Music

Bachelor of Arts

The BA Music is designed for those who are naturally gifted in the arts (music, drama, etc.) and who desire to develop these gifts while broadening their education with courses in Bible and theology, Christian ministry, and arts and science.

Music and the Arts

The performing arts have an exceptional capacity to affect us. Our Department of Performing and Worship Arts seeks to bring a biblical and theological understanding to this powerful medium so that students can learn how to use their gifts for God's glory.

The BA Music is a direct entry program designed for those who are naturally gifted in the arts (music, drama, etc.) and who desire to develop these gifts while broadening their education with courses in Bible and theology, Christian ministry, and courses in the arts and science. Students who desire further study in music may also opt to complete a performance concentration in voice, piano, or instrumental. 

Successful graduates from the BA Music will have gained a breadth of learning that allows for a wide array of ministry, career, and academic choices.

Click here to hear some Voice Program Student Stories 
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Click here to learn about Briercrest Summer Stage  (opens a new window). 

Program Entrance

Students who wish to enrol in a music program at Briercrest College and Seminary must apply for the BA Music. An open audition and theory placement test take place during registration in September. In their first semester, students are required to be involved in a large ensemble and enrol in private lessons. Students who desire to concentrate on a specific area are invited to audition and interview for entry into one of the performance concentrations within the BA Music program (voice, piano, or instrumental, dependent upon faculty availability) following their first year of study. The requirements and expectations of the audition and interview process will vary depending on the concentration.

Transfer students should contact the Performing & Worship Arts office (performingarts@briercrest.ca) to arrange for an audition and interview for direct entry.

Requirements

The BA Music requires 42 credit hours of study in Music plus 3 credit hours of cognate requirements with a minimum requirement of 24 credit hours at 300+ level within the context of a 120 credit hour degree.

Students will complete the four-year BA degree Core Curriculum, as well as 6 semesters of Service and Experiential Learning. As part of their graduation requirements, all four-year BA students will also complete the Senior Portfolio (PRT 400).

New students:  apply to the college now  and our admissions advisors will work closely with you throughout the rest of the process.

Current students: contact Academic Services to change programs and/or to be connected with a faculty advisor.

Music teams

Students can participate in a variety of school music groups that perform on campus, in area churches, and on tours across the country. These groups provide students with the opportunity to refine their musical and performance skills, develop life-long friendships, and minister through music.

Small Ensembles

 Worship Teams

Students may have the opportunity to be involved in either faculty-led or student-led small vocal and/or instrumental groups (worship teams or performance teams) as singers, players, or technicians for credit. These groups are formed at the discretion of the Performing and Worship Arts department. Students may receive one credit per semester upon completion of the ensemble requirements. Students are required to commit to this ensemble for both semesters.

Large Ensembles

 College Singers

A multi-voice choir that participates regularly in choral concerts, college musicals, and local church worship services. College Singers collaborates with the orchestra and other choral ensembles. This group offers training, experience, and ministry opportunities within the context of a caring musical community. A two-semester commitment to this group is required.

Resonant
Resonant is a mixed ensemble of 12 singers specializing in unaccompanied choral literature rich in poetic content and stylistic nuance. Selections in their repertoire reflect the church's musical heritage from antiquity to present. A two-semester commitment to this group is required.

Orchestra
A 20-piece group (open to college, high school students, and community members) that joins with our choirs to participate in local church worship services, choral/instrumental concerts, and college musicals. This group offers training, experience, and ministry opportunities within an instrumental musical setting. A two-semester commitment to this group is required.

Degree Requirements (120 credit hours)


BA Core Curriculum (54 credit hours)


Theory Requirements (9 credit hours):

MUS 115 Musicianship I
MUS 116 Musicianship II
MUS 206 Musicianship III or MUS 301 Contemporary Musicianship

History Requirements (9 credit hours):

FIN/MUS 216 History of Western Music I
FIN/MUS 217 History of Western Music II
FIN/MUS 316 History of Western Music III

Applied Requirements (15 credit hours):

MUS 098 Piano Proficiency (pass/fail) - Piano Proficiency
- This requirement must be completed before the student begins their second year of study in the BA Music program
- The successful completion of this requirement is necessary for acceptance into a Performance concentration

Applied Lessons requirements (6 credit hours)
- BA Music: 4-6 on major instrument, 0-2 on other instrument/voice (total of 6)
- BA Music, Performance Specialization: 2 additional applied lessons on major instrument/voice

