The mission of the John Brown University Department of Music and Theatre is to facilitate growth toward musical and theatrical excellence as a means of glorifying God.
Student Learning Outcomes:
The student learning outcomes of the music and theatre department are directly tied to education of the head, heart, and hand:
- HEAD: Demonstrate theoretical, historical, and technological competencies.
- HEART: Develop Christ-like character through personal spiritual disciplines and community accountability.
- HAND: Practice intellectual competencies and Christian character through excellence in performance and vocation.
All bachelor degree programs within the Department of Music and Theatre are designed to produce the following student learning outcomes in all graduating students:
- Students will perform literature specific to emphasis and field of study, demonstrating stylistic insight, technical proficiency, musical artistry and a scholarly thought process.
- Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the pre-performance aspects of music through written and aural mediums, based on fundamental theoretical principles.
- Students will describe and explain the historical development of music, identifying historical styles and performance practices, musical forms, repertoire of different media, and the lives and contributions of outstanding musicians.
- Students will demonstrate a working knowledge and application of technology and software used in various musical platforms and professions.
- Students will develop an understanding of key principles, terms and theories in the sub-fields of music and education; and/or demonstrate mastery of these principles on national standardized tests.
- Students will develop a personal philosophy of the arts, thinking through the integration of art and faith, the role of the arts in modern society, and the pedagogical responsibilities that come with being an educated artist.
- Students will use the professional skills learned to serve the community of JBU and beyond.
For those wishing to follow careers in music and/or worship arts, courses are offered leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music Education. These curricula provide a well-rounded education for those wishing to enter the music profession as artists, teachers, conductors, church worship leaders and tech support, and musicians in other fields. In addition, the degrees in general music with various specific concentrations are designed for the student who anticipates graduate work in business, counseling/psychology, seminary, ethnomusicology, ethnodoxology, or other (minor related) field. These concentrations also provide guided course work in a specific area that can serve as sufficient supplemental education for numerous career options upon graduation.
All programs in music are closely aligned with work in Bible, liberal arts, and technological departments, also providing students majoring outside the Department of Music and Theatre the opportunity to study music as a minor or as an elective.
Admission Requirements for the Music Major/Minor
In addition to satisfying the university’s general requirements for admission, all applicants must audition for admission to the Music Program. During the audition, each candidate must demonstrate musical ability and potential, including a good sense of rhythm and the ability to sing in tune. Applicants are strongly advised to develop familiarity with both bass and treble clef before university study.
- Vocal major/minor audition:
- Performance of two prepared songs. Suggested works include songs by classical composers (in a foreign language, if possible) and songs from operettas or Broadway musicals. For Worship Arts majors, one of the two selections may be a praise and worship song.
- Demonstration of skills at the keyboard or other instrument, as applicable. (Lack of piano skills will not preclude admittance to a music degree program. However, all majors must demonstrate specific piano skills before degree completion. Appropriate classes or private study will be required of all students based on keyboard proficiency.)
- Sight-reading a short excerpt.
- Piano or Organ major/minor audition:
- Performance of two prepared selections from traditional literature, representing contrasting style periods. For Worship Arts majors, one of the prepared selections may be an arrangement of a praise and worship song or traditional hymn.
- Prepare four major and four harmonic minor scales.
- Sight-reading a short excerpt.
- Instrumental major/minor audition:
- Performance of two contrasting selections demonstrating lyrical playing and technical proficiency. Repertoire may include studies, etudes and sonata or concerto literature, classical in nature. Repertoire should be comparable to that of state solo and ensemble competitions.
- Playing of major scales through four sharps and four flats demonstrating the full range of the instrument.
- Sight-reading a short excerpt.
Note: Bass players, guitar players, and set drummers may send a recording consisting of a demonstration of playing in contemporary styles and improvising. Recorded excerpts from ensembles such as jazz bands, combos, and worship teams may be included to demonstrate abilities in ensemble playing.
Students entering during the fall semester should complete the auditions by April 1. Audition forms are available online at www.jbu.edu/music.
An on-campus audition is preferable both for the student and for the faculty, but in cases where travel to Siloam Springs presents an insurmountable hardship, a recording incorporating the specified audition requirements will suffice. Students accepted on the basis of a recorded audition will need to complete the remainder of the process during Freshman Orientation prior to registration. They may be asked to present part of their audition at that time.
Students are advised to complete all aspects of the audition as early in the high school senior year as possible. Those with deficiencies will be so advised, so that they may begin to work in the necessary area(s) before entering the university. Upon entrance, those who have not met the departmental standards may be granted permission by the music faculty to declare a provisional major until such deficiencies are eliminated. Prerequisite work in the major applied area is designated as MUS 09_1 or MUS 0891 and does not count toward the major, the minor, or graduation hours. Once the deficiencies are removed, a student enrolls for degree credit in the applied field (MUS 19x1, 19x2, 1891 or 1892). Students entering with deficiencies in the major applied area typically require nine or ten semesters, rather than the standard eight, to finish the baccalaureate degree. B.Mus.Ed. is a nine-semester degree: eight semesters of course work and the ninth semester spent in an internship. It is possible to complete the degree in eight semesters only if a student transfers in approved hours.
