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Applied Music

Applied Music

Applied Music (MUSI 190) is a four semester series of one-unit courses for the Music Major to further develop musical skills, obtain an Associate of Arts Degree, and successfully transfer to a four-year institution for continued music study. The program includes private music lessons in piano, organ, voice, electric and acoustic guitar, and all orchestral instruments.  Music styles include Jazz, Classical, and Broadway Theater.

If you are looking for career services and resources, please refer to the El Camino College Career Center https://www.elcamino.edu/student/studentservices/careercenter/index.aspx   Explore websites such as “What Can I Do With This Major” and “Career Cruising” to learn more about majors and occupations in the Music field.

Applied Music Instructors

The Applied Music Instructors are experienced, certificated and professional musicians.  Instructors are part of the 35 plus member staff which includes both full-time and adjunct faculty members. See the Applied Music Faculty Biographies.


The Applied Music program is offered during the Fall and Spring semesters only. Students must audition and be accepted into the Applied Music program BEFORE they may register. Students should begin their application process approximately two weeks before the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester and follow the audition instructions below.  Jump to to Apply Auditions.


The Applied Music Program is designed for El Camino Music majors and students who are serious about improving their performance skills and have already reached at least an intermediate level of proficiency. Students must also be prepared to devote adequate time to the program. An audition is required for initial entrance to the program.

High school seniors in their second semester may audition for the program but must compete with college students for acceptance. Individuals with a degree in Music (AA, BA, BM or higher) are not eligible.

Program Requirements

Students accepted into the Applied Music program are required to do the following:

1.  Enroll in one unit of Music 190, committing to a weekly individual lesson and a weekly recital class

2.  Enroll concurrently in one of the large performance ensemble classes at El Camino College

    • Instrumentalists choose from:
      Music 265 Symphonic Band, Music 266 Studio Jazz Band, Music 267 Concert Jazz Band, Music 268 Symphony Orchestra, Music 269 Guitar Ensemble Instrumental Ensembles
    • Vocalists choose from:
      Music 151 Mixed Chorus, Music 152 Concert Choir, Music 253 Chorale, Music 257 Women's Choir, Music 258 Vocal Jazz Ensemble Choral Ensembles
    • Pianists and guitarists
      You may choose from any of the above, but the instrumental group acceptance may be limited.

3.      Follow the Music Major Pathway of concurrent enrollment courses

  • Music 190A Applied Music I  MU 131 Beginning Piano (recommended)
  • Music 190B Applied Music II  MU 101 Music Fundamentals (required)
  • Music 190C Applied Music III  MU 103A Music Theory (required)
  • Music 190D Applied Music IV  MU 103B  Music Theory, MU 215 Music History (required)

4.   Attend three professional music performances at ECC and in the community

5.  Complete all course assignments including three (3) class performances, a juried final performance, literature critiques, and website/portfolio development

Music Theory

During the training in the Applied Music Program, students are required to have concurrent enrollment in music theory, performance ensembles, and music history courses. If a student has sufficient music theory knowledge and would like to pass over the Music Fundamentals (MUSI 101) course to enter the Music Theory courses sequence (MUSI 103A, 103B and 203), it is recommended that the individual take the Music Fundamentals Challenge Exam before the pre-enrollment period closes. To take the exam, contact Dr. Patrick Schulz via email. pschulz@elcamino.edu


Auditions are held on the Tuesday preceding the first week of instruction of the Fall and Spring semesters. For the audition, you should prepare a brief musical composition (no more than five minutes) that demonstrates your musicianship and technical achievement. 

FALL 2021 auditions

El Camino College will be accepting video auditions no later than August 17, 2021 for Music Majors entering the Applied Music Program in the Fall Semester. Due to distancing restrictions, there will be no in person auditions for Fall 2021.


  • Send via email*, an "unlisted" YouTube link to a video recording of yourself performing a notated solo, etude, or improvised solo for your voice or primary instrument. You may also submit a link to your video via Google Drive as a secondary submission option.
  • Your email should include all of the following information:
  1. Name
  2. Phone number
  3. Email address 
  4. Primary instrument or voice
  5. Discipline (Jazz Instruments & Vocal Jazz, Classical Piano & Organ, Classical Guitar, Classical Orchestral Instruments, Classical & Broadway Voice)
  6. Contact information for a previous music instructor (private or school) for reference check
  7. Previous high school attended or current year at ECC
  8. Have you previously take private lessons? For how long?
  9. Previous ensemble experience? For how Long?
  10. What are your future goals in music?
  • If you need a backing track for your video audition, please contact the instructor in charge of your particular discipline* by August 1, 2021. Please direct any other questions to this same instructor.
  • Jazz Auditions criteria: Unaccompanied instrumental performances and/or performances with a backing track are acceptable. Jazz musicians should prepare to demonstrate a solo improvisation over a jazz ballad, up-tempo jazz standard, or 12-bar blues. Memorization is not required but is encouraged. Jazz Vocalists should performn a jazz ballad or up-tempo jazz standard. All vocalist selections must be performed from memory.

Designated Applied Music Sections*

After the Audition

Students will be notified of audition results via email by Wednesday August 18, 2021. Accepted students must register by adding the class online by the end of the pre-registration period (Friday before instruction begins). Students who miss this window of opportunity to register must obtain an add sticker from the instructor on the first day of instruction.  It will be necessary to enroll in an El Camino College performance ensemble prior to adding the Applied Music course.