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Commercial and Media Writing Audition

This degree is primarily a scoring degree.  You will also learn songwriting and vocal arranging, but the majority of the work is in instrumental composition and orchestration.  Because of that we ask that you have prior training in classical or jazz styles in an instrument or in voice. Be sure to read the audition performance expectations below.

Transfer students should come in with transferable required music classes in order to finish the degree with 140 units or less.

BACHELOR OF MUSIC - Commercial & Media Option

CSUN Music’s commercial and media writing option (B.M.) has been in place for 8 years.  It is part of the larger Music Theory and Composition Department and currently has 50 students in the program. 

Freshman will pass an audition on their primary instrument, take placement exams and after an interview with faculty they will enter the music program. At the end of the sophomore year, after successfully completing MUS 213 and 214 (Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony) the student will enroll in MUS 221, Songwriting. Professor Elizabeth Sellers, the coordinator of this option, will determine the student's suitability to continue based on work in the Songwriting class. A minimum grade of B is required to formally enter the Commercial And Media Writing Option.

Entrance Requirements

  • Performance audition with the appropriate applied area (keyboard, woodwinds, voice, etc.). (Look under Audition Requirements for the necessary repertoire for auditions).
  • On-campus interview with the composition faculty, to be scheduled during the same day the instrumental audition takes place; no previous appointment required.
  • Portfolio of 3 compositions in different styles (submit scores and recordings) showing dramatic range and orchestrational prowess.
  • A letter of intent discussing musical background and goals.
  • Transfer students will, after a thorough evaluation of their transcripts and portfolio, an interview with faculty and the audition and other placement tests, enroll in MUS 221 to be considered for the program.

Successful completion of MUS 221, Songwriting leads to the Junior year and the majority of the media work. 300-level classes required for the option include MUS 397 Music Recording, MUS 391 Midi Sequencing, MUS 322 Beginning Media Composition, MUS 317A Jazz Arranging, MUS 315A Orchestration, MUS 307 World Music, MUS 321 Beginning Concert Composition, MUS 364/L Instrumental Conducting, MUS 393 Music Industry Studies, MUS 316 Analysis and MUS 318 Vocal Arranging for Media.

The Senior year 400-level classes include MUS 420A Media Composition, MUS 420B Media Orchestration, MUS 494A CSUN Internship, MUS 494C Outside Internship, MUS 495 Senior Recital.

All students in the music department are entitled to private lessons after audition on their instrument. Commercial And Media Writing Option music students receive 4 semesters of 1/2 hour lessons. All music students take the Musicianship sequence after placing into the appropriate level. 6 levels of Musicianship or their equivalent are required for the Bachelor of Music. Other department requirements include Keyboard and Music History classes.

Facilities at CSUN Music include two labs, one large MIDI lab with 24 stations (System 10 Mac platform, Digital Performer, Finale). A smaller project studio is available to the upper division Commercial And Media Writing Option student for completing class projects and student film assignments.

The ideal Commercial And Media Writing Option student is comfortable with technology, is eager to write in many styles, understands basic orchestrational techniques, reads music in all clefs and plays keyboards.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Elizabeth Sellers
Department of Music
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, California 91330-8314