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Academics

What’s your passion?

Whether it’s

  • singing
  • playing an instrument (or several)
  • music theater
  • composing
  • sharing music with others through teaching

you can pursue it at Bethel College.

Small is beautiful.

That’s more than a cliché. At Bethel, 25%+ of students are involved in music. Some are music majors or minors. Some are practicing their art while studying in other areas.

The size of our student body and a low student-to-faculty ratio means you can hone what you know as well as explore something new.

Take a peek into the music opportunities that await you here.

Well-rounded

Because Bethel is a liberal-arts institution, you’ll learn to

  • think critically
  • ask good questions
  • communicate effectively through speaking and writing

You’ll put music into its context of history, literature and other fine arts, which situates you well for

  • graduate school
  • teaching
  • a performance career
Check out what some of our alumni have done with their degrees.

Want to talk more with faculty and current students? Schedule a campus visit.

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Performance Opportunities

The performing arts are an important part of the Bethel College experience. Dedicated faculty, frequent performance opportunities and a campus and wider community that appreciate and support student artists make Bethel College the perfect choice for students seeking a performance experience that challenges and nurtures the individual. Learn more about the variety of performance opportunities available to Bethel College students.

European Choir Tour

Every four years, the Bethel College Concert Choir has the opportunity to travel and perform in numerous European countries. Past tours have taken us to Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition to the musical aspects of the study tour, choir members become familiar with varied aspects of European culture, history, economics, social structures, politics and religious life.

View the most recent tour schedule. We often sing in churches as well as in some cathedrals (formal or informal concerts).

Internships/research

Music students have a number of outlets for gaining hands-on experience on campus and in surrounding communities. A number of instrumentalists teach younger students through the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts. Students also get involved in area church services on a regular basis – many of them direct church choirs or play piano or organ. Students have also applied and been accepted for internships with larger music organizations such as a summer 2006 internship with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in New York City.

Possibilities for undergraduate research are open to Bethel music majors, designed by students to tailor to their specific interests and closely assisted by faculty. Some recent undergraduate research topics have included:

  • The 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano by Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Stuart Davis, Earl Hines and jazz-art influences
  • Four jazz transcriptions and a comparative analysis of the various jazz styles represented

Post-graduate careers include:

  • Teaching (all levels, including private instruction)
  • Performance
  • Church music
  • Opportunities in the music business and arts management

Notable Alumni

Karenza Kroeker – ’03

Karenza recently moved on from teaching seven years at Iowa Mennonite School, a place she first visited as a member of Bethel College Concert Choir.

Anna Cook – ’13
Anna started in Fall 2015 as orchestra director for Shawnee Mission North High School in the Kansas City area.
Major requirements for Music:
36 hours plus piano competency
Major requirements for Music teacher licensure:
59 hours, including 7 hours in the major performance medium, piano and guitar competency and aural skills competency, plus completion of professional education requirements.
Minor requirements for Music:
16 hours

Private Lessons and Pedagogy Opportunities

Bethel offers private instruction in piano, organ, voice and all wind, string and percussion instruments, plus a cooperative program in piano pedagogy that gives pianists a unique and valuable opportunity for concentrated study. All students engaged in private study are occasionally invited to become paid apprentice instructors in the Bethel College Academy for the Performing Arts, where they are mentored by college faculty. More than 200 community students participate in BCAPA’s programs, which include private lessons, a Suzuki violin program and dance.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.