Northwestern’s music department is dedicated to a Christ-centered and holistic educational process that draws students toward musical maturity so they might transform the world around them.
The music department has the following goals:
- Students will develop a greater understanding of the integration of the Christian faith and their lives as musicians.
- Students will grow in musical maturity through development in critical thinking, creative self-expression, musical sensitivity and artistry. This growth will enable them to transform the world around them through their work in music education, ministry-related positions, other music-related career work, graduate school, further professional or technical training, and/or a vocational positions.
- Students will develop musical and academic skills necessary for cognition in the structure, history, theory and techniques of music.
- Students will demonstrate musical understanding and growth through active music making and listening.
The music department offers two majors to which a career concentration or pre-professional program may be added.
Music Major, Modified Music Major and Music Minor - Students must complete the piano proficiency exam, which is used to assess keyboard facility in the areas of scales, chord progressions, sight reading, solo performance and accompanying. Students must enroll in class or private piano beginning in their first term until all parts of the piano proficiency exam are passed. The piano proficiency should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Music education and music ministry majors must complete all parts of the piano proficiency exam prior to scheduling their student teaching experience.
Music and Worship Leadership Major and Music Ministry Minor - Students must complete either the guitar or lead sheet piano proficiency exam. Both of these proficiency exams are used to assess facility in the areas of chords, accompanying lead sheet music while singing, hymns and sight reading. Students must take lessons in the chosen area until the proficiency is passed and must complete all parts before taking the music ministry practicum.
Performance examinations are given each term to all majors and minors who are enrolled in applied music. These allow the music faculty to evaluate student progress in the areas of musical expression and technical facility.
All students enrolled in applied music lessons are required to attend a specified number of on-campus recitals, concerts and applied performance labs each term.
Students who are enrolled in applied music lessons will be expected to perform in applied performance labs at the discretion of the instructor.