Master of Sacred Music Online (M.S.M.)

Master of Sacred Music Online

(31 credits)

Learn more about General Graduate Policies.

Major Area
SM 523Choral Music for Adults1
SM 610Foundations of Music Ministry2
SM 630Sacred Music Capstone1
SM 631Worship Planning/21st Cent.3
SM 710Panorama of Sacred Music3
SM 722Theology, Liturgy & Worship3
Core Courses
MH 731Intro to Musicology3
Theory or Music History elective3
Core Elective 13
CR 524Vocal Techniques for Choirs3
CR 621Choral Conducting I (OR Conducting Intensive Workshop - one week OR Choral Institute at Oxford (student must be accepted to conduct, not audit))3
CR 625Choral Pedagogy3
Total Credits31

 The core elective must be a single, 3-credit graduate-level course outside the student's major area of emphasis, and or area of applied study.

Courses and Descriptions

SM 523 Choral Music for Adults 1 Credits

This course is designed to acquaint the church choral director with repertoire suitable for use with adult choirs and adult ensembles. Representative repertoire from all periods of music will be discussed and analyzed. Rehearsal techniques will be incorporated regarding introducing the repertoire, skill-building development, and warm-ups. Focus will be on repertoire that can be used during special services throughout the liturgical church year.

SM 610 Foundations of Music Ministry 2 Credits

This graduate level course surveys the vocational needs, professional relationships, administrative styles, and teaching roles of the practicing church musician. In addition to an overview of professional standards, emphasis will also be placed on music engraving skills (music notation software), budgeting, recruitment, endowments and fundraising.

SM 630 Sacred Music Capstone 1 Credits

Independent research leading to a completed capstone project, such as a pedagogical publication or presentation, development of an original or unique method of instruction, instructional materials, etc. The project must be approved by the department.

SM 631 Worship Planning/21st Cent. 3 Credits

Designed to facilitate the planning of worship, this practical course will be an immersion in the musical and theological materials available to those who create worship.

SM 710 Panorama of Sacred Music 3 Credits

This graduate-level course is a one-semester survey of those masterworks and significant musical movements that have shaped the evolution of Western Sacred Music. Beginning with the Old Testament, this course will move through all eras, highlighting important composers and liturgical trends, placing them in their appropriate cultural and theological contexts.

SM 722 Theology, Liturgy & Worship 3 Credits

A detailed study of the Bible. Principal thematic and narrative elements are correlated to the development of the church’s historic liturgies and the theological principles behind them.

MH 731 Intro to Musicology 3 Credits

Introduction to the basic tools of research in historical musicology in order to foster: (1) an awareness of the nature and scope of historical musicology as a scholarly discipline; (2) familiarity with the techniques of musicological research; (3) an understanding of the relationship between musicological research and performance practice; and (4) experience in the application of musicological techniques to specific musical works and issues. It is strongly recommended that this course be taken at the outset of graduate study. Required for all Master of Music candidates.

CR 524 Vocal Techniques for Choirs 3 Credits

Study of vocal techniques appropriate for use in choral rehearsals and for teaching class voice. Techniques for effecting change in group vocal productions are discussed, including such topics as the identification of group vocal problems and mental and physical preparation of a group for good vocal production. Techniques to be developed include (1) how to communicate information about vocal technique to amateur singers, (2) exercises used to develop choral sound by improving diction, dynamics, legato, staccato, martellato, high and low registers, resonance, vowel modification, etc., (3) how to train singers to use a vocal production specifically appropriate to the repertoire of various style periods and the demands of individual composers, and (4) conducting methods for good choral and vocal training. Recommended both for conducting majors and for students in other major programs, including those for whom the voice is not the primary performance medium.

CR 621 Choral Conducting I 3 Credits

A study of conducting to develop technique through facial expression, breathing, alignment and gesture. Emphasis is placed on developing and refining a process of score study. This course will assist conductors in evaluating their conducting and preparing them to make conducting decisions based upon score study.

CR 625 Choral Pedagogy 3 Credits

This online course reorganizes the components of choral rehearsal technique to reflect a harmonic approach to rehearsing, teaching, and learning. It is designed to emphasize the importance of teaching audiation and rehearsing choirs within a harmonic context.