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Department of Music


The central mission of the Department of Music is to educate students in order that they might engage the global society and industry through transformational musical performance, scholarship, and service so they might be servant leaders in their chosen professions. In addition, musical offerings including ensemble, faculty, guest, and student performances enhance the total university liberal arts experience and give opportunity for creative fulfillment.

A thorough understanding of music theory, history and literature is required of the student majoring in music, and a high priority is given to general musicianship and the development of the highest level of artistic achievement within the student's chosen area of applied music. All courses and degree plans are designed to satisfy the requirements for music accrediting agencies.

The Department of Music is accredited with the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). In 1998, the Department of Music was given a commendation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Degree programs leading to state certification in music education (choral) conform to the requirements of the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

The music program is an integral part of Dallas Baptist University. Students enrolled in regular coursework are governed by the same rules and regulations for attendance, discipline, and examination as those who apply to the institution as a whole.

Educational Goals

To enable students to:

  • Gain an overall knowledge of music theory, forms, and structure.

  • Develop a workable knowledge of the history of Western music and cultivate an awareness of the influence of music upon culture.

  • Cultivate an awareness of non-Western indigenous music.

  • Present public performances at the highest artistic level possible.

  • Possess proficient keyboard, conducting, critical thinking, and improvisational skills.

  • Be prepared to earn a living in a chosen field of music.

Ministry Goals

To enable students to:

  • Understand that music is a gift from God the Creator and is an art form that helps to make us fully human.

  • Utilize music as a vehicle of worship.

  • Recognize music as a tool for worship, evangelism, edification, training, and recreation in order to meet the spiritual, intellectual, and physical needs of the students.


All incoming freshman and transfer music students must formally audition for admission into the Department of Music. Audition dates are posted on the DBU Department of Music Website ( Prospective music students should call the College of Fine Arts Office at 214-333-5316 to secure an audition time. Upon request, printed materials outlining the acceptance process are available to help each student prepare for the audition. This audition will also serve as a scholarship audition for the student seeking financial aid. The student will be notified in writing of his/her acceptance into the Department of Music, which will be contingent upon acceptance to the University.

Music Theory Placement

All incoming freshmen music majors/minors, and transfer students will be evaluated for proper placement in music theory and aural skills courses. This evaluation must also occur before these students can register for private music lessons in voice, piano, organ, guitar, or other instruments. This evaluation will take place during Freshman and Transfer Orientation and Registration days each June and/or in August prior to registration for classes. The evaluation is used by the music faculty to determine the course of study most conducive to the student’s present level of understanding. Based on the evaluation results, students who are placed into MUSI 1300 (Fundamentals of Music) and/or MUSI 1100 (Introduction to Aural Skills) will need to successfully complete these courses before they can register for MUSI 1311 (Theory I) and/or MUSI 1111 (Aural Skills I). Transfer students who have taken theory and aural skills courses at other institutions may be encouraged to register for appropriate remedial courses upon matriculation at DBU. They will eventually be required to pass the Music Proficiency Exam (M.P.E.) at the end of either the freshman or sophomore year of study based on the specific music degree they are pursuing.

Piano Placement Tests

All entering freshman and transfer music majors and minors must meet with the Program Director of the keyboard division to determine the appropriate piano level assignment. Results of the Music Theory Placement Exam will be considered in addition to a final piano placement decision.

All non-keyboard music majors must fulfill piano proficiency requirements as designated in their specific degree plans. These levels are based on cumulative skills development which should be completed prior to the junior year. Students must continue to enroll for applied piano instruction until this requirement is met.

Applied Music and Achievement Tests

At the end of four semesters of study, each student majoring in music will be advised as to their progress through a faculty sophomore review. All music students taking applied music for course credit must take an achievement test (Jury Examination) at the conclusion of each semester of study. Vocal Performance and PM Performance majors and concentrations must pass a division barrier examination at the conclusion of the sophomore year of study. The student may not advance to junior-level applied study without successfully completing this examination.

All music majors must pass a piano proficiency examination appropriate to the specific degree requirements. The student must continue to enroll in applied piano each semester until the proficiency requirements are met. A description of the level of achievement required is available to the student in the Department of Music Handbook or in the College of Fine Arts Office. The student pursuing the Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree in Music Education (Choral) with Teacher Certification must successfully pass the piano proficiency examination before the student-teaching semester. All other music majors must pass the piano proficiency examination prior to the semester of graduation.

