Music

An orchestra on stage

With three distinct degrees and several areas of study, music students can choose a concentration area and degree program at Bethel University!

Our music degree program in Indiana, offers Bethel students many opportunities. Students come from the region (including Indiana, Illinois and Michigan) and from around the country. Instrumentalists can play in the wind ensemble, jazz combo or jazz combo, chamber orchestra or chamber ensemble, or percussion ensemble. Choral students can participate in concert choir, opera workshop or Voices of Triumph, an a cappella group (audition required).

Students are immersed in music through group rehearsals and private lessons with our full-time and adjunct faculty members, who are skilled and trained musicians (many performers in the South Bend/Mishawaka area). Bethel’s music program welcomes the non-degreed student-musicians as well – just another part of receiving a well-rounded liberal arts degree.

Bethel’s classes and programs will stretch each student’s musical abilities in classes like music theory, sight singing, or basic conducting. Degrees in the music program include:

  • General music
  • Music education (K-12)
  • Music performance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The media hour wage (May 2017) was $26.96*.

Bethel graduates have gone on to careers on Broadway or in orchestras, as local musicians in jazz and classical groups, and as composers and recording artists.

For students interested in graduate school, some of our grads continued their education at:

  • Boston Conservatory
  • Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music
  • Western Michigan University
  • Eastman School of Music
  • University of Washington

Students are encouraged to apply and audition for our special music scholarships which are offered to intended music majors, minors, and talented elective students. Auditions are held each academic year between October and April. (See this page for details.)

Jared Schwartz

Jared Schwartz ’04

Performance major

Jared released his third album in 2017, singing the music of Franz Liszt (Toccata Records). His first album, “Gabriel Fauré; Songs for Bass Voice and Piano,” debuted at No. 7 when released in 2015. 

“A typical day in my life is filled with rehearsing my own singing for a couple of hours and then teaching for six or seven hours."

Read more of his story

Majors & Minors

Music (General)

  • Music General

Music Education (K-12)

  • Choral and General
  • Instrumental and General
  • Choral, Instrumental and General

Music Performance

  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Instrumental

Ensemble opportunities

Music Minor

Non-majors in music courses and prescribed minors take core classes, service courses and perform.

Voices of Triumph, 2018

Choir and Orchetra

Bethel University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (general, general/choral, general/choral/instrumental, instrumental) and Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance (Instrumental, Piano, Vocal) are accredited by the NASM. Information can be obtained from the NASM, 11250 Riger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, or by calling 703.437.0700 or emailing info@arts-accredit.org

Scholarships & Auditions

Who is eligible for scholarships?

Music scholarships are available for (in priority): intended music majors, minors and talented elective students. Scholarships vary in amounts and may be renewed each year of continued study meeting guidelines (see below). Audition dates are scheduled each academic year between October and April. Any auditions after mid-April will need to be via electronic link or DVD and scholarships may be limited.

Scholarship Recipient Responsibilities

  1. Within two weeks of your audition you will receive a letter in the mail from the Music Department outlining your scholarship status and requirements. Your signature of acceptance must be returned to the Music Department to finalize the scholarship process. The designated scholarship amount will appear as a credit on your Bethel statement in two portions, one-half each semester.
  2. If you receive a scholarship from the Music Department you will need to:
  • Be part of a large ensemble or ensembles (as indicated in your letter)
  • Volunteer for several Music Department supporting positions in concerts and recitals throughout the year.
  • Keep a 2.5 GPA in music and a 2.0 GPA overall.
  • Scholarship amounts continue each year if student responsibilities are met.

Audition Procedure

  1. Please submit an application for admission to Bethel University before scheduling a music audition. See Bethel Admissions for information.
  2. Scholarship Auditions 2019-2020. (Note: Any auditions after April 17 will need to be submitted via electronic link or DVD. Scholarships may be limited.)
    • Friday, Nov.15, 2019 (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
    • Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
    • Saturday, March 14, 2020 (10 a.m. – noon)
    • Friday, March 28, 2020 (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
    • Other times available upon request.

Submit a scholarship application and schedule an audition online.

  • Note: If you live more than 300 miles from Bethel, a video recording may be submitted. Please upload a video or link through the scholarship application (Audition Application Form). 
  • See specific instructions for singers and instrumentalists below to prepare for your audition.
  • The day of your audition, please arrive early at the Music Office (FA120) in the Everest-Rohrer Fine Arts building. Parking is available in the adjacent parking lot. After entering the main front entrance take the elevator/stairs to the lower level. The Music Office is at the far end of the hallway.
  • Auditions usually take 15 minutes with actual performance time about 10 minutes. Please plan to stay an extra 20-30 minutes to complete a theory placement assessment.

Specifics for Singers

  1. Please be prepared to perform two selections displaying contrasting styles. These should display a variety of tempo and dynamics, as well as demonstrate your ability and range. Memorized performances are preferred. If you plan to major, include at least one classical song. Total performance time should not exceed 10 minutes.
  2. You may bring your own accompanist or we can provide one for you. We also can arrange to have a CD player available, but only piano accompaniments are acceptable. Please list your accompanist needs within your scholarship audition application.
  3. If you play an instrument as well, please bring a piece which will display your skill and we will listen to two vocal solos and part of your instrumental selection.

Specifics for Instrumentalists and Pianists

  1. Bring two pieces to play and supply a score for the faculty to follow. Instrumentalists are not required to perform by memory.
  2. If you play more than one instrument or sing, please bring an extra piece to demonstrate your skill. 
  3. You may bring your own accompanist or we can provide one for you. We also can arrange to have a CD player available, but only piano accompaniments are acceptable. Please list your accompanist needs within your scholarship audition application.

Careers

Imagine a future as a performer in an orchestra or on Broadway; as a local band musician; or as a nationally based composer or recording artist. Those are just a few of the ways Bethel music department graduates are using their talents.

Graduate School Preparation

You can follow the lead of our grads who have gone to such prestigious music schools as the Boston Conservatory, Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University), Western Michigan University, Eastman School of Music, and University of Washington.

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