Popular Music

Popular Music

Overview

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the cutting-edge department that’s become the site of Los Angeles’ most productive new music scenes,” 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 program addresses the dynamic and changing landscape of the music profession, serving the needs of musicians who do not fit the traditional classical and jazz offerings that are typical in most university music programs.

The Popular Music Program at USC is an immersion into a creative environment that stresses the musical skills required for the successful, professional 21st century musician. Classes emphasize the respect for traditions, techniques and nuances of feel and groove through the examination of the various eras and forms of popular music repertoire. Students collaborate in small performance group settings, while simultaneously addressing their particular area of interest via private lessons. Career aspects – including performance, songwriting and arranging, recording studio efficiency, music production, and entrepreneurship — are also taught.

We offer to our students the idea that the values of musical skills, artistic aesthetics and commercial sensibilities are not mutually exclusive.

Patrice Rushen
Chair, Popular Music Program

Chris Sampson
Vice Dean, Division of Contemporary Music
Founding Director, Popular Music Program

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Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane to tour with Maroon 5 in early 2015

September 15, 2014

Rozzi Crane

USC Thornton alumna Rozzi Crane will open for the popular rock band Maroon 5 and Canadian band, Magic! on a 2015 North American tour. Crane, a former student in USC Thornton’s groundbreaking popular music program, was the first artist to be signed to Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s record label, 222 Records. She has… read more

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