4-Year Program

The Music BFA program offers a broad and rigorous general musical education alongside highly individualized lesson instruction and mentoring. All undergraduate students engage in intensive shared training in musical techniques and concepts spanning classical, jazz, popular, electronic, and experimental styles, and both Western and non-Western musical cultures. They will graduate with experience in creating original work, ensemble performance, music notation and theory, professional development, and artistic metiers outside of music.

About the Specialization

Undergraduate guitar players develop wide-ranging instrumental skills through major lessons, guitar workshops and more specialized guitar classes covering blues, flamenco, lute, studio projects, arranging, fretboard theory, figured bass and analysis of guitar repertoire. Coached small ensemble work includes performing with chamber music groups, student-faculty jazz ensembles, and the School’s Multi-Focus Ensembles.

The curriculum also requires classes in composition, creative skills and pedagogy, and the faculty encourage students to incorporate non-Western traditions, improvisation, experimental forms, digital media and interdisciplinary performance as part of their individual studies.

All BFA candidates are required to pass a Mid-Residence Recital and a Graduation Jury and Recital in order to obtain the degree.

Full Curriculum

Click to View Curriculum Requirements 

The Undergraduate Experience

CalArts is committed to providing a broad program of general education designed to enable students to consider aesthetic questions within larger socio-cultural, ethical and political contexts.

Learn more about the General Education curriculum

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

In addition to CalArts' rich and diverse community and naturally collaborative atmosphere, the Institute provides several programs of study that can be pursued concurrently with a student's chosen metier.

Music Theory Minor

The Minor is intended for undergraduate students who wish to receive advanced training and accreditation in Music Theory as a supplement to their major.

Music Theory Minor

Digital Arts Minor

The Minor is designed to help undergraduate students grasp the knowledge to build, engineer and design innovative custom systems.

Digital Arts Minor

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