Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, Washington Adventist University’s Department of Music offers the one-on-one type of instruction that undergraduate musicians need to flourish within the confines of a Christian liberal arts setting. Our students are goal-oriented, driven musicians who demand and receive the highest levels of instruction and mentorship. WAU provides the students with a demanding yet supportive environment in which to develop their skills. We also provide numerous performance opportunities with our large organizations, band/choir/orchestra, that regularly perform and tour in the finest concert halls, churches, and museums in the Washington, DC area and beyond. For those who enjoy smaller ensembles, we also have a vibrant chamber music program, an Original Instrument Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble. Finally, our classes in music theory, music history, musicianship, music technology, and music education are small, allowing students to excel in settings where they get to know their instructors, and just as importantly, their instructors get to know them.
At the heart of our degree programs is performance. At WAU, we have pioneered a one-of-a-kind jury system that includes assessments in front of a traditional jury panel, as well as assessments in front of peer groups, all scheduled at 6 different increments throughout the academic year. We believe that this innovative jury system best prepares students for performance success. Our teaching faculty is composed of artist-teachers who love to teach. The passion that comes from our faculty is felt within our walls, and it is a joy to experience the music making from students of all levels and faculty alike.
Our state-of-the-art facility is the Peters Music Center, which opened in 2012. This facility has a large Rehearsal Hall – the James T. Bingham Rehearsal Hall, smart classrooms and teaching studios, and practice spaces. Many of our teaching and practice spaces house Steinway pianos. Plans for Phase 2 of our Music Facility are under way, and this space will house a Concert Hall as well as additional teaching and practice spaces. Most important to the Department of Music, however, is the people. Our faculty and students are talented and passionate people of the highest character. We welcome each prospective student to become a part of our experience, whether you desire to be a music major, music minor, or just a part of music making at WAU.
Dr. Daniel Lau, DMA, Chair, Department of Music
It is the purpose of the Department of Music to provide professional musical training reinforced by a sound general education viewed from a Seventh-day Adventist Christian perspective. Its programs are designed to provide students with a superior musical experience preparing them to be successful communicators, performers and educators. It is the desire of the faculty to present the art of music as a discipline that can ennoble the spiritual, intellectual and emotional lives of students and, by so doing, music becomes a vehicle for service and outreach to the greater community.
The Bachelor of Arts in Music is designed for students wishing a broad liberal arts education while developing musical skills at a professional, artistic level. Candidates for the B.A. in Music are required to have a second major or minor in a field that will lead to a career or further study. This requirement assures that the degree maintains an emphasis on general studies as defined within a liberal arts degree.
The Bachelor of Music in Music Performance is designed for individuals planning a career in music. Students wishing to enroll in this degree must have well developed performance skills before entering the University and have career goals for private studio teaching, teaching at the tertiary level, or entering the performance field.
The Bachelor of Music in Music Education is designed for students planning a career in teaching music at the elementary and/or secondary level. The degree is predicated on the concept that an effective music educator is also an excellent musician. Therefore, the music core is academically challenging while at the same time the pedagogical aspects of teaching music are heavily emphasized. The Department of Music works in conjunction with the Department of Education to assist students in attaining this degree.
Dr. Daniel Lau,