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Lamar State College - Port Arthur Commercial Music FAQ

Commercial Music


bullet item Can I visit the college and take a tour of the facilities?

Yes. We suggest all students schedule a time to meet with the Department Chair to go over course advising, degree plans and to explore the facilities in depth. In addition to seeing the studios and classrooms, students are encouraged to meet with our Academic Advisors and Financial Aid staff to complete all necessary paperwork and registration. This process ensures each student gets their questions answered before the beginning of the semester.

bullet item What are the programs within the Commercial Music Program?

The Commercial Music Program has Associates of Applied Science degrees in Performance, Sound Engineering and Audiovisual Production. The division also offers a variety of certificate programs in Live Sound, Music, and Entertainment Business. For more information, please see the Programs page and the Degree Plans page.

bullet item What are the requirements for admission to the Commercial Music program?

Basic foundational experience as a musician in some capacity is strongly encouraged. Students wishing to major in Sound Engineering or Audiovisual Production are encouraged to have some familiarity with computer technology. Students wishing to major in Performance should prepare at least two contrasting pieces on their particular instrument. For detailed information about auditions, please visit the Audition and Advising page. Expectations for Sound Engineering, Audiovisual Production and the various certificate programs can be found on the Programs page and the Degree Plan page as well.

bullet item How do I apply to the College?

Requests for application forms or admission information may be directed to the Office of Admission and Records, Lamar State College - Port Arthur, P.O. Box 310, Port Arthur, Texas 77641-0310. Or you may call them at 409-984-6165.

bullet item For the Performance major, how strong of a music background do I need to have?

You need to have a fundamental ability to play a musical instrument or some experience singing in a vocal ensemble. (Playing guitar or drums in your rock and roll 'garage band' actually counts!) We just want to know that you love making music and want to understand more about it. As for reading music, proficiency is not necessary, although it's always helpful.

bullet item Do you offer financial aid?

Financial Assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment is available to a number of qualified students. Information about the types of scholarships available and eligibility requirements can be obtained from the Office of the Admission advisors. Eligibility criteria and information regarding grants, loans, and the college work-study program can be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid. Both offices are located in the Student Center, 1600 Proctor Street. Call 409-984-6203 for information. Information is also available online at

bullet item What kind of courses are in the degree plans?

The degree programs are centered on a philosophy that good audio engineers and good performers are good musicians. In order to record music, the audio engineer must possess 'musical ears' and be able to communicate to the musicians who are being recorded. Performers need to be versed in all genres of music to communicate effectively with their audience. Therefore, our courses are a mixture of commercial music classes, music business, and applied music. For the full curriculum, see courses/degree plan.

bullet item Can I take individual courses instead of enrolling in the full degree program?

Yes, there are certain courses that may be taken as electives. Please discuss this with your advisor and/or Department Chair.

bullet item How long will it take me to get a Commercial Music degree?

The curriculum for the two degrees is laid out in four semesters and a summer session of courses which total 66-68 credits, based on a full-time load each semester plus the summer. Therefore, as a full-time student, it's possible to get your degree within the span of two years. However, we do not require that our degree candidates register full-time. Certificate programs are usually completed in one year.

bullet item Do you have job placement assistance?

We want you to succeed in the music business, so we will point you to resources so you can help yourself find work in your field. First, because we care. Second, because if you succeed, we succeed. Keep in mind that just like in the 'real world', the more effort and work ethic you show while you're with us, the higher the recommendation you will receive from us.

bullet item Is housing available?

On-campus housing is not available at Lamar State College - Port Arthur. However, there are several apartment complexes and rental properties within an easy commute to campus. The Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce provides an online resource of area housing options.

bullet item What types of jobs are available for Commercial Music majors?

There are over 50 different kinds of jobs available for Commercial Music majors in the general areas of performance, music recording, DVD production, gaming, post production, mastering, live sound, internet audio broadcast, audio acoustics, speech recognition, audio software and hardware, music restoration, forensic audio, and so on.

bullet item I would like to speak to a department representative. Who should I call?

Call John Freyermuth, Chair of Commercial Music, at 409-984-6520.

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Lamar State College - Port Arthur - 1500 Procter Street, Port Arthur, TX 77641 - (409) 983-4921 - 1-800-477-5872