Columbia College Chicago offers a unique, innovative performance degree, the Bachelor of Music in Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music (CUP). This professional degree in music is enhanced by Columbia’s urban Chicago campus where students are mentored by a faculty of renowned musicians and can establish connections as artists and interns in Chicago’s music scene. The CUP degree is intended for instrumentalists of all types, singers, songwriters, and producers who are interested in performing and in creating original music in popular idioms, including various forms of rock, pop, jazz and jazz hybrids, as well as contemporary and classic urban and R&B styles. The program includes specialized courses in Music Technology and Music Business, in addition to dedicated courses in music history, theory and arranging. For their capstone projects, CUP BMus students form collaborative band projects for the purpose of developing, recording, and performing original music intended for professional presentation. In addition, students organize and present their own singular vision for their Senior Recital project.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- read, notate, hear, perform, and analyze music at an advanced musicianship level;
- demonstrate performance and improvisational skills on an instrument or voice at a professional level, particularly in collaborative music-making experiences;
- demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics, performance practices, and historical contexts of a diverse range of contemporary musical styles and genres;
- critically assess music performances, recordings, and production elements;
- apply knowledge and skill in composition, improvisation, and digital music production to create and produce original music in individual and collaborative contexts;
- demonstrate a capacity to produce a portfolio of original music suitable for the professional market, culminating in a final media product or live performance experience; and
- demonstrate the acumen required to prepare a viable business plan for a career in music performance, songwriting and production.