What Is an Instrumental Music Performance Degree?
This instrumental music performance degree is offered by GCU’s College of Fine Arts and Production. The invigorating curriculum empowers students to sharpen their musical skills while developing a deep appreciation of music theory and history. Students undergo intensive music training in private instruction, learning to master the art of the solo performance while also training for collaborative performances in group settings. GCU’s music department routinely hosts formal public recitals performed by junior and senior music performance majors as well as faculty and guest artists.
Music has the power to lift the soul and inspire unity and is a universal language that transcends boundaries and borders. If you aspire to share your love of music with others and to inspire them to strive for new heights, a music performance degree can help you pursue your goal.
You can follow your passion for music and build the foundations for a meaningful and impactful performance career by earning your BA in instrumental music performance degree. Grand Canyon University is pleased to offer the Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Emphasis in Instrumental Performance degree for aspiring musicians who wish to dedicate themselves to this art form. Within a supportive and collaborative learning community, students will polish their performance skills and develop self-confidence in multiple performance settings.
All music performance degree program applicants are required to undergo an audition and to complete a music theory assessment prior to acceptance into the program. Performance scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis and applicants are encouraged to audition early.
The bachelor's degree in music performance is aligned to the standards of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) as a professional performance degree.
What You Will Learn
The Bachelor of Arts in Music – Instrumental Performance emphasis program combines classroom instruction with applied practice. Students have the opportunity to develop mastery of their primary instrument while they improve their performance abilities. Music performance majors are encouraged to become active participants in GCU’s faith-based campus, which welcomes all Christians.
In courses such as Form and Analysis, Music in World Culture and Chamber Music Literature, students in the music performance degree program will study the following topic areas:
- How music is used to express different elements of culture, civilization and worldview
- The organizational structures in music, including variation, rondo and sonata, through the lens of the works of the masters
- Chamber music literature, with an emphasis on learning the standard repertoire through reading and listening assignments
- Advanced techniques of conducting, including rehearsal techniques, score reading, artistic interpretation, programming and baton technique
- Advanced studies of the structure of music, including harmony, melody, form and rhythm, with an emphasis on skill development in analysis and composition
Students in the music performance degree program are expected to present formal solo performances in both their junior and senior years. There are multiple opportunities to give performances as part of an ensemble, enabling students to gain familiarity with multiple and diverse repertoires as well as stage performance to develop confidence being in the spotlight. In addition, all music performance majors prepare for professional success within the industry by researching the profession and examining business practices.
Careers With a Music Performance Degree
The instrumental performance degree is a versatile choice that can pave the way toward many rewarding career paths in the performing arts industry and others that support it. It’s common for graduates to pursue careers as solo musicians, ensemble musicians, composers and private instructors.
What Can You Do With a Music Performance Degree?
Other career choices that are related to this instrumental-type of music performance degree may include the following:
- Music arranger/composer
- Band director for sports, military, collegiate or K-12 bands
- Music critic or reviewer
- Music therapist
- Church musician
Some graduates of the bachelor's degree in music with an instrumental performance emphasis may seek positions within performance groups, private clubs or small bands.
Others may pursue employment at:
- Film production agencies
- Radio stations
- Music stations
- Schools or arts organizations
Is a Music Performance Degree Worth It?
Earning a music performance degree is worth it because it gives you a solid foundation of music education with the opportunities for performance and collaboration. GCU’s three music performance emphases – instrumental, piano and voice – all give you a focused education based on the type of performance you are interested in. A music performance degree teaches music literature from varying genres, rehearsal pedagogy techniques and advanced studies of musical structure for composition and arrangement.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.