Bachelor of Arts in Music


  • Oakland University have partnered to offer OU students, music classes at DIME Detroit
  • DIME Detroit Phone: (313) 223-1600
  • DIME Detroit Email:

What classes are on offer in Winter 2022?

Please click on a subject below to learn more:

All Programs 

Commercial Electronic Music (Home Recording)
This class will introduce students to the basic components and processes involved in creating original music by using contemporary electronic software and hardware. Students will examine and learn to use programming, loops, samples, synthesis, MIDI, various DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) as well as various contemporary and classic hardware tools used regularly to compose electronic music. Students will be required to create multiple compositions by integrating a range of electronic music tools, techniques, and methodologies.
Essentials of Music Theory
Designed to be taught through the lens of pop, rock and soul music, this class enables students to understand the fundamentals of music. Students will study the basics of theory including major and minor scales and key signatures; the basics of rhythm including simple and compound meter, time signatures, note values, rests, ties, dotted notes, and syncopation; the basics of harmony including triads intervals and inversions; major and minor melodies, patterns and moveable-do solfege, numerical analysis of notes, and the mastery of keyboard geography including note names, enharmonic equivalents, octave designations and Intervals.
Music Industry Income Streams
This class will focus on understanding the various ways in which an artist receives income from their music. This includes a survey of income streams such as record sales, touring, merchandise, endorsements, corporate sponsorship, licensing, etc. Students will additionally learn about long-term and short-term financial planning, cost-benefit analysis, forecasting, cash flow management, and other basic accounting practices to develop their ability to communicate with accountants, agents, banks, and third-party investors. Students will research the income streams of several established artists and present an analysis of the ways in which these streams contribute to the artists’ overall economic viability.

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.
Lyric Writing
This class will introduce students to a range of basic lyric writing techniques, methodologies, and practices. Students will learn to take inspiration from a range of stimuli and structure songs in coherent and productive ways. While focusing on developing student’s unique voice, this course will analyze successful lyricists of the past to draw out their styles, conventions, and methods. Along the way, students will build a workbook of original lyrics, starting with raw material and ending with several finished songs. Throughout the class, students will be asked to critically reflect on their lyric writing, creating self-awareness of their own style and voice.

Music Industry Studies

Artist Discovery and Development
This class provides an exploration of A&R (artist and repertoire) practice and Artist Management as students learn how to find new acts, assess their commercial potential, develop their talents, and to make records which in turn need to be interpreted into viable business plans. While surveying the history and development of A&R, students learn how to identify workable marketing angles for their artists; the course will also cover how to build a fan base, and present them to a label for acquisition. Students will also develop skills in targeted research, quality control, leadership, presentation, communication and management. It is important to understand that in todays music business, there is very little difference between A&R and Artist Management in terms of Artist Discovery – both jobs are in the same business which is to sign and develop the best acts they can find.
Managing a Band, Artist or Songwriter
This class focuses on how to sustain an artist’s career over the long term. Students will learn to navigate through changes in market trends to ensure that their artists remain relevant in a dynamic environment. The class will cover maintaining existing audiences while attracting new ones through numerous marketing strategies. Students will also learn to re-brand and re-launch existing acts for new times, markets, and audiences. The course will examine a range of case studies, regarding how to manage and elevate an existing act as well as re-imagine the career of an iconic artist who has fallen out of favor.

All students will take General Education course of offer at Oakland University. 

All OU@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.

Students are given access to the 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.