Entering the PBC Music Program

New students applying for and entering the PBC Music program will send in song demos and take part in specific evaluations to assist in beneficial course placement.  

Application Song Demos: As part of the application process for entering the Church Music program, two video demo submissions are required.  The production quality needed is low, however will showcase a fast tempo and slower tempo song demonstrating the prospective student’s proficiency of their instrument or vocal relating to the degree track they may be seeking.  More information and specific details for these demos are provided in the online application process.

Entrance Exams: A minimum of two entrance exams are given on New Student Orientation days to all incoming music students for determining music skill and proficiency, and to assist in finalizing class registrations & emphasis choice. Please take note of the event information listed below.

  • Music Theory Exam:  This exam determines music theory knowledge upon entering the Church Music program and assists with appropriate placement in the music theory course levels.  A student with sufficient theory knowledge and application may test out of Mu 121 Intro to Music and Mu 122 Music Fundamentals with instructor approval.
  • Keyboard Exam: This preliminary keyboard test covers foundational piano skills and determines if Mu 111 Keyboard 1 (group class), or a private piano lesson is taken the first semester to fulfill the required piano credit for all students.
  • Vocal Proficiency Exam: Students looking to enter the Worship Leader track will have a short vocal consultation with one of the voice instructors.  This is also recommended for students wishing to add a private voice lessons to their course schedule, either as a required or elective credit.

Private Lessons

Becoming proficient and excellent in music takes discipline and commitment, more than most realize.  All music students take private lessons each semester to achieve and develop their vocal/instrumental skill based on their track of emphasis requirements.  A regular practice routine is part of a music student’s experience, and studios & practice rooms are provided in different venues around the campus.

Degree tracks of emphasis will have unique and specific lesson requirements.  Please refer to program worksheets (Associate/Bachelor) for course requirements info.

All private lesson scheduling is managed by our Mannahouse Music School at Mannahouse Church, and are provided on the Portland Bible College campus, or other Mannahouse campuses as available or convenient for students.

Music Juries

Along with private lesson requirements, students will complete skill requirements parallel to degree completion.  These music juries are specific graded benchmarks assessed by a panel of at least three (3) adjudicators, and require a 70% score in each category to receive a passing grade.

  • Currently required for:  Piano & vocal students.
  • Offered when:  in the final week or two of every semester.
  • How do I sign-up? Signups are posted the week prior to juries for you to reserve your time slot with the panel.
  • Is there a fee involved?  Participation in music juries is currently $20 US, and can be charged to your student account at the time of taking your jury.
  • What if I need to cancel?  You can change or remove your reserved time slot anytime prior to the sign-up deadline (generally the Friday prior to the juries date).  Jury fees are non-refundable as a result of canceling or missing your scheduled time after the deadline has passed (with execption of extreme illness or family emergencies of course).
  • How do I prepare?  Your private lesson instructor will help ready you for upcoming juries.
  • How do I obtain the jury requirements for my instrument and level?  Contact the PBC School of Worship office at any time, or speak to your private instructor.

Recitals, Concerts & Recordings

Freshman & Sophomore Recital Participation

Department recitals are held in the final two weeks of each semester.  These are an opportunity for music students to grow by virtue of the preparation process involved with a solo or more technical musical performance, and help set goals for the private lesson experience.

All music students are encouraged to participate in the department recital each semester.  Specific music jury levels will require a certain number of recitals as a parallel requirement for degree completion.

The student works closely with their private lesson instructor to choose repertoire, prepare for the event, and learn recital etiquette at this level.

Junior & Senior Recital Participation

Freshman and sophomore department recitals are important preparation for the planning and experience of upper-classmen recitals. Choosing  repertoire with your private lesson instructor, how to practice and prepare that piece, as well as the actual presentation of it in an event are key elements to prepare for this next level of performance.

The following is a short guide to some of the basic things to be aware of for Junior and Senior recitals:

  1. Your recital requirements may be determined by the juries and track you are in.
  2. In addition to taking private lessons, a class called “Recital Workshop” is also taken that assists with the administration and planning for junior/senior recitals.
  3. Expectations: Junior recitals are generally 20 minutes or longer in length, Senior recitals 40 minutes or more.
  4. A vocal recital will require several repertoire pieces to fill a program.  Work with the private lesson instructor to select these, but it’s always good no matter what instrument a student plays (including voice) to be thinking ahead of pieces to prepare and perform.
  5. Junior & Senior recitals are traditionally done in the spring.  If a student believes they may be prepared at another time in the school year, discuss this with the private lesson instructor or faculty advisor to see what options are available.  A lot of planning simply has to do with finding dates that don’t conflict with something else happening on our busy campus!
  6. Students get more tips and helps in Recital Workshop but here’s a few:  a) Play your piece(s) for as many friends, family members, etc. you. b) Cost: there may be some cost involved with making a recital happen, for items like equipment, food, décor, etc.  c) Communicate with your accompanist if you have one, and make sure they can commit to the task ahead.  d) Enjoy the experience!

For all performing students: we highly encourage you ask your private lesson instructor or faculty advisor about any questions you have as you look ahead and think about your recital!

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