Bachelor of Arts in Music: Commercial Music Performance (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals)

  • Degree duration: 4 years (full-time)
  • DIME Denver Phone: +1 (303) 623 1600
  • DIME Denver Email: [email protected]


The Bachelor of Arts in Music offered by MSU Denver at DIME Denver is a liberal arts degree in which music and general studies content is integrated throughout all coursework. Students are exposed to a broad curriculum that includes studies in history, the arts and humanities, and the sciences. Music is integrated into general studies courses, and the liberal arts are integrated into music courses throughout the degree program.

This degree will provide you with an opportunity to specialize in guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. It aims to empower you with a high level of instrumental skill and the ability to develop an authoritative, individual approach to the performance and creation of music. Upon completion of the degree, you will have established a varied portfolio of creative work and have an understanding of how to develop your own unique approach to your specialism and the wider industry.

Under the guidance and supervision of MSU Denver faculty and highly respected artists, you will perform as a soloist and within bands to devise systematic and effective practice routines, compositional processes, and general musicianship skills. Alongside the creative development of instrumental technique, performance, and composition skills, you will develop research and writing skills and reflect critically on your practice.

The intensive nature of the degree enables learners to become skilled practitioners and provides the freedom for them to develop their own unique and innovative methods of working. Upon completion of the degree, you will have built up a varied portfolio and will be equipped to identify, create, and respond to the many career opportunities that exist in the ever-evolving music landscape.

MSU Denver at DIME Denver degrees are offered as a full-time program, which enables you to complete your studies in four years.


  • MSU Denver at DIME Denver faculty are world class artists and educators, active in the music industry and educational practice.
  • Direct engagement with the industry through project-based work.
  • Students are guided and encouraged to develop their own individual area(s) of expertise.
  • Collaboration within a broader musical community; your regular interaction with peers and faculty groups is enhanced by live events and other extra-curricular activities including: master classes, private tutorial sessions, End of Semester Shows, regular Open House events, and one-off events in which DIME partners with local musicians and organizations.

How are the courses taught?

The teaching strategies deployed within the degree program seek to reflect and apply the educational philosophy of both MSU Denver and DIME, and the rationale, aims and learning outcomes of the course. The intention is to engage the active participation of a committed group of academic and technical staff and students. Students at MSU Denver at DIME Denver will benefit from the following modes of teaching:

  • Group lectures within the institute environment, where all students will learn in groups regardless of their instrument.
  • Specialist lectures within the institute environment, where students will learn in specialist instrument specific groups.
  • Weekly lectures with instruction by world-class industry professionals who have vast experience in the music industry.
  • Regular One-To-One Tutorial Guidance from the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, DIME Head of Education, your Head of Department, MSU Denver faculty and DIME Head of Learner Experience on matters relating to the course, musical performance, career planning and student care.
  • Exclusive Masterclasses from renowned artists, educators and industry professionals.

What you’ll do

This is the main overview page for the degree For more specific information about a chosen area of specialty please click on the corresponding links featured below or visit MSU Denver’s website:


Throughout your studies with MSU Denver at DIME Denver, you will come into contact with a range of artists, practitioners, educators, support personnel, and administrative staff. Your key contacts will be the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, DIME Head of Education, DIME Learner Experience Administrator, your Head of Department, and MSU Denver faculty. You will enjoy regular contact with these people during your studies.

In addition, your education will be enhanced by input from a range of experts through masterclasses and their contribution to the design and writing of specific classes. Click here to see some of our previous guests.


The modes of assessment used in this degree program include:

  • Portfolio of work
  • Small in-lecture tasks (solo and group)
  • Tests
  • Essays (critical, reflective, research-based)
  • Case Studies
  • Podcasts and digital media
  • Project Presentation
  • Project Documentation

In some cases, more than one mode of assessment will be used within a class to ensure that the learner can demonstrate that they have met all of the learning outcomes. The work produced for these assessments develops graduate outcomes required in employment, such as a high level of managerial and entrepreneurial competency, time management, written and oral communication, portfolio production, critical reflection, and team work. This is alongside self-motivation, independence, and creativity of thought.


MSU Denver at DIME Denver and DIME are deeply committed to providing career advice and support. This starts in the recruitment of a roster of MSU Denver faculty who exemplify the values of a successful self-employed music professional in today’s music industry. MSU Denver at DIME Denver courses and learning outcomes reflect the music business as it is today, and our commitment to degree development will ensure their currency in the future. MSU Denver students are encouraged throughout their studies to form realistic and achievable career goals; these will be underpinned by research and experience, providing a genuine understanding of the structure and operation within the industry. The philosophy is described as ‘designing your own professional life’ and you will see this theme recurring throughout the degree.

Further career opportunities/destinations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Solo or ensemble/group performer
  • Session playing
  • Author of educational materials (e.g. books, DVDs, etc.)
  • Product demonstrator
  • Music entrepreneur
  • Teaching

Further study opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Graduate Study
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Arts (MA)
  • Masters of Music (MM)
  • (K-12) Teaching Certification – National Board Certification by the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence (ABCTE)