Frequently Asked Questions

Admission FAQs

Do I need to Audition to be a music or music business major?
Nope. Unlike some other music programs, the Department of Music has an open enrollment so as long as you are admitted to Lewis University, you can declare music or music business as your major. Remember, Lewis University provides music degrees within the liberal arts framework of Lewis University. We are an inclusive department whose students range from classical pianists to rappers to music producers. Our program caters to the needs of the individuals in our department.

I'm not a music major. Can I be involved in the music program?
Absolutely! Lewis University has a flat-tuition rate for 12-18 credit hours. That means that if you take 12 credit hours in a semester or if you take 18 credit hours, the cost is the same. Many non-majors "fill-out" their schedule by taking private voice and instrument lessons or participating in one of our ensembles. Again, whether you are contemplating a career in music or just looking for an outlet for your musical talents, we have abundant opportunities for you here.

How do I set up and audition for a talent scholarship? What should I prepare?
To setup an audition, simply email the Music Department. To save yourself an extra trip to campus, you may wish to schedule your audition during a Lewis University "Visit Day" coordinated by the Lewis University Admissions Office. For the audition, singers should prepare two songs that demonstrate your current abilities. Instrumentalists only need to prepare one work, but you may be asked to sight-read or play a few scales depending on your background. In all cases, we will gladly provide an accompanist for your audition.

I don't sing or play an instrument. Can I get a talent scholarship?
It may surprise you, but yes. If your talent doesn't fit within a traditional mold, don't let that deter you! For example, we provide talent scholarships to students who are interested in composition and audio production. To submit arrange a submisison of your creative portfolio or for any questions, please contact the Department of Music.

Can I get a talent scholarship if I'm not a music or music business major?
Yes you can! We restructured our scholarships in 2021 so that new students, regardless of major, are now eligible to receive performance scholarships for Gospel Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, and/or Rock Band Ensemble. Check out our scholarships page for more information.

Music, Music Business, and CS+Music FAQs

Can you tell me some requirements/qualifications one must have to go into the music business major?
There is no audition for the program, but students may audition for a talent scholarship, which is a department award based on musical potential. The amount of these awards is $1000-$3000. Students are expected to read music in both clefs, because that is a prerequisite for the music theory class, which is required of all first-year music students. Being proficient on an instrument is very helpful too, especially piano or guitar. Being strong in technology is very important to success in this program because the music business is very technology focused

What is day-to-day learning like?
Music students take music theory every day of the week. They also take a weekly private lesson on their instrument or voice. Music students participate in ensembles that meet 1-3 times a week: Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, Recording Ensemble, Rock Band Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. The rest of the academic time is taken up with general education and academic electives. Even with all that, there is still time for recreation and creative work.

What will we be learning?
Music business emphasizes the business of music. The business courses in the curriculum focus on marketing. The first two years, music business majors take the same courses as music majors; then, instead of upper-division theory courses (counterpoint, orchestration, form and analysis), they take marketing and music business courses. Music technology plays a large part in the curriculum, and Lewis University has a very strong program in this area. Many music business students take a minor in music technology.

What kind of careers can I look forward to after graduation?
Music retailing; music sales; music technology; arts management: anything pertaining to the business of music. We have had students go to work for the Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony, and other arts organizations. Some students go on to graduate school.

Does Lewis help you find a job afterwards?
The music business program includes an internship. We have placed students as interns with the Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony, and other performing arts organizations. We have also placed students as interns with retailers like Quinlan & Fabish Music and with recording studios. Some students have stayed on to work where they did their internship after graduation. Others have looked at their options, which are plentiful.

Can you describe the students in that area of study?
Students who major in music business often say that they want to be involved in music as a career but don’t want to teach or perform for a living. They tend to be very tech savvy.

Do any of them realize music business wasn't for them after they have entered the program?
Rarely. Most students in this major complete the course of study and graduate from Lewis University. Some go on to graduate school in areas like arts management, and others begin their careers in the music business right after graduation. Regardless, changing majors at Lewis is very easy, so if you discover a new passion while at Lewis, you can pursue it!

Where do students do internships?
Our internship coordinator works individually with each student to identify an internship and create a custom learning experience that matches the students goals, interests, and skills. Below are just few places where students have interned:

What do students do after graduation? Our graduates have been very successful after leaving Lewis University. Our school has an excellent and robust Career Services department which helps students prepare to enter the workforce upon graduation. Our recent graduates work in a variety of areas inside as well as outside of music fields such as audio engineering, live sound reinforcement, multimedia production, education, retail music, social media marketing, and arts management. For example, we have a recent graduate who has opened up a music store that makes and sells custom guitar pedals, another alumnus who works at an internationally acclaimed recording studio in Chicago, another that works as a lead audio engineer a prominent sound reinforcement company, and another is pursuing a masters degree in Arts Management and working a Social Media Marketing Director for a company that is paying for her graduate degree. With a degree in music or music business from Lewis University, opportunities are quite diverse and exciting as exemplified by the success of our alumni.

Music Technology FAQs

Do I have to be a music major to study music technology at Lewis?
No. Students from all disciplines at Lewis University may take music technology classes; however, students with a music background are encouraged.

Can I use the recording studio?
Yes. Students who have completed "Intro to Recording and Music Technology" (MUSC 29900) and are enrolled in or have completed "Electronic Music Techniques" (MUSC 30000) work exclusively in the recording studio. In addition to class projects, students are encouraged to organize and produce individual projects.

If I'm not a music student can my band record in the recording studio?
Absolutely! For our classes, we are always looking for soloists and bands to record. If you are a Lewis student, simply contact Dr. McFerron for more information.

How current is the technology in the Department of Music?
We continually upgrade our equipment. For example, the Department of Music upgrades computers on a three-year rotation. Additionally, the very latest versions of software are installed on all computers on an ongoing basis. The music technology at Lewis is often far superior to other institutions, and it is current with industry standards seen in professional recording studios.

How does your program differ from other programs like weekend workshops?
Although many companies and trade schools offer weekend seminars on particular technologies that can be very interesting and helpful for a single technology, our approach to teaching music technology is quite different. Firmly grounded in a liberal arts education, we don't teach "knob-turning". Instead, we teach aesthetics, concepts, and processes that support our institutional mission to create life-long learners. Through study of standard techniques, music repertory, and creative endeavors such as composition, students are able to adapt to changing technologies and systems they may encounter beyond the Lewis University music technology facilities.