About the Career

Exploring musical styles from classical to jazz to modern, musicians reprise the sounds of the centuries.

Graduates may become music therapists, managers, salespeople, instructors or performers in bands, in orchestras, in opera companies or on Broadway.

Careers in Music

View career options in music at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

About the Program

Among the most respected community college music programs in Houston/Galveston area, the College of the Mainland Music Program prepares students to pursue their passion or a career in music.

Active musicians in the Houston area and around the state, COM professors perform with professional musical ensembles, giving solo performances and conduct clinics.

Music students may select from six varied ensembles to further their skills in performance and music education. Many COM students have appeared with community college all-state performing ensembles, and some ensembles have performed at national conferences and in Europe.

Associate of Arts in Music

The COM Music Program offers an Associate of Arts in music to help students reach their goals in music, whether performance, managing, therapy, education or personal interest.

The music major must complete a balanced program including:

  • Music theory I–IV
  • Sight-singing and ear training I–IV
  • Music literature
  • Private instruction
  • Performance in ensembles
  • State-required core curriculum

The two-year course of study is transferable to a four-year music program.

The associate degree transfers to state universities, and COM graduates continue their education at colleges throughout the world. Others become music therapists, instructors or performers in various bands, in orchestras, in opera companies and on Broadway.


The vocal and instrumental ensembles are open to COM music majors, continuing education students and community members. Ensembles include:

  • Concert Band
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Combo
  • Mainland Singers
  • Mainland Chorale
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Woodwind Ensemble
  • COM Chorale
  • Mainland Singers

From Our Graduates

(COM) changed my life. (Heffel) really helped me grow as a musician. I wouldn’t be here if not for him.

Twenty-five years ago, I was … a struggling beginner drummer. I always knew that I loved music and I wanted to make it my life’s work. It was because of my studies at COM and three faculty members there that I have gone on to make a career in music and enjoy a life filled with music.

I owe the faculty at COM everything. What they are able to accomplish is truly remarkable and shows the caliber of instructors and of people who work within that department. They are absolutely stunning, and they work miracles.


Associate of Arts Music Degree: 60 Hour Pathway

Suggested Semester Plan (Without Summers)

Semester 1 (Fall)

Course Credits
MUSI 1311 Music Theory I 3
MUSI 1116 Sight Singing & Ear Training I 1
MUAP 12XX Applied Major Instrument or Voice 2
MUEN 11XX Ensemble 1
MUSI 1181 Class Piano I or MUAP 11XX ** 1
PSYC 1300 Psychology for Success 3
ENGL 1301 Composition I 3
PHED 11XX Choose from Available Classes 1
Total Hours:   15

Semester 2 (Spring)

Course Credits
MUSI 1312 Music Theory II 3
MUSI 1117 Sight Singing & Ear Training II 1
MUAP 12XX Applied Major Instrument or Voice 2
MUEN 11XX Ensemble 1
MUSI 1182 Class Piano II or MUAP 11XX 1
MUSI 1307 Music Literature 3
ENGL 1302 Composition II 3
SPCH 1315
or SPCH 1318
Public Speaking
or Interpersonal Communication
Total Hours:   17

Semester 3 (Fall)

Course Credits
MUSI 2311 Music Theory III 3
MUSI 2116 Sight Singing & Ear Training III 1
MUAP 22XX Applied Major Instrument or Voice 2
MUEN Ensemble 1
MUSI 2181 Class Piano III or MUAP 21XX 1
HIST 1301 U.S. History I 3
GOVT 2305 Federal Government 3
Total Hours:   14

Semester 4

Course Credits
MUSI 2312 Music Theory IV 3
MUSI 2117 Sight Singing & Ear Training IV 1
MUAP 22XX Applied Major Instrument or Voice 2
MUEN 21XX Ensemble 1
MUSI 2182 Class Piano IV or MUAP 21XX 1
HIST 1302 U.S. History II 3
GOVT 2306 Texas Government 3
Total Hours:   14

Total Semester Credit Hours: 60

This degree plan is designed to meet the need of students who plan to major in music and transfer to a four-year college/university. This curriculum applies to the Bachelor of Music degree, but also may be applied to the Bachelor of Arts or other baccalaureate-level music degree as deemed appropriate by the awarding institution. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves the field of study in music included in this degree. This degree plan will constitute a 60-sememster credit hour transfer block to any public Texas four-year college or university.

Transferring students who have completed the field of study curriculum must satisfy the competency and proficiency requirements of the receiving institution. Transferring students shall not be required to repeat courses transferred as part of the field of study curriculum. However, diagnostic assessment of transfer students is permissible if the receiving institution routinely conducts diagnostic assessment of native students at the same point in the program of study.

Completion of the field of study curriculum shall not prevent a receiving institution from requiring additional lower-division courses that may be necessary for specific degree programs. Receiving institutions may require transfer students in specialized programs (e.g., jazz studies, performance, composition, music therapy, etc) to take additional degree-specific lower-division courses that are not included in the field of study curriculum.

* Piano students should substitute MUAP in minor instrument or voice 11XX, 11XX, 21XX, 21XX.

Students should review the bachelor’s degree curriculum for the university to which they will transfer and enroll in the appropriate math course.

Note: Students who complete this plan are awarded the Associate of Arts degree.