Trinity Western University

School of the Arts, Media and Culture


Department of Music

Dr. Allan Thorpe, Chair

The Department of Music offers:

  • A major in Music, leading to a B.A. degree;
  • A concentration;
  • A minor.

Major in Music, B.A. Degree

In addition to taking a required core of theory, history, and applied music courses, students must select one of four options:

  • General Music prepares students for advanced professional training or a variety of musical careers such as media work, library work, or the music business;
  • Music Education, especially when taken in conjunction with Education at Trinity Western University, helps to prepare students for teaching in private or public schools;
  • Performance prepares students for careers in the performing arts and/or private music instruction. This option is available to students who demonstrate exceptional potential as performers during the first two years of the degree program and are recommended to the Department chair by their instructor to pursue this option;
  • Church Music prepares students for musical leadership in the worship ministry of the local church.

Applied Performance Proficiency Requirements for Admission to the Music Major

Generally, for those intent on majoring in Music, previous instruction in applied music is assumed (a Royal Conservatory of Music Grade Seven or the equivalent is recommended). An audition—requiring the performance of two pieces from contrasting style periods—must be successfully completed for entrance into the Music major. Auditions are held in late March/early April and September each year.

Music Placement Test

All students planning on majoring in Music, or non-Music majors who are considering enrolling in MUSI 131 or 225 must write the Music Placement Test during Orientation Week in September. This short test covers the basic rudiments of music (equivalent to Grade 2 Rudiments as prescribed by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto).

Program Checklists and Requirements:

Major in Music, B.A. Degree

Concentration in Music

Minor in Music

Programs, Activities, and Facilities Instrumental Music

Instrumental music is a vital and growing part of TWU campus life, providing students with a wide variety of performance options in both large and small ensembles. In the ensembles students sharpen technical skills, develop artistic excellence, and learn to communicate musical expression with grace and creativity. The repertoire for the Orchestra and Concert Band is selected for its artistic quality and is representative of a variety of styles, composers, and historical periods. Each of the chamber music ensembles explores a broad range of music literature in preparation for recitals and other performances both on and off campus. The Jazz Band rehearses and performs a variety of repertoire from Big Band standards to contemporary works.

Choirs and Vocal Ensembles

Trinity Western University’s choral activities have grown extensively, reaching a quality and calibre of performance that has earned the University international recognition for its Music program. Commitment to excellence is evident in a large network of University choirs and vocal ensembles, outstanding voice professors, eclectic repertoire, and exposure to distinguished conductors. University choirs have frequently been featured in CBC Radio national broadcasts.

Four choirs and three small vocal ensembles provide students with opportunities to explore a wide range of repertoire including classical, gospel, contemporary, jazz, symphonic, and a cappella music styles.

Private Music Instruction

Private Music Instruction in voice, piano, guitar, and most band and orchestral instruments is offered on campus by a roster of affiliate Music faculty who are also active as professional performers.

The Recording Studio

The Recording Studio is a digital music and audio post-production facility. It features Cubase and Reason on a Macintosh platform with a collection of professional audio production equipment. Students who learn these technologies are likely candidates for practica positions that serve clients on and off campus.

The Contemporary Music Centre

In conjunction with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, this semester-long experience provides practical and professional training to second-, third-, and fourth-year students who qualify. Up to 9 sem. hrs. of course work may be transferred to the student’s Music major. The program takes place at Martha’s Vineyard and can be taken in either the fall or spring semester. Consult the School Dean for further information.

Music Students’ Guild

This is an organization administered by an executive committee of Music majors. The primary thrust of the guild is to promote the Music Department both on and off campus and to work together with other Music students and faculty in the ongoing development and enhancement of the University’s Music program.

Career Opportunities

Private music teacher; elementary or secondary music educator; minister of music and worship; conductor; accompanist; solo performer; instrumentalist in bands or orchestras; music librarian; and music publishing/sales.

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.