Music Performance, B.M.

Degree Program

The Bachelor of Music degrees are offered upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements. The major requirements include completing a basic core of music and specific degree requirements with additional credits for Performance. Total credits: 72 to 76, depending on the concentration chosen.

Students interested in pursuing this degree must demonstrate a high level of performance potential and commitment to music as a profession.

Special Programs/Opportunities


The Conservatory provides opportunities for experience in several types of vocal and instrumental ensembles, including the Biola Chorale, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensembles. All are open to non-music majors as well as music majors by audition.

Concert Series

The Conservatory concert series features outstanding guest artists and student ensembles.

Masterclasses and Artist-in-Residence Program

Opportunities for participating in masterclasses with guest artists are available annually. Of special note is the ongoing series of masterclasses and recitals by world-renowned artists, including Menahem Pressler, pianist, Artist-in-Residence.

Local Opportunities

The Southern California area provides exceptional opportunities for hearing the world's leading artists, as well as outstanding college and church music performances.

Service Opportunities

The Los Angeles metropolitan area offers many opportunities for remunerative service in music. There are frequent openings for competent church choir directors, soloists, accompanists, instrumentalists, and organists.


Music awards in varying amounts are available to qualified students. Complete information is available by emailing or by writing:

Director, Conservatory of Music
Biola University
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639-0001

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Music in Music Performance, students will be able to:

  1. Apply historical and theoretical understanding to the analysis of musical forms, processes, and structures found in masterpieces from the western art music tradition (ULO 1).
  2. Describe how they intend to integrate their faith in their anticipated future professional activities (ULO 2).
  3. Demonstrate basic musicianship skills in sight-singing, dictation, conducting, voice and piano (ULO 3).
  4. Evaluate basic form, harmony, meter, rhythm, voice-leading and developmental techniques found in excerpts and entire pieces from the Western art music tradition, and will experiment with writing music in the same styles (ULO 3).
  5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the important composers and their works on their instrument (ULO 1).
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of different teaching approaches in their area (voice, piano, or instrumental) (ULO 2).
  7. Demonstrate performance mastery on their instrument to the highest possible level given their talents and age (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

All students seeking admission must demonstrate musical background and performance strengths necessary for successful completion of the stated curriculum. Admission into Biola University does not guarantee admission into the Conservatory as a music major. A student will be admitted to the Conservatory of Music after:

  1. Meeting requirements for University admission.
  2. Completing a Conservatory application with the required number of references.
  3. Completing a Conservatory audition, including a basic musicianship examination designed to demonstrate university level music study readiness.

After acceptance and upon entrance, students will be given placement examinations and auditions in music dictation, keyboard skills and performance. These examinations are given for the purpose of validating prior study and determining proper placement in music courses. Specific information concerning the content of these examinations and suggestions for preparation are available by contacting the Conservatory Office.

Transfer of Credit/Advanced Standing

With the exception of courses in music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance, courses taken at other regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States will be accepted on a comparable course basis.

Prior study in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance will be validated through placement examinations.

Advanced standing may be gained through placement examinations in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance; however, no credit(s) will be given for waived courses. Waiver of courses on the basis of placement examinations without comparable prior course credit will increase elective credits required.

Credit for courses taken at a non-accredited college or university will be granted only through placement or challenge examinations.

Applied Music

In order to graduate, music students must reach primary applied proficiency level standards designated for each degree program. Applied Music lessons are guided by faculty or studio artists who have expertise and professional experience in the voice or instrument under study. Studio artists are affiliated with Biola via independent contracts and thus do not undergo the same process for hire as do faculty. The studio artists are all highly competent individuals who appreciate Biola and endorse the goals of the Conservatory, but their theological conceptualization has not undergone the same close review as that of the faculty. For more information, see the Conservatory Office.

Integration Seminar Requirement

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree program are required to take BBST 465 as "Redeeming Culture through Music" (this course fulfills the integration seminar Bible requirement).

GPA Requirements

Students in the degree program must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the major and receive a minimum grade of "C" in each required course.

