Iowa Western Community College
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Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Length: 2 Years
Award: A.A.

Completed Online: Both
Completed in the Evenings: Day, Evening, Online
Pathway: Transfer Path
Career Cluster: Communication and Fine Arts
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

The Loess Hills around Iowa Western come alive with the sound of music from students who choose Iowa Western’s Music program.

As a student, you will learn about all phases of music, including theory fundamentals and performance skills. You can also be versed in sight singing and ear training while working toward an Associate of Arts degree.

Regardless of whether your specialty is vocal or instrumental music, Iowa Western offers a wide range of ensembles for students to participate in, including concert choir, show choir, marching band, pep band, and several different jazz ensembles. Vocal and instrument lessons are part of the program, something few other community colleges offer. In this program, you’ll get the best training possible from professional choreographers and working musicians. Many of our students participate in trips to Toronto for the International Association for Jazz Educators.

The Arts Center at Iowa Western is perhaps the highlight of the program, featuring an auditorium with amazing sound quality, rehearsal rooms, and high-tech practice rooms featuring V-Room Technology allowing you to adjust the acoustics for maximum sound control and quality.


Career Information

This program is designed for students intending to transfer to a four-year institution upon completion of this two-year degree. Students with a music degree can take the skills they learn in the music program and apply them to music education or another area of fine arts. They can also become professional musicians. For a professional musician, earnings vary widely and often depend on a performer’s professional reputation, place of employment, and on the number of hours worked. Even when employed, many musicians work part-time and may give private lessons to supplement their earnings as performers. If you choose music education, you can teach at any age level from elementary school to high school and college.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate ensemble techniques and representative repertoire in both large and small ensembles appropriate to the student's specific performance mediums.
  • Demonstrate competent application of music cognition in music theory.
  • Demonstrate basic music competencies in keyboarding, aural skills, and sight singing.
  • Demonstrate performance skills through participation in applied study.
  • Use professional judgment and ethics in their interactions with colleagues, other members of the musical community, and community as a whole.


* Because career opportunities associated with this degree are so varied, salaries vary considerably as well. To explore careers and gather specific salary information, we encourage you to visit the following website: IHaveaPlanIowa