Transfer students are required to audition for admittance into the music program (see Admission Requirements for the Major/Minor). Skills in the areas of theory, musicianship, piano/voice and the applied concentration will be assessed at the time of the audition. Repeating previous course work may be required.
Applied Music Scholarships
The awarding of a music scholarship is based primarily on performance ability as determined in the audition for admission described above, or on ability demonstrated in ongoing applied instruction. After receiving a scholarship, the student must earn a GPA of 2.0 each semester, a 3.0 GPA in the major applied area, and a 2.5 cumulative GPA to retain the scholarship. Scholarships are reviewed annually and may be adjusted higher or lower based upon the merit of the recipient’s academic and applied work.
A student majoring in a music program may expect to retain a scholarship for eight semesters providing the above criteria are met. An exception is made for a student in the music education program who is completing the internship during a ninth semester. If a student fails to meet any portion of the applied scholarship requirements, that student will be placed on probation, but will retain the applied music scholarship for the following semester. At the end of the probationary period, the progress of the student will be reassessed. At such time, the applied music scholarship will either be continued or discontinued.
Applied music scholarships are not available for students minoring in the music program. Ensemble scholarships may be available to all students.
General Requirements for Music Degrees
- Demonstrated potential. Each candidate must select a primary performance medium (voice, piano, organ, or instrument), meet yearly requirements as set by the music faculty, and fulfill all stated degree requirements. The B.A. with an emphasis in Voice, Piano, or Organ requires that students demonstrate adequate potential in performance before being allowed to pursue this degree program. Official admittance occurs at the end of the second semester of the sophomore year, only upon recommendation of the faculty, after the student has passed the Upper Division Applied Admittance Exam. Students desiring to pursue the performance degree must enroll each term in two-credit applied lessons in the major area.
- Ensemble participation requirements. Each major is required to participate satisfactorily in at least one ensemble per semester at JBU. (The faculty will grant exceptions to B.Mus.Ed. students during the semester of their internship or to students taking fewer than six hours.) Up to four hours of Accompanying Practicum (after meeting the specified prerequisites) may count as ensemble credit for those whose major instrument is piano. Students may choose music theatre, choral, or instrumental groups. Qualified non-majors are encouraged to participate.
- Recital attendance. Satisfactory completion of MUS 1000 Recital Attendance is required every semester majors are full-time students at JBU. Students in B.Mus.Ed. are exempted the semester of their internship. Two semesters are required of minors.
- Recital participation. All majors enrolled in applied lessons are required to perform in a departmental recital in their area of concentration once during the first year of study and at least once each semester thereafter, or at the discretion of the teacher.
- Jury exams. Counterparts to final exams in lecture courses, juries are scheduled at the end of each semester of applied study. Jury grades assigned by the adjudicators have an impact on the applied course grade, although the final grade is assigned at the discretion of the instructor.
- Piano Proficiency. Incoming students will be assessed in the area of piano skills, and placed in an appropriate level piano course. A Piano Proficiency Exam will be administered at the end of Class Piano IV or after the first semester of Applied Piano, whichever occurs first. All music majors, regardless of degree, must pass each section of the Piano Proficiency Exam. Students who do not pass the Piano Proficiency will be required to either: (1) repeat Class Piano IV; or (2) enroll in remedial Applied Piano MUS 0991 and pass the proficiency before proceeding to Applied Piano for credit. Students who do not pass all sections of the Piano Proficiency Exam will not be awarded a music degree.
The Piano Proficiency Exam is given in seven sections, as follows:
(1) Sight-read a 4-part hymn/chorale;
(2) Sight-read a solo piece of early-intermediate level;
(3) Play all major scales 4 octaves in eighth notes at a minimum tempo of MM=120 per quarter note, hands together;
(4) Play I-IV-I-V65-I chord progression in all keys, major and minor, at a minimum tempo of MM=100 (one chord per beat);
(5) Harmonize a melody at sight;
(6) Play prepared accompaniment of early intermediate level with soloist;
(7) Perform a solo piece of early intermediate level (score may be used).
Qualified non-keyboard majors may enroll in piano and organ lessons with an upper-division number (3000+) only after taking four semesters of keyboard and passing the Upper-Division Applied Admittance Exam.
- Upper-Division Applied Admittance Exam. The Upper-Division Applied Admittance Exam is taken by all majors. The exam is taken instead of the jury at the end of the fourth semester of degree credit in the major applied performance medium, and it is twice the length of a usual jury.
The student must pass the “a” part of the exam in the respective applied area (see below) before earning upper-division credit in applied music; if the student does not pass the “a” requirement, the next semester of study is taken for additional lower-division credit.
A student who does not pass the other parts of the exam in the respective applied area may earn upper-division credit in the applied area for the next semester, but will re-take those other parts of the exam at the end of the next semester of study. If the student fails a second time, subsequent applied study will be for lower-division credit until the student passes all remaining parts of the exam.
