Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) – Music

This music degree is designed for transfer to a four-year university music program of study. If you prefer smaller classes, more one-on-one interaction and feedback, and excellent preparation for your transfer and placement in a university music program, this is the degree that most prepares you for success. This program offers your first two years of courses such as theory, applied music (private lessons), and performance opportunities in a culturally diverse learning environment, within a high-tech and modern facility; complete with practice rooms, keyboard labs, and multiple performance venues.

Credentialing Options

Career Opportunities

Music careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to follow the general enrollment process for GTCC, found here.  During the advising process you will have the opportunity to indicate your desire to study within this curriculum. Your advisor will help you sign up for the specific courses you need.

Dr. Mark Dillon, more commonly referred to as “Dillon,” is the prototypical DIY musician. He has worked as a recording musician, luthier, and academic since starting his musical career in the early 1990s. His grandparents spent their lives as country musicians touring the United States since the late 1920s and this sense of musical self-reliance was a direct influence on him as a musician. As a working musician, Mark has worked with a diverse group of artists such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Zinc Kings—a North Carolina string band, Randolph Jazz Band, and even the UNCG Indian music ensemble. In addition to his ongoing playing, Dillon spent twelve years as a high school band director and has degrees in music theory, guitar building, a master's in music education, and is finishing everything but his dissertation for his Ph.D. in music education.

One of Dillon’s central focus as an educator is teaching students to be proactive in their careers and education. As a child of the 1980s he has watched as the nature of the music business has changed and the diminishing cost of technology has led to musicians having the ability to be their own music labels and recording studios. As a performing songwriter in the 1990s, Dillon learned, and emphasizes the importance of self-marketing and home studio recording. After moving to North Carolina in the early 2000s, Dillon also began specializing in the music of the North Carolina Piedmont.

After teaching courses in recording and music in public education and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), Dillon has joined Guilford Technical Community College as an instructor of music. He also continues his work on the leadership board of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) as well ongoing music playing and academic pursuits.

Dr. Mark R. Wheeler, Professor and Co-Director of the GTCC Music Ensemble, is the Music Program Coordinator at GTCC. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from East Carolina University, the Master of Arts degree from Appalachian State University, and the Doctor of Education degree in Music Education from UNC-Greensboro. He has been at GTCC for 23 years; previously, he was Band Director in the Anson County (NC) school system where he worked with sixth grade beginning band students and junior high band classes. At GTCC, he currently teaches rock music history, class piano, and fundamentals classes for Entertainment Technology and Music transfer students, and Music Appreciation for college transfer students.

Dr. Wheeler is a member of the Tabernacle United Methodist Church Chancel Choir as well as performing on his principal instrument, percussion.  He is also a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Percussive Arts Society.

Financial aid is available if you qualify. Please visit the Financial Aid web page or contact the Financial Aid office at 336-334-4822. Select option 3.

The AFA Music degree requires general admission to the college and an audition. Please contact the Music program faculty for instrument and voice specific audition requirements. Contact the AFA Music faculty to set up an interview and assessment.

GTCC is one of only a few community colleges in the state that offer the AFA Music transfer degree. Our faculty have dedication and experience that will provide you with the best learning environment and preparation for future success.

Yes, GTCC is part of the state-wide articulation agreement with the UNC system for transfer of courses completed. Audition and placement exams may be required at certain institutions.

If you are an instrumentalist, it is necessary to have a professional instrument. This does not mean an expensive instrument, but an instrument that is properly intonated and set up.