Studying music at California State University, Los Angeles places one in the exciting Southern California music scene. With a campus located just east of downtown Los Angeles, students have numerous outlets in which to engage across a broad range of musical possibilities. Nearby are the world famous Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, television, film and recording studios, theme parks, and numerous other music performance and production venues where students and graduates frequently find opportunities for professional growth during their studies or employment after graduation.
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the Department has undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare students for careers in classical music performance, conducting, composition, music education, commercial music, jazz studies, and Latin music performance.
The Music Area of MTD offers the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts and Master of Music degrees. Certain degree programs allow students to pursue individual educational objectives by combining music study with other academic interests. Students may also fulfill requirements for a State of California music teaching credential.
Theatre and Dance
The faculty and staff of the Theatre and Dance area of MTD are outstanding educators who combine their dedication as teachers with their lives as artists, scholars, and theatre professionals in the vibrant cultural life of Los Angeles. Students find an interdisciplinary environment that supports student-faculty interaction and collaboration, one that fosters partnerships with the venues and organizations that make L.A. a world capital of arts, entertainment and research.
The combination of theatre with dance offers exciting opportunities in either discipline, and in the interplay between these arts.
In dance, the Department has traditionally focused on contemporary dance, including modern and jazz dance, with a wide range of classical dance, dance history and theory providing essential foundations for performing and understanding dance in a liberal arts context. A new program modification is in the works that will create new concentrations in commercial and digital dance and will incorporate more tap and hip-hop which have become popular with our students.
Dance and theatre performances off campus complement the campus events that showcase student performers, often in partnership with professional directors/choreographers. Technological innovations on campus have contributed to performances incorporating virtual reality into the artistic mix. Tours to local schools, universities around the state, and various Los Angeles venues provide students the chance to reach new and diverse audiences.
Theatre students participate in the American College Theatre Festival. The College supports student travel and participation in conferences and workshops that supplement the courses and productions on campus and in venues around Los Angeles.
The curriculum includes preparation in all aspects of theatre, from technical areas to creation and performance, while insuring a firm understanding of the social, historical and theoretical contexts essential to a well-grounded liberal arts education. Interdisciplinary collaborations have strengthened our program by familiarizing students with other performance disciplines, from film and TV to opera and performance art. Students have benefited from connections to educational theatre companies, in such areas as health education and community based programming. Internships, and service-learning are essential components of the program, and the entertainment industry has established an initiative to recruit Cal State L.A. students for many extraordinary opportunities.
The Department of Music, Theatre & Dance at California State University, Los Angeles is part of the College of Arts and Letters. It is housed in a Fine Arts multiplex that includes the Music Building, State Playhouse, Music Hall and the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, with state of the art dance studios in Martin Luther King Hall. Extensive facilities include two black box theatres (the “Arena” and the “Nest”), a fully equipped recording studio, three dance studios in King Hall, two computer laboratories stocked with a full range of music and design software, a dedicated music keyboard instruction lab, several electronically equipped classrooms, dedicated choral and instrumental rehearsal halls, grand and baby grand piano studios, and individual practice rooms equipped with digital keyboards.
The University Library has a vast collection of more than 11,000 recordings and scores, an array of special collections in the performing arts and a large collection of books on music topics. The library itself houses a collection of over one million books and journals, as well as films, newspapers, and federal documents.