Music Department

Applied Music Program



Since 2001, the Santa Monica College Applied Music Program has been providing talented music students the opportunity to have affordable private instruction in their particular applied music discipline in preparation for transfer as music majors to four-year universities or conservatories.

Taught by the Music Department’s highly-qualified faculty from the Southern California area, this program helps students to transfer to most four-year music programs at the 3rd-year level. The Applied Music Program offers its students private instruction in any acoustic instrument, voice, composition, or other applied discipline in which the student is qualified. Qualifications are determined by audition at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. Once in the program, Applied Music students are required each semester to enroll in Music 92 (Applied Lessons), Music 94 (Concert Music Class), an SMC performance ensemble, a Piano Class (60A, 60B, 60C, 60D, 61A and 61B), and the appropriate theory and musicianship classes (Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8). All required music classes are to be taken at SMC and not at any other institution. Applied students are also required to spend at least five hours per week practicing on campus.

If you are serious about pursuing a major in music, this is an opportunity to study privately with reputable music faculty at Community College tuition rates and then finish your music degree at a four-year institution. Additionally, each applied music student who completes four semesters in the applied program and successfully transfers as a music major to a four-year institution within 2.5 academic years is eligible for a cash scholarship of up to $1,000. Each applied music student who successfully transfers as a music major to a four-year institution within 1.5 academic years of completing one, two, or three semesters in the applied program is eligible for a cash scholarship of up to $250 for each semester completed in the program. Those students who have already earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music are not eligible.

Santa Monica College is ranked the #1 transfer institution to the University of California, California State University, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University, as well as many other four-year schools, universities, and music conservatories.

Qualified students are permitted to take Applied Music Lessons for credit during the Fall and Spring semesters at Santa Monica College. Auditions to qualify will take place at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. The application deadline and audition date are listed at the bottom of this page.

Pre-Screening Audition & Interview

Each applicant will submit an application form and MP3s or links to uploaded videos of their recent performances of the repertoire that they plan to perform at the audition. Composers should submit two contrasting PDF scores and an MP3 of each composition. The full-time faculty will review all applications and supporting materials, and a select group will be invited by email to interview.

Please see the application form for the audition repertoire requirements.

New students who are accepted must inform the Applied Music Coordinator by email within thirty days of their acceptance of their plan to matriculate and enroll in the Applied Program.

Any applied student who takes more than a one-semester leave of absence from the applied program will be required to re-audition in order to be readmitted.

Detailed information about the Applied Music Program can be found in the Applied Audition Form below.

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2021, AT 11:59 P.M., for admission to the program in Spring 2022.

The Applied Music Program audition interviews will be held via Zoom during the morning of Saturday, December 11, 2021.

Application for Applied Music Program Admission in Spring 2022