Bachelor of Arts in Music


  • Oakland University have collaborated to offer degree classes in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.
  • DIME Detroit Phone: (313) 223-1600
  • DIME Detroit Email:

What classes are on offer in Winter 2021?

Commercial Music Performance 

Please click on a subject below to learn more:

Technique Practicum
This course will provide students the opportunity to build a solid foundation on their instrument or voice through a logical progression of exercises and application. Additionally, students will be challenged to experiment with basic techniques to begin to develop a creative approach to improvisation. The course will situate technical vocabulary and improvisational skills within a variety of musical contexts across numerous genres. Along the way, students will develop a comprehensive method for practicing productively, keeping track of their own progress as they critically reflect on it.  The private lessons will be enhanced with master classes, group lectures and performance opportunities.

Session Styles
This course requires students to perform a diverse range of contemporary and iconic musical styles in the popular idiom to high standards. Students will be required to listen to and analyze a range of recordings to assess their stylistic sonic qualities and nuances.  Instructors will provide historical and cultural context for each style as well as performance training and guidance in critical listening skills.  Students will be required to read and interpret song charts as well as play by ear while performing in various styles/genres.  Group sessions will be discipline-specific, and be supported by one-on-one tutorials and master classes.

Domestic Music Market
This course provides students with an introductory overview of the American music industry. Throughout the semester this class will demonstrate how the multiple components of, and stakeholders in, the music business all work together to create income streams for artists and industry professionals. Students will study the business strategies of classic and contemporary artists to reveal how these musicians have navigated an increasingly complex and dynamic industry.

In the recording and touring world, “Pre-Production” is the process through which an artist and band ensures that they are as ready as possible before performing in the studio or onstage. This process includes learning individual parts, rehearsal as a group, editing section lengths and order, arrangement choices, decisions regarding spotlight solos, intros, endings, visual or audio cues, and more. In many of these situations, the old adage that “time is money” rings true, as the clock begins ticking on hourly studio time, musician rates, venue rentals, union hands, stage techs, engineers, etc. At this level, you are expected to do as much preparation in your own time as possible, including learning your individual part to the best of your ability as well as researching important historical and contextual information about the artist and song, allowing for focus to be on group work and potential big-picture challenges in the material arising instead of spending time on individual parts. This preparation before class time allows for an even smoother pre-production process, and ensures no time is wasted while “on the clock” in the professional world.

Live Performance Workshop
This class provides a forum for students to develop their original songs, to a professional level. Students will work with other songwriters and an instructor to experiment with concepts and arrangement in order to polish their ideas into full songs. This class is a forum for students to refine their songs collaboratively before addressing the performance of the song in the Live Songwriting Workshop class. If students are writing songs for others, this class will also be an opportunity to discuss how the song will be performed and the personnel required. Students will also discuss outlets for their songs (e.g. digital release, streaming, Soundcloud). Students will develop their skills of peer critique and learn to provide criticism in a constructive way.

Senior Recital (Seniors Only)
This course is the culmination of the student’s degree in Commercial Music Performance. The student will be responsible for individually constructing, organizing, promoting, and executing an individual recital. While they may perform with others, each musical selection must feature the student for which the degree is to be awarded. Students will meet periodically with their faculty mentor to discuss their ideas and progress toward their final performance. The individual student will be required to organize rehearsals in preparation for the final performance. Students will also be required to construct extensive program notes, which explain their choice of music, personnel and staging while situating each of their song selections within their proper historical, social, and cultural context. Students must display a high level of professionalism throughout the semester as well as within the final performance. Repertoire should include a mix of original and pre-existing material, which displays a wide range of performance skills in several contemporary music genres.

Commercial Music Capstone (Seniors Only)
This course is a culmination of the DIME music degree, requiring you to integrate and apply the knowledge you have gained over the entirety of your studies. This class requires you to research and report on the full spectrum of career opportunities available within your specialist area. In addition to identifying various career pathways, you should also comment on how your craft can be contextualised into professional opportunities that will, if desired, monetise your skills and inspire entrepreneurial practice and artistic excellence. Additionally, you will be asked to have other components in your Portfolio that are intended to facilitate your career.


In Summer 2020, Oakland University and DIME collaborated to offer classes to musicians, songwriters and entrepreneurs who want long-term careers in the modern and commercial music industry.

Students will have access to all the general education classes at Oakland University.

These classes will provide you with an opportunity to specialize in guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting and music business classes.  There aims is to give you the high level skills and ability to develop an authoritative, individual approach to performance, songwriting and business knowledge.  Upon completion of your 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 OU@DIME 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.


  • DIME Detroit 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?

During Covid-19, DIME classes are being taught online, some OU classes are online and some are in-person.

For DIME classes, students are given access to DIME’s Virtual Learning environment, that can be accesses on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones.  This means that students can study, any time, any place, and gives students the flexibility to study when they can.

Some faculty are also offering face-to-face online lectures, that are recorded and shared.  All students have full flexibility during this pandemic,  and faculty are committed to helping students succeed during this time.

Here are some of the ways classes are taught:

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 all faculty and team members.  You may discuss matters relating to the course, music performance, career planning and student care.

Exclusive Masterclasses from renowned artists, educators and industry professionals.