With a variety of subjects for in-person and online classes to choose from, it’s never been easier to find the courses that speak to your unique interests and accommodate your busy lifestyle. Wherever you are headed, San Diego Mesa College has the classes that can take you there.

Course Areas of Study

Individualized Study I-IV (MUSI 174A-D)

Students showing strong potential but do not wish to enroll in the full range of Music Major courses for AA Music Studies-Performance degree can audition for a slot in Individualized Study I. These students will enroll in Master Class and Individualized Study I-IV (MUSI 174A-D) and will be required to find their own teacher and pay for their own weekly lessons. A benefit of this level is that students in Individualized Study 1-4 (MUSI 174A-D) will earn the same lesson class credit as Applied Music (MUSI 274A-D) for transfer. The range of instruments is more flexible for MUSI 174A-D since students will choose and pay their own lesson teachers but the Music Dept. has performing opportunities for certain instrumentation only (Classical piano, guitar, voice, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, percussion & Jazz guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, flute, trumpet, drums/vibes plus Jazz vocal & trombone). Individualized Study 174A-D is ideal for students playing instruments we do not teach in our dept. 174A Students should have taken Basic Musicianship in preparation for future enrollment in the Music Theory & Ear Training classes and to qualify them to be Applied Music Majors (MUSI 274A-D) should they wish to re-audition in a future semester to move up to the 274 level.

Applied Music I-IV (MUSI 274A-D)

As a Music Major in the Music Studies-Performance AA Degree or the *Music AA  for Transfer Degree at the 274 level, you are required to co-enroll in the following classes:

  • Master Class & Lesson = Applied Music I-IV (MUSI 274A-D)
  • Recital Hour I-IV
  • An assigned ensemble for 4 semesters
  • Music Theory I-III and Ear Training I-III (Basic Musicianship is a prerequisite = needs to be completed or tested out of before audition) 
  • *Piano Class I-III (during semesters 1-3, *not required for Music AA for Transfer Degree)
  • Prepare for end of semester Recitals & Jury
  • It is recommended you also work on required Gen Ed classes

The instruments available for the 274 level include the following: Classical piano, guitar, voice, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, percussion & Jazz guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, alto & tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet, drums/vibes, and Jazz vocal. All Applied Music Performance Majors (MUSI 274A-D & MUSI 174A-D) will perform regularly for their peers in the weekly Master Class, where they will get valuable feedback and performance experience. At the end of the semester, all Applied Music Performance Majors perform in recitals and are evaluated by the applied music faculty in Juries at the end of the semester. Master Class meets Mondays 2:20-4:30. Private lessons are scheduled 1 hour per week for 15 weeks each semester according to the teacher & student availability (274A-D only). Please contact Dr. N. Scott Robinson

Recording Studio Engineering & Production (MUSI 139, 190, 201, 202, 203 & 209A/B)

The Music Department has a full program of courses centered on the San Diego Mesa College Recording Studio. Recently renovated, the new Recording Studio has a wide variety of sound equipment and computer workstations for recording, mixing, scoring, and production. In addition to the Introduction to Audio Technology course, which allows even the novice complete hands-on access to all the digital and electro-acoustic technology, students can pursue more advanced courses in Recording Arts, Computer Music, Recording Studio Internship 1-2, and Music & Social Media. All courses allow students to build a portfolio of music engineering & production projects. For more info, please contact Ian Tordella.

Guitar Class (MUSI 136A/B)

Guitar Class I-II provide instruction in classical guitar techniques. Lectures are followed by practical application on the instrument. In addition, Guitar Ensemble I-IV offers special training in the performance of current guitar ensemble music.

For information on Guitar Class I & II: Please contact George Svoboda (on campus Guitar Class I only) or Sean Bassett (on campus Guitar Class I & Guitar Class II)
For information on Guitar Ensemble I-IV: Please contact Ian Bassett 

Basic Musicianship, Music Theory 1-3 & Ear Training 1-3 (MUSI 150A, 148A/B, 248A, 268A/B, 269A)

In order to motivate students to spend more time practicing music fundamentals,  music theory and ear training quizzes are used in conjunction with in-class testing in Basic Musicianship, Music Theory & Ear Training classes. Our classes help students to become musically literate through an emphasis on speed and repetition. Student progress in the classes are accelerated through practice with the music theory & ear training drills. The classes use a traditional academic model with professionally published and peer reviewed materials from W.W. Norton. In the music theory& ear training classes, students also create innovative projects such as music theory analyses & student presentations.

Students going through all three semesters of music theory and ear training are often able to transfer to a four-year college and test directly into upper division courses. The feedback from faculty in the San Diego area is that San Diego Mesa College students are musically competent and understand their musical fundamentals. For more infomration, please contact Gina Jung

Here are some links to music theory video projects created by past music theory students at San Diego Mesa College:

Circle of Fifths - Fugue - Modulation - Harmonized 7th Scales

Piano Class (MUSI 124A/B & 224A)

The San Diego Mesa College Music Department piano classes 1-3 are designed for students to expand their knowledge of the piano repertoire and develop a comprehensive musicianship via piano, as well. We are also focused on helping students learn to play the piano through musical and technical studies such as playing solo pieces, duets, scales, chords, and reading music. Music majors can also work on material for passing the piano proficiency requirements of four-year universities upon transfer.

The Music Dept. has brand new models of the Yamaha Clavinova CVP 601B in our piano lab and students also have access to twenty practice rooms equipped with acoustic pianos.
For information on Piano: Please contact Jaeryoung Lee

Piano Classes 1-3 Video


Voice Class (MUSI 134A-D)

The San Diego Mesa College Music Department voice classes 1-4 are designed for students to expand their knowledge of the singing techniques, vocal repertoire, and develop more comprehensive musicianship skills. We are also focused on helping students learn to sing through musical and technical studies. Please contact Dr. J. Craig Johnson


Music Composition Class (MUSI 206A-D) Projects in Music Composition 1-4 online courses. Virtually unheard of at community colleges, these courses cover music composition, electronic music, film/video game scoring, and songwriting for the creative musician. Please contact: Dr. Charles Washington


  • MUSI 124A, MUSI 134A, MUSI 134C, MUSI 136A, MUSI 148A, MUSI 148B, MUSI 150A,
    MUSI 190, MUSI 248A,  MUSI 268A, MUSI 268B, MUSI 269A
  • Many of these courses can be tested out of by assessment to place in a higher level if CPL is not desired


  • Introduction to Music MUSI 100
  • History of Rock Music MUSI 103
  • The Business of Music MUSI 108
  • World Music MUSI 109
  • Jazz History MUSI 111
  • The Music of The Beatles MUSI 114
  • Music in the United States MUSI 117
  • Asian & Pacific Music MUSI 118
  • Music in Latin America & North America MUSI 119
  • Music, The Arts & Society MUSI 125
  • Rap Music & Hip Hop Culture MUSI 126
  • Music of California MUSI 131
  • Women in Music MUSI 138
  • Projects in Music Composition 1 MUSI 206A
  • Projects in Music Composition 2 MUSI 206B
  • Projects in Music Composition 3 MUSI 206C (Spring 2025)
  • Projects in Music Composition 4 MUSI 206D (Spring 2025)

All Courses

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School of Arts and Languages

School of
Arts & Languages

Leslie Shimazaki
Leslie Shimazaki Dean School of Arts & Languages G-201
N. Scott Robinson
N. Scott Robinson, Ph.D. Chair, Music Department Coordinator, Applied Music Program 619-388-5956 C-214
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