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Music Department Handbook

The Undergraduate Catalog contains most of the necessary information regarding admission and graduation requirements for the various music programs, as well as course descriptions and departmental activities. The program requirements in whichever biennial Catalog is current when students begin their UW-W coursework remain in force during their entire course of study.
This Handbook contains additional information which, due to space limitations, is not printed in the Catalog. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with its contents. The Handbook is updated as policies change or are added. All enrolled majors and minors, regardless of admission date, are bound by policies outlined in the most recent revision of this Handbook.

Primary Performing Area ("primary instrument"): refers to the student's main performing medium - the one in which he/she must pass an entrance audition in order to be accepted as a music major, receives instruction, and is expected to maintain satisfactory progress over the course of study.
Secondary Applied Study: all non-Primary applied study (class or private, required or elective) is termed Secondary study.
Levels: The four Levels of Applied Study correspond to the freshman-through-senior years of enrollment. In the case of Instrumental instruction, course numbers are MUSC 160, MUSC 260, MUSC 360, MUSC 460. Thus the third Level of Study is also called "the 300 level."
Licensure: Bachelor of Music (Emphasis in Music Education) students follow a course of study approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This may lead to a license ("licensure") to teach public school music in Wisconsin in the subject areas as defined by curricular choices.


A. Advising
Each music major is assigned an academic advisor - for most BM students, a faculty member from the student's primary area (keyboard, instrumental, or voice). BM majors (History-Theory emphasis) are advised by a faculty member who teaches in those areas.

The Music Office establishes a file for each student accepted as a music major. This file, available to faculty, contains audition and admission data, jury results, course registration information, and other records.
During the advising period that precedes registration for each semester, it is the responsibility of each student to meet with his advisor for assistance in course selection and to see that all graduation requirements are eventually met. Adherence to the Department's recommended course-enrollment sequence is especially critical to BM students in the three Music Education emphases seeking to graduate in a timely manner.
Students must promptly report any changes in their status as music majors (or minors) to the Registrar, the Music Office, their advisor, and the Department chair. See also I.D. below, "Change in Music Program or Status."

B. Degree Requirements
Course requirements for all degrees are found in the Undergraduate Catalog. Students seeking a teaching license should also read the College of Education sections "Admission to Professional Education" and "Teacher Licensure Requirements."
Note: The University does not permit students to enroll in two BM emphases at the same time. BM (Music Education emphases) majors may, by following licensure requirements carefully, be able to obtain a teaching license in more than one area - choral and general music, for example, or instrumental and general music.

C. Department Standards and Requirements
In addition to meeting the University's requirements for good academic standing (see Undergraduate Catalog), there are several areas in which a student must exhibit satisfactory progress to the music faculty in order to retain music-major status:

1. Applied Study
a. Change of Level (Primary Performing Area): BM (Music Performance) students must complete two semesters graded "B" or better to pass to the next level of instruction. All other (BM or BA) majors must complete two semesters of "C" or better to pass from 100 level to 200 level, and then two semesters of "B" or better to pass from 200 to 300 level applied study. Students failing to meet these standards may continue study one additional semester, but will be dropped as a music major if the grade requirement is then still unmet.

b. Upper-Division Jury: To be permitted to progress to 300-Level applied study, all music majors must perform several pieces for a panel of faculty from their applied area. This normally takes place during the fourth semester of applied study, and only the studio teacher may permit a delay in its scheduling. If the jury performance is judged unsatisfactory, students may attempt this Jury once more, during the next semester of enrollment. Students who fail to pass this Jury after two attempts are dismissed from the music major program.
Note: Individual applied areas may have more specific policies as to repertoire to be performed.
c. Completion of Applied Music Courses: All Bachelor of Music students must be enrolled in Primary Applied Study during each semester of enrollment until completion of the Senior Recital requirement. Music majors may not drop a required course of applied instruction without prior permission of their advisor, studio instructor, and the Department chair.
d. Minimum Grades: A grade of D or F in any required applied music course results in a formal review of a student's music-major status.

2. Music Theory/Aural Skills/Music History
A student who, for the second time, fails or chooses to drop the same Music Theory, Aural Skills, or Music History course will be dismissed from the music major program. The same policy applies to music minors. An additional failure or withdrawal from Theory I, Theory II, Aural Skills I, or Music History III will also prevent a music major from converting to music minor status.

