Basic Music Skills for Worship Leading – WMUS 103

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

A practical introduction to harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic principles of music for the worship leader. Musical elements including key signatures, scales, intervals, chords, chord construction and chord progression are introduced as the foundation for harmonic analysis of traditional, contemporary Christian, popular, and jazz music. Special attention is given to the Nashville Number System and jazz harmony practices as an accepted methodology for music analysis. Examination of contemporary Christian music genres provides resource for practical application of harmonic principles. (Crosslisted with MUSC 105)

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As practitioners of worship in the 21st-century church, one of our primary mediums of communication is music. Music serves as a valuable tool for the facilitation of worship within the local church, and though this medium is not itself worship, it is commonplace in the evangelical community. Music, therefore, merits thorough understanding and study. This course seeks to provide a foundational understanding of music through exploration of the elements most critical to the worship leader.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Worksheet Assignments (11)

The student will complete a number unique Worksheet Assignments that focus on many foundational elements of music. The exercises needed to complete each assignment are drawn from the workbook of Music Theory for the Christian Musician and are housed in a software called Flat. The worksheet assignments consistent of two main types: 1) interactive exercises created by Flat and 2) a musical score that the student manipulates. 

Quizzes (7)

Most quizzes will cover the Learn material for the module in which it is assigned. A few quizzes also explore elements from earlier modules. The quizzes contain multiple-choice, multiple-answer and matching questions. The amount of time and point value vary greatly between each quiz. In addition to the graded quizzes, a series of practice quizzes is provided. The student can repeat the practice quizzes as often and as many times as desired. The goal of these practice quizzes is to hone skill and understanding in preparation for the graded quizzes. Students are granted multiple attempts on most quizzes. 

Final Assignments (4)

The student will create variety of charts useful in worship leading. Completion of the assignment occurs in stages throughout the course and requires an in-depth understanding of course concepts. The student will use the provided files to create chord charts, translate the lead-sheet symbols to pitches, Nashville Numbers, and a Number Chart for musical worship.