The Bachelor of Music in Performance degree prepares you for further study leading to professional performance, studio teaching, or work in church music.
Music is an important part of the Wartburg culture, with about one-third of the student body participating in an ensemble. Our students tour the U.S. and abroad with some of their best friends, perform in famous concert halls and cathedrals, and work with world-renowned composers. More than 6,000 people attend the annual Christmas with Wartburg performances in Waverly and Des Moines. Students do not need to be a music major to be a member of an ensemble, take private lessons, or compete for a music scholarship.
Wartburg College is an accredited, institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Students completing the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved music therapy degree program are eligible to sit for board certification by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Wartburg is the only private college in Iowa to offer the music therapy major. Completion of the Bachelor of Music Education or the Bachelor of Music Education/Music Therapy degree leads to licensure in education in the state of Iowa.
Student Resources & Piano Basic Skills
Piano Basic Skills
As part of the requirements for accreditation by NASM (National Association of Schools of Music), all schools of music have a piano requirement for all music degrees. At Wartburg, it is called the “Basic Skills” test and it includes functional keyboard skills as follows:
Two 2-page pieces, approximately the level of the Bach Minuet in GM (BWV 114), or Burgmuller Arabesque, or Bartok pieces from For Children
Major and harmonic scales, HS (hands separately) with correct fingering; up to three sharps or flats only
Harmonization from a lead sheet – sight-reading the melody while playing block chords as accompaniment; playing I-IV-V-V7 root position chords one hand; singing a melody while accompanying two-hand (bass in LH, chords in RH)
Four-part reading – playing two prepared hymns; with three days preparation, playing either sop-tenor or alto-bass of a four-part open score
Applied lessons and piano classes are directed at preparing you to learn these skills. If you have little or no prior background, you would start at Levels 1 or 2, but you could also get quite a head start this summer if you were to buy the book used in the class (Faber Adult Piano Adventures Bk 1) and read through it carefully, either on your own or with a local teacher. For those of you who have already had one to two years of piano, brushing up your skills in repertoire such as that listed in #1, and polishing your scales means that you could move immediately to Class Level 3 or 4 (Faber Adult Piano Adventures Bk 2; Level 3 Class focuses on harmonization and beginning score reading; Level 4 Class focuses on score reading).
Music Department Fast Facts
The music department boasts a 100 percent job/graduate school placement rate for all graduates.
Wartburg offers four-year majors/degrees. This means one year less tuition and one more year of salary when compared with a state university.
The college offers the only B.A. in church music in Iowa.
Wartburg is the only private college in Iowa with a music therapy degree.
Music education students start field experience in their first year.
Meistersinger Music Scholarships
Wartburg College Meistersinger Music Scholarships recognize and encourage talented student musicians who also thrive on Wartburg’s academic challenges. These scholarships are renewable for four years. Awards range in size up to $5,000 annually in vocal, keyboard, and instrumental music. Each year, Wartburg awards more than $500,000 in music scholarships. Scholarships are open to music and non-music majors.
Students should prepare two contrasting pieces.
Students may audition in a maximum of two applied areas.
Vocal: Memorization is required. An accompanist is required. The repertoire chosen must come from classical (contest-type) solo literature. Original compositions, choral selections, and non-classical pieces are inappropriate for these auditions.
Instrumental: An accompanist is not required. For music, two pieces are acceptable if they are relatively short or one long piece with contrasting sections is sufficient.
Keyboard: Memorization is not required but music should consist of two contrasting pieces. Sight-reading is part of the audition but not playing scales.