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The Cougar Map is intended to guide you with suggestions for potential activities and career paths that can help you along your educational journey. Although everyone has different abilities, experiences and challenges, this Cougar Map can be used with the help of your advisors to prepare for the future you want with a clear vision of your college-to-career pathway. Please refer to the SXU Academic Catalog and academic planning resources for detailed degree requirements.

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Music Cougar Map (PDF).


(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year
Listen to a variety of recordings in multiple genres to expand your musical knowledge and develop your interpretive intuition.

Work with your applied teacher to start preparing for your Formal Admission Jury.

Meet regularly with your Music advisor.

Prepare audition repertoire and research the types of performers with successful auditions.

Work with your applied teacher to make initial decisions regarding junior recital repertoire.

Utilize the SXU Library's resources for both written and recorded forms of music.

Work with your applied teacher to finalize your senior recital repertoire.
Gain experience with industry-specific software like Finale, Sibelius, Pyware, Pro Tools and Garage Band, which are available in the Music Computer Lab.

Compile video and audio recordings of your performances and teaching that best represent you as a professional.


(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs/RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Join the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Visit the Center for International Education for study abroad opportunities.

Volunteer by performing music or helping a school, church or organization learn about music and the arts.

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Actively volunteer for National Endowment for the Arts, Music in Our Schools Month, a non-profit group or other similar type of arts-related organization.

Develop a private lesson studio or teach groups of students.

Engage in the vibrant classical, new-music and jazz communities unique to the Chicagoland region.

Perform for a nursing home, hospital or other venue to serve as a form of music therapy or enjoyment.

Student teach or begin to grow your private lesson studio.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Find areas within the field of music and explore employment options.

Create a LinkedIn profile and make connections within your academic and personal circles.

Continue to build your personal collection of professional music recordings and scores.

Audition for professional ensembles.

Compile audition repertoire and application materials for graduate school.

Reach out to your mentors for help perfecting your resume, biography, and other job-seeking materials.

Update your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts.

Visit Center for SUCCESS to create a job search plan, sharpen your resume and practice interviewing.

Become familiar with performers and educators.