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Curriculum Courses
Candidates for the Bachelor of Music degree are exempt from the Core Curriculum requirement in foreign language, literature, and fine arts.
Program Courses
MUSC 145Applied Music 18
MUSC 153Sight-Singing and Dictation I2
MUSC 154Music Theory I2
MUSC 163Sight-Singing and Dictation II2
MUSC 164Music Theory II2
MUSC 200Concert Music 20
MUSC 300Concert Music 30
MUSC 307Music History and Literature: Medieval Through Early Baroque2
MUSC 308Music History and Literature: Mid-Baroque Through Classic2
MUSC 309Music History and Literature: Late Romantic Through Early 20th Century2
MUSC 312Music Theory/History and Literature of the 20th Century3
MUSC 323Basic Conducting2
MUSC 343Form and Analysis I2
MUSC 353Sight-Singing and Dictation III1
MUSC 354Music Theory III2
MUSC 363Sight-Singing and Dictation IV1
MUSC 364Music Theory IV2
MUSC 370Junior Recital0
MUSC 410Music Cultures of the World3
MUSC 445Applied Music 48
MUSC 430Pedagogy2
MUSC 490Senior Recital2
MUSC 211Improvisation for Non Keyboardists: Concepts/Practices2
or MUSC 217 Improvisation for Keyboardists: Concepts/Practices
Total Credits52


Performance students must choose a concentration in one of the following areas.


Concentration Courses
MUSC 102Voice Class1
MUSC 118Keyboard II1
MUSC 119Keyboard III1
MUSC 341Counterpoint2
MUSC 347Music Technology and Production2
MUSC 420Special Studies in Music Literature2
Select 5 credits of music electives5
Ensemble Courses
Select 8 credits of instrumental ensembles8
Total Credits22


Concentration Courses
MUSC 102Voice Class1
MUSC 180Performance Seminar1
MUSC 261Keyboard Sight Reading I1
MUSC 262Keyboard Sight Reading II1
MUSC 280Performance Seminar1
MUSC 341Counterpoint2
MUSC 355Advanced Keyboard Skills1
MUSC 380Performance Seminar 12
Select 2 credits of music electives2
Ensemble Courses
Select 8 credits of ensemble, 4 credits must be Chamber music8
Total Credits20


Concentration Courses
MUSC 102Voice Class1
MUSC 261Keyboard Sight Reading I1
MUSC 262Keyboard Sight Reading II1
MUSC 280Performance Seminar1
MUSC 341Counterpoint2
MUSC 347Music Technology and Production2
MUSC 355Advanced Keyboard Skills1
MUSC 360Collaborative Piano2
MUSC 380Performance Seminar1
MUSC 420Special Studies in Music Literature2
Ensemble Courses
Select 8 credits of Ensemble, 4 credits must be in Chamber Music8
Total Credits22


Concentration Courses
MUSC 118Keyboard II1
MUSC 119Keyboard III1
MUSC 156Lyric Diction I1
MUSC 157Lyric Diction II1
MUSC 251Song Literature I1
MUSC 252Song Literature II1
MUSC 390Opera Theatre1
Select 1 credit of music elective1
Foreign Language Courses
Select 8 credits of foreign language courses8
Ensemble Courses
Select 8 credits of vocal ensemble8
Total Credits24

NOTE: The course sequence table is designed by the major department and is one way that the classes will work out properly in sequence for your major. However, there are alternative or flexible ways to rotate some of the classes within the same year/level and sometimes between year levels. Please contact your major department advisor to discuss flexible alternatives in scheduling the sequence of your classes.

Taking coursework during the summer session may also be an option to accelerate your degree path.

See Core Curriculum Program section for a list of approved Core Curriculum courses.

Music Performance, B.M.

First Year
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
ENGL 100 or 1123Science (see Core Curriculum)3
GNST 1021MATH 12111
 16 17
Total Credits 33
Second Year
BBST 209 or 2103BBST 209 or 2103
Music10BBST 2513
Communication (see Core Curriculum)3Music10
 KNES 1071
 16 17
Total Credits 33
Third Year
BBST 3543BBST 3653
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3
KNES Activity (see Core Curriculum)1MATH 12211
Writing Competency RequirementHIST 100 or 1013
 Graduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 18
Total Credits 34
Fourth Year
BBST 465 (Redeeming Culture Thru Music - required)3BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3
Music8BBST 306, 316, or 3263
ENGL 3133Music11
MATH 12311 
Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3 
 18 17
Total Credits 35