MUSI 2023A:      Piano Proficiency Level III

MUSI 2023B:      Piano Proficiency Level IV

MUSI 2023C:      Sophomore Barrier for Piano Majors/Concentrations

MUSI 3023:         Piano Proficiency Level V 

Degree Offered 

  Piano Proficiency Needed

BA/BS in:


Music Business

MUSI 2023A or 2023B or 3023

Music Business

(Live Performance)

(Worship Leadership)



MUSI 2023A

MUSI 2023A

MUSI 1118

MUSI 1118

BM in:

Vocal Performance

Piano Performance


MUSI 2023B or 3023

MUSI 2023C and 3023

MUSI 2023A and 2023B

BMA in:

Interdisciplinary Studies (Vocal Emphasis)

Interdisciplinary Studies (Piano Emphasis)

MUSI 2023B or 3023

MUSI 2023C and 3023

BME in:

Music Education Certification (Choral)

MUSI 2023B or 3023

All music majors’ academic progress will be monitored through the Sophomore Review at the conclusion of four semesters of study.  The faculty will make recommendations and suggestions regarding the student’s progress and future as a music major.

Transfer Credit in Music
Credit in music courses earned at accredited institutions is accepted for transfer, subject to the following provision:

  • The minimum grade accepted for transfer is 2.0.

  • Credit in applied music toward a major in performance is accepted only after a performance test to determine the actual accomplishment of the student in technique and repertoire is taken.

  • Credit for Aural Skills (MUSI 1111, 1112, 2111, 2112), and Music Theory (MUSI 1311, 1312, 2311, 2312), Introduction to Music Literature and Fine Arts (MUSI 2305), and Music History and Literature (MUSI 3204, 3205, 3206) will be transferred only if each course has been completed with a minimum grade of 2.0. A placement test will be given to determine the DBU course(s) for which the student is prepared (e.g., a student wishing to transfer freshman theory will take a test to determine his/her readiness for sophomore theory).

Recitals and Seminar/Performance Lab
All music majors are required to have credit for eight (8) semesters of Seminar/Performance Lab (MUSI 1000/1001 (S-L)) in order to be certified for graduation; seven (7) semesters are required of the music education students due to the student-teaching semester. This course requires all music majors to attend 75% of all faculty, student, and guest designated recitals during each semester. All students taking applied music courses should expect to perform in Seminar/Performance Lab. Performance majors and students concentrating in voice, piano, and guitar are required to perform at least once during the course of each semester of study.

Individual recitals are required of all music majors in varying degrees of involvement. Performance majors in Voice or Piano are required to present a half-hour Junior Recital and a full-hour Senior Recital. Students majoring in Music Education with Teacher Certification (Choral) (BME) or Worship Studies (BMA) are required to present a recital in the area of applied concentration. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of one semester hour of applied instruction in their performance area during the semester in which the recital is presented.

Theory majors are required to present a thirty-to forty-five-minute recital during the senior year. The recital will consist of original compositions and arrangements by the student for a variety of voicings or instruments. The prerequisites for this recital are completion of MUSI 4240.


Private lessons are offered in voice, piano, composition, organ, guitar, and brass instruments. One (1) semester hour is given for one half-hour of private instruction each week. Two (2) semester hours are given for one hour of private instruction each week.

Music Ensembles

Creative involvement in musical ensembles is available to all qualified students. Any student who meets audition requirements may participate in a musical organization. Music majors must enroll in at least one major ensemble appropriate to their applied music concentration and/or area of teaching certification every semester until graduation, regardless of the number of ensemble credits accumulated. Students in music education must follow this policy with the exception of the student-teaching semester. Performing ensembles include the University Concert Chorale, DBU Doxology, DBU Grand Chorus, Piano Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Music Theater Practicum, and Opera Theater.

Music Scholarships
In addition to the financial aid programs administered by the University, numerous music scholarships are available. Qualifications are established primarily on the basis of performing ability and academic record and are awarded by audition or competition. Scholarships are awarded for one academic year. Renewal is not automatic and is subject to the regulations stated in the music scholarship agreement signed by the student. For further information regarding music entrance/ scholarship auditions please contact the College of Fine Arts office 214-333-5316 or see the DBU Department of Music Website. (

A minimum grade of C- is required for all music courses within a music major field of study.