Undergraduate Programs

HarpistThe School of Music shares Lipscomb University's commitment to a Christian liberal arts education and functions as an integral part of that commitment.  Our mission is to lead you to an appreciation and comprehension of the creative spirit across time and culture, within the context of the Christian faith.

Recognizing that music is an integral part of a liberal arts education, the School of Music seeks to provide:

  • innovative instruction for students pursuing careers in traditional and non-traditional music fields,
  • engaging opportunities for each university student to participate in rich and varied musical experiences,
  • enriching events for the university and larger community to experience music through concerts and collaborative workshops, and
  • valuable resources for church music ministries.

Faith-Informed Learning Statement

David Lipscomb founded his college with the specific goal of teaching young people to be Christians in whatever walk of life they might pursue.  As a part of Lipscomb University's overall committment to integrating faith and practice, each department has been charged with articulating a philosophy of faith-informed learning in its specific discipline.

Faith-Informed Learning in Music

Music is an expression of the image of God the Creator. A piece of music is a universe to itself, with a space and time in which to exist at the pleasure of its creator. It has a beginning, a period of development according to its creator's will, and an ending, much as do our own lives and this universe itself. Composition and performance of music is a positive creative process, and as such causes us to contemplate the mystery of God’s positive creative nature—the fact that He chose for us to be. Music is our way of living out, and sharing with others, the mission of Philippians 4:8—"whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Music is an expression of humanity.  Music is perhaps not essential to physical wellbeing, yet most people find time and means to make it a part of their lives.  Even in impoverished cultures, people do not deprive themselves of the riches of music; and perhaps no culture is so impoverished (at least in spirit) as that which neglects music or relegates it solely to the arena of commerce.  In music we may reach for an expression of who we are—living, thinking, feeling beings, as God created us.  Music often expresses the best within us, a celebration of love, hope, and courage.  Sometimes it speaks of our longing for peace and order.  Sometimes music describes our fallenness, and cries out in despair, anger, and frustration.  But in whatever voice it speaks, it is a truly human voice, not so unlike our own.  We encourage students to listen to those voices from every culture that speak of what it is to be human.

Music creates communities of mutual respect and cooperation.  A central theme of the kingdom of Christ is submission to one another.  It is not a devaluation of one individual to build up another; it is a relinquishing of pride and selfishness for both parties to serve a common good.  In providing music ensembles we teach students to value their individual gifts, and yet to yield those gifts to the guidance of another.  To paraphrase Paul’s metaphor in 1 Corinthians 12, the lead trumpet has a role more easily perceived than does the tuba, but neither can be called more important than the other, for the music is not complete without all of the parts—and both must submit to the direction of the conductor.  From the pianist whose role is to make a soloist shine, to the chorus member whose voice must blend with those of others until it is indistinguishable, music provides daily lessons in the value of individuals working together in submission to one another.

Music encourages discipline and lifelong growth. To major in music at a university is to commit oneself to a task that will be accomplished largely alone, one hour at a time, in a practice room. As with any lifelong undertaking, results are not immediate and progress is not uniform. There is little glamour in rehearsing the same measure until it has become second nature, only to repeat the process for the next measure; but the true student of music does not pursue the art for the sake of glamour. We encourage students to pursue lofty goals of personal excellence, not because of the applause of an audience, or the practical appeal of a paycheck, or the desire to complete a degree, but because it is what the music deserves. If their sights are set on this goal, the others will follow. If their sights are set only on the benefits to themselves, they will fall short. But as Martin Luther said, "Those who have mastered this art are made of good stuff, and are fit for any task."

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