Courses | B.M. in Worship Arts

Summary

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.


Course Overview

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.


Major Courses

Designed specifically for Commercial Music and Worship Arts majors. An introduction to basic music notation software plus a solid theoretical/technical working knowledge of fundamentals used in both live and recorded music production. Students gain sufficient expertise to be able to notate songs, arrangements, rhythm charts, and lead sheets using the powerful, professional functions of Finale and other software. Students also gain enough expertise to understand basic sound theory, microphone designs and principles, and basic analog/digital music production theory. Grade Mode: A.

Designed specifically for Commercial Music and Worship Arts majors. The goal is to give each student a solid theoretical and technical knowledge of Digital Audio Workstation recording and mixing. The class covers digital audio history, recording techniques, MIDI sequencing, and mixing. By the end of this course, students will have a working knowledge of the primary functions/features of Protools and will be able to record, edit and mix their own music.

Applied instruction in composition, piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, brass instruments, string instruments, woodwind instruments, percussion instruments, conducting, and improvisation. Notes: Non-music majors are welcome to take applied lessons, see Conservatory for approval. Grade Mode: A.
Sight-singing diatonic melodies, major and minor scales and triads using moveable tonic solfege. Transcribing basic diatonic melodies, cadences and progressions. Reading, performing and transcribing rhythmic patterns in simple, compound and irregular meters. Notes: Students may test into an accelerated section of this course. Grade Mode: A.
The study of the following music fundamentals: elementary acoustics, keyboard layout, intervals, scales, key signatures, triads, figured bass, diatonic voice-leading, cadences, elementary harmonic progressions, meter, rhythm, time signatures and staff notation. Grade Mode: A.
Using 153 materials as a foundation, this course encompasses the sight-singing and transcribing of diatonic and simple chromatic melodies with greater rhythmic complexity, triads in all inversions, dominant seventh chords and altered non-harmonic tones. Notes: Students may test into an accelerated section of this course. Grade Mode: A.
A study of common-practice diatonic harmony with emphasis on voice leading and harmonic progression. Includes part writing, non-harmonic tones, cadences, figured bass and Roman analysis. Grade Mode: A.
Survey of worship in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Study of key worship passages, biblical models of worship (Tabernacle/Temple, Synagogue, Pauline, Revelation worship) and their contemporary applications. Students visit eight culturally and ethically diverse church services and submit a report. Grade Mode: A.
Attendance at specified number and types of concerts each semester. Notes: Four semesters required for graduation. Grade Mode: C.
A historical and critical study of western music from 1750 to the mid-twentieth century with a particular emphasis on the sacred music of this period. Attention will be given to music literature, theory and performance practice, as well as the relevance of topics studied to modern worship services. Grade Mode: A.
A continuation of MUSC 317 focusing on the late twentieth century and the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, with a particular emphasis on the sacred music of those periods. Attention will be given to music literature, theory and performance practice, as well as the relevance of topics studied to modern worship services.
Basic conducting skills; the psychology of conducting; observation of choral and orchestral rehearsals. Grade Mode: A.
This course centers on the application of sight-singing and dictation skills acquired in 153 and 163, with particular focus on dominant and non-dominant seventh chords, altered non-harmonic tones, secondary dominants and chromatic melodies. Notes: Students may test into an accelerated section of this course. Grade Mode: A.
This is the final semester of common-practice diatonic harmony. Emphasis is on voice leading and harmonic progressions including altered dominants, borrowed chords, the Neapolitan Sixth chord, augmented chords and modulation. Grade Mode: A.

Understand and be able to employ Nashville Numbers, standard and emerging pop symbols, professional charting practices, and digital notation software. Become competent in dictating transcriptions. Create and present for class performance an original (1) lead sheet and (2) rhythm chart arrangement.

Continuation of MUSC 367. Create, present, and rehearse in class, original and arranged, professional-level, digitally notated, lead sheet, rhythm charts, and full band arrangements. Create a seamless presentation, with modulations within and between pieces. Introduce rhythmic and/or harmonic variation (including third relationships and fifth relationships). Exhibit mastery of symbols and special notation markings. Final exam requires a transcription. Lectures and assignments address these competencies.

