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Bachelor’s Degree in Music

Bachelor of Arts in Music Program Overview

Pursue a major in Music at FHU for a dynamic educational experience. Develop performance skills, deepen musical understanding and explore teaching licensure opportunities. Our distinguished faculty and supportive environment prepare you for a rewarding career in music.



Department of Creative and Communication Arts

Department chair name:

Margaret Payne
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Alan Kinningham

Learning at FHU

Why major in music at FHU?

Looking to become a music specialist? Explore FHU’s Music program where students master musical performance, music theory, history, leadership skills, musical arrangement, and advanced techniques. Empower yourself with our program to excel in the world of melodies and harmonies.

Looking to become a music specialist? Explore FHU's Music program where students master musical performance, music theory, history, leadership skills, musical arrangement, and advanced techniques. Empower yourself with our program to excel in the world of melodies and harmonies.

Program Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Education
  • Expert Faculty
  • Performance Opportunities
  • Teaching Licensure
  • Supportive Environment
  • Diverse Career Paths

Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree Four-Year Plans

Unlock your path to musical success with a comprehensive four-year plan specifically tailored to guide you. FHU’s Music program is designed to empower students with the essential tools and skills necessary to excel in the highly competitive landscape of the music industry.

There are varied career opportunities available for graduates with a music degree, spanning diverse roles in the music industry. From performing in various genres, teaching music, and leading musical performances to engaging in music technology, and sound engineering, your music education opens doors to a wide array of fulfilling and rewarding musical paths.

Careers for Music Majors

As a Music major at Freed-Hardeman University, you’ll have access to a variety of career opportunities within the music industry and related fields. Here are some potential careers you can pursue after completing your Music degree at FHU:

  • Music Educator
  • Music Performer
  • Music Director/Conductor:
  • Music Producer
  • Music Marketing and Promotion
  • Private Music Instructor

Music Major Degree Requirements

Discover the captivating Music program at Freed-Hardeman University! Master your instrument, explore music theory, history, and performance. Ignite your creative spark and launch a thrilling music career. Unleash your musical potential with us! 

I. Liberal Arts Core Requirements

Listed in this catalog under Academics: Liberal Arts Core

II. Major Requirements* - 39 hours
MUS 102        Sight Singing and Ear Training 3
MUS 200 Introduction to Music Technology 
MUS 201 Music Theory I 3
MUS 202 Music Theory II 3
MUS 214 The Development of American Music  3
MUS 310 Principles of Conducting 3
MUS 311 Music History I (W) 3
MUS 312 Music History II (W)
MUS 316 Instrumentation and Orchestration (W) 3
MUS 324 Survey of Music Literature (W)
MUS 400 Form Analysis 3

Applied Music (Upper-division)** 

(Proficiencies must be passed by junior year.)

MUS   Private Voice*** OR 
MUS  Private Piano***  (2)

*Participation in an organized performance ensemble or approved music group, approved by the Department of Fine Arts, or accompanying is required of all majors each semester (except the student teaching semester).

**Applied Music: Students should take four (4) hours of applied music (upper division) in their chosen area (instrument/voice). (Student teaching may waive one (1) hour of upper-division applied music.)

***Students will also take two (2) hours of either piano or voice outside of their chosen area.

III. Electives (including additional Bible) - 53 hours
Requirements for Teaching Licensure in Music

1. Completion of the B.A. major in music as outlined above with one exception – only three (3) hours of applied music must be upper-division.
2. Required professional education courses (see Department of Education entry)
3. Complete the required additional courses: MUS 200 Introduction to Music Technology, MUS 318 Introduction to Digital Music Production I, MUS320 Introduction Digital Music Production II, and MUS 410 Music Education for Schools.

Music Programs

Choral Program 

The Freed-Hardeman University Chorale was formed in 2004 and is a mixed ensemble of musicians who are both music major and non-music major students. The University Chorale specializes in sacred unaccompanied selections, but is not limited to that repertoire. The director, Dr. Gary McKnight, is dedicated to the study and performance of the finest choral literature of all music eras, as well as to developing the talents of each of the group’s members.

