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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The music program at Trinity Western University : curriculum perspectives, past, present and future Rushton, David William


Trinity Western University is a relatively small, private Christian university located in Langley, British Columbia. The institution opened in 1962 as Trinity Junior College with a student body of seventeen, and until 1977 offered a two-year university transfer program. Today, Trinity Western University serves over 1200 full-time undergraduate students who pursue subject majors in twenty-five discipline areas, each of which leads to a baccalaureate degree. In 1983, the first B.A. degrees in music were granted. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to evaluate the quality and excellence of the music program at Trinity Western University and (2) to determine what qualities and attributes should characterize a music program for the 1990s and beyond within the context of a private, relatively small Christian liberal arts university in Canada. The ideals and philosophy of the comprehensive musicianship movement as well as a College Music Society Study Group's call for a curriculum characterized by a comprehensive musical perspective served as the ideological basis for the study. Evaluation models of Daniel Stufflebeam, Robert Stake, and Elliot Eisner influenced the methodology. The program as it is presently constituted was evaluated according to the standards and guidelines for liberal arts degrees in music as prescribed by the National Association of Schools of Music. The primary data for the study were derived from questionnaires administered to six stakeholder-based respondent groups: entering first-year music students, students mid-way through the program, music graduates from 1983-92, faculty, administrators, and members of the board of governors. Twenty-four aspects of the curriculum were evaluated. Responses were analyzed using ANOVA procedures and one or more of seven independent variables. Additionally, responses by first-year students and graduates to six personal qualities requisite to the development of comprehensive musicianship were analyzed. A seventy-five item survey of characteristics of a music program for the 1990s and beyond was administered to all participants. Responses were analyzed using ANOVA procedures and five independent variables, ranked as to relative importance, and placed in one of eight categories. The study concludes with six specific curricular recommendations, and offers five suggestions for future study and research.

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