Department of Music


DAVID J. DIEHL, Dean, School of Music and Worship Arts, Professor of Music, 1997—

BS, Trevecca Nazarene University; MEd, Trevecca Nazarene University; MM, Austin Peay State University; DA, Ball State University.

ERIC C. E. WILSON, Chair, Department of Music, Associate Professor of Music, 2012—

BM, Ball State University; MM, Ball State University; DA, Ball State University.

PAUL A. CHRISTIANSON, Professor of Music, 1993—

BA, Northwest Nazarene University; MA, University of Idaho; MA, Trevecca Nazarene University; DMA, University of Georgia.

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

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

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

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

THOMAS E. LEREW, Assistant Professor of Music, 2016—

BM, Houghton College; MM, Syracuse University; DMA, University of Arizona.

TAYLOR MCPHERSON, Assistant Professor of Music, 2018 —

BS, Trevecca Nazarene University; MM, Belmont University.

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

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

TIMOTHY SHARP, Assistant Professor of Music, 2020—

AA, Bluefield College; BM, Belmont University; MCM, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music; DMA, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music.

Department of Music General Information

The Department of Music offers 4 four-year degrees - Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music, Bachelor of Music in Performance (Vocal or Instrumental), Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition, and Bachelor of Science in Music Education, and 3 two-year degrees - Associate of Arts in Music, Associate of Arts in Recording Technology, and Associate of Arts in Songwriting.  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, composing and arranging for various vocal and instrumental combinations for the stage, film, and video game industry, and professional performing in symphony orchestras, opera, recording studios, and various live performance venues.  The Bachelor degrees in music are also intended to provide a solid foundation for students continuing in their respective areas at the graduate level.

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 include Concert Choir, TNU Singers, Commercial Vocal Ensemble, Trevecca Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble (Big Band), Jazz Combo, Commercial Ensemble (combo), Fuze and Element, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, New Music 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.

The Department of Music's Purpose is to:

Train and equip music educators, performers, and commercial musicians for career opportunities in the marketplace.

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

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. A student is no longer eligible to be a music major if she or he fails to move from provisional status after two semesters of study.

Entry level diagnostics:

  1. Keyboard Placement (placement in appropriate class piano or private piano)
  2. Written Theory Exam
  3. 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 developmental skill building class or elective lessons not counting toward major-level applied study.
    3. Other instrumental students who do not pass will be placed in elective study.
 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, regardless of specific discipline.  Applied study requirements are listed in the Department of Music Handbook.

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.

Music Performance

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 Performance must first pass an applied examination at the end of their 4th semester to be admitted into Upper Division and must pass a Senior Performance Jury 4 weeks prior to Senior Performance to be able to present their recital.

Students who study Songwriting or Recording Technology as upper division may choose to complete a Recording Project Capstone to replace a Senior Performance.

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. 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. All Bachelor's students should have passed their piano proficiency by their 4th semester or be enrolled in Class Piano IV 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 in the major area, and a 2.0 overall GPA.
  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.

II. Exit Level

  1. Senior Recital (BM Performance, Composition, Music Education), Senior Performance for the Music Major (BA Commercial Performance), or Senior Project (Music Technology, Songwriting)
  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 or permission of instructor

Music Technology

(Two 2-hour Internships)



Advanced Recording

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 designated program requirements; i.e., all vocal students enroll in Concert Choir or TNU Singers, as placed by audition, while all other instrumentalists enroll in the designated ensemble reflecting the major area of applied study (string players enroll in Trevecca Symphony Orchestra, wind instrument players enroll in Wind Ensemble, rhythm section players are placed in Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Fuze and Element, Percussion Ensemble, Commercial Ensemble, or Jazz Combo, as directed).