Mission and Learning Goals

Music is the arrangement of sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, through melody, rhythm, harmony, and timbre. It makes possible a language which expresses our deepest intuitive and creative nature. Education in the discipline of music includes the study of music theory, music history, literature, performance, and composition.

The Music Department educates music majors in the university setting through concentrations in Liturgical Music, Music Composition, Music Studies, and Performance, as well as, professional programs in Choral and Instrumental Music Education. Music majors should attain an understanding of the historical, theoretical, pedagogical and cultural principles which have contributed to the art music tradition, as well as competence in performance. The department educates all students (music majors/minors and the general student of any major), both individually and collaboratively, through appropriate courses in:

  • Music history, theory, and appreciation
  • Applied instrumental, and vocal instruction
  • Choral and instrumental ensembles

The Music Department seeks to shape “an integrative environment for learning which stresses intellectual challenge, open inquiry, collaborative scholarship and artistic creativity." (CSB/SJU Coordinate Mission Statement).

As a faculty, we want to create this environment by:

  1. broadening and deepening the knowledge and understanding of all aspects of music through research and publication, and
  2. enriching the lives of students, faculty, and communities - on both the national and international level - with performances of a wide variety of music.

The excellence, authenticity, and originality of these performances will also serve as models for future performances by students and provide a basis for developing informed and critical listening skills.

Student Learning Goals

1.  Applied music students will be able to satisfactorily perform a composition at their own individual technical levels.

2.  Student ensembles will satisfactorily perform music at levels appropriate to the ensembles' course descriptions.

3.  Students, particularly through the music theory curriculum, will understand and apply the musical elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm as evidenced in an evolving historical context.

4.  Students, particularly through courses in music history and literature (including Music History for majors, and music appreciation courses for minors and non-majors), learn to understand music in various traditions.

5.  Students, particularly in the techniques and pedagogy courses, will understand strategies for conducting, teaching and performing.

6.  Composition students will be able to compose a well-crafted piece of music.

7.  Liturgical music students will be able to plan and perform music for the liturgy.  

Fine Arts Common Curriculum Learning Goals

The Fine Arts requirement helps students deepen their understanding of an area of the arts, and develop the ability to apply analytic skills to aesthetic judgment.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the historical, theoretical or applied aspect of one of the fine arts.
  • Identify and describe a range of contrasting styles within one of the fine arts.
  • Experience the creative process through performance/artistic production and or through observation of demonstrations, workshops, live performances, etc.
  • Apply analytical skills in exercising artistic discrimination and aesthetic judgment.
  • Describe how the arts reflect and influence the individual and society.