Why Maranatha’s Music Program is Right for You
Before you walk the aisle on graduation day, you want to be prepared for the future, and Maranatha’s music degree sets up students to succeed. After four years of education, you will be a well-rounded musician ready for wherever God leads: whether that’s pursuing graduate school, leading a church music ministry, arranging, or teaching.
Maranatha’s unique music program can be best explained in two parts. First, the music core helps students grasp music concepts, a foundation that will help them in any field of music they pursue. Then, a student chooses two concentrations: string pedagogy, piano pedagogy, church music, arranging, performance, and general music. This system gives students both in-depth knowledge and diversity in their understanding of music.
Is this unique degree structure working for our students? Junior Lorraine Yant certainly thinks so. She says, “MBU’s music program is flexible to allow the student to tailor their concentrations to best equip them for what they believe God has called them to.” The program gives every student both the basic instruction and specialized training to fulfill their life calling.
Peter Holloway, a senior, adds, “The main way MBU’s music program prepares its students for success is through the opportunities it gives them. No matter what concentration a music student is in, there is a myriad of opportunities to constantly exercise and hone the skills they are learning as they learn them.”
In the narrative that follows, Maranatha’s own music students explain the different concentrations they are taking. Imagine yourself in their shoes: being instructed, pushed, and encouraged through our outstanding music program here at MBU.
Are you interested in the composition and arranging of music? Senior Makayla Stevenson explains the arranging concentration of the music degree. “As part of the arranging concentration, students take eight semesters of Arranging Repertoire, a class that meets once a week to give students feedback on their arrangements. All arranging concentrations submit a weekly ‘work-in-progress’ and receive comments and suggestions from faculty and peers. Throughout their degree program, students take classes such as Orchestration, Choral Arranging, Instrumental Arranging, Keyboard Arranging, and Counterpoint.” Students in the arranging program present the highlights of their work in a formal arranging showcase their junior year.
Some students, such as senior Peter Holloway, choose to specialize in church music. He says, “It is an absolute privilege to work alongside professors like Dr. Brown, Dr. Kurtz, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Loggans, and Dr. Ledgerwood who have decades of experience in church music and have a vision for excellent music in the church. Their experience and leadership make for phenomenally informative and applicable class times.” The culmination of the church music concentration is an internship in a church. “The internship is a wonderful hands-on experience that throws the student right into the thick of music ministry. Varied challenges and responsibilities constitute a big part of the internship, just as they would occupy much of a music minister’s time. It is a hard, effective training ground for those headed into ministry with music.” What better way to prepare for church ministry than diving right into it!
Piano Pedagogy/String Pedagogy
The pedagogy concentration helps students learn how to successfully teach private and group lessons, prepare students for competitions and recitals, and handle many other practical aspects of operating a professional music studio.
Julia Bachorik says, “One of the requirements of the program is to do a six semester paid teaching internship through Maranatha Music Prep School, (a community music program offered by MBU). This hands-on experience not only includes teaching, but also a weekly, one-on-one meeting with faculty to discuss our teaching. In addition, pedagogy concentrations attend a weekly pedagogy seminar to teach us practical ideas we can use in our music teaching. MBU’s pedagogy internship is an ideal way to learn by doing. It also ensures that I will graduate with teaching experience needed to help me in my future workplace.” Lorraine Yant adds, “I love the fact that I am already doing what I know God has called me to do! It gives me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young students while solidifying what I am learning in my classes every week.”
During their senior year, interns submit a portfolio for certification through the Music Teachers National Association. Taking the pedagogy concentration prepares grads to enter the professional teaching world as a sought after teacher.
For those looking to pursue graduate school in performing, we have the performance concentration. In addition to frequent performances during weekly repertoire classes, students perform both a junior and a senior recital. Justin Bachmann, a senior specializing in vocal performance, explains, “Performing often in a low stakes environment such as repertoire class helps the performer develop a comfortableness on stage while the ‘audience of peers’ develops critical listening skills. Maranatha also requires us to participate in many concerts, competitions, and recitals, all of which contribute to developing a natural stage presence and fine arts composure.” Performance concentration requirements include chamber group experience, advanced-level music courses, and a Performance Capstone course that prepare students for graduate school. MBU music students continue to be accepted with scholarships and TA positions in graduate schools all over the United States.
Music majors who love working with children often choose to take general music as one of their concentrations. The general music concentration prepares students to successfully teach early childhood movement and music classes by providing several semesters of hands-on teaching experience at Maranatha’s Music Prep School and Kiddie Kampus. Students in this concentration earn their Level 1 Certification in Early Childhood Music Teaching through the international organization, Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. Coursework focuses on early childhood through elementary ages. Pairing the general music concentration with a pedagogy concentration can be strategic for future music entrepreneurs.
The most important part of the music program? The teachers. “The faculty accept us wherever we are, yet they constantly encourage us to improve and excel in our chosen field of study,” says Makayla Stevenson. Our teachers are gifted musicians who not only possess the intelligence to teach, but also the heart to care about each student.
Each musician is unique, and each career will be unique. But when you choose the Music program at Maranatha, you are setting yourself up for long term success in whatever path God leads you after graduation.