Crowell reviews credit

Biola’s music conservatory undergoes renewal of accreditation.



Samantha Gassaway, Writer

As one walks by the conservatory on any given day, you can hear a variety of sounds pouring forth from the building. While students of the conservatory continue to work towards advancing their skills, Crowell continues to ensure they receive the best education available.

The National Association of Schools of Music creates the standard for which every aspect of music programs are expected to uphold. These are the same standards NASM uses to accredit schools such as Juilliard and Emerson School of Music. Crowell has undergone the process every 10 years for the last approximately 50 years. However, the conservatory is in the process of adding a new concentration, requiring a new application for NASM accreditation.

How did Biola go about getting accredited?

“All of [our emphases] are accredited, so every degree we have goes through NASM. So, they basically dictate how much percentage of certain things we have to have within music. So what percentage of performance time, what percentage of history, in theory, and it also kind of standardizes what it means to get a music degree from a NASM school… It’s nice because it’s the same accreditation as like Eastman School of Music and Juilliard have and so it’s a big deal to have a part of that. It is a prestigious thing. And so it’s something where we get re-evaluated by them so they’ll look at what we’re presenting in degrees, what we’re accepting as far as materials coming back, recitals, programs, what kind of concerts we’re providing.”

Why is the conservatory doing this accreditation process right now, since we have already been accredited in the past?

“The commercial music degree is going through this right now. So we had to send in all of our curriculum. We showed them exactly what we’re going to be teaching, and then they have questions that come back like, ‘OK, how are transfer units done?’ So, for example: what work will they be doing for a one credit class, to make sure that they’re getting something from the class and it’s not a fluff class, so they’re holding us to a very high standard.”

What does having Biola being a NASM accredited school mean?

“It basically means that we’re being held to a standard the major conservatories are because we’re a conservatory so it’s that they can expect excellence across the board, and the education that we provide here. So if they’re comparing the perspectives students are looking at a program that is NASM accredited, and one that’s not, there’s no guarantee about what you’re gonna get.”

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