Student playing piano

A new music course launched Winter Semester 2017 is inspiring faculty and students to teach the importance of learning basic music skills to build their careers and the kingdom of God.

Practical Musicianship (Music 290) is a course designed to teach basic music skills to students from all majors who have little or no musical knowledge. When approved by the Online Department, the course will become available to online students as Music 130.

Matt Moore, a Music Department faculty member who helped develop the course, shared that it was created for a few different reasons.    

"We're trying to reach a few different types of students," Moore said. "In a music major's first musicianship class, if they fail to pass the preliminary exam, they are sent to this course instead, in order to prepare them to continue moving forward with a music degree."  

Moore said the course also aims to benefit students who choose not to pursue a music degree, leaving them with the skills they need to fulfill other responsibilities.  

"If this is the only music course a student takes, they'll still have the basic skills to serve in a music position wherever they're asked," Moore said. "This will allow them to gain basic skills to teach music to other people, serve in their church callings, or organize a musical group or performance whenever they want."  

Music 130 was created by a team of Music Department faculty members from different disciplines of music. No prior musical experience is necessary to take the course. The only cost for the course includes purchasing the online music teaching program that helps students learn simple piano and voice skills, along with learning how to read and conduct music.  

Moore also shared that students will have opportunities to demonstrate leadership and problem-solving skills that will help members of the Church around the world.

"I hope this will make music in the Church better overall," Moore said. "We want to help people feel confident that they can fulfill any musical assignment in the church, from primary chorister to ward choir director." 

Holleah LeBaron, a sophomore studying music composition who took the class last semester, said that she was able to apply what she was learning in a very practical way.  

"I learned how to memorize a lot better. I also started incorporating what I was learning in my other classes, so that helped a lot, too," LeBaron said.  

LeBaron hopes other students will take advantage of the unique learning opportunities it has to offer.  

"I think that everyone should have some sort of concept of music," LeBaron said. "The class is perfect for beginners, so you can't get lost. And if you do, you have all the tools and resources you need to catch up. I think that everyone should take it because it opens your eyes to a whole new understanding of what music and creating music has to offer."