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    Hope College
    Aug 16, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog


The Mission of Hope College Department of Music is to grow a community of music-makers who understand and experience the power of music to transform lives, connect across cultures, and engage with society. Through a creative curriculum that bridges western and global, historical and contemporary traditions, the department seeks to develop students’ musical skills as well as the curiosity, collaboration, versatility, entrepreneurialism, leadership and community engagement that make those skills relevant for the 21st century.

About The Program

The Department of Music, through rigorous standards in a supportive atmosphere, nurtures students in the pursuit of the highest levels of musical excellence.

Our department invites all Hope College students to participate in music, whether they wish to pursue a professional degree, make music the center of their liberal arts education, perform in an ensemble, or take instrumental or voice lessons for the first time.

Students enrolled in the music program at Hope College engage in a wide variety of experiences outside the classroom:

  • Directing choirs in area churches
  • Teaching private instrumental lessons
  • Organizing combos and playing in area night spots
  • Playing in area symphony orchestras

Graduates of the Department of Music have gone on to careers as:

  • Teachers at major universities
  • Hornist in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Teachers in elementary and secondary schools
  • Leading baritone in a prominent Eastern opera company
  • Cellist in a French orchestra
  • Staff accompanists with opera companies and at a major university
  • Keyboardist and assistant conductor for Broadway production of Lion King
  • Stage director for Metropolitan Opera Company
  • Leading contralto with Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Church musicians

Others have pursued careers in recording/sound engineering, arts administration, law, medicine,psychology, film, theater and other fields.

The Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.


The Department of Music offers both the Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music, and the Bachelor of Music degrees in Performance and in Music Education. The goals and objectives of these two degrees are somewhat different, but both are designed to provide a strong basis for the study of music.

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Music is a liberal arts degree which provides the student with basic professional training in music while offering a large number of elective choices, both music and non-music. This degree is the best choice for a student who is planning a second major outside of music, or desires a combination of study areas that do not merge well with any of the Bachelor of Music curricula. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Music work closely with their advisors to design a program that matches their individual goals and interests.

The Bachelor of Music in Performance, including the Bachelor of Music in Performance with Jazz emphasis, is a professional music degree that prepares students for professional music involvement, and/or graduate work in music performance. The Bachelor of Music in Music Education(Instrumental or Vocal) prepares students for music teaching at the elementary or secondary level. The General Education requirements for these degrees are reduced in order to accommodate the depth and breadth of music study expected. Curricula are structured to provide the highest possible professional development in technical, analytical, historical and pedagogical areas of the major.

In partnership with the Hope College Department of Education, the Department of Music offers a teaching major for certification through the State of Michigan. The curricula leading to the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education degree, or the Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education degree, include substantial coursework through the Department of Education. Either degree (vocal or instrumental) leads to K-12 certification upon the student gaining Michigan provisional teacher certification. Students work closely with advisors within the Departments of Music and Education as they plan their coursework.

Students who wish to major in music, following either the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Arts degree programs, should start work in the department in their freshman year, following the suggested schedule closely. If possible, students should indicate their preference in the application for admission to Hope College.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree are also assessed at the end of the fourth semester for entrance to upperclass work.

Students who plan to complete the Bachelor of Music degree in addition to another degree must complete the full B.A./B.S. General Education requirements. Students intending to complete a dual degree in music must consult with the chairperson of the Department of Music, and must expect their studies to require nine or ten semesters of course work.

The departmental standard for progressing through the music curriculum requires that students receive a minimum grade of C in all courses within the major and minor. If that standard is not met, the student must repeat the course in order to complete the requirement. Online Music courses DO NOT fulfill the requirements for a degree in Music.

All students pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree must participate in ensemble work each semester. Ensemble experiences are vital to a musician’s development, and they should include participation in both large and small ensembles as appropriate. When the principal instrument is voice or a band/orchestral instrument, the student must enroll in a large ensemble (MUS 115 , MUS 116 , MUS 117 , MUS 120 , MUS 130 , MUS 133 , MUS 135 , MUS 140 ) each semester. Music education majors are excused from this requirement during the semester of student teaching. Students whose principal instrument is piano, organ or guitar must fulfill their ensemble credits through enrollment in any of the large ensembles listed above. During semesters of degree study when they are not enrolled in a large ensemble for credit, they may enroll in MUS 160  or fulfill the ensemble participation requirement by accompanying in the Department of Music in conjunction with course requirements for MUS 177  or MUS 179 .


In addition, the Department of Music offers a minor in Music and a minor in Jazz Studies, as well as the opportunity for any interested student on campus to enroll in a wide variety of music courses, performance study, and/or ensemble participation.




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