Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Emphasis in Instrumental Performance

Offered By: College of Fine Arts and Production

Music Performance Major

Pursue a BA in Music - Instrumental Performance Degree

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 music. 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.

This music performance degree is offered by the 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.

All 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.

Advanced Coursework With Music Performance Opportunities

The Bachelor of Arts in Music – Instrumental Performance 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 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 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 the stage and 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.

Future Careers for Bachelor of Arts in Music - Instrumental Performance Majors

The BA in Instrumental Performance is aligned to the standards of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) as a professional performance degree. The music performance degree is a versatile choice that can pave the way toward many rewarding career paths. It’s common for graduates to pursue careers as solo musicians, ensemble musicians, composers and private instructors. Other career choices that are related to this degree may include the following:

  • Music arranger/composer
  • Band director for sports, military, collegiate or K-12 bands
  • Music critic or reviewer
  • Music therapist

Some graduates of the BA in Music with an Emphasis in Instrumental Performance 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.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

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.

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • 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

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4

Requirements

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, crosscultural 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.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Program Core Courses

Course Description

Study is devoted to the structure of music, which includes harmony, melody, form, and rhythm. Skill development in analysis and composition is emphasized. The music of the "common practice period" will be studied. Co-requisite: MUS-130L.

Course Description

This course is a study in rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation; basic keyboard performance; and sight singing. Computer-assisted ear training is utilized. Study is devoted to the structure of music, which includes: harmony, melody, form, and rhythm. Skill development in analysis and composition is emphasized. The music of the “common practice period” will be studied. Co-requisite: MUS-130.

Course Description

This course is designed as class instruction for students with limited or no previous piano training. Instruction includes the study of piano technique and literature designed to pass Part I of the Piano Proficiency Examination.

Course Description

This course includes private instruction in the major instrument. Emphasis is on advanced technique and literature. Prerequisites: Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

The Pep Band provides students with the opportunity to develop their musical skills through rehearsal and performance in a band ensemble. Members are selected through an annual audition open to both music and non-music majors at Grand Canyon University. Prerequisite: Admission into this ensemble by audition only or instructor's permission.

Course Description

The Wind Ensemble is comprised of music majors, minors, and students from other disciplines. Musicians are provided an opportunity to increase their performance skills through an active and challenging involvement with the creative process. The Wind Ensemble also offers non-music majors an avenue in which to continue making music throughout their college careers. The literature performed is selected from the finest contemporary and traditional repertoire. Members are selected through an annual audition open to both music and non-music majors at Grand Canyon University. Prerequisite: Admission into this ensemble by audition only or instructor's permission.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-130, this course emphasizes skill development through analysis and composition. Prerequisites: MUS-130 and MUS-130L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-160L.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-130L, this course emphasizes aural skill development through practical study in rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation; basic keyboard performance; and sight singing. Computer-assisted ear training is utilized. Prerequisites: MUS-130 and MUS-130L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-160.

Course Description

This course is a continuation of MPC-109. It includes passing Part II of the Piano Proficiency Examination. Prerequisite: MPC-109 or Music Department approval.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-115 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a survey of music from primitive times to the mid-18th century. It presents the growth of music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through the contrapuntal schools, culminating in the work of J. S. Bach and the development of opera and oratorio during the baroque period.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-160, this course emphasizes skill development through analysis and composition. Music examples are selected from Bach through Wagner. It also includes an advanced study in analysis and part writing utilizing modulation and chromatic harmony. Prerequisites: MUS-160 and MUS-160L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-262L.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-160L, this course is a study in rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation; basic keyboard performance; and sight singing. Computer-assisted ear training will be utilized. Prerequisites: MUS-160 and MUS-160L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-262.

Course Description

This course is a continuation of MPC- 259. It includes passing Part III of the Piano Proficiency Examination. Prerequisite: MPC-259 or Music Department approval.

Course Description

This course is class instruction for students with limited or no previous voice training. Instruction includes the study of vocal technique and is designed to pass Part I of the Vocal Proficiency Examination. The voice proficiency requirements are identified in the music handbook.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-125 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a survey of music from the mid-18th century to modern times. Study is devoted to the rise of homophonic music, the art song, the nationalistic schools, and the principal composers of the classical, romantic, and contemporary periods. Prerequisite: MUS-360 or Music Department approval.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-262, this course emphasizes skill development through analysis and composition. This course includes analysis and composition methods of music of the late 19th through the 20th century. Prerequisites: MUS-262 and MUS-262L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-351L.

