Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we're dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.

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Commercial Music

The commercial music program at Cornerstone University is one of the newest programs in the Communication, Media & Music Division. This exciting new program is designed for students with an aptitude for both music and business, utilizing both skills to influence their world for Christ.

All music degrees require an audition for entrance into the program and scholarship eligibility. The audition occurs in the spring semester of the high school senior year or at the conclusion of the freshman fall semester.

Degree Type

  • Bachelor of Arts

Academic Division

  • Communication, Media & Music Division

Format

  • Residential

0%

Of Communication, Media & Music Division graduates from the class of 2019 were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

0:1

Student-to-faculty ratio with an average class size of 22.

0%

Of students participate in internship or practicum experiences.

Internships

As part of your program, you’ll take part in an internship with one of our local business partners. Take a look at where some of our students intern around Grand Rapids.

Opportunities

  • Circle Theatre
  • Contemporary Music Center
  • Lakeshore Arts Alliance

Careers

Commercial music is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country, especially for graduates with skills in sound engineering and music production. Here are the career fields that are hiring for commercial music graduates.

Opportunities

  • Arranger
  • Music director
  • Recording artist
  • Songwriter
  • Touring artist

Course List

The commercial music program at Cornerstone is designed to inspire your intellect, deepen your character and prepare you to lead in your career with influence and wisdom.

From caring professors to one-on-one advising appointments, we have resources to support you in reaching your goals and being successful in your classes. Select the degree planning guide to see a list of the classes you’ll take as a student with a major in commercial music.

Four-Year Planning Guide (PDF)

Media Core Courses

MDA-281 Audio Production II

An extension of the skills and concepts introduced in Audio Production I, as students refine and learn to apply their knowledge of audio collection, arrangement, coloring, and sweetening in a variety of production types. Both group and individual productions and the opportunity for professional critiques by Cornerstone University Radio personnel will be given.

Marketing Core Courses

MKT-251 Principles of Marketing

An introduction to marketing centered on the areas of product, pricing, distribution, and promotion with specific application to market orientation and the marketing function.

Applied Music Core Courses

MUA-XXX Applied Major

MUA-XXX Applied Minor

Music Performance Core Courses

MUP-X71 Worship Ensemble

A small ensemble comprised of drums, bass, keyboard, guitars and vocalists. Through this ensemble, students will prepare and minister music for congregational singing. Students will not only develop related musical skills, but also ministry skills such as calls to worship, scripture reading and public prayer. Primarily serving in the university chapels, the group may also perform off campus. Membership by audition only.

MUP-X01 University Chorale X11, X21 Large Ensemble (Chancel Singers, Chorale, Symphonic Winds)

University Chorale

This select choral ensemble is dedicated to the performance of outstanding choral literature, providing singers with a number of exciting opportunities. Focusing on public performance as a means of worship and Christian service, the Chorale performs a broad spectrum of choral literature including a cappella motets, large-scale works for chorus and orchestra, spirituals and contemporary compositions. Auditions for the Chorale are held at the beginning of each fall semester. Membership by audition only

Chancel Singers

A large choral ensemble emphasizing the performance of a variety of choral literature for the joy of singing, the development of the singer, and the inspiration of audiences. The choir prepares for seasonal concerts, ministry in Chapel and on campus, as well as occasional concerts in the community. Membership is open to all students without audition.

Symphonic Winds

A select group of woodwind, brass and percussion players committed to the quality performance of outstanding wind ensemble and concert band literature. Each semester the Symphonic Winds perform formal concerts consisting of standard and contemporary masterworks. At the beginning of each fall term, a weekend retreat is held off-campus to foster musical growth and camaraderie among its members. Membership by audition only.

Music Core Courses

MUS-099 Performance Lab (8 semesters)

A regular forum for student performance. Performance Lab is an extension of the applied lesson including recitals, studio classes, concert attendance and guest lectures designed to enhance and enrich students’ music education.

MUS-113 Ear Training I

Parallels the course work in Music Theory I to match the student’s aural skills with their theoretical skills. Equips the student with the skills needed to sight-sing basic tonal melodies using solfege, to notate melodies, rhythms, and harmonies, and aurally identify scales, intervals, triads and simple harmonic progressions.

MUS-114 Ear Training II

The student’s skills are expanded to include the ability to notate and identify basic chord progressions and cadences utilizing triads in all inversions. Sight-singing and dictation skills are further developed.