Classic and contemporary hymns are sung, pondered, memorized; biblical allusions traced; hymn stories/writers surveyed. Ethnic songs, current worship songs, and internet resources are explored. Students draw close to songs spiritually in their personal devotions and acquire skill introducing them publicly. Grade Mode: A.
Introduction into the nature of spiritual formation and its relationship to worship in personal and corporate settings. Emphasis on the nature of spiritual growth, psychological hindrances, and the dynamics of assisting others into true, meaningful worship. Contains a spiritual direction component with Biola's Center for Spiritual Renewal. Grade Mode: A.

The worship leader role requires more than becoming a proficient musician. The breadth and complexity of leading biblical worship and leading people is explored: personal mission, values, character and personality traits, the multiple facets of artistry, leadership, pastoral care and administration. The course culminates in crafting biblical, compelling worship sets and a public worship session led by the class.

Practical, advanced experience in curating biblical, creative, compelling service content. Understanding the function/impact of live artistic and technical production to enhance a worship experience. Essential on-stage worship leading skills. Leading and equipping teams (bands, vocals, visuals, tech). Introduction to systems/live production software. Culmination in a class-generated/executed campus-wide worship event.

Worship pastors, song writers/arrangers, clinicians, sound/media professionals, and professors share their expertise and perspective. Weekly opportunity to interact and dialogue. Grade Mode: C.

A supervised ministry experience limited to juniors and seniors. Growth through direct field experience, mentoring, reflection, feedback and evaluation by a local church supervisor and Biola faculty. Notes: Best taken concurrently with other courses and spread out over 2 or even 3 semesters. May be taken in blocks of 1–5 credits. Grade Mode: A.

Required: (1) A fifty minute Senior Worship Recital, or (2) a Portfolio consisting of a resume, four representative MP3 music files, a two minute introductory video, and a 10 minute worship leading/production video.


Proficiency Courses

Keyboard, guitar, and voice proficiency courses.

Basic vocal training. Grade Mode: A.
For the student with no previous training in guitar. Survey of different styles of playing, together with music theory as related to the instrument. First position chords, bar chords, right and left hand technique. Grade Mode: A.
Keyboard technique and literature for the non-keyboard major. Grade Mode: A.
Applied instruction in composition, piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, brass instruments, string instruments, woodwind instruments, percussion instruments, conducting, and improvisation. Notes: Non-music majors are welcome to take applied lessons, see Conservatory for approval. Grade Mode: A.

Ensemble Courses

See catalog for details.

Performance of standard choral literature representing a variety of styles and periods. Notes: Membership by audition. Approved for Core Curriculum Fine Arts credit. Grade Mode: A.
Performance of a variety of literature and styles from Renaissance through the 20th Century. Notes: Membership open to all women students by audition. Approved for Core Curriculum Fine Arts credit. Grade Mode: A.
Performance of popular literature, from both the Contemporary Christian/Worship and secular song catalogs. Notes: Membership by audition. Required for Worship Majors, Contemporary Worship Minors, and B.A. Music (Commercial Music concentration) Majors. Grade Mode: A.
Performance of a variety of literature and styles from Renaissance through the 20th Century. Notes: Membership open to all male students by audition. Approved for Core Curriculum Fine Arts credit. Grade Mode: A.

Elective Courses

Studies in various scales, major and minor triad/sevenths; reading of standard notation in open through 5th position. Grade Mode: A.
Studies in various modes: upper extensions of major and minor chords; reading of standard notation in positions 6 through 11. Grade Mode: A.

The course will explore and analyze through practical examples and exercises, the multiple facets of various styles in contemporary music, such as of Pop, Rock, Gospel, Country, Latin and Funk styles as applied to worship contexts. The students will learn the rhythm and harmonic elements basic to each of these styles along with the specific instrumentation to replicate it authentically. Grade Mode: A.

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