A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Music Composition Major/Minor

Making Music

Explore your musical and creative gifts with a Music Composition major. You will experiment with different instruments and textures of sound, develop your individual composition style, and consider the role of music in different cultures around the globe.

Along with providing a solid background in music theory, our program familiarizes you with brass, woodwind, percussion, and string instruments, putting theory into action through hands-on composition labs.

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Our music theory training involves essential elements of tonal theory and harmony, principles of part writing, melodic phrase analysis, and diatonic harmonic progression. You’ll learn the general "rules" of composing and, through every composition class, develop original pieces.

Your course work will let you analyze the structures and designs of historic composers’ pieces to inform your own compositions and use modern music technology to strengthen your technical composition skills across a variety of genres and musical styles. You will learn how to arrange choral and instrumental works, practice conducting, and gain extensive performance experience through ensemble participation. Every Music Composition student concludes their music education with a senior recital, performing their original compositions.

A Music Composition major prepares you to study further in graduate school, teach theory and/or composition at a high school or college levels, and compose or arrange sacred or secular music. This major also leads to numerous opportunities in radio, television, and other related fields.

Music Composition Minor

A minor in Music Composition assists students in developing their music composition skills for classical or popular applications. Choose to focus on instrumental, choral, or electro-acoustic composition to apply your passion for music to various fields. Majors in Christian Ministries, Film and Media Production, or Musical Theatre may be interested in adding this minor to their degrees.

Fill out our Music Interest form

Music Composition Curriculum & Degree Options

Contact the Music Program

Dr. Christopher Bade, Department of Music, Theatre & Dance Co-chair & Professor of Music
765-998-5258
chbade@tayloru.edu

Lisa Royal, Music Program Assistant
765-998-5232
lsroyal@tayloru.edu

Cathy Moore, Concert & Tour Coordinator
765-998-5292
ctmoore@tayloru.edu

Related Majors and Related Minors

Music, Theatre & Dance Department

Sharpening Your Craft; Engage Your Faith

The department of Music, Theatre & Dance emphasizes active learning in every program. By joining our Music and Theatre majors, you won’t just sit and study methods and theories—you’ll put them into action.

Through ensemble rehearsals, concerts, theatrical productions, student recitals, and fully staged musicals and operas, our students take their learning from the desk to the stage. You’ll also gain a technical background in music theory, acting methods, and dance techniques to take your gifts and skills to the next level and pursue industry-related careers on top of performance.

Auditions & Scholarships

All prospective music and musical theatre majors must audition for admission into the Music, Theatre & Dance department. Our programs offer both merit- and need-based awards that are designed to enhance the University’s financial aid package. To be considered for music scholarships, students interested in music majors or minors must be complete their auditions by March 15.

To sign up for an audition time, speak with a Taylor Music or Theatre professor, or to receive additional information about music auditions and scholarships, please contact Lisa Royal, the music program assistant.

Audition and Scholarship Information
Audition Guidelines
Composing Your Future
Grad Programs

Some of our Music, Theatre & Dance graduates have gone one to complete their master’s degrees at the following colleges:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Ball State University
  • Indiana University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • University of Michigan
Career Opportunities

No matter which Music, Theatre & Dance major you pursue, you will have a wide range of career opportunities, from music composer to performer to teacher to stage manager. The Music, Theatre & Dance department has a 96% career placement rate, and our faculty and Calling and Career Office work hard to connect students to employment and internship opportunities throughout their time at Taylor.

Learn more about Taylor University’s Music & Theatre philosophy.

Music Facilities & Equipment

The Smith-Hermanson Music Center houses an electronic music studio, a music technology lab, teaching studios, rehearsal rooms, and practice rooms. The attached 218-seat Butz-Carruth Recital Hall boasts a Bösendorfer grand and a Steinway piano. The Recital Hall is designed to provide the best acoustics for performance recording. The electronic studio and technology lab are equipped with music composition and editing software.

Other facility equipment includes:
  • 47 pianos across campus
  • Wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments
  • Electronic and pipe organs
  • Five-octave handbells
  • African drums
  • Drum sets and keyboards
Private Lessons & Ensembles

We offer ensembles and private lessons in all instrumental and choral areas.

  • Instrumental: symphony Orchestra, wind and jazz ensembles, jazz combos, bell choirs, and chamber music ensembles such as string quartet, brass ensemble, and flute choir
  • Piano: piano, piano pedagogy, piano class, and accompanying
  • Voice: voice, musical theatre, lyric theatre, opera, and three choral ensembles

Explore Taylor’s Ensembles

Contact Lisa Royal at lsroyal@tayloru.edu or 765-998-5232 to learn more.

Faculty & Staff
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Christopher Bade

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Tracy Manning

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Cathy Moore

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Conor Angell

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Eva Kwan

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JoAnn Rediger

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Judy Kirkwood

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Kory Browder

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Leon Harshenin

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Lisa Royal

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Patricia Robertson

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Terrance Volden

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