MUS-117 Music Theory & Analysis I

An introduction to music theory, providing fundamental skills in the development of the student as musician. Components include music notation writing skills, identifying and notating scales, key signatures, intervals, chords, and rhythms, chords using inversion symbols and figured bass as well as pop notation, utilizing basic principles of voice leading for triads, harmonic analysis of excerpts and smaller works.

MUS-118 Music Theory & Analysis II

Expansion on previous materials, including cadences and other basic structural units such as phrases and periods, harmonic analysis of more complex progressions and larger classical and popular works, non-chord tones, development of four-part writing including all diatonic triads and seventh chords. Introduction to eighteenth-century counterpoint, as well as the fundamental components of musical form.

MUS-171 Introduction to Music Technology

A survey course designed to provide hands-on exposure to a broad spectrum of topics related to music technology. Students learn fundamentals of synthesis, MIDI, analog and digital audio, scoring (using Finale and Sibelius), computer-assisted music education, and computer-based accompaniment packages.

MUS-217 Music Theory & Analysis II

Secondary dominants, modulations, chromatic harmonies (including Neapolitan and augmented sixth chords), counterpoint, and binary and ternary formal structures are introduced and examined. Emphasis is placed on compositional techniques, analysis, and part writing.

MUS-213 Ear Training III

The aural identification of all seventh-chords, more complex rhythmic patterns, and an intense concentration on sight-singing and melodic and harmonic dictation.

MUS-222 Music History, Literature and Form II

A study of the development of Western music from early Classic through the Romantic period. Representative composers, works, and forms are examined. Emphasis is placed upon historical and cultural context, aesthetic attitudes, musical philosophies, trends in theory and composition, and developments in form and style.

MUS-225 Survey of Contemporary Music History

A study of the development of Western music from the twentieth century to the present time. Also includes contemporary popular forms such as Jazz and Rock and Roll. Representative composers, works, and forms are examined. Emphasis is
placed upon historical and cultural context, aesthetic attitudes, musical philosophies, trends in theory and composition, and developments in form and style.

MUS-251 Basic Conducting and Rehearsal Techniques

A one-semester course covering the fundamental skills required for leading ensembles in performance.

MUS-315 Songwriting

Students examine the art of songwriting in a variety of popular music styles. Class work involves analysis of popular song melodies and lyrics, study of lyric writing and organization, hooks, form and melodic structure and creation of song demos.
Students are required to compose at least four songs over the course of the semester in a variety of styles. Students are able to hear their songs performed in periodic “seminar” type sessions and have the opportunity to have their work recorded by students in other music technology courses.

MUS-327 Jazz Fundamentals

A study of jazz fundamentals, including chords, form, scales, jazz nomenclature, chord voicing, principles of arrangement, chord and scale relationships, blues and jazz compositions. Basic keyboard skill will be emphasized as well as listening to standard jazz recordings.

MUS-340 Junior Recital

One half-hour recital required of B.Mus performance majors. Students must submit an application to the Music division one semester prior to the recital.

MUS-380 Internship

An experience outside of the classroom where the student gains practical experience in the area of desired employment. Includes church music, music/business, pedagogy, accompanying, and other areas related to music.

MUS-440 Senior Recital

One half-hour recital required of B.A. music majors and B.Mus Music Education. One hour recital required of performance majors. Students must submit an application to the Music division one semester prior to the recital.

MUS-441 Capstone Seminar: Senior Recital Project

The senior recital project represents the culmination of four years’ work towards a music degree. Students will research and incorporate several elements into their final paper including the integration of faith in music, musicology and history, theory and analysis, performance practices and the art of programming.

Music at Cornerstone

As a music major at Cornerstone, you have the incredible opportunity to perform in ensembles, take lessons in your instrument and even travel the country and the world. Studying music immerses you into your passions and cultivates your God-given gifts. Not only that, but it also opens the door to ceaseless possibilities.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcomes are the foundation of a CU degree. Explore how our commercial music program prepares you with the essential knowledge and 21st-century skills to reach your God-given potential and become a lifelong learner.

Coming soon!

My time at Cornerstone was marked by a community that surrounded and supported me—faculty who took a personal interest in building a relationship with me; staff that were sensitive, encouraging and inspired me to grow; and challenging, supportive fellow students with whom I have enjoyed long-lasting friendships.

Nick Burner (’15)

Faculty

CU professors are devoted to the success of our students. Select a faculty member to learn more about their campus involvement, research interests and teaching responsibilities.

Related Programs

The Communication, Media & Music Division has several music-related degree options available. Take a look at some of the other programs related to commercial music.

Admissions Office

Contact

F:
616.222.1418

Hours

MON - FRI: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT & SUN: Closed

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Connect With CU

Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.