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Church Music Minor

We can bring glory to God by how we share music. If you want to lead others as they seek to find a meaningful worship experience, Dordt’s church music minor is designed for you.

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Female student plays the piano on stage

Program Overview

Minoring in church music will prepare you for a life in ministry, specifically as it relates to music. Using your passion for music to do work for God’s Kingdom can be fulfilling, rewarding, and encouraging.

As a church music minor, you'll take private lessons, learn through thoughtful instruction, and be active in Dordt's choral or instrumental ensembles. When it’s all over, you’ll be ready to lead worship in diverse spiritual environments.

A close-up on several concert choir singers

What You'll Learn

The church music minor will equip and train musicians to lead as worship planners or directors. You’ll leave prepared to enrich and contribute to communal worship. You’ll take courses in orchestration, choral music education, and more from our talented faculty. Ultimately, you’ll be challenged—and you’ll leave changed and ready to serve.

What You Can Do With A Church Music Minor

When it comes to a church music minor, you can choose from several career options, including church worship leader, audio/visual technician, music program coordinator, and other pastoral roles.

Church Worship Leader

A Church Worship Leader guides and manages a Church Service.

Choir Director

Choir Directors oversee a choir and lead them during musical performances.

Recording Artist

A Recording Artist records and performs his work with a specific and distinct style.

To earn a church music minor, students will complete seven music courses including History of Music in the Church, Worship and Liturgy, and ear training classes. Students will also complete three semesters of performances and six semesters of private music lessons or ensembles.

  • 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.
  • History of Music in the Church: A survey of the development of the church’s music, beginning with the Old Testament and continuing through the present, and engagement with pertinent repertoire. Students will gain a historical understanding of the music of the church, from chant to the present day, with concentration on Luther and Calvin’s contributions to congregational song, psalmody, and hymnody. The course will expose students to a vast repertoire of music for congregations, choirs, instruments, and soloists, and inform students’ historical perspectives, provide insight, and equip them with skills for service as church musicians in the 21st century.
  • Worship and Liturgy: A study of the various liturgical worship practices of Christian denominations, with primary focus on music in the Reformed denomination. Experiences such as field trips and participation in various Christian worship practices will deepen the student’s familiarity with liturgy and practical (musical) skills needed in a worship context. Students will receive instruction on planning music for worship, gain exposure to a variety of materials and methods, and cultivate their own musical skills by designing liturgies, culminating in the development of a Reformed philosophy of church music. The course will help to prepare students to serve aptly in a church setting.
  • Basic Conducting: An introduction to conducting technique.
  • 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.
  • Private Voice Lessons
  • Private Piano Lessons
  • Private Organ Lessons
  • Private Instrument Lessons
  • Choral Music Education: Teaching techniques and methods for the prospective vocal music educator. Designed for those preparing to teach choral music in elementary and secondary schools, this course also deals with repertoire selection and rehearsal planning and techniques, and is therefore suitable for those preparing to enter the field of church music.

See the course catalog for more information.

Ready to take the next step?

B.J. Haan Auditorium

As a church music minor, 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

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