Music Major (BA)

Music has the power to move people’s mind and hearts – in worship, classrooms, parties, and a variety of community settings. The art form is built upon a deep collection of shared songs and melodies, and musicians have an insatiable hunger for engaging in creative, new forms of expression.

At George Fox, we invite you to engage in the beauty that is music. Under the guidance of our talented faculty, we offer private instruction in voice, string, brass, woodwind, percussion, guitar, and keyboard instruments, as well as ensemble-style opportunities for practice and improvement.

We are also committed to helping you find your place. Our newly reimagined major, with emphases on music industry and worship arts, is focused on connecting you with compelling vocational opportunities.

Love to perform or lead worship? Join our choir, band, worship team, orchestra, jazz ensemble, drumline, or any of the many small groups we offer.

As part of our music program, you will integrate music history, theory, technique, technology, and philosophy to become the musician you want to be. All genres of music use the same building blocks of chords, musical structures, rhythm, and expressive musical lines, so no matter what your performance or professional goals are, you’ll find a place in our program!

Great musicians both build on the well-known traditions, while also learning to truly become musically fluent so that new songs, pieces and genres can just flow from them uninhibited. We invite you to explore your love of the craft with us!

Three Concentrations

Our music degree has a shared general core of classes, ensembles and lessons, and we offer three concentrations – in music industry, worship, and liberal studies – that allow you to customize your degree based on your area of interest.


Interested in pursuing work in the music industry? In the industry concentration, you will take courses in lighting and sound, recording, music theory, lessons, and overviews of global, pop, jazz, and classical music literature. You’ll also have opportunities to network, perform, record, produce, compose, and teach while in school, as well as have the option to spend a semester in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Contemporary Music Center.

Worship Arts

The worship arts concentration is intended for students who feel the call of God to go into full- or part-time music ministry. You will take a broad mix of courses, including classical and popular musical styles, and become exposed to current trends in music and theatre technology. An internship as part of your course of study will provide you with valuable experience in preparation for employment in ministry.

Liberal Arts

This concentration is the most flexible of all. Here, you will be prepared for any number of professional careers, such as teaching, composing, performing, or working as a freelance musician. Other students select this concentration when they’re passionate about music but are leaning toward other careers, since this option has the room to accommodate a minor in any field George Fox offers. It will also prepare you for graduate school in music, or to enroll in George Fox’s highly successful Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, where you can earn your Oregon K-12 music teaching credential. 

Any of these concentrations can lead into an MAT program for those who want to become certified music teachers for K-12 band, strings, choir, or general music.

You can pair a minor in music with numerous majors to customize your career pathway.

Watch video: Music Major Tour

Why Study Music at George Fox?

students during choir class

What Will I Study?

  • Music theory and ear training
  • Music history, including Western, global music, and popular music
  • Sight singing and ear training
  • Music technology, including recording and electronic music, as specific courses, but also integrated into the very fabric of what we do from day to day
  • Courses in recording, lighting, and music software, with many elective options in related fields, including cinema and theatre
  • The integration of faith and the performing arts
  • Private lessons: Every student enrolls in a once-per-week individual music lesson and a group Studio Class; this also include recitals, which are an integral part of the curriculum for all four years.
Nolan Staples

Nolan Staples

My experience at George Fox was one that was rooted in community. When I graduated high school I was unsure whether I would attend Fox or a music school in Boston. I felt God leading me to go to Fox for at least a year, but I didn’t know if I would stay longer than that. By December of my freshman year I knew that I would stay at Fox, mostly because of the people.

What’s after George Fox

Graduates of our music program are professional performers, teachers and leaders in a wide range of disciplines. We recently reimagined the major with emphases in music industry and worship arts, transforming our already-vibrant music department into a program that focuses on outcomes and employability by connecting students who love music with compelling vocational opportunities.

  • Metropolitan Opera Company, New York, N.Y.
  • Recanati Piano Academy, Recanati, Italy
  • Bosendorfer Hall, Vienna, Austria
  • Children’s Music Theater Company, Vancouver, Wash.
  • Private teaching studios, various locations
  • George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.
  • Biola University, La Mirada, Calif.
  • Newberg Friends Church
  • Portland Opera
  • USD Media
  • Portland International Piano Series
  • Longy School of Music
  • University of Oregon School of Music
  • University of Northern Colorado College of Performing Arts
  • University of Portland
  • Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at Seattle Film Institute
  • Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
  • Portland State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Willamette University
Photo of Simeon Brown playing the violin

For this grad, music and engineering go hand-in-hand

When Simeon Brown plays the violin his eyes are almost closed. His face relaxes and he’s neither smiling nor frowning. It’s easy to imagine he sees sheet music, or the audience, or his fingers waltzing across the fingerboard, but what he really sees when he plays the violin is the air in front of his nose.

“I get into this zone,” Brown says. “I’m not thinking. I’m not doing anything. I’m just playing. It’s how I worship.”