The music program at Hendrix is designed to appeal to a wide range of students of differing academic interests. Within the context of a liberal arts education, the curriculum for the music major prepares students for graduate programs and professional pursuits both in music and in other fields. The music program also offers many opportunities for the non-major through private lessons, ensembles, and music courses. Approximately twenty percent of the total student body participates in some form of musical activity or private instruction, while many more enroll in the general interest courses.
The Hendrix Music Department is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Departmental facilities include eight teaching studios, 15 practice rooms, two large rehearsal halls, and the lovely 180-seat Reves Recital Hall. Recently renovated Staples Auditorium is equipped with a 3-manual, 40-rank Schantz organ and a nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano. A new Nichols and Simpson pipe organ was installed in Greene Chapel in the fall of 1997.
The Hendrix College Special Events series, the Hendrix Murphy Foundation in Literature and Language, and the Music Department each year sponsor events of interest to music students and the general public. Recital series are supported by the Whitman Performance Trust and the Thompson Endowment Fund. Recent visitors include Ensemble Amarcord: David Higgs, organist; Robert Triplett, performance anxiety expert; Bruno Nettl, ethnomusicologist; John Sharpley, composer and pianist; Ronald Radford, flamenco guitarist; Lauren Pellon, folk instrument specialist; Rozanna Weinberger, violist; Gareth Morrell, singer and choral conductor; Samuel Adler, composer; the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; and the Concord Trio. In addition, members of the music faculty regularly present solo and chamber music recitals. Little Rock’s proximity to the campus provides additional opportunities for students to attend musical performances
Private or group lessons are available to all students, regardless of background or major, in piano, organ, voice, strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Course credit and Odyssey credit may be earned. A nominal fee ($150 per semester for half-hour lessons weekly) is charged.
Music ensembles are open to all Hendrix students, and the majority of participants are not music majors. Ensembles perform regularly on campus and on tour throughout Arkansas and neighboring states. Graduation credit and Odyssey credit may be earned through participation in the Choir, the Wind Ensemble (Band), and the Chamber Orchestra. No extra fees are charged for these credits.
The Music Department offers scholarships to both majors and non-majors. An audition is required and may be arranged through the Office of Admissions.
Learning goals for both majors and minors:
1. An understanding of and experience with music as a performing art, an academic discipline, a cultural expression, and a creative medium.
2. A capacity to understand the theoretical basis for music as practiced in our culture and the development of skills (sight singing, aural skills, and keyboard harmony) to demonstrate understanding and practical competency.
3. An acquaintance with the Western musical tradition as it has developed over time and how that tradition relates to music as practiced in other cultures.
4. The ability to conduct basic research in music and to communicate ideas and information coherently in both written and oral formats.
Learning goals for non-majors:
An understanding of and experience with music as either a performing art, an academic discipline, a cultural expression, or a creative medium.