The same policy applies to transfer students. They must pass the “a” part of the exam in the respective applied area in order to register for upper-division credit for the next semester. If they fail any other parts of the exam not passed on the first attempt, they must re-take those parts of the exam at the end of that semester in order to continue to earn upper-division credit. Otherwise, subsequent applied study will be for lower-division credit until they pass all remaining parts of the exam.
- perform four songs or arias (arias count for two songs) from current repertoire by memory in three languages (English, Italian, and German), of varying styles, and demonstrating developing musicality and expressiveness; and
- demonstrate sight-reading proficiency using techniques learned in musicianship classes. The difficulty of the music selection corresponds with the amount of completed coursework specific to each degree program.
- play advanced literature from three of the following style periods: (1) Baroque (Bach WTC or comparable-more difficult than Two-part Inventions); (2) Classical (Beethoven or Mozart sonata or comparable literature); (3) Romantic (Chopin, Brahms); and (4) Impressionistic /20th century (Debussy, Prokofieff). At least one piece or movement is to be completely memorized. The performance of these requirements should be stylistically convincing, and the performer should display a developing sense of musicality and expressiveness;
- play major, harmonic, and melodic minor scales for four octaves in sixteenth notes at a minimum tempo of MM=120 per quarter note, hands together;
- play major and minor arpeggios in all inversions for four octaves in sixteenth notes at a minimum tempo of MM=100 per quarter note, hands together;
- play major and minor cadences (I-IV-I64-V7-I) with right hand in all inversions and left hand in octaves; and
- sight-read (1) a hymn having three or more sharps or flats in the key signature with intermediate rhythmic complexity and (2) a vocal accompaniment of an early-intermediate level.
Worship Arts Piano expectations:
- play advanced literature from two of the following style periods: (1) Baroque (Bach WTC or comparable - more difficult than Two-part Interventions); (2) Classical (Beethoven or Mozart sonata or comparable literature); (3) Romantic (Chopin, Brahms); and (4) Impressionistic/20th century (Debussy, Prokofieff). At least one piece or movement is to be completely memorized. The performance of these requirements should be stylistically convincing, and the performer should display a developing sense of musicality and expressiveness;
- play major, harmonic, and melodic minor scales for four octaves in sixteenth notes at a minimum tempo of MM=100 per quarter note, hands together;
- play major and minor arpeggios in all inversions for four octaves in sixteenth notes at a minimum tempo of MM=80 per quarter note, hands together;
- play major and minor cadences (I-IV-I64-V7-I) with right hand in all inversions and left hand in octaves; and
- sight-read (1) a hymn having three or more sharps or flats in the key signature with intermediate rhythmic complexity; (2) a vocal accompaniment of an early-intermediate level; and (3) a contemporary worship song written on a lead sheet.
- play one work from each of these style periods: (1) Baroque, (2) Romantic, and (3) 20th century. The performance of these requirements should be stylistically convincing and the performer should display a developing sense of musicality and expressiveness;
- play an introduction and two stanzas of a hymn. The stanzas must be played in a contrasting manner, as appropriate for the text;
- play a hymn transposed up or down a half-step and whole step; and
- sight-read (1) a hymn having three or more sharps or flats in the key signature with intermediate rhythmic complexity and (2) a simple work in trio texture.
Each candidate for the B.A. degree with an emphasis in organ is also required to earn the Service Playing Certificate (SPC) of the American Guild of Organists before entering upper-division work.
- perform literature from three stylistic periods. The performances should be stylistically convincing and the performer should display a developing sense of musicality and expressiveness.
- play scales and other technical exercises as appropriate.
- demonstrate sight-reading proficiency, as determined by the instructor.
- Recital or Presentation.
A candidate for the B.A. degree in Applied Music (specialization in Organ, Piano, or Voice) is required to present a half recital during the junior year (MUS 3900 ) and a full recital during the senior year (MUS 4900 ). These recitals may not take place during consecutive semesters.
A candidate for the B.A. or B.S. degree in General Music has the choice between a half recital during the senior year (MUS 4900 ) or a Senior Presentation (MUS 4910 ). Four hours of upper-division credit in the applied concentration is necessary in order to perform a senior recital.
A candidate for the B.Mus.Ed. degree is required to perform a half recital during the senior year (MUS 4900 ).
A candidate for the B.S. degree in Worship Arts is required to design and execute a corporate worship service (Senior Presentation in Worship Arts MUS 4920 ).
Recitalists are required to enroll in applied lessons during the semester the recital is scheduled. Similarly, those choosing the Senior Presentation or the Senior Presentation in Worship Arts must enroll in Senior Presentation Preparation MUS 4191 for faculty mentoring.
- Major Field Test in Music. All majors (except those majoring in Worship Arts) are required to take the Major Field Test in Music as a condition of graduation after completing MUS 4113 and MUS 3223 . If one of these courses is taken in the last semester of study, the Major Field Test should be taken as late in the semester as practical.
- Certification for Organists. All candidates for the B.A. with emphasis in Organ must take the examination for the Colleague Certificate of the American Guild of Organists (CAGO) no later than the beginning of the last semester of study.