SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Music major at Southwest Baptist University

Degree Requirements

Related Majors

In the News

Questions? Contact

Martha Hicks, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music, and Professor of Music
(417) 328-1633

Visit the Department of Music website for more information.

Achieve excellence in music performance, scholarship, and appreciation.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is designed as a second degree added to another degree outside the Department of Music. The B.A. allows students to receive a music degree while concentrating on career preparation in a non-related field. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Music are eligible to apply for the Performer's Certificate or for the Piano Pedagogy Certificate.

The SBU Advantage

  • Our professors’ backgrounds include previous experience as teachers, church musicians, members of orchestras, composers, arrangers and even working within a recording studio.
  • The SBU Department of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
  • Nearly 100% of our music major graduates find positions within their field upon graduation.
  • SBU offers more than a dozen performance ensemble opportunities.
  • Our performing groups tour internationally, nationally and regionally.
  • The Department of Music is a close-knit family.

Engaged Learning

Through a variety of choral and instrumental performance groups, students put into practice what they learn in the classroom. These groups perform concerts on campus, and many of them also perform off campus.

Course Information

A Bachelor of Arts in general music is SBU’s most flexible music degree by allowing the student to combine the study of music as a first or second major, with a major in another discipline. Students may also choose to combine this degree with a minor area or simply a combination of varied courses of interest to the student.
All Music majors must complete 27 hours of core music classes in addition to SBU’s general education requirements. A B.A. requires 7 hours of Applied Music, 6 semesters of Major Ensemble, and 32 hours in a Minor, Second Major or Electives.

Performing Groups

The SBU Department of Music has both choral and instrumental performing groups.

Choral and Vocal Studies groups include Chorale, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Masterworks Chorus, Higher Ground, and Opera Workshop.

Instrumental Studies groups include Wind Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Clara Fuson String Quartet, Woodwind Ensembles, Brass Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble and Pep Band.

Read more about these groups.

Admission and Scholarships


In addition to admission to the University, a student pursuing a music degree must be admitted to the department of music. Upon successful completion of an entrance audition, all new students (freshmen and transfer students) are first admitted to the department as pre-music majors. Upon completion of specific courses and evaluation by the music faculty, pre-music majors may be formally admitted into a music degree program.

Repertoire Guidelines


The majority of SBU music students are selected to receive financial assistance through a music performance scholarship in one or more areas (keyboard, vocal and instrumental). Awards are renewable annually. Requirements for receiving scholarships are listed with each scholarship:
Choral and Instrumental Scholarships. Participate in an assigned role in SBU ensembles.
Keyboard Scholarships. Perform assigned accompanying duties for soloists and/or ensembles in the department.

All Scholarships. Maintain a 2.5 minimum grade point average in all college course work.

SBU Music Scholarship Application

Internship Opportunities

Most students majoring in music complete an internship in their field.

Graduate and Career Opportunities

SBU students are equipped to showcase their proficiency not only in the classroom but also in professional settings. Graduates from the Music Department have found employment in music education, worship leadership, venue/arts management, and other administrative positions related to music.

Special features

  • Performer's Certificate: Earning this certificate provides concentrated training and performance experiences for students who demonstrate superior performance ability, and it is considered as preparation for graduate school or a performing career.
  • Piano Pedagogy Certificate: Earning this certificate provides piano students with courses in piano teaching, literature and supervised teaching experience as preparation for a career in piano teaching.

Degree Requirements

MUS 1611 Sightsinging/Eartraining I
Training in sightsinging and aural perception.
MUS 1613 Theory I
An intensive study of theoretical concepts of music organization, including notation, melody, rhythm and harmony. Beginning functional keyboard study.
MUS 1621 Sightsinging/Eartraining II
Continuation of MUS 1611.
MUS 1623 Theory II
An historical/analytical study of the theoretical concepts of music through the classical period. Functional keyboard study.
MUS 2611 Sightsinging/Eartraining III
Advanced work in sightsinging and aural perception.
MUS 2613 Theory III
An historical/analytical/compositional study of the theoretical concepts of music of the Romantic period as well as a brief study of counterpoint, fugue and variation techniques.
MUS 2621 Sightsinging/Eartraining IV
Continuation of MUS 2611.
MUS 2623 Theory IV
An historical/analytical/compositional study of theoretical concepts of music from 1890 to present.
MUS 1633 Survey of Music Literature
Survey of representative music literature from all historical periods and the development of analytical listening techniques.
MUS 3653 History of Western Music I
Intensive study of the history of music and representative music literature before 1750.
MUS 3663 History of Western Music II
Intensive study of the history of music and representative music literature since 1750.
MUS 2702 Basic Conducting
Introduction to manual techniques of conducting, terminology for the conductor, mechanics of choral, band and orchestral scores.
MUS 0100 Recital Attendance
Laboratory in music listening and performance. Attendance at a designated number of department-sponsored or approved concerts. Music majors must complete six semesters of this course.
Primary Applied Area (eight semesters, Level IV) for a total of eight hours.
Secondary Applied Area for a total of four hours Major Ensemble (eight semesters) for a total of eight hours.
Senior Recital

Four hours of music electives from the following:

MUS 2771 Vocal Diction I
A basic study of the phonetic pronunciation of the Italian and English languages through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
MUS 2781 Vocal Diction II
A basic study of the phonetic pronunciation of the German and French languages through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
MUS 2802 Piano Pedagogy
Discussion and analysis of suitable methods and materials of teaching at elementary and intermediate levels. Guidance in establishing and operating the private studio.
MUS 3602 Analysis of Music Structure
Advanced study of analytical techniques applied to music from the 17th-20th centuries.
MUS 3622 Orchestration
Study of the capabilities of band and orchestral instruments; analysis of scores; practical work in scoring for small and large instrumental combinations.
MUS 3712 Choral Conducting
Continued work toward mastery of the basic skills of conducting. Emphasis upon the development of choral rehearsal and performance techniques. Survey of stylistic characteristics of the five major periods of choral literature.
MUS 3722 Instrumental Conducting
Continued work toward mastery of the basic skills of conducting, including score study, score arranging, and baton technique. Emphasis upon the development of band and orchestra rehearsal and performance techniques. Survey of stylistic characteristics of the major periods of band literature.
MUS 3812 Vocal Pedagogy
An intensive study of vocal teaching techniques and vocal literature for use in private studio, voice class, music contest and worship. Laboratory teaching experience.
MUS 4622 Choral Arranging and Composition
Original composition in idioms of the 20th century, including original pieces suitable for school and church. Emphasis on creative ideas and techniques for choral arranging.
Plus an additional 30 hours of minor, second major, or elective courses. At least thirteen hours must be from non-music courses, including three hours in an art form other than music.