Catholic College offering a major or minor in music?
  • Annerwin
    Posts: 1
    A member of our parish home schools her six children. The oldest girl would like to attend a truly Catholic college and major in music, specifically violin. Does such a school exist? If not, what are her options? She will not consider a public school, nor just any college that calls itself "Catholic." She is a few years away from finishing her High School studies. Any suggestions would be welcome. My email address: Please put "music major" in the title if you care to email. Thank you.
  • Greetings Ann! I recently graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor of arts degree in sacred music with a concentration in organ.
    I do not know of any truly Catholic colleges with an instrumental concentration like violin. However, if her daughter sings or plays the piano well, she may be able to change her concentration to organ or voice. These concentrations are far more common at genuine Catholic universities: specifically, Ave Maria University and Franciscan University of Steubenville, both of which offer bachelor of arts degrees in sacred music (concentrations in voice or organ). Christendom College offers a minor in liturgical music with the same concentrations.
    Speaking from my own experiences at Franciscan University, the music program includes a chamber orchestra which she would be more than welcome to join. Ave Maria University may also have a chamber orchestra, but I don't know for certain.

    I hope this is helpful to you!
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • teachermom24
    Posts: 315
    Yes, such a school does exist--the University of Notre Dame. Our eldest son (also homeschooled through high school) just graduated ND this past May so I know it is both "truly Catholic" and has an excellent music program for all instruments. Our second son, who happens to be our parish organist, is hoping to go to Notre Dame as a music major, probably piano performance, in 2015.

    eta: Here is a lovely article on what makes Notre Dame truly Catholic and truly great:
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,395
    Take a look at Catholic University's undergraduate music programs, which include performance on any orchestral instrument.

  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    If she wants to major in violin and be TRULY competitive, she needs to shed the idea of ONLY attending a Catholic school and ONLY one that is "truly" Catholic.

    Sorry, but none of the schools mentioned above are in the upper crust of music schools for violin. She needs to consider two schools in my hometown, Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College. Another obvious choice is Julliard. None are Catholic. But if she wants to major in violin and not waste her money, she needs to try for the pedigree.

    If her faith is strong, it shouldn't matter that she would be going to a conservatory that is not Catholic. Also - she will be spending so many hours practicing, that will be her life. It won't really matter what faith she is. Of course she will go to mass and have a faith life, but in terms of her being exposed to non-orthodox theology or ideas, don't worry, she won't have time to be exposed to anything except the violin.
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    Depends on why she wants to major in violin. If her college life isn't going to be spent in a small, soundproof room, maybe she should shed the idea of having the performance emphasis.

    But if she just wants to play the violin and not turn pro --- well, there are worse reasons behind choosing a major, and there's always the whole classical liberal education thing about being well-rounded.
    Thanked by 2marajoy CHGiffen
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Go where the teacher you idolize is, so long as you can also get a good academic grounding too.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 801
    But if she wants to major in violin and not waste her money, she needs to try for the pedigree.

    Not sure that's it's a "waste of time" to study at anything but the top ten music schools - depends on what you want to do with your degree. Not everyone is out for a solo career or to play in a big orchestra. Perhaps she wants an education (and a life) outside of music as well.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,146
    Well, Rich, I think that's the crux of what we're attempting to figure out here:

    Does she want to become a top-notch, world-class professional violinist? If she does, then it is likely that the only Catholic school that would prepare her for that is CUA. Perhaps Notre Dame, but that would be less likely.

    There are numerous Catholic colleges (Christendom, Wyoming, Thomas Aquinas, etc.) which would seem to satisfy her "truly Catholic" requirement, but would definitely NOT prepare her for a high-level career as a violinist.

    It's all about what is most important to her. It seems to me that she is going to have to compromise in one way or another.
  • Last time I heard, the CUA student ministry was run by Steubenville Franciscans.

    I know Notre Dame grads are very enthusiastic, but the actions of your president with Pres. Obama kind of raise doubts in people's minds. I suspect no less a light than Mary Ann Glendon--famously refused an honor rather than be on the podium with a pro-choice politician also being honored by Notre Dame – might suggest being a little bit more cautious about unqualified recommendations of any but the most orthodox Catholic schools... and with very orthodox schools, you have the problem of being "more Catholic than the Pope."

    I know at CUA, we have many fine faculty members and priests. Students talk among themselves, and it should be possible to find good people to hang out with. There is a mass in the Crypt Church on Sunday afternoon for students with Gregorian propers and a choir.

    I myself recommend giving the student a copy of the catechism and working through it with them and teaching them to be respectful but critical of what every faculty member and priest says, critical in the sense of thinking about it. That way, they can encounter any priest and any faculty member with confidence that if they are upset by something, they can go back and refer to the catechism and understand either what they themselves have never heard before and so add to their understanding, or sigh that some priests and some professors are not as faithful as they should be. JPII and XVI have been explicit about this. JPIi in his address address to the youth at Toronto world youth day, XVI in the introduction to YouCat, the youth catechism. Always respectful, but firm in their faith.
    Thanked by 1Jam
  • Oh, I keep forgetting how this website records me. My name is Kenneth.
  • KARU27
    Posts: 116
    Another consideration, how will she / her family be paying for college? It's hard enough to make money as a musician, much less if she has (tens of) thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off. Have her look through a copy of the musician's union newspaper, and look at the job ads, and the salaries. Then consider the fact that there are music schools churning out dozens of excellent violinists per year.
  • I think a degree in Sacred Music for someone who wants to be a concert violinist is completely worthless. However, I think Catholic University of America (CUA) would offer a solid performance degree and also be "truly Catholic". Of course, there are aspects of CUA that are still questionable. Sadly, if you're looking at schools like Franciscan or Wyoming Catholic....they simply have not developed solid music schools.
  • One of the top schools listed in the Newman Guide that many people don't consider is Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Located just about 40 minutes north of Kansas City, Atchison offers a small-Midwest town feel with a stellar Catholic education. I am currently a student there studying Music (Piano Performance) as well as Theology and Philosophy. No, it's not a top grade music school like the East coast schools, but it does a fantastic job of doing its mission -- creating a community a faith and scholarship. Here's a link to their homepage if you would like more information about this school:

    I hope this helps! In any case, it's another option for a great Catholic school that strives daily to follow the guidance of Rome under our Holy Father, and one that offers courses/degrees in a variety of subjects in music.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    In Indiana: Notre Dame in South Bend comes to mind as the prime example (expensive though), St. Joseph's College in Rensselear is another good one, and St. Mary of the Woods.
  • A friend of mine got her music degree from CUA, in violin. I could get you in contact with her if you we're interested. Just send me a message on here and let me know. : )

    The friend of mine would also be able to give advice about the situation of orthodoxy and if good truly catholic communities of students exist within CUA.