Liberty University School of Music receives NASM accreditation

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The Liberty University School of Music recently received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines.

A Liberty University School of Music professor leads a class in the Center for Music and the Worship Arts.

The Liberty University School of Music recently received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines. Liberty’s School of Music, which is comprised of two centers — the Center for Music & the Performing Arts and the Center for Music & Worship — is the nation’s seventh largest school of music.

The accreditation is the culmination of a rigorous process, going back to the school’s formation in 2012 when it first applied for NASM accreditation. (Liberty formed its School of Music in 2012, merging its department of music and humanities with the worship program.) The process included an extensive self-study, as well as peer review.

“This achievement is a defining moment in the history of the School of Music,” said Dr. Ronald Hawkins, Liberty’s vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Approval for NASM membership is a huge vote of confidence in our new school by one of the most important accreditation bodies in the country.”

“This membership places us in the same level as any of the other member schools — including Virginia Tech, Florida State University, Indiana University, the University of Georgia, Wheaton College, the University of Michigan, and Eastman School of Music,” added Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the School of Music.

NASM was founded in 1924 and now includes over 650 accredited institutional members, including schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities. The organization establishes the standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials associated with music education.

The School of Music’s three associate deans, Dr. Sean Beavers, associate dean of the Center for Music & the Performing Arts, Dr. John Kinchen, associate dean of the Center for Music & Worship, and Dr. Douglas Crawley, associate dean of Graduate Music Studies, each noted that NASM accreditation means greater credibility and visibility for their unique degree programs, both from prospective students and from employers looking to hire graduates.

Whaley said that the accomplishment was thanks to an “incredible team” of music faculty, including the three associate deans, who “played an invaluable role in the self-study process.”

“In particular, Dr. Beavers led the writing process for our self-study, Dr. Kinchen provided all the evaluation for the individual degrees, and Dr. John Hugo, Department of Music chair, assembled all the supportive data used in the self-study. I am so grateful for their support and encouragement in this endeavor.

“I am especially grateful to the Liberty administrative team for their incredible and faithful support during this process,” he added.

This fall, the School of Music occupied the first of two buildings that will comprise its new facility: the Center for Music and the Worship Arts. In all, the center spans 141,000 square feet and two buildings, offering 50 practice rooms, 43 teaching studios, three large common areas for group instruction and rehearsal, and two recital halls. The second building, which will open in the Spring 2016 semester, includes a 1,600-seat fine arts auditorium with an adjustable acoustics system capable of accommodating both contemporary and classical performances. A recording studio is also under construction, to be completed after the auditorium is open.

Liberty strives to provide the best equipment possible in its facilities, as was demonstrated when the School of Music became an All-Steinway School this summer, committing to providing the finest pianos the world has to offer.

About Liberty University
Liberty University, founded in 1971, is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains on more than 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty offers more than 500 unique programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level. More than 200 programs are offered online. Liberty’s mission is to train Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.

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