Chorale, DuPage Community Band, Chamber Orchestra, Small Group Jazz, Percussion Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble.

The integration of performance and academics helps students prepare for the professional world of music as performing artists, educators or hobbyists. Music courses are available in digital recording and editing, music theory and history.

Private Music Lessons

In addition to degrees and certificates in music business, audio production and music, COD offers private lessons in guitar, piano, organ, voice and all traditional band and orchestra instruments. Study one-on-one with professionals who perform with diverse groups such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Pearl Jam.

Every instructor holds an advanced degree in performance and pedagogy. All styles of music are represented, including classical, jazz, blues, and contemporary. Lessons are available for all ages and ability levels. For lessons for academic credit, contact Thomas Stark at (630) 942-2391 or email For non-credit lessons, contact Continuing Education at (630) 942-2208.

Determine Your Path

A music degree offers numerous employment opportunities in both the private and public sectors.

Whether you are taking music classes for enjoyment or planning to earn a degree in music and transfer to another institution, COD offers:

  • Dedicated instructors with experience in the classroom and on stage. Faculty are considered among the most respected in the Chicago area and nationally. 
  • Instruction in our state-of-the-art facilities using all of the latest resources.
  • Affordable courses to help you achieve success without creating overwhelming debt or draining your savings account.
  • Small class sizes to ensure you receive personalized attention.

Associate in Fine Arts Degree - Music

The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree in Music is a two year program that emphasizes music theory, aural skills, and performance. Many students who earn the A.F.A. transfer their credits to a music conservatory or liberal arts college and pursue careers in music education, performance, composition, music therapy and conducting. 

Associate in Applied Science - Music Business

The Music Business Associate in Applied Science degree is a curriculum designed to prepare students for careers in music industry. The degree is designed for students interested in pursuing business opportunities involving music. This program combines elements of the traditional music curriculum with business, marketing, management, and music industry courses.

Audio Production

The Audio Production certificate is intended for individuals interested in professional music production. This includes careers in live sound, audio recording, radio and television production and internet production.

COD Stories

Amy Beth Kirsten

"I was lucky to have experiences early on in my development, like at COD, which gave me the confidence to keep going.” - Amy Beth Kirsten

Amy Beth's COD Story

COD Stories

David Shere

“The music faculty members at COD are world-class teachers, but more importantly they are genuinely caring people who want you to succeed.” - David Shere

David's COD Story

COD Stories

Melissa Wang

“The professors provide incredibly valuable musical opportunities." - Melissa Wang

Melissa's COD Story

COD Stories

Bella Kelly

"I loved being in classes at COD with people of all ages. I hope when I’m retired, I come back and take classes and keep learning about everything.” - Bella Kelly

Bella's COD Story

COD Stories

Leah Pogwizd

“You have the freedom to explore a lot of different things, but you’re still required to develop competency in key areas.” - Leah Pogwizd

Leah's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in music is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Students who complete courses in General Education Music Survey courses (Music Appreciation, Intro to American Music, Introduction to World Music, and Music Literature) will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic musical terminology in relation to the music studied.
  • Demonstrate improved listening skills, through an awareness of the elements of music.
  • Recognize the major stylistic traits of selected musical traditions, cultures, and/or historical eras.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for live musical performance through attendance at relevant musical events.

Students who complete courses in Skill development— music core curriculum: (Music Theory, Aural Skills, Class Piano, and Recording Techniques) will:

Music Core

  • Use their knowledge of musical elements (such as notation, melody, harmony, form, rhythm, and compositional craft) to analyze and create musical examples and compositions.
  • Demonstrate aural skills, including rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation, sight singing, and solfeggio.
  • Demonstrate basic keyboard skills, through the performance of scales, technical exercises, and prepared pieces.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for live musical performance through attendance at relevant musical events.

Related Professional Expertise

  • Demonstrate the ability to produce recorded and mixed sound projects.
  • Comprehend and negotiate contracts and engage in business planning as appropriate for musicians and administrative or managerial personnel working directly with musicians

Students who complete courses in Applied Music (Includes private lessons, group lessons, and ensembles) will:

  • Demonstrate improved vocal or instrumental skills acquired during the semester through private lessons and/or participation in an ensemble.
  • Perform in at least one public concert or before a faculty jury (2 credit hour students must participate, 1 credit hour students may participate)
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the form, style, history, aesthetic, and text (if applicable) of the repertoire being prepared.


College of DuPage has several music transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


Career Information

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