Statement of Purpose
The Master of Church Music degree is designed to provide graduate professional education for men and women involved in or preparing for Christian service in music ministry.
The program gives attention to three areas vital to the success of the music minister: administration, music performance and spiritual growth. Through this program, the School of Music seeks to provide competent leadership to churches, colleges, denominational agencies and appropriate mission fields.
Upon the completion of the Master of Church Music degree, an individual should possess the following qualities, abilities and skills:
- The ability to organize and lead worship in a contemporary evangelical setting, which includes all appropriate styles and genres of instrumental and vocal music.
- The ability to function effectively as a choral and instrumental conductor.
- An understanding of basic vocal production with adequate vocal skills to demonstrate and communicate these to church vocalists.
- Comprehensive musical skills which demonstrate an understanding of the wide variety of styles potentially encountered in the evangelical tradition. This would include standard choral literature as well as various current styles.
- Sufficient keyboard skills (a) to prepare choral and instrumental literature to be used in worship, (b) to accompany simple congregational songs.
- A basic working knowledge of current music technology, for use in practical and artistic applications.
- Familiarity with the principles of music drama/pageantry in a church worship setting.
- Organizational skills necessary to plan and administer a church music program.
- Interpersonal skills necessary for functioning effectively in a multi-staff church as well as dealing with volunteer staff and church members.
- An understanding of the Scripture as it relates to Christian living and worship.
Admission/Placement Requirements for Master of Church Music
- Vocal Placement – A Vocal Placement Audition will be administered to each student to determine whether a student’s vocal skills are appropriate for the graduate program in Church Music. Each student will sing one selection of his/her choosing. Each student must be able to demonstrate a well-produced tone quality and the ability to sing on pitch.
- Keyboard Placement – A Keyboard Placement Audition will be administered to each student to determine whether the student’s keyboard skills are appropriate for the graduate program in church music. Each student must be able to demonstrate functional piano skills including the ability to harmonize simple melodies, sight-read a four-part hymn and play scales in all major and minor keys.
Entering students must take the keyboard placement audition at matriculation. Based on the keyboard placement results, the student will be advised according to one of the following:
- No additional keyboard study
- Applied keyboard lessons required each semester until the appropriate level of proficiency is achieved.
- Conducting Placement – A Conducting Placement Audition will be administered to each MUSCH.MCM student to determine whether the student’s conducting skills are appropriate for the graduate program in Church Music. Each student will conduct and rehearse a choral and/or instrumental ensemble selection approved by the Graduate Music Committee. Each student must demonstrate conducting patterns with clarity and precision, communicate appropriate conducting gestures, and display rehearsal techniques appropriate for graduate-level study. Based on the Conducting Placement Audition, students will be advised to (1) enroll in the appropriate graduate conducting courses, and applied conducting lessons, or (2) enroll in appropriate remedial classes before enrolling in the graduate- level conducting courses.
- Applied Placement - Each applicant must audition in their chosen applied area of study. If any deficiencies are detected, specific remediation will be recommended or required. A Jury Examination is required of Primary and Secondary graduate applied study.
- Music Theory Placement - will include as the following:
- Melodic harmonization
- Figured-bass realization
- Form and harmonic analysis
- Melodic and harmonic dictation
Based on the Music Theory Placement, the student will be advised to enroll in: (1) MUST-522 Concepts of Analysis or (2) MUST-501 Music Theory Review (remedial credit).
- Church Music History Placement - will include recognition of works, composers, performance and worship practices from Post New Testament through contemporary periods. Students who have not had a course in Hymnology and/or who scores less than 70% on the placement exam must enroll in MUSC-511 - Congregational Songs.
- Music History Placement - will include recognition of works, composers, and performance practices from the Renaissance through contemporary periods. Based on the Music History Placement, the student will be advised to enroll in: (1) MUHL-512 Performance Practice in the History of Music or (2) MUHL-501 Music History Review (remedial credit).
Based on the placement exams any deficiencies that are detected, specific remediation will be recommended or required.
Audition/examination packets are available upon request from the Office of Graduate Studies in Music.
Master of Church Music students have a practicum requirement in which they serve in a local church or other appropriate venue under the supervision of a qualified professional and his/her graduate faculty adviser. During the semester preceding the student’s internship, the student must make application to the Graduate Discipline Coordinator concerning the appropriate placement and desired location of the internship. The student will secure the appropriate forms, submit them to the proposed church music supervisor, and return a signed copy to the Graduate Discipline Coordinator. At the end of the internship period, the church music supervisor will provide the Graduate Discipline Coordinator with the appropriate evaluation form completed and signed with the grade included.
Most courses in the Master of Church Music curriculum are offered for the Thursday-Only Program. Courses in this track are presented on a rotating basis so that the student may finish the classroom requirements in four semesters if he/she enrolls in and completes all of the appropriate courses when they are offered.