Skip to Content

Music Department

Briar Cliff takes pride in the important and active role of music in the university’s academic programs and campus life. With an annual schedule of more than 30 performances and an accomplished artist faculty whose collective teaching experience exceeds 100 years, our music department exemplifies the unity of musicianship and educational practice needed for success in the real world.

Graduates from the music department make significant contributions in their respective communities:

  • They are teachers and administrators in private and public schools and institutions of higher education
  • They own and operate private studios
  • They work as professional concert artists, accompanists, church musicians, and directors of regional theatres
  • And they are graduate students at major research universities.

There are many wonderful opportunities for you as a music major — or as a non-major — to perform with the Cliff Singers, Chamber Choir or the Jazz Ensemble. The department also goes on frequent choir tours and often joins forces with the theatre department for musical productions.  

The department maintains a philosophy of education which seeks to provide a means for spiritual, intellectual and artistic development consistent with a liberal education.


MUSC 114 - Music Theory I
MUSC 114L - Music Theory Lab I
MUSC 115 - Music Theory II
MUSC 115L - Music Theory Lab II
MUSC 125 - American Popular Music (Online)
MUSC 220 - Music Appreciation
MUSC 225 - One World: Music of the World's Peoples
MUSC 247 - Music History and Literature I
MUSC 248 - Music History and Literature II
MUSC 250 - Applied Organ Lessons
MUSC 255 - Applied Piano Lessons
MUSC 260 - Applied Voice Lessons
MUSC 314 - Music Theory III
MUSC 314L - Music Theory Lab III
MUSC 315 - Music Theory IV
MUSC 315L - Music Theory Lab IV
MUSC 335 - Music for Elementary Teacher
MUSC 340 - Piano Pedagogy
MUSC 345 - Methods of Teaching Music in Elementary School
MUSC 437 - Conducting I
MUSC 438 - Conducting II
MUSC 439 - Choral Procedures
MUSC 440 - Methods of Teaching Music in Secondary School
MUSC 450 - Applied Organ Lessons II
MUSC 455 - Applied Piano Lessons II
MUSC 460 - Applied Voice Lessons II
MUSC 48M - Chamber Choir
MUSC 50M - Cliff Singers
MUSC 55M - Jazz Ensemble
MUSC IS - Independent Study


Sean Burton
Associate Professor of Music; The Gilchrist Foundation Director of Choral Activities; Division Chair of Arts and Humanities;
Sister Mary Day, O.S.F.
Associate Professor of Music
Robert Gibson
Instructor of Jazz
Jeremy Owens
Assistant Professor of Music
Richard Steinbach
Professor of Music