CU Communication, Media & Music Division Offers New and Revised Degrees
by Audrey Wierenga (B.A. ’18)
The music industry is diversifying, and Cornerstone University's Communication, Media & Music Division (CMM) is following suit. Following the trends of the market's demand, the CMM Division is introducing new and revised programs in the 2020-21 academic year.
Music Production Major: Diversifying Marketability
The brand-new Bachelor of Arts: Music Production offers 48 credits in music and audio production training. Dr. Desiree Duff, chair of the Communication, Media & Music Division, explained that the music production major was designed with marketability in mind.
"We estimate that about 90% of Cornerstone's audio production graduates are working in the music industry on some level," Duff said.
This major combines the study of sound mixing, recording and producing with applied lessons in an instrument, ear training and music theory. While the degree does not require a minor, a student studying music production can easily explore options such as digital media or business administration.
Worship Arts Program: Adding Global Perspective
Professor Kayla Cordell, music program director, announced the revisions of two longstanding music programs as well as the addition of a brand-new worship arts minor.
"When creating the new worship arts minor, we wanted to create an opportunity for the many participants who have a passion for the worship arts and desire more formal training," Cordell said.
Dr. Desmond Ikegwuonu, director of worship arts and assistant professor of music, is passionate about this new initiative and believes it gives students the opportunity to explore their God-given gifts in new ways.
"Students interested in Bible-related majors—like those studying ministry or intercultural studies—can take this minor to be more versatile," Ikegwuonu said. "Churches and pastors often look for worship leaders to fulfill multiple roles. A lot of students are interested in worship arts but cannot take on the course load. The minor makes it possible to fit in the courses and applied instrument training in their major."
The Bachelor of Arts: Worship Arts also went under a revision to train students for the many roles churches might ask them to fill. Beginning in fall 2020, students will have the opportunity to select a minor that fits their area of intended Christian service. The biblical studies and audio production minors are anticipated to be popular selections for these students who are preparing for life in music ministry.
In addition, the brand-new course Cross-Cultural Worship will train future worship leaders how to play an instrument and lead congregants in worship, including soft skills like crossing cultural barriers. Ikegwuonu believes that this is essential to bring together the global church.
"These programs will help raise students who are culturally competent in the local church and the global body," he said.
Commercial Music: Providing Avenues of Growth
Additional revisions include the Bachelor of Arts: Commercial Music. The degree not only gives students necessary music training but also incorporates technology, audio production and marketing courses. This major allows graduates to use their marketable skills to combine both their commercial aptitude and their musical talents to forge ahead in their career.
"These students need to be ready for the music industry, and we are confident this revised program is up to the challenge," Cordell said.
The CMM team is thrilled to implement all of these changes to their existing programs—which also includes music education—in an effort to reflect the innovation of Cornerstone as an institution and its dedication to providing a quality, Christ-centered education to each student.