NNU Logo

John Dally

Bachelor of Arts
Are you passionate about music and interested in pursuing a degree in this field? NNU’s Bachelor of Arts in Music brings a multidisciplinary approach to music education, with options to specialize in the music industry, general music, applied emphasis and worship and music ministry. Whether you’re drawn to performing, composing or simply appreciating great music, NNU’s bachelor of music degree can help you hone your skills and pursue your dreams.
Prospective students and music education majors will cover topics like music theory, music history, music composition, concert music, musical form, music performance and ensemble participation.
  • PARTICIPATE in a minimum of one ensemble per semester
  • SPEND FOUR SEMESTERS performing in a major ensemble based on your performance medium
  • STUDY PRIVATELY each semester in your primary performance medium: voice or instrument

Know Mastery and Creativity with a Bachelor of Music Degree

There’s something extraordinary about music—it can transport us to different times and places, evoke emotions we didn’t know we had and connect us with others in a way that almost nothing else can. If you want to develop your creativity and mastery in music, NNU’s bachelor of music degree offers a range of emphasis options, tracks and experiences. Whether performing, composing or appreciating music, this degree has everything you need to become a music professional. Join NNU’s music program and start your journey toward musical excellence today!

YouTube video

degree details

Bachelor of Arts

On Campus

The Benefits of Our Bachelor’s Degree in Music

  • Gain a holistic, comprehensive understanding of the creative and performance aspects of music
  • Learn from experienced faculty in small class sizes
  • Develop the technical knowledge to be successful in the music industry
  • Prepare for the future by learning skills necessary in an ever-changing environment
  • Participate in recitals, concerts and ensembles on campus
  • Develop excellence in creating, performing and appreciating music
  • Access interdisciplinary curriculum with a choice of emphasis to suit your career goals
  • Benefit from being part of a vibrant musical program and tight-knit Christian community
  • Receive faculty mentorship and support on the path to achieving your dreams

Our Goals for Music Majors

  • Obtain a music degree that is balanced with a spiritual foundation
  • Discover and unlock your talents with specialized guidance from dedicated music faculty
  • Cultivate a deeper spiritual understanding and appreciation of music
  • Hone your stage presence and confidence with exposure to a variety of performance settings
  • Become a successful team leader and collaborator
  • Incorporate the arts into meaningful worship experiences
  • Discover God-given gifts through musical exploration in our challenging, nurturing environment
  • Gain a vast repertoire of musical styles, skills and techniques
  • Acquire performance and teaching skills that will prepare you for future job opportunities

Additional Information About the Bachelor of Arts in Music Program

Program Emphasis

NNU’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Music cultivates excellence in music creation, performance and appreciation. This comprehensive program offers a range of emphasis areas, including the music industry, general music, worship and music ministry and applied emphasis.

The Applied Emphasis allows students to choose from four tracks: piano, voice, instrumental or theory and composition. Alongside stimulating coursework, students are encouraged to gain practical experience by participating in at least one ensemble each semester.

NNU’s music curriculum has been developed to prepare students with the skills needed to create, perform and appreciate music. The program provides ensembles, lessons and courses open to all students. The music department also regularly holds concerts and recitals on campus available to the public.

  • Learn more about this degree and the required courses in the NNU Catalog.
Applied Concentration

This was designed for students interested in music performance and private studio teaching or those planning to pursue graduate work in performance, pedagogy or theory. Requirements are listed in the NNU Catalog.

Program Requirements

An acceptable level of keyboard proficiency (determined by examination) is required in all music emphases. Students admitted into music programs may acquire needed skills by taking available piano courses. Additionally, all music majors are required to:

  • Participate in a minimum of one ensemble per semester
  • Spend four semesters participating in the major ensemble based on their performance medium
  • Study privately each semester in their primary performance medium: voice or instrument (additional fee required)
  • Pass a juried examination in their performance medium each semester; a minimum of six examinations must be on file to qualify for graduation in music—exceptions will only be by permission from the Chair of the Music Department
  • Attend ten recitals or concerts each semester
Graduates of music degrees can pursue careers as professional musicians, solo performance, composer and performers, or pursue their graduate degree.

Career Paths For Music Degree Graduates

From becoming a music therapist to working as a music teacher, there are a range of rewarding careers available to music majors. You could also try your hand at music journalism, music production or music marketing. The possibilities are endless, and with your passion and skills, you will surely make a successful career in an industry you love.

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media Occupations

Worship Director

Meet Our Faculty

I feel like I’ve grown the most socially here. There’s a line in “It’s a Small World,” that “a smile means friendship to everyone.” I was like, maybe that’s cheesy but it might work… and people responded with a smile. I’ve made some good friends here and I’m really happy about that.
Elaina Crenshaw

Bachelor of Arts in Music

Frequently Asked Questions About Pursuing a Music Degree at NNU

Discover your potential at NNU’s music program! Feel confident exploring Northwest Nazarene University, as we have a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions to answer any student inquiries.

