Department of Music


DAVID J. DIEHL. Chair, Department of Music, Professor of Music, 1997—

BS, Trevecca Nazarene University, 1989; MEd, Trevecca Nazarene University, 1990; MM, Austin Peay State University, 1997; DA, Ball State University, 2007.

PAUL A. CHRISTIANSON, Professor of Music, 1993—

BA, Northwest Nazarene University, 1986; MA, University of Idaho, 1988; DMA, University of Georgia, 1997.

TIMOTHY H. CIERPKE, Professor of Music, 1988—

BA, Point Loma Nazarene University, 1971; MM, Samford University, 1979; DMA, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1987.

JEFF E. COX, Assistant Professor of Music, 2012—

BM, Belmont University, 1993; MA, Middle Tennessee State University, 2007.

JARED B. HOUCHIN, Director of Recording Studio, Assistant Professor, 1997—

BS, Trevecca Nazarene University, 1997; MEd, Trevecca Nazarene University, 2006.

MATTHEW C. MURDOCK, Associate Professor of Music, 2008—

BM, Butler University, 1987; MM, Bowling Green State University, 1989; DA, Ball State University, 2007.

ERIC C. E. WILSON, Assistant Professor of Music, 2012—

BS, Ball State University, 1998; MM, Ball State University, 2003; DA Music, Ball State University, 2011.

Department of Music General Information

The Department of Music offers a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition, a Bachelor of Science in Music (General), a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Commercial), and an Associate of Arts in Music. Career and service opportunities in music include audio engineering aspects of the music industry, teaching in public and private schools and colleges that offer programs in vocal or instrumental music, songwriting, and professional singing and playing in symphonies, opera, orchestras, recording studios, and various live performance venues.

The Department's educational philosophy is based on the premise that a student must experience the performing of music. Therefore, each major program offers opportunities to perform with either vocal or instrumental groups on campus in addition to the basic core of music courses. Performing ensembles in the Department of Music are the Choral Union, Gospel Choir, Madrigalians, Trevecca Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Commercial Vocal Ensemble, Vocal Edge, Commercial Guitar Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Lab Band, Percussion Ensemble, Lyric Theatre Ensemble, and various chamber groups.

Students who are not music majors may choose a minor in music, elect courses in music, perform in ensembles, or study elective applied music in order to broaden and enrich their appreciation of the fine arts.

Trevecca Nazarene University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Music Education major is approved by the Tennessee Board of Education and is part of the unit accredited by NCATE.

Mission Statement

The Department of Music seeks to train musicians holistically in the achievement of essential skills, attitudes, and intellectual understandings that are necessary to be competent in their desired areas of vocation and to create opportunities for the appreciation of and participation in music within the broader community.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to read and realize musical notation.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music: timbre, texture, harmony, rhythm, melody, and structure.
  3. Display an understanding of the compositional process and its historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts.
  4. Display an acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres, and cultural sources.
  5. Display the ability to develop and defend musical judgments.
  6. Music Education students will demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and aptitude necessary to assume the role of a professional educator through their upper level practica and student teaching.
  7. In addition to these outcomes, students pursuing a degree in Music Education will be responsible for the goals listed as part of the Conceptual Framework found in the School of Education's General Information section of the catalog.

Department Regulations

Students choosing to major in music should be prepared to sing or play representative works from their repertoire for placement into class, elective, or private instruction. Additional placement procedures include proficiency examinations in music theory (written and aural), basic technology, and functional keyboard skills. Placement in the appropriate theory classes and piano class will be based on these examinations.

Students pursuing the Music Education major must make formal application to the Teacher Education Program as outlined in the School of Education teacher education guidelines.

Applied Study

Applied study is required of all music majors.

Minimum requirements differ according to each degree program as follows:

Music Education

4 - 8 credit hours of Lower Division applied study over 4 semesters and 3 - 6 credit hours of Upper Division applied study over 3 semesters.


4 - 8 credit hours of Lower Division applied study over 4 semesters and 4 - 8 credit hours of Upper Division applied study over 4 semesters.


Vocal students will take 4 semesters (4-8 hours) of MUS study in which the literature will move from classical study to non-belting musical theatre styles and then 4 semesters (8 hours) of upper division commercial study.

Instrumental students will take 4 semesters of lower division study in both classical and commercial studies simultaneously (8 hours) and then 4 semesters of upper division study in commercial music (4-8 hours).