Auditions for new members are held at the beginning of the fall semester. The University Chorale rehearses daily and maintains an active concert and touring schedule. The Chorale makes extended bus tours, and every other summer many of its members participate in a campaign in which the group travels overseas, presenting concerts arranged by local churches and assisting with mission efforts.

Jazz Band

The jazz band performs at various on-campus events such as Homecoming and basketball games. In addition, travel to area high schools and jazz festivals will be a part of the group’s schedule in the future.

The jazz band will utilize students who are competent in saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, keyboard, percussion, and/or other instruments as they are called for in the combo’s repertoire.

Auditions will be conducted annually during Makin’ Music weekend in the Draughon Center for Musical Arts and by appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Bachelor of Arts in Music Program

Below are answers to questions prospective students often have when considering a major in Music. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact admissions@fhu.edu and they will happily answer questions and provide additional details about our program.

What makes a Bachelor's Degree in Music at FHU unique?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Music at Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) stands out for several reasons, making it a unique and compelling choice for aspiring musicians:

  1. Comprehensive Curriculum: The Music program at FHU offers a comprehensive curriculum covering music theory, history, education, and performance. This well-rounded approach prepares students for diverse career paths within the music industry.
  2. Specialized Emphasis: Students have the opportunity to focus on performance, with an emphasis on voice and piano. This specialization allows them to hone their skills and pursue their passion for musical expression.
  3. Teaching Licensure Opportunities: FHU’s Music program provides pathways for Teaching Licensure in Music or Vocal/General. Aspiring music educators can gain the necessary qualifications to lead and inspire future generations of musicians.
  4. Supportive Learning Environment: With a low student-faculty ratio, students receive personalized attention and guidance from distinguished faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.
  5. Rich Performance Opportunities: The program offers students numerous chances to perform in vocal and instrumental ensembles, providing valuable practical experience and exposure to diverse musical styles.
  6. Private Instruction: FHU offers private instruction in piano, voice, and various instruments, allowing students to receive individualized training and mentorship to enhance their skills.
  7. Versatile Career Paths: Whether students aspire to be professional musicians, music educators, or simply want to deepen their passion for music, FHU equips them with the knowledge and skills to thrive in various music-related careers.
  8. Nurturing Creativity: FHU’s Music program encourages and nurtures creativity, empowering students to unleash their full musical potential and express themselves through the transformative power of music.

In summary, FHU’s Bachelor’s Degree in Music offers a comprehensive education, specialized emphases, teaching licensure opportunities, and a supportive environment that fosters musical excellence and empowers students to pursue successful and fulfilling careers in the world of music.

What is the path to becoming licensed to teach music with a degree in music from FHU?

The path to becoming licensed to teach music with a degree in Music from Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) involves following a specific track known as the Teaching Licensure track in Music. This track is designed to prepare students to meet the licensure requirements for teaching music in K-12 schools or other educational settings. Here’s an overview of the steps involved:

  1. Major in Music: Begin by majoring in Music at FHU. The Music program will provide you with a comprehensive education in music theory, history, performance, and education, laying the groundwork for your teaching career.
  2. Education Courses: In addition to the Music courses, you will need to take required education courses offered by the Department of Education at FHU. These courses will cover topics such as educational psychology, classroom management, teaching strategies, and other essential aspects of effective teaching.
  3. Applied Music Study: Participate in applied music study (upper-division) in your chosen area, either voice or your primary instrument. Building proficiency in your primary instrument is essential for aspiring music educators.
  4. Music Technology and Education Courses: Complete specific music-related courses to meet the licensure requirements. These courses may include topics like “Introduction to Music Technology,” “Introduction to Digital Music Production I,” and “Music Education for Schools.”
  5. Practicum and Student Teaching: Engage in practicum experiences and a supervised student teaching internship in a school or educational setting. These practical experiences provide you with hands-on teaching opportunities and valuable exposure to real-world classroom environments.
  6. Licensure Examination: After completing the required coursework and practical experiences, you will need to pass the appropriate licensure examination(s) as mandated by your state’s education board. This examination typically assesses your knowledge and competency in music education and teaching practices.

