Basic Music Theory for the Worship Leader – WMUS 522

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

In this course, students learn basic principles of music theory for the worship ministry including: notes, rhythms, intervals, chord construction, chord charts, and harmonic progressions. Basic arranging and analytical techniques are also explored related to traditional, classical, and popular worship music styles. This course is designed to prepare students for WMUS 524.




Students learn foundational principles of music theory, including notes, rhythms, intervals, chord construction, and harmonic progressions, in order to successfully function as skilled musicians in today’s society. Basic arranging and analytical techniques are also explored related to traditional, classical, and popular music styles required for evaluating and analyzing music in preparation for rehearsals, presentations, seminars, or composing/arranging music for a variety of settings. This course will prepare students for WMUS 524 and serves to further develop and reinforce music theory knowledge for students who do not achieve a requisite score on the Graduate Theory Assessment Test.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Construct major, minor, diminished, and augmented diatonic triads and seventh chords.
  2. Analyze chord progressions in various music styles.
  3. Compose music phrases using tonal harmonic procedures.
  4. Apply harmonies to given melodies from both traditional and non-traditional sources.
  5. Assess linear phrase concepts in composed music of various styles.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist (10)

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 350–400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and reference 1 source. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words.

Music Assignments (7)

The student will complete 7 unique music assignments that focus on foundational skills of music writing and analysis. During the first few modules/weeks, the student will learn to write and identify notes, scales, key signatures, and intervals. As the modules/weeks progress, rudiments of chord construction, harmonic function, and analytic concepts are assessed through workbook assignments. With each successive assignment, the student will gain valuable knowledge and practical skill related to the use of basic music concepts.

Quizzes (9)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module(s)/week(s) in which it is assigned. Each quiz is intended to assess the student’s speed and accuracy applying the principles of the associated module/week’s material. To help the student develop fluidity in the material, a series of Practice Quizzes are provided. In preparation for taking the Graded Quizzes, the student can repeat the Practice Quizzes as often and/or as many times and as desired. Each Practice Quiz and Graded Quiz contains 20–30 multiple-choice questions with a 20-minute time limit for completion.