Founded in the fall of 2009, the Popular Music Program at the USC Thornton School of Music is a unique music degree program for the rock, pop, R&B, folk, Latin and country artist. The USC Thornton School of Music began this program because it recognized the opportunity to address the needs of musicians who did not fit the traditional classical and jazz offerings that are typical in most university music programs. Our first class of 25 talented songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists were enrolled from all regions of the United States. In bringing these students together in Los Angeles, USC’s home and a music industry capital, the program also aspires to address the dynamic and changing landscape of the music profession. The program is open to instrumentalists, vocalists and songwriters pursuing studies in contemporary pop/rock, folk-rock, R&B/Urban, Latin/Salsa and other popular styles with a concentration on small ensemble performance, live performance, studio and film scoring sessions.
To download an overview of the Popular Music Performance program, click here.
Senior Showcase at The Troubadour, Sunday, April 21
The first class of the Popular Music program performed a free showcase on Sunday, April 21 at The Troubadour. As graduation approaches, their list of accomplishments continues to grow. Students have secured recording and publishing contracts, won competitions, released well-regarded EPs and albums, placed songs in films and television, launched successful national tours and received a Latin Grammy Award nomination.
Click here to learn more about this remarkable class, including individual bios of each student.
The BM in popular music is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in the performance of popular music. This is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major performance area, core music classes, USC's general education and writing, as well as electives to take advantage of the offerings of the Thornton School and of the entire university.
For a Popular Music B.M. Sample Four Year Plan, click here.
Department of Popular Music
USC Thornton School of Music
840 West 34th Street, TMC 118
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851