At Concordia, Music is more than a major—it is an integral part of the college experience for students in a variety of undergraduate studies. We use music to cultivate and articulate human thought in beautiful ways. We also use it as a valuable expression of faith, a gift of God to aid in the proclamation of the Gospel.

The music major at Concordia University Irvine emphasizes the following academic areas:

  • Practical Musicianship & Performance Musicianship
  • Contextualization of Music
  • Leadership & Collaboration

Many music majors add a concentration to their major, focusing on Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, or Performance.

What do you like about your major?

*Please note that students enrolled prior to Fall 2016 may complete their studies under the previous Music major requirements.

Alumni Testimonials

  • Concordia prepared me well for my choral teaching career! Since it is a small school, I had a lot of performance opportunities. I was able to accompany chapel services and play in the praise band often. Concordia inspired me to be a choral teacher, and to go on to get my Master’s degree.
    - Jason Chan
  • My music education at Concordia was so meaningful because of the dedication of the faculty to each student's growth, the quality of the music making, the candor and loyalty of the students, the beauty of the campus, and the reward of the learning process that comes from well-structured courses. There are always life choices and experiences which we look back on and wonder if we could have had them differently; for me, Concordia is the opposite--I would not change it at all.
    - Christian Guebert, ‘10, Director of Music, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Orange, CA
  • Concordia's Music faculty and program impacted me deeply as a student. The mentorships, information, and practical skills I learned as a music major are directly utilized on a daily basis in my career as a music teacher and church musician. Since graduating, I have realized how valuable that experience was! My job requires a variety of musical skills, including teaching, accompanying, directing, coaching, performing, etc. My time at Concordia truly prepared me for my future!
    - Karissa Lystrup, ‘15 Director of Worship and Music Arts, St. John's Lutheran Church, Bakersfield, CA


The Music Major consists of 54 units of required coursework. Additional coursework, grouped in concentrations ranging from 13-18 units, is available to music majors who want to study a specialization even deeper.

Building on core competencies in musical studies, you may choose from 7 areas of specialization:

Music Major Curriculum

Music Sample Courses

MUS 201 Music Theory 1 3 units
MUS 202 Music Theory 2 3 units
MUS 211 Aural Skills 1 1 unit
MUS 212 Aural Skills 2 1 unit
MUS 221 Beginning Conducting 2 units
MUS 331 Music History: Antiquity to Bach 3 units
MUS 332 Music History: Classical Period to Modernity 3 units


Alumni Success

Graduates from Concordia University Irvine’s Music Major are employing the beauty and art of music in school districts, church halls, and further developing their musicianship in graduate studies.

Catherine Standridge

Catherine Standridge ’13

Instrumental Music Instructor, Orange County Unified School District

Catherine Standridge studied music education at Concordia University Irvine, earning her degree and her teaching credential. Her student-teaching assignment led to a full-time job and an opportunity to help restore music education to an entire school district.

Read My Story
Gretchen Sheetz

Gretchen Sheetz ’14

Masters Student

“It is because of my alma mater that I aspire to be an excellent player, and a person of character and kindness whose music emanates from the soul." Gretchen Sheetz received her master's degree in harp performance from The Boston Conservatory.

Read My Story

Graduate Schools Attended

  • Boston Conservatory
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Cal State Long Beach
  • Concordia University Irvine
  • Concordia University Portland
  • Concordia University Wisconsin
  • Michigan State University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Redlands
  • Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Opportunities for Music Majors

Performing and teaching are the two most common careers in music, but there is a breadth of career possibilities that spans from Accompanist to Summer Camp music director and everything in between. Concordia prepares all Music Majors to teach the art of making music.

Academic Opportunities

As a Music major, you can combine your degree with a related minor, or double major. Many Concordia students who major in other fields also choose to complete their elective requirements with a formal program of study in music with a music minor.


Each year, during the May term, Concordia supports an international music ensemble tour. The cost for student performers is only approximately 25% of the actual cost of the trip.

  • Germany for 500th anniversary of Reformation: Concordia Choir and Sinfonietta (2017)

Performance Groups

Enduring friendships and lifelong memories are formed through participation in Concordia’s top music ensembles. They are not restricted to the top music major performers. Instead, they include any student who wants life enrichment through performance excellence and music ministry. Many proudly take on the title of “honorary music major!” Find out more information about Concordia's performance groups.

Music Performance Calendar

  • 4 Choirs
  • 2 Orchestras
  • 2 Jazz ensembles
  • 1 American folk ensemble
  • 4 Handbell ensembles
  • 1 Commercial music ensemble
  • Numerous chamber music ensembles
  • Numerous praise and worship bands


Music majors have a tremendous opportunity to apply for scholarships at Concordia University, Irvine. From our small undergraduate program, we have the need to fill seats for all of our major ensembles with talented students. Music scholarships can cover up to half of your tuition, and can be added to any academic scholarships you may be awarded.

Music Scholarship Interest Form

Please fill out this online form to introduce yourself to us. It will take 5-10 minutes to complete. Note: You cannot save and return to this form. Be prepared to complete it in one sitting.

Meet Your Professors

Studying at Concordia means that you have access to one of the best undergraduate church music faculties on the West Coast, some of the most accomplished studio and recital musicians in Southern California, and professors who exhibit excellence in ensemble leadership and teaching.

Prof. Tom Mueller

Prof. Tom Mueller

Music professor and university organist Tom Mueller was recently named to the “20 Under 30” list of Prominent American Musicians, or 20 American musicians under the age of 30, by The Diapason, an international music journal focusing on musicians who play the organ, harpsichord, and carillon. A faculty member at Concordia University Irvine since January 2015, Mueller, 29, teaches organ, jazz, and composition. In addition, he serves as the assistant organist at St. James’ Church in Los Angeles

Prof. Carol McDaniel

Prof. Carol McDaniel

Carol recently celebrated 30 years in music ministry as a teacher, conductor, organist and parish music administrator. She received her B.S. in Education, with an emphasis in organ, music education and parish music, from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska in 1983. She was a graduate teaching assistant and received her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1985. She was instrumental in developing Concordia Irvine’s series of organ classes for students wanting to experience organ for the first time.

Dr. Jeff Held

Dr. Jeff Held

Dr. Held received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University. He joined the faculty of Concordia University in 2005 and as an expert on the application of instrumental music in worship, established most of the existing orchestral instrument program at the University. Dr. Held is the music director of both the Concordia Wind Orchestra and the Concordia Sinfonietta, as well as Director of Arts Activities and Assistant Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences (music, theatre, and art).

More Faculty

One of our greatest assets at Concordia University, Irvine is our dedicated faculty. In a small learning environment, our professors care about you—not just your performance—and they cultivate lifelong mentoring relationships with the students they teach.

Music Faculty

Get in Touch

For more information about the Music major at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

The Music Office
[email protected]

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Want to know more about Concordia University Irvine? Let one of our admissions counselors get in touch with you and answer any questions you might have.

Schedule a Visit

In your college search, it's important that you find the right fit for you. That's why we offer both group visits and individual visits for you and your family throughout the year. Come experience our beautiful hilltop campus, sit in on a class, attend chapel, and dine in our cafeteria.

Visit us at one of our upcoming Admissions events



Senior's Preview Day
(2-day event)
Concordia University Irvine

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If you are seeking a place that honors your "andness"-your individuality, your perspective, your interests, your questions and contributions-you will find it at Concordia.

Deadlines to Apply

  • Early Action
  • Dec. 1
  • Priority
  • Feb. 15
  • Regular
  • Apr. 1

Applications received after April 1 are reviewed on a rolling bases.

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