Students enrolled in degree programs requiring a Senior Recital must first pass an applied examination at the end of their 4th semester to be admitted into Upper Division and must pass a Senior Recital Jury 4 weeks prior to Senior Recital to be able to present their recital.

Retention Policy for Applied Study

The Department of Music's retention policies are delineated in the student handbooks under the subsection "Evaluation of Majors." There are three primary checkpoints: Entry Level, Midpoint Check, and Exit Level.

Evaluation of Majors

I. Entry Level - Any student wanting to become a Music Major must take the following diagnostics to determine where they should be placed in the curriculum at entry level. Both the Written Theory and Applied diagnostics must be successfully passed to become a Music Major. Until the time that these two diagnostics are successfully passed, a student may hold the status of a Provisional Music Major. If a student fails to move from the Provisional status after two semesters of study, the faculty will recommend that he or she pursue another degree.

Entry level diagnostics:

  1. Keyboard Placement (placement in appropriate class piano or private piano)
  2. Written Theory Exam (placement in MUS 1000 Fundamentals or MUS 2010 Theory I)
  3. Aural Theory Exam (placement in Aural Theory I-IV; enrollment in Aural Theory I will be co-requisite to enrollment in Theory I [written])
  4. Basic Technology self-diagnostic or ITI 1900 Business Information Technologies
  5. Applied placement for all students. (Students' performing skills will be evaluated with the departmental rubric, which will be used in subsequent evaluations at the mid-point and exit level evaluations to track progress of these skills.)
    1. Students who pass will move directly to applied lessons.
    2. Voice and guitar majors who do not pass will be placed in class study or elective study.
    3. Other instrumental students who do not pass will be placed in elective study.

II. Midpoint Check - Students will be evaluated at the end of their fourth semester of study to determine if they show the aptitude to continue into upper division study. Three areas will be used to evaluate these students.

  1. Piano proficiency. Music Liberal Arts (General) students and Music Education students should have passed their piano proficiency by their 4th semester or be enrolled in Class Piano IV with at least a B- average while Music Liberal Arts (Commercial) students should have passed their piano proficiency or be enrolled in Class Piano II with at least a B- average.
  2. 4th semester jury/Applied proficiency. Students must pass their 4th semester jury with the requisite scores on the appropriate rubric.
  3. A general understanding of music as evidenced by a GPA of at least 2.5.
  4. Students must declare Senior Recital/Project/Performance track.

If a student is deficient in one area, they will be given a semester to rectify the issue. If the student fails to do so, the faculty will recommend that the student should not continue to pursue this degree. If a student is deficient in more than one area, the faculty will recommend that the student should not continue to pursue the degree immediately after the fourth semester.

III. Exit Level

  1. Senior Recital, Senior Performance for the Music Major, or Senior Project (Music Technology, Songwriting, Worship Leading or Composition)
  2. Student Teaching (Music Education Majors only)

Upper Division Study Options

The following lessons and practicum/internships may replace upper division applied lesson requirements if students are pursuing the appropriate Senior Project. Senior Project/Senior Recital requirements are notated.


Maximum Hours

Project or Recital


Songwriting Lessons



Songwriting II

Composition Lessons



Theory II & Aural Theory II

Music Technology

(Two 2-hour Internships)



Advanced Recording

Worship Leading

(Church Music Practicum)



Church Music Minister or Advanced Conducting

Students may register for their applied lessons as follows:

  • One (1) credit hour of applied lessons to receive a weekly half-hour lesson. Fee charged
  • Two (2) credit hours of applied lessons to receive a weekly one-hour lesson. Fee charged

One 30-minute lesson requires a minimum of 4-6 hours outside practice weekly for Lower Division study and 4-6 hours outside practice weekly for Upper Division study.

A 50-minute weekly seminar is also required for students taking applied lessons.


Any student may apply for membership in one or more of the departmental ensembles which provide opportunity for a variety of musical experiences through performances. Music majors and minors are required to participate in an appropriate ensemble each semester they are enrolled in applied study until they have completed the appropriate program requirements; i.e., all vocal and keyboard students enroll in Choral Union; orchestral students (excluding those who play string instruments who enroll in the Trevecca Symphony Orchestra) enroll in Wind Ensemble; guitar students enroll in Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Lab band, or Commercial Guitar.