Missions and Goals

Mission and Goals header

Mission Statement

The Music Department at Seattle Pacific University seeks to be an exemplary community committed to helping students to develop their talents and abilities fully, to engage cultural heritage, and to integrate music knowledge and skills in a life characterized by Christian faith, wholeness, and service.

Music Department Goals

  • We are committed to helping students develop their talents and abilities fully. As Christians, we affirm that we are formed in the image of God, and are endowed with the ability and the mandate to be creative. Therefore, we expect students to embrace their own giftedness, understand their potential, and exercise good stewardship through study, practice, and performance.
  • Through the study of music in its cultural, sociological, and historical contexts, we seek to graduate people who engage cultural heritage, who understand who they are, who possess historical perspective, and who will, therefore, be positive change agents in their communities.
  • We value music as a way to serve God and the greater community. Therefore, we are committed to helping students to integrate their knowledge and skills with their faith, equipping them for lives of service.

Learning Outcomes in Music

 A 21st Century musician trained at Seattle Pacific University will have strong abilities in three primary areas: 

1. Musicianship Core
- Our core classes in music will acknowledge and message lifelong growth and talent development. Here, content and the   skills developed are timeless, unchanging, and culturally / genre universal.
- Music Fundamentals (Aural Skills, Ear Training, Rhythm Development)
- Music Theory (Harmony, voice-leading, analysis, composition)
- Music History (Critical listening, understanding of musical styles from the Renaissance to today and across the globe.)

2. Cultural and Contextual Understanding
- Reflecting on how to create art with a social consciousness
- Exploring the intersection of faith and our work
- Developing identity and cultural context

3. 21st Century Essential Skills
Certainly, these skills are not new as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were all improvisers, performers, composers, and business people. However, these components not systemically and universally taught in most traditional music schools. We believe that these skills are crucial to defining what will become a complete musician in the coming decades of the 21st century.

- Performance
Technique development and repertoire knowledge of the student's primary instrument or vocal type.

- Composition
Creative application of learned skills in both traditional written contexts and in electronic sound design. Skills in arranging and collaboration.

- Improvisation
As a separate and unique skill in need of study and development. Much of the music of the past century is of an improvised language and we anticipate that the convergence of improvisation, performance, and composition will continue long into the future.

- Technology Integration
Understanding and competence in the professional technological capabilities in music is of crucial importance for all musicians. Students will work from music creating and generation, to recording and producing, to integration of electronic elements in live performance.

- Business Savvy
The modern musician is often self-employed and has a portfolio-based career. Skills in marketing and promotion, fundraising, budgets, networking, and freelancing are essential to both financial and artistic success.

With a Music degree, graduates enter a wide variety of careers, from church musician to ethnomusicologist, composer to music critic, music librarian to music teacher. They also work in arenas as diverse as business or entertainment.