Bachelor of Arts in Music


  • Oakland University have collaborated to continue to offer degrees at DIME Detroit
  • DIME Detroit Phone: (313) 223-1600
  • DIME Detroit Email:

What classes are on offer in Fall 2021?

Please click on a subject below to learn more:

All Programs 

Career Prep Planning and Research
This class introduces students to professional practice standards in the music industry. It is designed to provide a strong organizational foundation that will set students up for success for the rest of their degree and beyond. The class will incorporate elements of a traditional college prep class and students will study these principles through the lens of your own careers in music.

Commercial Music Performance 

Live Performance Workshop
This class prepares you to play live on stage with professional equipment to the highest musical standards. You will take a Pre-Production class on your individual instrument, in which a song’s technique, tone, feel, and arrangement will be broken down and analyzed in detail. After some individual practicing, you will perform in live group sessions in which musical communication, performance ability, stage presence, and sound design will be moulded by instructors who will provide feedback. This course can be progressively repeated for credit.
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.
Technique Practicum
This course will provide students the opportunity to build a solid foundation of facility 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. Group lectures will be enhanced with master classes and opportunities for one-on-one tutorial sessions.

Commercial Songwriting

Live Songwriting 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.
Songwriting Pre-production
This class will enable you to develop and perform original songs to a professional standard, working in a group songwriting setting. You will present your material to the class and work together to experiment with and polish the musical concepts presented by your classmates.
Foundations of Songwriting
This course will introduce students to fundamental methods, techniques, and practices of the songwriting craft. While a large portion of the course will focus on analyzing the elements (form, subject, harmony, melody, etc.) of classic and contemporary songs and songwriters, the primary goal of the course will be to encourage students to develop their own original material, both lyrics and music. Students will be tasked to write material in a range of different styles to the specifications of numerous prompts.

Music Industry Studies

Music Industry Workshop Project
This class will involve students negotiating the agreed project and working together in a group, under the direct supervision of an instructor, to complete a specified and realistic music industry project. The project may be: · Assisting with the organization and execution of DIME Showcases or other live internal or external events or live tours, · Developing marketing and/or promotional campaigns for local artists/albums, · Conducting A&R and/or marketing for a local record label or artist.
Rep & Hit Song Analysis
This class is a basic introduction to A&R (artist and repertoire) practice, focusing on the question: what makes a song a hit? In exploring this question, you will learn to identify musical attributes of hit songs from popular 20th century music. You will gain a basic understanding of the music business infrastructure that contributed to the success of various songs and artists. The class will examine a number of record labels, including, most notably, their A&R departments, to investigate how these labels chose, produced, and marketed their catalogues of hit songs. This class will also analyze numerous classic and contemporary hit songs in relation to their basic sonic qualities, promotional campaigns and label support, as well as their social and historical contexts.

Seniors Only

Personal Skills in Business Management
This class will support the progression towards the Professional Project and Dissertation through developing your objective awareness of your own working style, strengths and weaknesses. Favored working styles are discussed and the module seeks to foster an awareness of differing personality traits and how they can impact on the performance and outcome of collaborative project work. Areas studied relevant to personal health, happiness and effectiveness will include the management of time, stress and personal workloads. Dynamic leadership, mentoring and conflict resolution are also central themes within this class. Areas studied relevant to personal health, happiness and effectiveness will include the management of time, stress and personal workloads. Dynamic leadership, mentoring and conflict resolution are also central themes within this class.

OU@DIME students can also take any General Education course of offer at Oakland University. 

All DIME classes will provide you with an opportunity to specialize in guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting and music business classes.  The aim 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.