Ensemble requirements (6 credit hours)
Students commit to ensembles for the whole year, therefore in multiples of 2
- BA Worship Arts: 2-4 small, 2-4 large (total of 6)
- BA Music: 0-4 small, 2-6 large (total of 6)
- BA Music, Performance Specialization: 0-2 small, 4-6 large (total of 6)
- AA Music: 0-2 small, 2-4 large (total of 4)

MUS 323 Conducting I

Electives (9 credit hours with at least 6 credit hours at 300+):

Students must select electives from the following courses:
Applied Lessons (2 credit hours maximum)
Ensembles (2 credit hours maximum)
COMM/MUS 203 Recording Arts I
COMM/MUS Recording Arts II
MUS 130 Basic Voice (2 credit hours)
MUS 140 Basic Piano (2 credit hours)
MUS 160 Live Sound and Production
MUS 206 Musicianship III
MUS 260 Introduction to Electronic Music
MUS 301 Contemporary Musicianship
MUS 310 Songwriting
MUS 314 Counterpoint
MUS 324 Conducting II
MUS 330 Vocal Master Class I
MUS 340 Musical Theatre Workshop
MUS 345 Lyric Diction
MUS 350 Keyboard Improvisation
MUS 363 Advanced Electronic Music
MUS 401 Vocal Pedagogy
MUS 402 Piano Pedagogy
MUS 403 Instrumental Pedagogy
MUS 410 Vocal and Instrumental Arranging
MUS 424 Conducting III
MUS 430 Vocal Master Class II
MUS 434 Senior Recital (1 credit hour) (subject to faculty approval)
MUS 429 Music Internship
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Teams
WA 420 Worship Leadership

Cognates (3 credit hours):

One course selected from:
Approved Modern Language
ENG 110 Introduction to Poetry
FIN 110 Introduction to Fine Arts
THEA 221 Acting I
THEA 222 Acting II
THEA 340 Musical Theatre Workshop
THEO 301 Worship in the Christian Tradition

PRT 400 Senior Portfolio (non-credit)
SL 1-6 Service and Experiential Learning (non-credit)

Performance Concentrations

A concentration in voice, piano, instrumental, or musical theatre requires 12 credit hours of advanced study (in addition to a non-credit junior recital) in a sub-discipline within the major. This designation is listed on the student's transcript and signals that the student has successfully completed a superior level of achievement within voice, piano, instrumental, or musical theatre performance. Students are not required to achieve a concentration in order to meet the requirements for the BA in Music.

Voice

Required (9 credit hours):
MUS 098 Piano Proficiency (non-credit)
MUS 330 Vocal Master Class I
MUS 334 Junior Recital (non-credit)
MUS 401 Vocal Pedagogy
MUS 434 Senior Recital (1 credit hour)
Private Lessons (1+1 = 2 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)
One of:
MUS 314 Counterpoint
MUS 324 Conducting II
MUS 345 Lyric Diction
MUS 430 Vocal Master Class II
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Teams

Piano

Required (9 credit hours):
MUS 098 Piano Proficiency (non-credit)
MUS 206 Musicianship III
MUS 324 Conducting II
MUS 334 Junior Recital (non-credit)
MUS 434 Senior Recital (1 credit hour)
Private Lessons (1 + 1 = 2 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)
One of:
MUS 314 Counterpoint
MUS 350 Keyboard Improvisation
MUS 402 Piano Pedagogy
MUS 410 Vocal and Instrumental Arranging
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Teams

Instrumental

Required (9 credit hours):
MUS 098 Piano Proficiency (non-credit)
MUS 206 Musicianship III
MUS 324 Conducting II
MUS 334 Junior Recital (non-credit)
MUS 434 Senior Recital (1 credit hour)
Private Lessons (1+1=2 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)
One of:
MUS 314 Counterpoint
MUS 403 Instrumental Pedagogy
MUS 410 Vocal and Instrumental Arranging
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Teams

Musical Theatre

Required (12 credit hours):
DAN 105 Introduction to Ballet (1 credit hour)
DAN 107 Foundations of Tap I (1 credit hour)
DAN 100, 101, 106, 108, 205, 206 or Private Lessons-Dance (maximum of 2 credit hours)
MUS 340 Musical Theatre Workshop
MUS 365 Musical Theatre Production and Performance I
THEA 222 Acting II

The performance concentration in musical theatre also requires that the following courses be chosen within the BA Music.

Applied Requirements:
6 credit hours in private voice lessons, plus other Applied Requirements as specified below.

