About Music at Lewis University

The Music Department teaches music not only as a liberal art but also for professional pursuits, offering courses for students in all majors. Many students choose to satisfy the fine arts requirement by taking Music for the Listener, which is offered every semester, or by taking one of several courses in music history, which range from medieval to modern music.

The department also offers specialized course work leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree offering the following degrees:

Courses in music theory and history are taught by experienced full-time faculty who are creatively active as composers, performers, conductors, and scholars. Computer assisted instruction is an essential component in the study of music theory. Students also take private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, and all orchestral instruments with instructors who are active in music performance in the Chicago area.

Music majors and minors have the opportunity to perform in one of the university's many ensembles every semester. The department maintains a symphony orchestra, a college choir, a vocal jazz ensemble, a gospel choir, a jazz band, a guitar ensemble and a wind ensemble. These ensembles are directed by full and part-time faculty who have established themselves as respected conductors at the local, regional, and national level. All these ensembles perform every semester and are open to members of the community as well as to students in all majors. Some require an audition.

Every semester the department, in cooperation with the Arts and Ideas program, sponsors a series of concerts presented by guest artists, faculty, alumni, and students, as well as performances by the resident music ensembles. Music majors in both tracks are invited to participate in or attend these concerts, which are provided without additional charge to students.

Financial aid is available for music study at Lewis University in a number of forms. In addition to the financial aid available through the university, the Music Department offers a limited number of Talent Scholarships to promising students who intend to major in music. These scholarships are not based upon financial need but on musical ability and potential as demonstrated in an audition for the faculty. Talent Scholarships may be combined with grants, loans, and work-study programs available from other sources.

Music majors at Lewis University may choose to concentrate on applied vocal or instrumental music, music theory and composition, or music history. This track prepares students for graduate study or to pursue music as a performer and teacher. Additionally, the Department of Music offers limited talent scholarship to students who major in music or music merchandising.

Music merchandising majors combine their musical studies with courses in business and marketing to prepare themselves for music business careers such as music retailers, sales representatives, sound technicians, talent agents, and in symphony and opera management. Although available to all Lewis University students, the newly implemented minor in music technology is an innovative option to music merchandising majors interested in recording, software design, and electroacoustic composition. The music merchandising program also involves an internship experience, often at world class companies such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The Music Department also offers a minor in music technology for those students who desire a focus on recording and electroacoustic composition. Music technology minors are encouraged to seek additional electives in applied music, music theory, and music history.

Almost all music is touched by technology in some way in today’s cultural climate. Whether recording an orchestra concert, amplifying a pop singer, or composing interactive electroacoustic music, a music technologist or audio engineer is involved.

The primary mission of this degree adheres to the Lewis University and Music Department Mission statements. Its primary goal is not to be a "knob-turning" degree. Instead, it strives create life-long learners and adapters, through study of standard techniques, music repertory, and creative endeavors such as composition. Using this approach to music pedagogy, students who complete the curriculum will be able to apply and adapt their knowledge to a variety of technology environments, not just the environment and technology they encounter at Lewis.

Finally, the Music Department offers a minor in music for those students who desire a secondary field of study in music. Music minors are encouraged to seek additional electives in applied music, music theory, and music history.


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The Music Department has a limited number of Talent Scholarships which are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional musical ability and the potential for contributing to the life of the Music Department. An audition for the faculty is required for consideration. Because these awards are not tied to student or family need, it is not necessary to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ('FAFSA') to receive a Talent Scholarship. Students chosen to receive Talent Scholarships are expected to major in music and to participate in musical ensembles every semester.

The maximum award for talent scholarships is $3000 per academic year. While this amount represents only about 17% of the average annual tuition, students frequently are eligible for additional assistance to augment this award. Various forms of financial aid based upon demonstrable need are available and can be combined into a financial aid package; these require the submission of the FAFSA. For more information, students should visit the Office of Financial Aid Services in the LRC Building, or contact them at (815)836-5263 or finaid@lewisu.edu

Since funding for talent scholarships is limited, prospective students are strongly encouraged to audition as soon as possible.

To schedule an talent scholarship audition, contact the Department of Music by calling (815)836-5619