CertificationDirector of Parish Music

Earning a certification as a Director of Parish Music (DPM) involves studying music of all forms and times while drawing on the rich liturgical tradition of the Lutheran church in the leadership and enhancement of the worship of the church. You’ll take 71 to 73 credit hours to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Director of Parish Music certification by majoring in Church Music, minoring in Lutheran Theology and completing two Christian Ministry courses. It will be a relevant certification if you’re seeking to serve in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in music.

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Director of Parish Music Curriculum Overview

A certified Director of Parish Music must complete the Church Music Major as well as a minor in Lutheran Theology. With several tracks available, the Director of Parish Music certification at Concordia allows students to pursue music ministry in the area that best suits their interests and talents.

Prerequisites
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MUS - 101 Basic Musicianship 2
MUS - 111 Class Piano I 2
MUS - 112 Class Piano II 2
MUS - 115 Beginning Guitar I 1

Basic Musicianship is designed for the student with little background in music. This course will present concepts needed for an understanding of the basic fundamentals of music theory. Students will also have an introduction to ear training and the keyboard. (Offered every spring. No prerequisite. This course can serve as a prerequisite for MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This is the first of two courses in a beginning piano instruction sequence. Through group class instruction students are given a practical knowledge of the keyboard and an understanding of the tonal-rhythmic structure of music. Keyboard skills requisite for handling classroom music situations or for personal enjoyment of music are developed. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous keyboard experience may be exempt by examination. Can serve as a prerequisite to MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This is the second of two courses in a beginning piano instruction sequence. Through group class instruction students are given a practical knowledge of the keyboard and an understanding of the tonal-rhythmic structure of music. Keyboard skills requisite for handling classroom music situations or for personal enjoyment of music are developed. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous keyboard experience may be exempt by examination. Can serve as a prerequisite to MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This course is designed for those with no knowledge of the instrument. Areas covered include tuning the guitar, strumming techniques, chords-two keys, and transposing. Open to all students. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous guitar experience may be exempt by examination and move on to private guitar if desired or needed for program. Studio course.)

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Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MUS - 120 Listening to Life:West. Clscl 2
MUS - 121 Listen to Life: Global & Pop 2

Using music primarily from the classical Western tradition, this course teaches music listening skills, relates music to history and culture, and reveals music as a conveyer of human emotions, thoughts, and ideals. The course also touches briefly on ethnic folk music, global art music, and popular music (American jazz, musical theatre, and pop music.) (This course earns 2 credits towards the 4 credit Fine Arts component of the general education curriculum. Offered every fall and spring, summers to be announced. No prerequisite. Can serve as a prerequisite to Music History.)

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Using global folk and art music and contemporary popular idiom music, this course teaches music listening skills, relates music to history and culture, and reveals music as a conveyer of human emotions, thoughts, and ideals. This course contributes to the Fine Arts/Aesthetic component of the General Education curriculum. MUS121 is required for Music Education students.

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Required: 37credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MUS - 201 Musicianship I 4
MUS - 202 Musicianship II 4
MUS - 261 Beginning Conducting 2
MUS - 301 Musicianship III 4
MUS - 302 Musicianship IV 4
MUS - 321 Music History I 3
MUS - 322 Music History II 3
MUS - 323 Music History III 3
MUS - 439 Parish Music Admin Field Exp 2
MUS - 713 Jubilate Choir 1
THL - 460 Worship for Lutherans 3
MUS - 492 Composition Recital 2
MUS - 493 Senior Project: Thesis 2
MUS - 494 Sr Project:Conducting Recital 2
MUS - 495 Sr. Project: Recital 2

This course begins with a brief review of music fundamentals (scales, keys, intervals and triads) and continues with four-part harmonic writing, and basic analysis. Exercises in keyboard harmony, sight singing, and dictation are included in the course.(Offered every fall. Prerequisite: MUS101 or equivalent as determined by music placement test.)

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Students continue to learn four-part harmonic writing, including the use of inversions and seventh chords. Exercises in analysis incorporate the study of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and form. Dictation, sight singing, and keyboard harmony are continued. (Offered every spring. Prerequisite: MUS201 or equivalent.)

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The goal of this introductory course is to begin to develop a clear and expressive conducting technique. Students will conduct in class frequently, videotaping their work and receiving immediate feedback and suggestions for improvement. Students will learn to conduct regular beat patterns, preparatory gestures, cues, cutoffs, deadbeats, fermatas, asymmetrical patterns, and subdivided gestures. Students will learn to make thoughtful decisions in varying their conducting pattern to show changes in dynamics, tempo, and articulation. Activities to strengthen the inner ear while conducting will also be included. Requirement: for Church Music and Music Education majors. (Offered every odd fall. Prerequisites: music reading ability, MUS201 and/or consent of instructor. Studio course.)

