Professors D. Fuentes, H. Kim, P. Shangkuan, J. Witvliet
Associate Professors T. Engle, T. Steele (chair), B. Wolters-Fredlund
The Calvin Music Department, as a teaching and learning community, aims for the development of a Christian mind with which to understand, create, and teach music. To accomplish this, the faculty addresses itself to developing musical skills, knowledge, understanding, and discernment, to the end that the richness of musical and pedagogical practices will be shaped by a Christian perspective for lives of service. Recognizing that music is a matter for Christian stewardship, service, and critique, the Music Department is committed to preparing both music majors and non-majors as listeners, performers, composers, worship leaders, scholars, and educators to serve as agents of redemption throughout the Kingdom of God.
The Music Department offers a variety of programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music and the Bachelor of Music Education degree with a major in music education. The music education major prepares students for certification in music, K-12, in the State of Michigan. The music education major is included in Calvin’s teacher education program, as detailed in the Teacher Education Program Guidebook and in the education department pages of this catalog. Since music education students must complete a comprehensive preparation program, they should seek assistance in choosing appropriate courses as early as possible.
In addition to major programs, students may minor in music, or select other minor programs in fine arts or ministry leadership that include studies in music. The music department offers six courses that fulfill arts core credit (MUSC 101 , MUSC 103 , MUSC 106 , MUSC 107 , MUSC 203 , and MUSC 236 ), and students may take any music course, including ensemble and private lesson courses, for which they are qualified.
Calvin College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
Requirements for all Music Majors
Preparing to be a Music Major
Students desiring to be music majors should take a music theory assessment test and audition for ensembles during the summer Passport orientation program or during the first week of classes in the fall semester. Such students should also enroll in MUSC 101 and MUSC 108 in their first fall semester. Although no audition is required for permission to begin the music major program, placement auditions may be required for private lessons in the first semester.
Music Major Approval
Students who wish to declare a major in music must complete the following minimum requirements, usually during the first year:
- overall GPA of at least 2.5
- a grade of C or better in MUSC 101 and in MUSC 108
- piano proficiency evaluation: either a pass, or if deficient, beginning piano lessons (Music 020)
- a grade of C or better in two semesters of private music lessons in the student’s principal area of performance
- a passing rubric score in a performance jury by the end of the second semester of lessons in the principal area
Students who wish to emphasize applied music, or major in music education, must complete additional requirements prior to declaring their major, as detailed in the Music Department Handbook.
The music department considers keyboard facility to be an essential skill for all musicians, regardless of their degree program. Accordingly, all music majors (BA and BME) will be tested in their ability to use the keyboard both as a medium of musical expression and as a tool for learning. Levels 1 and 2 of the piano proficiency exam test basic keyboard facility for all music majors. Students may test only one level at a time. Specific information on the content of the piano proficiency examination for level 1 and 2 may be found in the Music Department Handbook.
Concert and Recital Hour Attendance
Music majors must enroll in MUSC 180 Recital Hour each semester until the required number of semesters for their program has been completed. As part of this course, music majors must attend four additional concerts or recitals, submitting a music major card for each attendance. See course description for MUSC 180 .
Membership in ensembles is open to Calvin students who meet the requirements of musicianship. All students who want to participate in any of the music ensembles at Calvin may audition during the summer Passport orientation sessions, or by special arrangement with the conductor prior to each semester.
All ensembles, except String Quartet, carry academic credit. Ensembles may not be audited. If a student is already registered for a full credit load, they may register for the ensemble for 0 credit to avoid the overload fee. See the Music Department Handbook for more details.