Course Description

A continuation of MUS-262L, this course is a study in rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation; basic keyboard performance; and sight singing. Computer-assisted ear training will be utilized. Prerequisites: MUS-262 and MUS-262L or Music Department approval. Co-requisite: MUS-351.

Course Description

This course is a continuation of MPC-359. It includes passing Part IV of the Piano Proficiency Examination. Prerequisite: MPC-359 or Music Department approval.

Course Description

This course is a study of the fundamentals and techniques of conducting. Emphasis is placed on basic conducting skills, fundamentals of baton technique, left hand technique, non-verbal communication, leadership, conducting terminology, transpositions, and score reading.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-215 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the music of the world as a means to express different elements of culture, civilization, and worldview.

Course Description

This course is a study of the various organizational structures in music, from motive, phrase, and period, through binary and ternary forms to the most complex, such as the variation, rondo, and sonata. Works of the masters are analyzed from the standpoint of form. Prerequisites: MUS-351 and MUS-351L, or MUS-275 or Music Department approval.

Course Description

This course is a survey of chamber music literature. Emphasis is on learning the standard repertoire through reading and listening assignments.

Course Description

This course is a study of advanced techniques of conducting. Rehearsal techniques, score reading, artistic interpretation, baton technique, and programming will be explored. Prerequisite: MUS-223.

Course Description

Coached instruction in chamber and small ensemble settings. Members are selected through an annual audition open to both music and non-music majors at Grand Canyon University. Prerequisite: Admission into this ensemble by audition only or instructor's permission. Co-Requisite: Enrollment in Private Studio instruction.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-225 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

This course will survey the history of American popular music genres. Through understanding styles and forms within the context of their origins, popular music is understood in the relationship of its functions in society.

Course Description

This course is a survey of contrapuntal practice from the 18th century. Background reference is made to early polyphonic music. Emphasis is given to 16th century species counterpoint and to analyzing and writing inventions and fugues in the 18th century style of J. S. Bach. An introduction is provided for the use of counterpoint in 20th century composition. Prerequisites: MUS-351 and MUS-351L, or MUS-275.

Course Description

This course is a survey of symphonic literature. Emphasis is on learning the standard repertoire through reading and listening assignments.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-315 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

A formal, public recital, sponsored by the music department, in which the student presents a solo recital of a length appropriate to the major. The recital is to be given in the student's junior year. The student must concurrently be enrolled in the appropriate level of private instruction. Co-Requisite: The student must concurrently be enrolled in the appropriate level of private instruction.

Course Description

This course will survey the development of jazz music from its genesis, transformation, and growth to current postmodern practices. The styles are explored through the social identity of the music and musicians.

Course Description

This course is a study of major jazz techniques and styles, including repertoire, instrumentation, improvisation, innovations, and major jazz ensembles.

Course Description

This course is a study and application in techniques of scoring and arranging music for various combinations of musical mediums. Includes scoring for strings, woodwinds, brasses, percussion, and voices.

Course Description

This course is a study of teaching instrumental music in the private music studio. The instruction is generally at the beginner level. This course includes observation in both individual and group lesson settings. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing or Music Department approval. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing or Music Department approval.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-325 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

This course will prepare the College of Fine Arts and Production student for professional success in their chosen field. Students will research their industry, gaining critical knowledge and learning the business practices needed for post-graduation success.

Course Description

This capstone course provides students an opportunity to develop their skills in an area of interest. Students will complete an independent project under faculty supervision.

Course Description

This course is the private applied study required for music majors in their major instrument or area. Prerequisites: MBE-415 or Music Department approval and placement audition.

Course Description

A formal, public recital, sponsored by the music department, in which the student presents a solo recital of a length appropriate to the major. The recital is to be given in the student's senior year. The student must concurrently be enrolled in the appropriate level of private instruction. Co-Requisite: The student must concurrently be enrolled in the appropriate level of private instruction.

Program Locations


GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

On-campus program disclosures (4 years)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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