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The Music program at College of the Desert is rooted in the passionate belief that the arts are integral to the social development of every individual and an essential part of life that is vital to the understanding of diverse cultures. Students learn to express themselves artistically, both as individuals and in collaboration with others. Our community sees, supports, and sustains music education not only for the immediate values of performance, but for ways of understanding the world, for the development of the mind and body, and for many underlying skills and understandings that are necessary for success in life.

Degrees and Certificates offered:

  • Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer Degree
  • Music Technology Certificate of Achievement
  • Musical Theatre Certificate of Achievement

Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution and major in music should consult with an advisor regarding the transfer process and lower division requirements.


Anthony Fesmire (instrumental)
afesmire@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7477

Darlene Romano (vocal)
dromano@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7240


The Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer, also called the Music AA-T Degree, is designed to prepare students to transfer to a CSU or UC campus to complete a bachelor’s degree in Music. Course offerings include music theory and musicianship, ensembles, and applied lessons on an instrument or voice. Students earning the Music AA-T Degree will receive “priority admission with junior status to the CSU system.” Students completing a bachelor’s degree typically choose careers in music that include performer, educator, conductor, composer, arranger, accompanist, recording engineer, radio/television audio engineer, music minister, music therapist, or private instructor.

This Music AA-T degree requires students to meet both of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 60 semester units that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both of the following:
    • The Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University GE-Breadth Requirements (CSU GE-B).
    • A minimum of 18 semester units in a major or area of emphasis. All courses in the major or area of emphasis must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.
  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

The Music AA-T Degree requires students to complete 60 CSU transferable units including completion of IGETC and 22 units in the major with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Music AA-T degree works only with the IGETC pattern, not with the CSU GE. There are no additional graduation requirements. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

Dept. No. Title Units
MUS 1 Music Theory I 4
MUS 2 Music Theory II 4
MUS 3 Music Theory III 4
MUS 4 Music Theory IV 4
Take four semesters of the following (0.5 units each): 2
MUS 99A Applied Music, Instrumental
MUS 99B Applied Music, Vocal
Large Ensemble (4 units total)

Select from the following courses:
MUS 27 Jazz Band 1
MUS 28 Jazz Ensembles 1
MUS 29 Jazz Singers 1
MUS 31 Chamber Singers 1
MUS 33 Symphonic Band 1

Required S ubtotal 22
IGETC Pattern 1 37
Transferable Electives 1

1 Units for the major may be double counted for IGETC only (not CSU GE), confer with Counselor.

* Please refer to Associate Degree for Transfer (SB1440) on page 42 of the 2017-18 COD Catalog

The music technology curriculum is based on a philosophy of training students to work with the most up-to-date tools commonly available - affordable hardware and software that they can use in all aspects of real-world music production. Upon completion of the Music Technology Certificate students will be prepared for entry-level opportunities in the recording and music industries.
Dept. No. Title Units
MUS 12 Fundamentals Of Music 3
MUS 21A Piano I 2
MUS 21B Piano II 2
​MUS ​21C ​Piano III ​2
MUS 78A Digital Audio I 3
MUS 78B Digital Audio II 3
MUS 78C Digital Audio III 3


Musical theatre actors must be able to effectively interpret scripts and songs while also being well versed in a variety of dance styles. This certificate allows students to explore interdisciplinary skills required for success in the field, to understand professional ethics and to prepare themselves for the rigorous physical and emotional demands of a musical theatre career.
Dept. No. Title Units
MUS 7 History of Musical Theatre 3
TA 2 Acting I 3
TA 3 Acting II 3
Select 2 courses from the following: 4
MUS 22A Voice I (2)
MUS 22B Voice II (2)
MUS 22C Voice III (2)
Select from the following courses: 2
DANC 27 Dance, Ballet (2)
DANC 73 Dance, Jazz (1)
and DANC 75 Dance, Tap (1)
Select from the following courses: 3
MUS 86 Musical Theatre Performance (3)
MUS 84 Musical Theatre Performance (1)
and MUS 85 Musical Theatre Performance (2)