Music and Music Education

If you've got the music in you, Central College offers multiple opportunities to develop musicianship through coursework, lessons, ensembles and a wide array of concerts. Our music major gives you the foundation for performance, scholarship, music business, church music and other professions. Our music education students can earn licensure to teach instrumental or vocal music in elementary and secondary schools — and build valuable mentoring relationships with local teachers. In addition, music students have access to courses in arts administration, entrepreneurship and not-for-profit management.

choral, instrumental and chamber ensembles
  • Perform on tour — recent destinations include Europe, Mexico and Brazil
  • Gain professional experience through internships in performing arts & arts administration

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Director of choral activities, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa
  • Professional saxophonist, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Director of bands, Knoxville High School
  • Associate director of graduate admission, Roosevelt University School of Music, Chicago, Ill.
  • Grade 6-12 vocal music director, Van Meter Community Schools
  • Director of operations, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra
  • Executive director and special assistant to the president, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque
  • Manager, Celebrity and Entertainment Engagement at American Red Cross


  • Mu Gamma Pi (honorary music service organization)
  • 18 choral, instrumental or chamber ensembles
Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.
Central College student

Graduate Placement

  • The University of Iowa, doctoral degree in saxophone
  • Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts, voice
  • Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, N.J., choral conducting
  • University of Kansas, master's degree in clarinet
  • Kansas State University, percussion
  • Truman State University, music theory/trumpet


  • Development department, Philharmonia Orchestra, London, England
  • Des Moines Symphony
  • Des Moines Civic Music Association
  • BMG Records

Courses & Faculty

Music majors at Central gain a firm grounding in the theory, history and practice of Western art music, augmented by study of jazz, contemporary commercial music and various non-Western traditions. In addition, music education majors gain hours of hands-on experience in elementary and secondary schools through Central’s highly respected teaching licensure program.

Both music and music education majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of Central’s study abroad programs, some of which have excellent opportunities for music study and participation.

Learn more about health and safety for musicians:

Learn more about Music and Music Education in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:

Mark Babcock, B.A., M.M., M. Joan Kuyper Farver Endowed Chair in Music and Professor of Music, interest areas include: organ, music education and church music

Erin Bryan, B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Lecturer of Music, interest areas include: voice, vocal pedagogy, lyric diction, opera, music history

Stanley Dahl, B.M., M.M., Senior Lecturer of Music, interest areas include: percussion, music technology, Caribbean music, Flying Pans Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble.

Kris De Wild, Lecturer of Music, interest areas include: harp, choral accompanist

Gabriel Espinosa, B.A., M.M., Associate Professor of Music, interest areas include: jazz theory, jazz band techniques, improvisation, applied theory, jazz band, Vocal/Instrumental Combos

Cynthia Krenzel, B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Associate Professor of Music, interest areas include: clarinet, saxophone, music history, world music

Mitchell Lutch, B.M., M.M., D.M.A. Associate Professor of Music, interest areas include: conducting, instrumental music education, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Pep Band

Ian Moschenross, B.A., M.M., D.M.A. Professor of Music

Sarah Van Waardhuizen, B.M.E., M.M.E., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Music, interest areas include: voice, music education

The Central Difference


Central has 18 music ensembles accessible to all students regardless of major. Many of the groups tour domestically and internationally. View full information about ensembles here.

  • A Cappella Choir
  • Chamber Singers
  • College Community Chorus
  • Vocal/Instrumental Jazz
  • Pop Combo
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble
  • Jazz Band

Ensembles (cont.)

  • College Community Orchestra
  • Flying Pans Steel Drum Band
  • Pep Band
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Flute Choir
  • Handbell Choir
  • Clarinet Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Piano Ensemble
  • String Ensemble
  • Woodwind Ensemble

Music Awards

Central offers music awards of up to $5,000 for music majors and up to $2,000 for students who participate in music ensembles. Awards are renewable for four years. Auditions for music awards are held in February, or earlier by arrangement with the admission office. More information on music awards here.


The Cox-Snow Music Center features a 200-seat recital hall and a rehearsal hall as well as classrooms, faculty studios, practice rooms and a keyboard lab. Newly-renovated Douwstra Auditorium houses a 9-ft. Fazioli concert grand piano, and the Chapel houses a double-manual Flemish harpsichord, Kawai RX-6 piano and a Brunzema tracker-action organ. The Roe Center features the Fine Arts MIDI computer lab incorporating the latest in music notation software and sequencing programs.


Central Announces Changes Among Faculty

Central Announces Changes Among Faculty

Central College is pleased to announce changes among its faculty for the 2019-20 school year.

Read More

Central Receives $100,000 Grant from Prairie Meadows Toward Douwstra Renovation
Central Receives $100,000 Grant from Prairie Meadows Toward Douwstra Renovation

The Prairie Meadows Legacy Grant program has awarded Central College $100,000 toward the continued renovation of Douwstra Auditorium.

Read More

Youth Camps, Conferences and Clinics at Central College
Youth Camps, Conferences and Clinics at Central College

Central College offers a variety of athletics, music, sustainability and other camps during the summer for K-12 students.

Read More

Learn More

Want to find out more about Music and Music Education at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.