Music Research

Sheet Music

Are you a musician with an interest in developing your musicianship and research skills? SPU’s Music Research degree offers you the foundation needed to pursue entry-level careers in music. You have the opportunity to focus on your primary instrument while furthering your knowledge in music theory, history, and literature, and participating in ensembles. You can find the degree requirements here.


A Music degree with a General emphasis will train you to use your musical gifts — whether as a performer, a composer, a conductor, a teacher — as well as provide you with advanced study in theory and literature. As a Music major, you can also prepare for a career in music therapy, music technology, and music ministry. Through a series of skill-building exercises and experience with larger and larger forms, in-class and private instruction, you will be prepared for a promising future in music.

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

As a Music major with a General emphasis, you will follow an integrative approach to advanced musicianship. You will study music theory, aural skills, and music styles and history from early Middle Ages to the 21st century. You’ll study music composition, technology, instrumentation, and orchestration. You’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the integration of music and faith, as well as your sense of vocation, as you study in depth great works such as Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion,” Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” Brahms’ “German Requiem,” and Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony.”

The minimum total quarter credits required for a major emphasis is 124. The minimum total quarter credits required for degree is 180.

View the major courses and degree requirements.

Entering the Major

You may enter the major during your first quarter at SPU. Entrance after your first quarter requires only good academic standing (2.0 or higher SPU cumulative GPA). Consult the Undergraduate Catalog for complete information on how and when to enter and what you must do to complete the program.   

Career Opportunities

  • Arranger/Composer
  • Film Scorer
  • Choral Director
  • Church Musician
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Music Director
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Professor
  • Music Teacher
  • Musicologist
  • Sound Engineer

Ilkka Talvi

Why I Teach at SPU

Ilkka Talvi, Instructor of Violin

"I have had an urge to share my knowledge with others since childhood; call it a blessing or passion, I know of no other way. To me, success in teaching means offering my students at SPU the best possible education, not limited to the violin, but spiced up with interesting information on a variety of related topics. I believe in this multifaceted approach to help guide and inspire."