Upon successfully completing these steps and meeting the licensure requirements, you will become licensed to teach music in your state, opening the door to a rewarding career as a music educator in schools and educational institutions.

What is the job outlook for students who graduate with a degree in music?

The job outlook for students who graduate with a degree in music can vary depending on the specific career path they choose to pursue and their level of skill, experience, and networking within the music industry. Here are some potential career paths for music graduates and their respective job outlooks:

  1. Music Performers: The job outlook for music performers can be competitive, as there are many talented musicians vying for limited performance opportunities. Success in this field often requires exceptional talent, dedication, and the ability to stand out in a crowded market.
  2. Music Educators: The job outlook for music educators can be positive, especially in K-12 education. There is a demand for qualified music teachers in schools and private music academies. Additionally, opportunities may exist for music educators in community music programs and arts organizations.
  3. Music Therapists: The job outlook for music therapists is projected to be favorable, as there is growing recognition of the therapeutic benefits of music in healthcare and special education settings. Music therapists can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and mental health facilities.
  4. Music Directors/Conductors: The job outlook for music directors and conductors can be competitive, particularly for prestigious orchestras and ensembles. However, opportunities exist in community orchestras, choirs, and educational institutions.
  5. Music Producers and Sound Engineers: The job outlook for music producers and sound engineers can be steady, particularly with the increasing demand for music production and recording services in the entertainment industry.
  6. Music Teachers (Private Lessons): The job outlook for music teachers offering private lessons can be favorable, especially in areas with a strong interest in music education. Private music instructors often build their client base through word-of-mouth referrals.
  7. Music Industry Professionals: Job opportunities in the music industry extend beyond performance and teaching roles. Music graduates may find careers in music publishing, arts administration, music marketing, and music technology.

It’s important to note that success in the music industry often requires a combination of talent, hard work, networking, and adaptability to changing trends. Many music graduates pursue a combination of careers, such as performing, teaching, and working in related music fields, to create diverse and fulfilling career paths.


While the job outlook can be competitive in some areas, the passion and dedication of music graduates often lead them to find meaningful and rewarding opportunities in the ever-evolving world of music.

What skills can I learn while majoring in Music at FHU?

While majoring in Music at Freed-Hardeman University (FHU), you can learn a wide range of valuable skills that will prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career in the music industry. Some of the key skills you can develop include:

  1. Musical Proficiency: Master your chosen instrument or voice, building technical skills and musical expression to excel as a performer.
  2. Music Theory: Understand the fundamental principles of music theory, including harmony, rhythm, and melody, enhancing your ability to analyze and compose music.
  3. Music History: Explore the evolution of music through various historical periods and genres, gaining insights into the cultural and artistic context of musical works.
  4. Performance Techniques: Improve your stage presence, interpretation, and communication skills to deliver captivating and emotive performances.
  5. Music Arrangement: Acquire skills in arranging and adapting musical compositions for different instruments and ensembles.
  6. Collaboration: Engage in ensemble performances and group projects, learning to collaborate effectively with other musicians and artists.
  7. Leadership: Gain leadership skills through leading musical ensembles or projects, fostering teamwork and creativity.
  8. Adaptability: Embrace diverse musical styles and genres, enabling you to adapt and thrive in various musical settings.

By majoring in Music at FHU, you will receive a well-rounded education that nurtures your musical talent and passion while equipping you with a broad spectrum of skills. 

Whether your path leads you to the concert hall, the classroom, the recording studio, or beyond, the skills you gain during your Music degree at FHU will help you thrive in the dynamic and diverse world of music.

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