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Students learn to write in the contrapuntal style of the 18th century. Chromatic harmonies and a study of classical period forms are also included in the course. Dictation, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony are continued. (Offered every fall. Prerequisite: MUS202 or equivalent.)

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Students explore the new directions composers have taken in the 20th century and compose their own pieces in various contemporary styles. Keyboard harmony, dictation, and sight-singing are continued. (Offered every spring. Prerequisite: MUS301.)

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This course explores the Ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque periods of Western music. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites: MUS120 or MUS121, MUS201.)

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This course explores the 18th and 19th centuries of Western music. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites: MUS120 or MUS121, MUS201. MUS321 is preferred, but not required.)

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This course explores Western Music from the late 19th century to the present. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites MUS 120 or 121 and 201. MUS 321 and 322 preferred but not required.

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This course offers experiences in parish music under the supervision of a cooperating parish musician. Activities include directing choirs, leading and accompanying congregational singing, performing attendant music, working with instrumentalists and cantors, planning worship, and composing practical service music. (Offered on demand. Prerequisite: approval of Music Department.)

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This choir regularly provides music for chapel worship. Special projects include the Fine Arts Christmas Concert and choral worship services throughout the year. While full-year membership is desired, students may audition to enter the choir at semester breaks. Jubilate is an excellent ensemble for students who wish to sing but are involved in other touring ensembles or will be off-campus part of the year as student teachers or interns. (Offered every fall and spring. Prerequisite: choral audition for placement by instructor.)

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Exploring early church experience and Reformation teaching, the student uncovers the meaning of worship. Critical evaluation of contemporary practice and recent developments in worship make the student better able to provide leadership in congregational worship life.

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The student is challenged to compose a major piece or group of pieces. Students are challenged to begin to develop a personal language, one that gives evidence of skill, imagination and originality and that communicates effectively to an audience. This project is the capstone experience for the Music Major in the Music Theory/Composition track. As part of this capstone, students will submit a written essay describing how the experience implemented and was supported by the Framework for Learning. (Offered on demand. Prerequisite: MUS990) Honors lesson fee applies.

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The student will research a musicological topic, write a documented thesis and present their research in a public lecture/demonstration. This project is the capstone experience for the Music Major in the Music History/Literature track. As part of this capstone, students will submit a written essay describing how the experience implemented and was supported by the Framework for Learning. (Offered on demand. Prerequisites: MUS321, MUS322, MUS323 and consent of instructor.) Honors Lesson fee applies.

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The student will conduct a public recital of an instrumental and/or vocal ensemble for which they have selected literature, prepared scores, rehearsed the ensemble, and prepared a program. The conducting experience may involve regularly scheduled university ensembles and student organized ensembles. This project is done with the supervision of the appropriate faculty conducting teacher. This is an option for the capstone experience for the Music Major in the Applied Music track. As part of this capstone, students will submit a written essay describing how the experience implemented and was supported by the Framework for Learning. (Offered on demand. Prerequisites: MUS456 or MUS457 and consent of instructor.) Honors Lesson fee applies.

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The student will present a public recital on their primary instrument, building on private lesson study over several semesters. This project is done with the supervision of the student's primary applied teacher. This is the capstone experience for the Music Major in the Applied Music track. As part of this capstone, students will submit a written essay describing how the experience implemented and was supported by the Framework for Learning. (Offered on demand. Prerequisites: MUS9xx and consent of instructor.) Honors Lesson fee applies.

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Meet Your Professors

Dr. David Mennicke Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, Music Department Chair

Dr. Mennicke's teaching expertise covers choral conducting, voice training, music education, church music, musical theatre, and music arranging.

Dr. Rhoda Schuler Term Faculty in Religion

Dr. Schuler’s research passions are liturgical theology and ritual studies, which she views as more than academic disciplines.

Monica Murray Associate Professor of Music

Dr. Murray is an active performer in the Twin Cities.

Shari Speer Term Faculty in Music

Shari is professor of voice at Concordia, where she maintains an active voice studio, teaches class voice, diction, opera workshop and conducts the Jubilate Choir.

Career Potential

  • Director of Parish Music
  • Teacher
  • Deaconess
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Worship Coordinator
  • Church Musician
  • Pastor
  • Lay Minister
  • Missionary
  • Church Administration

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