Saint Xavier University Department of Music

Music

Music Programs

Students enrolled in a professional undergraduate degree in music are expected to develop a range of knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional life of a musician which include: technical competence; broad knowledge of music and music literature; the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills; sensitivity to musical styles; and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life. Please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog for more information.

Music Majors

Music Major (B.A.)

The bachelor of arts in music curriculum is designed to give students a broad education in music within the liberal arts setting. The focus of the degree is on the development of basic musicianship, the ability to perform music, and the development of a broad knowledge of the foundation and principles of music as an art form. The large number of electives in this major allows a student to complete a second major or carefully select additional music courses in order to pursue graduate level study in music.

The emphasis for the B.A. program is places on piano, organ, voice, orchestral/band instruments or classical guitar. Students enrolled in the bachelor of arts in music degree will develop a wide range of knowledge, skills and competencies expected to those holding a liberal arts degree in music.

Music with Secondary Education Major (B.M.)

Within the bachelor of music in music education degree, a student prepares for a teaching career in either vocal or instrumental music or a combination of the two. SXU music education degree programs are certified K-12 by the Illinois State Board of Education. The prospective music teacher will develop skills in musicianship and performance, in addition to learning to be a sensitive ensemble conductor. Students will gain knowledge in teaching music at a variety of levels to different age groups and in different settings, while developing a strong understanding of child growth and development. Learning to assess the progress of music students while acquiring the knowledge of excellent methods of teaching is essential to this program.

This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Music Performance Major (B.M.)

Students enrolled in the bachelor of music in performance degree develop a wide range of knowledge, skills, concepts and sensitivities essential to the professional life of a musician; technical competence; a broad knowledge of music and music literature; the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills; sensitivity to musical styles; and insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life.

Performance majors develop appropriate technical skills through weekly lessons and performance classes, musicianship and understanding of the repertory needed for artistic self-expression through the study of music theory, music history, literature and pedagogy courses, and perform regularly as members of large ensembles. They have the opportunity to perform advanced literature as soloists in solo recital and with ensembles.

Students may choose to study piano, harpsichord, organ, voice, guitar or orchestra/band instruments as the major area of concentration within the bachelor of music in performance degree program.

This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Jazz (B.M.)

Students enrolled in the bachelor of music instrumental jazz emphasis professional undergraduate degree in music will develop the knowledge, skills, concepts and sensitivities that are essential to the professional life of a jazz musician. These skills include: technical competence; broad knowledge of jazz music and jazz literature; the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills; sensitivity to musical styles with emphasis on the stylistic traditions of jazz; and an insight into the role of jazz in the intellectual and cultural life.

Students will take courses in jazz improvisation, jazz theory and arranging, as well as jazz history to help foster skills in artistic expression and innovation through improvisation and composition in all mediums of jazz including blues, bebop, swing, modal and funk.

Each student will take private studio lessons with an applied instructor to help the student translate and integrate the traditions and theoretical principles of jazz.

Jazz students will also perform with the SXU Jazz Ensemble and SXU Jazz Combo, where they will perform a wide arrange of jazz literature from traditional to avant-garde. Students in the ensemble will have the opportunity to attend master classes and perform with outstanding guest artists.

This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Music Minor

Students may choose to minor in music, complementing another degree program, such as psychology, business, computer science, elementary education or other areas of study. Minoring in music while studying psychology, for example, could lead a student into the music therapy profession. Adding music to a business degree program will not only help the student to be more liberally educated but provide a possible career path in the field of music business. The computer science and music combination is an essential one for studio and professional recording work. It is possible for elementary and secondary education majors to minor in music and apply for a secondary certification for teaching.

The minor in music includes lessons in the chosen instrument or voice, theory, aural skills, keyboard skills and coursework in music history. All music minors participate in the appropriate large ensemble each semester until graduation. 

Participating in Music as a Non-Major

Students with at least intermediate playing or singing skills but not wishing to major or minor in music are welcomed into music department ensembles! They may also enroll in Class Piano, Vocal Technique, Guitar Class and private lessons. Registration and participation in these classes, ensembles and applied lessons may count toward the Literature and Fine Arts core requirement.

Numerous opportunities are provided for qualified students to participate in a wide variety of performance organizations including: University Chorale, University Chamber Singers, University Women's Ensemble, University Men's Ensemble, Opera Workshop, University Orchestra, University Band, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensemble. Students should contact the appropriate faculty member in the Music Department for more information. 

Please notice: for more information, view the Music Student Handbook (PDF).