The objectives of this department are to help the student gain an understanding and appreciation of the musical heritage of man, and to provide leisure-time, cul- tural and artistic activities,such as group music experiences and intelligent listening to aid the student in acquiring the knowledge, techniques, and skills necessary for performers, composers, church musicians, teachers, and music technologists.


In harmony with La Sierra University’s mission to enlarge human understanding through scholarship, to educate the whole person, and to serve others in a global community, the mission of the Music Department is to advance the study and practice of music within the context of Christian values and ideals by:

  1. Participating in the campus-wide emphasis on a broad, balanced curriculum by providing the non-music major opportunities to participate in performance ensembles, performance instruction, and general education classes.
  2. Fostering an environment that supports a learning dialogue among the students, faculty, and community.
  3. Assisting in gaining insight into the significance and function of music in the student’s spiritual life and community of worshipers.
  4. Nurturing the student’s growth in aesthetic sensitivities and values and enabling the student to effectively communicate these values.
  5. Assisting the student in developing a critical and open-minded approach to music of diverse cultures and styles.
  6. Stimulating the student’s awareness of the vital role of music in society and inspiring a commitment to help provide exposure to music for all.
  7. Supporting the advancement of musical life in the Seventh-day Adventist Church by encouraging the student to become an active contributor.
  8. Fostering the student’s development of self-discipline, responsibility, and professionalism in music.

Learning Outcomes

The Department of Music at La Sierra University is committed to helping the serious music student develop a life-long engagement with music as performer, composer, and listener. By providing the essential tools for making and responding to music, it is the aim of the following student learning outcomes to create a “whole” musician with the requisite skills, experiences, and artistic sensibilities that have the potential to continually inform and transform the musical life during and after formal study.  Thus, at the completion of music studies at LSU, the student will have developed:

  1. A seeing ear and a hearing eye. Further defined, students should be able to recognize, identify, and create, given notation and/or sound, simple to complex patterns and structures as they relate to the musical elements of pitch, duration, amplitude, and timbre.
  2. A theoretical foundation of music. Analytical techniques, from simple to advanced, are presented as tools to help in understanding and internalizing musical form and content.  This leads to the student’s development as analyzer and evaluator in becoming a qualified listener.
  3. The ability, given sound and/or notation, to respond to, perform and shape the elements of music. This suggests being able to manipulate these elements within the student’s role as listener (both analytical and evaluative), performer, or composer, in a stylistically coherent and informed manner.
  4. A working knowledge and practical understanding of the history
    of music and musical styles.
    Primarily based on the European-centered tradition, but also observed from world traditions, this study informs the student’s role as listener, performer and composer.
  5. An understanding and application of appropriate pedagogical techniques, methods and tools as they relate to the variety of demands placed on today’s music teacher. Depending on the student’s area of emphasis, this means gaining effectiveness in the implementation of methodologies in primary and secondary areas of musical expertise as they relate to age group and discipline.
  6. Refined technical and interpretive skills necessary for informed solo and collaborative performance appropriate to the degree.
  7. A basic competency in music technology. These elements include digital notation, sequencing, MIDI sequencing, audio recording, and web integration of multi-media objects.
  8. A broad base of experiences on which to build a personal philosophy of music. In light of the above outcomes, this means being able to appreciate music of worth, and distinguish between what is longlasting and what is fad, in secular and sacred styles

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