The ability to plan, teach and conduct the meaningful services for a variety of church services is at the core of the Graduate Certificate program in Church Music.
Essential skills for church musicians are explored and sharpened in three, two-week summer sessions offered during three consecutive summers. The program is focused upon expanding knowledge of liturgical repertoire and developing effective rehearsal and conducting techniques for children and adults.
You will learn:
- musicianship in solo performance
- repertoire for liturgical settings
- how to lead a rehearsal and the music component of a church service
- music theory and music history
- to research, and express ideas in writing
We prepare you to lead traditional worship as an organist or become a music or choir director, studio teacher or accompanist. We prepare you to work with the amateur choir, which includes diverse ability levels and be able to help adults and children not only make music, but also think about what and why they are playing.
Learn More About This Program
Lead traditional worship as an organist, become a choir director and learn the art of accompaniment.
Church Music is a field that has wide appeal for those who wish to combine a love of music with a career in a church setting. Church musicians work with people of all ages and abilities as they prepare the music needed in worship services. Church musicians possess specialized skills in organ, conducting, voice, children and adult choirs, and service playing. They must understand the role of music in worship and have a thorough understanding of the various denominational liturgies. The training that Shenandoah offers in church music is not focused on any one denomination, and graduates of this program are employed by all major denominations. Most Shenandoah graduates are employed in full-time positions as music ministers or organist/choirmaster in churches with multiple choir programs.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s Church Music Institute is held for two weeks each summer as part of a three-year cycle of an intensive study of the skills and knowledge required of a musician working in the church.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Lead traditional worship
You will know how to lead traditional worship as an organist, a music or choir director, studio teacher, or an accompanist.
Teach church music students of all ages and skill levels
We prepare you to work with and teach amateur choirs, no matter how much training they might or might not have. You will not only be able to help your students make music, but also think about and appreciate what and why they are playing.
Work with and train members of clergy
You will also be qualified to work professionally with members of clergy – who often have little or no training themselves – to help them develop their own skills in worship planning.
The Career Services Office provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
Experience the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory. Study with master teachers – more than 100 professionals in music, theatre, dance and arts management.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s prestigious faculty is dynamic, creative, and passionately committed to the highest levels of artistic excellence. A deeply caring community, they mentor students with a wealth of professional expertise, balancing rigorous expectations with compassion and wisdom. At Shenandoah, you will study with, and perform for, award-winning composers, Metropolitan Opera singers, Grammy Award winning conductors and international competition winners. You will learn from leading scholars in music and premiere works created by accomplished dance artists and cutting-edge directors. Shenandoah Conservatory’s faculty embodies the highest levels of professional accomplishment and the deepest commitment to furthering the artistic growth and creative aspirations of students in every discipline.
Director of Organ and Church Music; Associate Professor, Organ and Church MusicFull Biography
Application and Audition Information
Admission to Shenandoah Conservatory graduate programs is highly competitive and the audition schedule fills rapidly. Early application and audition registration is recommended. All audition correspondence will be sent to the applicant via email.
Graduate Applicant Materials
- Complete the Graduate Application
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions where credit has been earned.
- Program-specific materials as outlined in the application and audition requirements
- Complete an audition with the faculty
Learn more about Shenandoah Conservatory Audition Requirements