Studying Music the EMU Way

February 24th, 2011

Joan Griffing, DMA (Ohio State), BM & MM (Indiana University). Music department chair and professor (violin, viola).

EMU seeks to enable as many students as possible to understand and enjoy music. Strongly interested music students prepare to be music educators, performers, church musicians, master’s and doctor’s students in music, or to pursue other music-related professions or avocations.

The programs of EMU’s music department are widely known and highly respected. EMU’s curriculum offers students a thorough background in the music of Western traditions. It also grounds students in an appreciation of the vitality and applicability of all types of music, whether from this time and place, earlier centuries, or other cultures.

Music majors complete a common core of courses in music that include theory, history, conducting, performance, and elements of aesthetics, analysis, and writing about music. Students may choose a concentration in music education, performance, church music or our new concentration of interdisciplinary studies. The interdisciplinary concentration is perfect for students with the imagination and desire to integrate their music with another career path, such as nursing, business, or social work.

Lynne Mackey, DMA (The Eastman School), MM (Julliard), BM (University of Michigan). Associate professor (piano).

The music department has an extremely active performing faculty, on campus and away. They all possess graduate degrees from respected, competitive institutions, and they all seek to be excellent teachers and attentive mentors.

There are seven full-time music faculty members, plus a varying number of part-time teachers. They serve 20 to 25 students majoring in music and dozens more involved in departmental choirs or ensembles and in private study.

The music department sponsors more that 50 recitals and concerts annually, including student ensemble concerts, senior and junior recitals, noon recitals, faculty recitals, preparatory program events, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Each fall the music department coordinates a gala concert, performed and sometimes composed by students and recent graduates.

James Richardson, MM (Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins), BM (Covenant College). Assistant professor (voice).

Invited artists frequently perform on campus. Faculty-led trips to performances in Washington DC and other metropolitan centers provide educational enrichment.

The preparatory music program, which became a part of EMU in 1988, now provides classes to more than 350 school-aged students on the college campus each week. It is the only program of its kind in the region. In addition, since 2007 EMU has been the official provider of after-school strings instruction to Harrisonburg public school students. In 2010-11, 70 were receiving this instruction.

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