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Music

Do you love to sing or play an instrument? Study music at Dordt, and you'll be able to focus on church music, music management, performance, or pair it with an education major.

You’ll take private music lessons. You’ll participate in ensembles. And you’ll learn about music theory, ear training, music history and literature, conducting, music and digital technology, and more. All with the purpose of bringing God glory with each joyful noise.

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Female student plays Steinway piano on stage

Program Overview

We aim to provide excellent and diverse musical experiences. Why? So students can discover, develop, and share the gift of music in ways that bring glory to God. We do this through challenging classroom teaching, numerous performance opportunities, top notch facilities, and an exceptional faculty.

Music majors at Dordt develop an understanding of the creational structure of music. They develop technical skills, musicality, and performance artistry. They understand disciplines within music and they take delight in excellent musical experiences.

3 female students practice conducting in class

What can I do with a major in music from Dordt University?

With a major in music, you’ll have opportunities to pursue nearly any job in the music industry. Composing, conducting, performing and teaching to start with. Or you can pursue music production, sound design, music ministry, or many other career options. If it involves music and you have a passion for it, a Dordt music major will help you achieve your goals.

The career outcome rate for our music graduates in 2021 was 100%.

Music Teacher

A Music Teacher educates students on instruments, sound, and performance of the instruments.

Musician

Musicians possess the talent and skills needed to play an instrument.

Sound Technician

A Sound Technician assists with the production of sound and recording processes.

Program Options

Music Major

Music is a beautiful way to glorify God through your instrumental or vocal gifts. Through this program, you will increase your understanding and embrace the vibrancy that music can bring to your work and to your life.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

Students looking to get a degree in music will take classes in a variety of topics such as ear training, music history and literature, and conducting. This coursework includes participation in several music lessons, ensembles, and performances. Additionally students must choose an emphasis with additional courses in their area of interest.

  • Music Fundamentals: A course laying the foundation for musicianship and further study in music through the study of music fundamentals, i.e., rudimentary skills in notation, analysis, and composition as well as exposure to basic music literature.
  • Ear Training I: The development of basic skills in the reading and notation of rhythm and of diatonic melodies in major and minor, in hearing and playing primary triads, and in identifying major and minor scales and simple intervals.
  • Diatonic Harmony: Continuation of Music 103 through all aspects of diatonic harmony.
  • Ear Training II: Continuation of Music 103L. The further development of skills in the reading and notation of more complex rhythms and of diatonic melodies, in singing in alto clef, in hearing and singing all simple diatonic intervals, in hearing and singing all diatonic triads, and in identifying major, minor, and some modal scales.
  • Diatonic Harmony: Continuation of Music 103 through all aspects of diatonic harmony.
  • Ear Training II: Continuation of Music 103L. The further development of skills in the reading and notation of more complex rhythms and of diatonic melodies, in singing in alto clef, in hearing and singing all simple diatonic intervals, in hearing and singing all diatonic triads, and in identifying major, minor, and some modal scales.
  • Chromatic Harmony: Continuation of Music 103-104, with focus on advanced and chromatic harmony.
  • Ear Training III: Continuation of Music 104L. The further development of skills in the reading and notation of complex rhythms and chromatic melodies, in singing in both alto and tenor clef, in hearing and singing compound intervals, in identifying major, minor, modal, and whole tone scales, and in reading figured bass and lead sheet.
  • Contemporary Music Theory and Literature: A study of musical theories, compositional techniques, and literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries with emphasis on the development of personal commitments to and strategies for promoting a Christian vision of life as a musician.
  • Music History and Literature I: Study of the literatures, cultural contexts, and intertextual relationships of Western music, from Antiquity through the 15th century.
  • Music History and Literature II: Study of the literatures, cultural contexts, and intertextual relationships of Western music, from the 15th through the 18th century.
  • Music History and Literature III: Study of the literatures, cultural contexts, and intertextual relationships of Western music, from the 18th through the 19th century.
  • Basic Conducting: An introduction to conducting technique.
  • World Music: Examination of music heard in various contemporary world cultures, its aesthetic and stylistic aspects as well as its functions and underpinning ideas and values.
  • Advanced Conducting: Continued study of conducting with attention to specific choral and instrumental techniques.
  • Piano Proficiency: Passing the piano proficiency requirement is necessary for certain majors and minors in music. Piano proficiency is demonstrated by passing a test administered by the music department. Preparation for this test may be gained through taking piano lessons.
  • Performance Class: Concert and recital attendance; presentations of special topics related to music.
  • Six semesters of large ensembles
  • Aesthetics: A study of the aesthetic dimension of creation, the nature and qualifying function of artistic activity, and artifacts, and an introduction to general aesthetic theory and its history.
Core courses for the general emphases:
  • Six credits of electives in music
  • Private Voice Lessons
  • Private Piano Lessons
  • Private Organ Lessons
  • Private Instrument Lessons

See the course catalog for more information.

Minor Options

Education Emphasis

An education emphasis is also available with the music program. As you study choral and instrumental music you'll also train in education, giving you the tools to teach others.

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music professor conducts music class

Ready to take the next step?

Music Department Tours

Hosting a Dordt University concert is a rewarding experience. Please contact the Music Department at 712-722-6222 if you have any questions.

A shot of the B.J. Haan Auditorium

Ensembles

Dordt offers a wide variety of ensembles for students to participate in, welcoming a broad array of interest and ability levels. Approximately 300 students are members of one or more ensembles or take private lessons. Private lessons are available for both instrumental and vocal students, with a faculty of 20 adjunct instructors, each an expert in their instrument.

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A music student standing and smiling with her instrument

B.J. Haan Auditorium

As a music major, you'll have the opportunity to spend time in the B.J. Haan Auditorium and it’s adjoining Music Building. These facilities include access to mechanical action and electro-pneumatic pipe organs, upright and grand piano practice rooms, instrumental practice rooms, a Yamaha Disklavier, and a Dekker harpsichord.

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Band performs worship music on BJ Haan stage during chapel

Student Stories

Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

A picture of Anna Blauw

Into the Unknown

Anna Blauw

Anna's experiences at Dordt allowed her to grow the faith and confidence that she needed to overcome the fear of the unknown by focusing on who God wanted her to be.

Anna Blauw

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A picture of Daniel Seaman holding a week of welcome jacket

Growing in Community

Daniel Seaman

The effort that Daniel made to be engaged in the community was what led him to the many opportunities and lessons that he gained at Dordt.

Daniel Seaman

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Connect with us

Submit your information to request more information about Dordt and this program. We'll also use this information to connect you with your admissions counselor!

Related Programs

Still looking for the right fit? Here are some additional program options that we think might interest you or are often paired with this program. You can also view the programs page to keep exploring your options.


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