What career options will I have with a bachelor's degree in music from NNU?

Northwest Nazarene University’s bachelor’s degree in music program offers diverse career paths that cater to different interests and talents in the music industry.

One potential path is performance. As a graduate, you may become a solo artist, join an ensemble or work as a studio musician. You could perform in various settings, such as orchestras, bands and choirs, or as a solo artist across genres, including classical, jazz, pop or contemporary music.

If you’re interested in composition, your music degree can lead to opportunities as a composer for film, television, video games or other multimedia platforms. Alternatively, you could work as an arranger or songwriter.

For those passionate about education, our music graduates often become music teachers in elementary, middle or high schools, sharing their love for music with the next generation. Opportunities also exist to work as private music instructors or music directors in community organizations.

A unique field that some of our graduates have pursued is music therapy. As a music therapist, you would use music to help individuals improve their physical, emotional and cognitive well-being.

Lastly, if you’re interested in the organizational side of the arts, you could explore careers in arts administration. Roles could include concert manager, talent agent or arts program coordinator.

A bachelor’s degree in music from NNU provides a broad array of career options in the music industry, enabling you to follow your passion and make a significant impact in your chosen field.

What are the benefits of earning a bachelor of music degree at NNU over other universities?

Choosing to earn a Bachelor of Music degree at Northwest Nazarene University offers numerous benefits that set it apart from other institutions.

  • NNU’s music program is designed to cultivate excellence in creating, performing and appreciating music. This multidisciplinary approach ensures you develop a versatile skillset, enabling you to thrive in various areas within the music industry.
  • Another standout feature of NNU’s music program is its focus on practical learning. The University offers unique opportunities, such as the Music Education major, where students can earn their Music Teacher Certification through meaningful courses and field experiences.
  • The Commercial Music program prepares students for industry-specific roles, including record producers, studio musicians and entertainment management.
  • The NNU Music Department provides ample performance opportunities, regardless of whether you’re majoring in music. This inclusive approach allows you to continue honing your performance skills throughout your college career.
  • NNU’s focus on its mission and values sets it apart. As a part of the NNU community, you’re encouraged to grow academically, spiritually and socially. The University’s commitment to fostering an environment of faith, inclusion and service further enriches your educational journey.
  • NNU’s highly qualified faculty bring a wealth of experience and dedication to their teaching, providing personalized attention to nurture your musical potential.

Choosing NNU for your bachelor of music degree offers a comprehensive, practical and value-driven education that prepares you for a fruitful career in the music industry.

What kind of performance opportunities will I get as a music major at NNU?

At Northwest Nazarene University, music majors have many performance opportunities that enhance their educational experience and cultivate their musical talents.

As a part of the curriculum, music students must participate in at least one ensemble each semester. These ensembles offer invaluable hands-on experience and the chance to perform alongside peers. Additionally, students are expected to spend four semesters participating in the major ensemble related to their performance medium, such as voice or an instrument.

Private study is another critical element of the program. Students take private lessons each semester in their primary performance medium, a voice or an instrument. This personalized instruction allows students to refine their skills under the guidance of experienced faculty.

Music students must also pass a juried examination in their performance medium each semester. A minimum of six examinations must be passed to qualify for graduation in music. This rigorous process ensures that students continually strive for excellence in their craft.

Outside of classes, the NNU Music Department regularly holds concerts and recitals on campus open to the public. As a music major, you’ll be required to attend at least ten such events each semester, providing exposure to various performances and repertoire.

Lastly, an acceptable level of keyboard proficiency is required in all music emphases, with piano courses available for skill acquisition.

The NNU music degree prepares students for a professional career by offering many performance opportunities and fostering a comprehensive and enriching learning environment for aspiring musicians.

How does the faculty help prepare students for professional careers in the music industry?

The faculty at Northwest Nazarene University’s Music Department plays a pivotal role in preparing students for successful careers in the music industry.

Our faculty members are not just educators but also experienced music professionals, providing an invaluable blend of academic knowledge and industry insight. This unique combination allows students to gain a well-rounded understanding of music theory and practice while learning about the realities of working in the music industry.

Our faculty are deeply committed to mentoring students, walking alongside them throughout their educational journey. They are dedicated to fostering an environment where students can develop competitive skills in their craft.

Moreover, our professors are devoted to producing musicians who know and care deeply about music. This commitment ensures that students graduate with a profound appreciation and understanding of music, which is crucial for any successful career in the industry.

However, our faculty’s dedication goes beyond just academics and professional development. They are committed to nurturing a deeply grounded faith amongst students. They guide students in investing their gifts in the broader Kingdom of Christ, cultivating a sense of purpose and value that transcends their musical talents.
NNU’s outstanding music faculty provides comprehensive guidance that prepares students for professional success in the music industry and personal growth in their faith.