What class should I take if I want to learn how to read music?

MUS 306M Elements of Music. It's usually offered in the fall and spring semesters.


If a music course appears as "open; reserved" in the course schedule, am I still able to register for it?

It depends. For organized (group instruction) music courses with the core curriculum indicator "VP" (Visual and Performing Arts), some of the seats have been reserved for incoming freshmen/transfer students, and only those students are allowed to add the course, dependent on their orientation session date. This occurs only during the summer, for fall registration.

For organized music courses without the “VP” core indicator, these are reserved for music majors only and would require that you have the instructor’s email permission to add the course.

For private lessons courses for non-music majors—these are the Instr/Voi 201 courses--please review the information for each instrument/voice located at the non-music major web page.


Where can I find more information about a music course, such as a syllabus?

Course syllabi for undergraduate organized courses may be found at Access Syllabi and CVs. Once there, select the year and semester, type in the course number and any letters that are part of the course number, e.g. 302L, 303M, 306M, etc. (however, do not include the course prefix MUS or ENS), then after clicking on the search button, look for the course syllabus/syllabi in the list that appears. Keep in mind, syllabi for individual instruction courses such as PIA 201, undergraduate organized courses with enrollment less than 5, and graduate courses will NOT appear in this list. Additionally, courses with instruction type "Laboratory" are not required to have syllabi uploaded; this includes ensembles and performance-based organized courses such as group piano or group guitar classes. Lastly, many of the course syllabi to be uploaded for a given semester typically do not appear until just after the first class day of that semester. However, syllabi uploaded from previous semesters may provide some useful information for you.


Is performance instruction group-based, or are there options for individual instruction?

All of our 201 courses with a performance prefix, such as GUI (guitar), PIA (piano), VOI (voice), etc., are individual instruction, meaning private lessons. You and your instructor for a 201 course arrange a time to have a weekly lesson. Other courses, such as MUS 101Q and MUS 303E, are group classes and meet as organized courses as listed in the course schedule.


If I have other training in other musical instruments, can that be substituted for the training required in the instrument for which I want to take 201?

Except for the ability to read music, the answer is no.


I would like to take a 201 private lesson course in the summer. Is this possible?

Unfortunately, we do not offer any 201 private lesson courses for non-music majors in the summer.


What about other performance courses with higher numbers, such as 210, 312, etc. ?

The 210 and higher numbered courses in performance are reserved for music majors only. The only exception is 251 offered in the fall and spring semesters, which has as prerequisites the completion of four semesters of 201 and/or consent of the area faculty.


When will I find out about when the 201 class meets?

The 201 courses with a non-MUS abbreviation preceding it, such as BSN, CLA, etc., are not organized classes; these are private lesson courses. If you have registered or have been approved to register for one of the private lesson 201 courses, you will be contacted by your instructor during the first week of classes to set up a time for a private lesson, which is usually 30 minutes each week. If you have not been contacted by the first week of classes, please go to the Student Office, MRH 3.836 during office hours which are 9am-Noon & 1-4pm, Monday through Friday.


What does "secondary" mean?

Secondary in this context means not the primary instrument or major.


How do I get a minor in music?

The Butler School of Music does not offer a minor in music. However, if you are interested in pursuing a certificate and/or minor in a related fine arts field, more information is available at Undergraduate Certificates & Minors.


Can I take an examination to allow me to receive Fine Arts credit for a music performance course for my degree program?

The Butler School of Music does not offer credit by examination for music performance courses.


Does taking piano class in high school count as formal piano lessons?

In general, yes. Taking class piano in high school usually provides enough training for learning how to read music and for being familiar with very basic piano skills. It is okay if it has been a few years since you last played.


Are there ensembles just for non-music majors?

Except for ENS 107S which is for non-music major saxophone players, we have no ensembles that are only for non-music majors. However, certain ensembles, in particular Longhorn Band, University Chorus, and University Orchestra, consist primarily of non-music majors. All of our undergraduate ensembles are open to any University student who can qualify by audition, and some of the smaller ensembles do not require an audition. Visit the Ensembles page for more information.


What is the process for registering for chamber music for non-music majors?

Non-music majors may request at or just before the beginning of the semester to audition. String players should contact Prof. John Largess; pianists should contact Prof. Anton Nel; woodwind players should contact Prof. Kristin Jensen; and brass players should contact Prof. Charles Villarrubia. A mandatory chamber music meeting occurs during the first week of classes for fall and spring , and signs with this information with the exact date of the meeting are posted on the 5th floor of MRH and near the MRH elevators.


What instruments are taught in MUS 303C Fundamentals of Music: Classroom Instruments?

Students learn to play recorder, varying types of percussion instruments, and the ukulele, as well as the basics in reading and notating music. Instruments are provided, but the purchase of a recorder is required.


Non-music majors at The University of Texas at Austin may contact Stephen Wray sjw@austin.utexas.edu for any questions not listed above.