Influence of Music
Throughout history, music has played an influential role in many different cultures. Today, music continues to influence society and even more so among Christian circles as the foundation of worship and praise.
The Music Minor at Patrick Henry College is unique in that it offers students the opportunity to delve into the different fields of music professions. Not only that but it does so while emphasizing excellence and fidelity to an unwavering biblical worldview.
Regardless of the extent of their musical background, any student interested in studying music will find that the Patrick Henry College music minor well-equips them to serve in positions such as music teachers and worship leaders.
The Foundation: Patrick Henry College Courses Specific to the Music Minor
The Patrick Henry College music minor sets the foundation for all music learning through the Music Theory and Aural Skills courses. Music Theory I & II teaches the basics of how music is written. Students learn concepts such as chord progressions and figured bass.
Toward the end of the first semester, they have the opportunity to use the material they have learned to analyze a classical composition or compose a piece of their own. In conjunction with Music Theory, music minor students must take two semesters of Aural Skills. Through Aural Skills, they learn to recognize music patterns and progressions by hearing music being played. While music theory is a means to analyze music visually, aural skills is a means to analyze music through listening.
Applied Music Lessons
In addition to learning to analyze and compose pieces, students must take a minimum of four semesters of applied music lessons in piano, flute, string instruments, or voice. Because the music faculty at Patrick Henry College are highly qualified to teach at any level, students may take any applied music course regardless of how much prior experience they have in their instrument of choice.
As elective credits, music minor students may also opt to complete two semesters of piano accompaniment. Through this Patrick Henry College course, students learn the basics of what it means to be a good accompanist whether that be accompanying soloists or ensembles. This is particularly useful for those who want to serve as church accompanists or become professional instrumental accompanists.
Music Performance at Patrick Henry College
Music minor students have the opportunity to develop their talents by participating in group ensembles such as the Patrick Henry College chorale or orchestra. Each semester, the Patrick Henry College Music Department hosts two concerts involving both of these groups. Members of the chorale and orchestra spend their semester working together with others on pieces of all genres in preparation for public presentation.
A highlight of the fall semester is the service known as Lessons & Carols, in which members of the community gather at Advent season for a night of reflection structured around Scripture reading and musical pieces.
Not only do Patrick Henry College music minor students have the opportunity to develop their own music skills, but they also have the opportunity to learn how to share those skills with others. Among the required courses is Music Pedagogy. Toward the beginning, this course goes through teaching methods that apply regardless of the instrument. The course then focuses on different approaches to teaching piano and strings.
One of the two main projects the class works on is researching and writing a comparison about the advantages and disadvantages of specific methods. The most important project, however, involves actually putting the material into practice by teaching a student and then writing observations on what things went well and which things could be improved.
As an elective, students may choose to take a course such as Arts & Worship in the Church. This course directly connects use of music with the Christian faith, making it an ideal choice for those who are looking to join the music ministry.
Finally, Patrick Henry College’s music minor gives students the opportunity to use everything that they have learned through a practicum or internship. There are many different options that students may choose from. These may include teaching, assisting the Patrick Henry College Music Department’s office, accompanying, working with a church’s worship ministry, and doing a senior recital.
The Patrick Henry College Youth Music Academy also has had students intern with their group in the past. These opportunities give music minor students valuable experience before even entering the professional music field.
Why Patrick Henry College minor in music?
Even though Patrick Henry College’s music minor naturally attracts people who are musically inclined, it is a minor that anyone may choose. As an integral part of cultures throughout the ages, music has impacted the world in countless ways.
Understanding music, its background, how it is written and performed, is all just another part of understanding one of the major forces that influences people today. Christians have a unique understanding of music not only because it represents a means of communicating with God, but also because they have a unique understanding of truth and beauty. Just as in any other form of art, there is much that is good, true, and beautiful in music.
To a fallen world filled with evil and pain, music has the potential to recreate a realm of goodness and beauty. By studying music at Patrick Henry College, Christians may learn to influence the culture for Christ communicating truth without need of language. Regardless of whether someone intends to use his musical abilities within or without the church, the Patrick Henry College music minor gives him the tools to create meaning for others through music and lead them closer to the truth.