School of Music
Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)
Music Direction, Musical Theatre, Christian Performing Arts, Musical Productions, Conducting
Music | Music Education | Theatre and Performance Studies
Schubert, David Keith, "Music Direction for the Stage: Training for Success in Christian-based Performing Arts" (2019). Masters Theses. 589.
The stage production music director is a position requiring highly advanced musical, managerial, and administrative skills. Many churches, Christian schools, and community groups have an interest in mounting a show or launching a performing arts ministry; however, most worship pastors, choral/instrumental conductors, and music teachers have not been adequately prepared for this specialized assignment. Of the available training resources on production and theatrical work, few address the role of the music director. Additionally, most of the literature is written for the mainstream theatrical environment. Still missing is a treatment that blends standard industry practices with the pastoral leadership and spiritual aspects of the job that are needed in Christian-based performing arts organizations. This project assessed existing literature by industry experts to ascertain the areas of study necessary for a successful career in music direction for the stage. In addition, it drew from the works of successful Christian leaders to determine the principles of pastoral leadership relevant to music direction, and the tenets of a biblically-based philosophy of ministry for the performing arts. The net result of merging these streams of study was the formation a one-semester collegiate-level curriculum that surveys the role and responsibilities of the production music director in Christian-based performing arts organizations, such as the local church, educational institutions, and community-based groups. Utilizing an in-class simulation of mounting a theatrical show, the curriculum was designed to equip students with the necessary tools to effectively meet the demands of this unique position.