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Music Education

Bachelor of Arts; Teaching Endorsement

Are you interested in teaching music? Briar Cliff offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in music education. 

Gain real experience by helping instruct in BCU's piano preparatory program and student-teaching in area schools. Our program is certified in vocal and/or classroom music by the Iowa Department of Education.

To qualify, you must also major in K-12 Education at Briar Cliff.

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Core Music Education Courses

MUSC 114 - Music Theory I

An introductory course covering the basic elements of music including pitch, notation, rhythm, meter, scales, key signatures, modes, intervals and triads. This course is designed for the student with little or no background in music theory. Students with previous formal instruction in music theory may request to test out of this course by passing a Fundamentals Exam (see instructor). Read more »

MUSC 114L - Music Theory Lab I

Sight singing and ear training lab corresponding to the regular lecture classes in Music Theory I. This course introduces students to sight singing using solfege syllables and to basic ear training skills. Exercises in keyboard harmony are also included. Read more »

MUSC 115 - Music Theory II

Continued study of tonality in vocal and instrumental music including four-part choral writing and voice leading procedures. Also includes harmonic cadences, nonharmonic tones, melodic organization, rhythm, texture, and dominant seventh chords. Prerequisite: MUSC 114 or permission of instructor Read more »

MUSC 115L - Music Theory Lab II

Sight singing and ear training lab corresponding to the regular lecture classes in Music Theory II. Basic practice in sight singing and melodic and harmonic dictation. Exercises in keyboard harmony are also included. Read more »

MUSC 125 - American Popular Music (Online)

A music appreciation course focused on the history and evolution of rock music. Topics include ragtime, Tin Pan alley, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, country, soul, Motown, British invasion, folk psychedelic rock, southern rock, heavy metal, art and glitter rock, ska and reggae, punk rock, new wave, funk, disco, hip-hop and rap. All reading assignments, listening assignments, writing assignments, quizzes and exams are completed online. Read more »

MUSC 247 - Music History and Literature I

A study of musical developments in art music from their origins through the Pre-classical era (1760-70). Special emphasis is placed on the evolution of styles, forms, instrumentation, and performance practice. Areas to be explored include (but are not limited to): music of Antiquity; the development of Gregorian chant, organum, the isorhythmic motet, and the rise of the secular song in the Middle Ages; the importance of the Mass, the Motet, and the Madrigal in the Renaissance; the beginning of opera and the rise of instrumental music in the Baroque and Pre- classical eras. The musical elements will be introduced and the student is expected to do aural analysis and be able to identify through listening the music and forms from each of these period of music history. Read more »

MUSC 248 - Music History and Literature II

A study of musical developments in art music from the Classical Period (1760-70) through to the present day. Special emphasis is placed on the evolution of styles, forms, instrumentation, and performance practice. The emergence and development of the symphony, sonata, concerto, art song, and opera will be studied as well as a variety of different music compositional styles. These styles include (but are not limited to): Classical, Romanticism, Impressionism, Expressionism, Neoclassicism, Primitivism, Serialism, Aleatoric music, Electronic music, Neoromanticism, and Minimalism. Very little emphasis will be placed on popular music or jazz. The musical elements will be introduced and the student is expected to do aural analysis and be able to identify through listening to music and forms from each of these periods of music history. Read more »

MUSC 314 - Music Theory III

Continued study of harmony including non-dominant sevenths, secondary dominants and leading tones, modulation and basic binary and ternary form. Introduction to altered chords including Neapolitan 6ths, borrowed chords and augmented 6th chords. Prerequisite: MUSC 115 Read more »

MUSC 314L - Music Theory Lab III

Sight singing and ear training lab corresponding to the regular lecture classes in Music Theory III. Intermediate practice in sight singing and melodic and harmonic dictation. Exercises in keyboard harmony are also included. Read more »

MUSC 315 - Music Theory IV

Introduction to late Renaissance polyphony, eighteenth-century counterpoint and the fugue. Extended and chromatic harmony including 9th, 11th, and 13th chords. Sonata form, rondo form, and variation technique. Introduction to contemporary music of the 20th and 21st centuries including twelve-tone technique and set theory anaylsis. Read more »

MUSC 315L - Music Theory Lab IV

Sight singing and ear training lab corresponding to the regular lecture classes in Music Theory IV. Advanced practice in sight singing and melodic and harmonic dictation. Exercises in keyboard harmony are also included. Read more »

MUSC 345 - Methods of Teaching Music in Elementary School

A preparation for teaching music in the primary and intermediate grades. Activities for singing, rhythm, listening, body movement and creative activities, with emphasis on curriculum development and lesson planning. For Music major and minors only. Students must complete 20 hours of observation/teaching in an assigned field experience. Read more »

MUSC 437 - Conducting I

The techniques and skills of communication via gesture are explored in this skill-oriented course. Application will focus on concise techniques, use of right and left hand, cueing, phrasing, negation, gesture of syncopation, and releases. Students who are not music majors or minor should obtain the consent of the instructor before registering for the course. Read more »

MUSC 438 - Conducting II

Following successful completion of MUSC 437, this course is a continuation and development of choral musicianship through conducting and study of choral literature. The addition of active and passive gestures as well as left hand fluency will be emphasized in this course. In-class conduction of recitatives, anthems, and other literature serves to integrate and apply skills. Prerequisite: MUSC 437 Read more »

MUSC 440 - Methods of Teaching Music in Secondary School

A comprehensive course dealing with teaching learning systems, materials, curriculum development, and lesson planning in junior high and high school music programs. Students must complete 20 hours of observation/teaching in an assigned field experience. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

All music majors participate in at least one performing ensemble (Cliff Singers, Chamber Choir or the BCU jazz ensemble).

Music majors are to register for recital attendance each semester of enrollment and are required to attend all music performances given by faculty and students, on and off campus.

Students pursuing an endorsement in music education may not student teach until the piano proficiency exam is completed. The proficiency exam in piano includes demonstrating the ability to perform vocal exercises, scales, chord progressions, choral score reading, harmonization, transposition, and the performance of vocal accompaniments. Music majors must pass the piano proficiency exam by the end of the second full year of study in order to continue in the program as a music major.

A senior recital or senior project, approved by the music faculty, must also be completed before graduation.

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