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 Worship Arts department 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.

Program Entrance

Students who wish to enrol in a music program at Briercrest College and Seminary must apply for the BA Music. Please fill out a brief form, www.briercrest.ca/current/college/music-forms/worship/, indicating your interest in the music program. An open audition and theory placement test take place during registration in September. In their first semester, students are expected 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 Music/Worship Arts office (worship.arts@briercrest.ca) to arrange for an audition and interview for direct entry.

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 other 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 Music/Worship Arts Department. Students may receive one credit per semester upon completion of the ensemble requirements. We expect students 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 expected.

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.

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 expected.

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 126 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 adviser.

Degree Requirements

(126 credit hours: minimum 24 at 300+ level)

BA Core Curriculum

(66 credit hours)

Theory Requirement

(9 credit hours)

Course Credit Hours
MUS 115 Musicianship I* 3
MUS 116 Musicianship II 3
MUS 206 Musicianship III OR MUS 301 Contemporary Musicianship 3

History Requirement

(9 credit hours)

FIN/MUS 216 History of Western Music I 3
FIN/MUS 217 History of Western Music II 3
FIN/MUS 316 History of Western Music III 3

Applied Requirements

(15 credit hours)

Applied Lessons (6 ch):

  • 4-6 semesters on major instrument, 0-2 on other instrument/voice (total of 6)
  • Performance Specialization: 8 on major instrument/voice
  • Policy on Applied Music (pdf)

Ensembles (6 ch):
Students commit to ensembles for the whole year, therefore in multiples of 2

  • 2-4 small, 2-4 large (total of 6)
  • 0-4 small, 2-6 large (total of 6)
  • Performance Specialization: 0-2 small, 4-6 large (total of 6)
MUS 323 Conducting I 3


Electives

(9 credit hours: minimum 6 at 300+)

  • Students must select electives from the following courses:
Applied Lessons 2 maximum
Ensembles 2 maximum
COMM/MUS 203 Recording Arts I 3
COMM/MUS 303 Recording Arts II 3
MUS 130 Basic Voice 2
MUS 140 Basic Piano 2
MUS 160 Live Sound and Production 3
MUS 206 Musicianship III** 3
MUS 260 Introduction to Electronic Music 3
MUS 301 Contemporary Musicianship 3
MUS 310 Songwriting 3
MUS 330 Vocal Master Class I 3
MUS 340 Musical Theatre Workshop 3
MUS 345 Lyric Diction 3
MUS 350 Keyboard Improvisation 3
MUS 363 Advanced Electronic Music 3
MUS 401 Vocal Pedagogy 3
MUS 402 Piano Pedagogy 3
MUS 403 Instrumental Pedagogy 3
MUS 410 Vocal and Instrumental Arranging 3
MUS 424 Conducting III 3
MUS 430 Vocal Master Class II 3
MUS 434 Senior Recital 1
MUS 429 Music Internship 3
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Teams 3
WA 420 Worship Leadership 3

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 Theology of Christian Worship

3

Performance Concentration in Voice, Piano, Instrumental or Musical Theatre

A concentration in voice, piano, instrumental or musical theatre performance 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 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 324 Conducting II
MUS 345 Lyric Diction
MUS 430 Vocal Master Class II
WA 411 Arranging for Worship Team

Piano

Required (9 credit hours):
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 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 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 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 Introduction to Tap (1 credit hour)
DAN 100, 101, 106 or Private Lessons-Dance (1 credit hour)
MUS 340 Musical Theatre Workshop
MUS 365 Musical Theatre Production and Performance I
THEA 222 Acting II

 

 

Electives

(15-21 credit hours)

Free Electives 15-21
PRT 400 Senior Portfolio non-credit
SL 1-6 Service and Experiential Learning non-credit

*Students who 'test out' of MUS 115 must take an additional Music elective.
**Students who wish to take a concentration in performance (voice) must take MUS 206 Musicianship III.
***Students who wish to take the concentration in performance (voice) must take MUS/THEA 340 Musical Theatre Workshop.
****Applied lesson requirements within the concentration are in addition to the applied lesson requirements for the BA Music.  Thus, a concentration in voice, piano or instrumental performance requires a total of 8 credit hours of applied lessons. Other requirements in the concentration may be taken as Music electives.

view all course descriptions

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

rdejager@briercrest.ca
View Ron's CV

rdejager.jpg

A native of Nova Scotia, Ron recently completed studies at the doctoral level in vocal performance. He has enjoyed performing solo recitals, opera, oratorio, musical theatre, film, and ballet. His roles have ranged from the Phantom in Maury Yeston's Phantom to soloist for Handel's Messiah, from Count Alamviva in Le Nozze di Figaro to the Fonz in Happy Days, and from the lead in the short film One Tale of Misfortune to dancing the role of Gabriel in the ballet Song of Evangeline.

He was the Artistic Director and Founder of ROD Music Productions in Halifax, N.S., where he worked as a vocal instructor, adjudicator, dancer, and worship pastor.

At Briercrest College and Seminary, Ron enjoys giving leadership to the voice department, teaching voice, vocal master class, musical theatre workshop, acting and theory. He continues to perform recitals, musical theatre and opera. Ron enjoys inspiring young artists to share the unique gifts God entrusts to His children.

Keith Molberg

kmolberg@briercrest.ca
View Keith's CV

kmolberg.jpg

Keith Molberg is originally from Alberta, and he joined the Worship Arts faculty at Briercrest College and Seminary in 2003. After completing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Alberta, he studied for three years at Arizona State University, where he received his Master of Music.

As a pianist, Keith has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals and has appeared with several orchestras either as soloist or as orchestral musician. Keith has been active for many years as a worship leader and member of worship teams both in local churches and in the context of university ministries. As program coordinator for the Worship Leadership emphasis, he coordinates the chapel worship teams at Briercrest and teaches Music Theory, Recording Arts, and private piano.