Elective Requirements:
MUS 330 Vocal Master Class I
MUS 430 Vocal Master Class II
Private voice lessons (2 credit hours)
Either Ensemble (1 credit hour) or MUS 434 Senior Recital (1 credit hour)

Cognate Requirement:
THEA 221 Acting I

Jeremy Thiessen, BA
Drummer in the band downhere, Nashville, TN

What my ministry position involves:

As a band, we live in Nashville, Tenn. From there we travel all around the world full-time playing at various concerts, festivals, retreats, conferences, showcases, churches, and events. We play original music, lead worship, or do a combination of the two, and we also get to hang out people before and after the concert.

How Briercrest prepared me for this ministry:

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be living in Nashville playing in a rock band! During my time at Briercrest, I was given opportunities to discover, develop, and exercise the gifts the Lord has given me. I also had the opportunity to spend time digging into my relationship with Jesus Christ and seeking out what He had in store for me. What I discovered-and what I am currently doing-was totally unexpected, logically unsound, and pretty much crazy; and yet during my time with downhere I have been able to share the Kingdom of God with far more people than I ever would have had I taken the path I had chosen for myself.

Why study at Briercrest?

For me, Briercrest was the best possible choice because there was such a wide variety of opportunities to participate in and discover my passion. The Worship Arts program and staff have played a major role in my life.

If music is what you're interested in studying and you want to spend some time digging into the Word too, I can't think of a better place to be than Briercrest. If you are simply looking for a safe place to learn more about the Lord, to discover who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are, and to experience many different things in order to discover your passion, then Briercrest is a great place to be!

Bill Bradley, BA Music and Worship
Pastor of Worship Arts, Memorial Bible Church, Yakima, Wash.

What my ministry position involves:

My responsibilities include directing multiple bands/vocalists for Sunday morning services; being the technical director for audio and visual teams for the lyrics, text, and in-house video clips we create each week; directing the drama team (we have one live performance each month); and coordinating all of our "first touch" teams (ushers, greeters, coffee bar).

How Briercrest prepared me for this ministry:

I am so thankful that God led me to Briercrest. The teachers I learned under gave me most of the tools that I am using to recruit, train, and lead all of the teams here in worship arts. I can't imagine trying to do this ministry without the skills I developed at Briercrest.

Why should students study at Briercrest?

Because of the people! During my first year on staff at Memorial, one of my instructors from Briercrest answered a lot of late-night emails and gave me great "real world" counsel as I was learning the ropes in a new ministry.

Joel Dixon, BA Business Administration
Concert Booking Agent, Paquin Entertainment, Winnipeg, Man.

How I use my degree from Briercrest today:

At Paquin Entertainment, I work with Christian and mainstream artists alike. We represent such Christian artists as Fresh I.E., Six Days, Greg Sczebel, Jon Buller, and the Harlem Gospel Choir. I also manage the rock band The Atticsand we have a roster of over 80 other artists. I have many roles at Paquin Entertainment that range from touring, managing, marketing, artist development, public relations, and more.

Benefits I've experienced from studying at Briercrest:

I leaned a lot at Briercrest, but it wasn't so much what I learned as how I learned. The professors at Briercrest made me think for myself and that helped to ground me in my faith-it has taken me a long way. I appreciate my time at Briercrest and feel that it has given me the tools I've needed to achieve my goals. I now work in the music business and love it! Briercrest was a crucial part of my life and an experience I would not trade for anything.

Niki Neufeld, AA Music
Receptionist/Piano Teacher, Maple Ridge, B.C.

How I use my degree from Briercrest today:

I graduated with an Associate of Arts in Music and am active in worship teams in my church, playing piano and singing, and as worship and arts intern last summer. I have also conducted choirs in two Christmas productions.

Benefits I've experienced from studying at Briercrest:

Briercrest offers lots of practical experience in choir and conducting, but the biggest benefit is being spiritually grounded and knowing what to build my life on.

How Briercrest prepared me in regards to the arts and music:

The music theory classes I took at Briercrest have helped in my own piano studies, as well as in teaching aural training to my own students. Conducting classes have helped me prepare for directing my own choirs.


Ron de Jager, DMA
Associate Professor of Music and Voice
rdejager@briercrest.ca
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Keith Molberg, MMus
Instructor in Worship Arts
kmolberg@briercrest.ca
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September Russell
Adjunct Instructor of Music History and Theory
srussell@briercrest.ca