II. RECITAL ATTENDANCE (MUSC 100, S/NC grades) - Requirements and Policies
An essential component of musical study at the university level is consistent attendance at public performances. Failure to fulfil this requirement will delay graduation. The Department of Music requires enrollment in Recital Attendance for an appropriate number of semesters as follows:

  • BM (Performance), 8 semesters
  • BM (History/Theory), 8 semesters
  • BM (Music Education), 7 semesters
  • BA (Music), 6 semesters
  • Music Minor, 4 semesters

D. Change in Music Program or Status
1. Students wishing to change from one music major program to another, or change from a music minor to a major, must obtain the approval of the Department chair. When the desired program change requires demonstration of performing ability either in a new area of study, or at a higher level than previously required or exhibited, the student must audition before a panel of faculty members from the relevant performance area. This is usually accomplished by a special jury held at the end of the semester. The audition results are reported to the Department chair and used to decide whether to allow the change requested.

2. Probationary Status: When an audition indicates a student's present level of preparation or musicianship to be insufficient to begin music study at the college level, but the student displays potential to develop their abilities sufficiently with one semester of college-level study, a student may be admitted on PROBATION for one semester. The progress of students admitted by the Department as "probationary" will be reviewed after their initial semester. Probationary students will play juries at the same time as Upper Division juries and will thus be reviewed by the full area. Probationary status will be lifted for those who have 1) achieved a level of musicianship expected of entering freshmen as evidenced by a Satisfactory (S) grade in probationary lessons and 2) achieved a "C" or better in all other music courses, and a minimum GPA of 2.5 for all courses for the probationary semester. Those not meeting these guidelines will not be retained as music majors. The Department has prepared Advising Guidelines for Probationary Majors, including limits on ensemble participation and permitted total units. (add a link here to these guidelines)

3. Re-admission: Music majors in good standing who choose to leave the program for two or more semesters (serious illness, financial hardship, other personal matters) must audition once again.
4. Re-admission after Dismissal from music program: Once dismissed from the music major or minor program, a student must wait at least one year before applying for re-admission and must audition once again. Subsequent dismissal after re-admission is absolutely final.
5. Re-admission after Academic Dismissal: Once academically dismissed from the university, a student must wait at least one semester before applying for re-admission and must audition once again. Subsequent dismissal after re-admission is absolutely final.

E. Advanced Placement Exam Credit
Music majors and minors will receive credit for their achievement on the AP Music Theory Exam as follows: Score of "3" = credit for MUSC 151 (Theory I); "4" = credit for MUSIC 151 (Theory I) and 153 (Aural Skills I); "5" = MUSC 151/152 (Theory I/II) and MUSC 153 (Aural Skills I).

All students are responsible for completing the appropriate number of semesters for their degree program, and tracking their attendance at required events throughout the semester. The Department posts recital attendance updates shortly after midterm exams.
Exceptions to the Music Department policy that requires enrollment in MUSC 100 (Recital Attendance) will be granted to students who enroll in 18 or more units during a given semester. For this enrollment exception, students will be required to submit an additional form, the Recital Attendance Overload Form, along with their Academic Advising Record, to enable the Music Department office to track their recital attendance.
Attendance Requirements for both music majors and minors will be outlined on the current semester's MUSC100 Syllabus (distributed at first convocation). These will include designated 12:00 M/W/F recitals, master classes, guest lectures, and convocations, as well as attendance at a specified number of Department-approved performances from its Calendar of Events. Students not meeting these requirements receive an "NC" grade for that semester. No incomplete grades are given.
Recital attendance slips will be used to verify attendance. If for some reason these slips are not available, the program should be stamped. Programs must be submitted to the Department office by 4:30 p.m. the next school day following the event to be accepted as verification of attendance. A maximum of two significant off-campus professional musical performances may be substituted for on-campus events. A signed copy of the program must be submitted to the Department office by the end of the next school day to be accepted.
Additional Policies and Procedures for Recital Attendance

  • One person may turn in only one slip.
  • No credit will be given for slips turned in late.
  • Credit for attendance will be given to only one recording technician and one lighting technician.
  • Page turners must turn in an attendance slip.
  • Credit will automatically be given for up to three concerts per semester for performing students whose name appears on the printed program.
  • Multiple performances (musicals, opera, etc.) will not count more than once.

Exceptions: Any exceptions to the above requirements must be requested in writing to the Department chair. Modifications will be considered only in case of extreme hardship.

Music majors must designate a primary applied area, to be selected from keyboard, instrumental, or vocal categories. Area coordinators oversee applied instruction and related issues in each category.
A. Lesson Scheduling
Students are responsible for arranging lesson times with their private applied instructor(s) during or before the first week of each semester. Students must provide each instructor with a copy of their semester class schedule no later than the first day of classes. Students unsure of their teacher assignment should deliver their schedule to the coordinator of the appropriate applied area.

B. Attendance
1. Missed lessons will be made up for a student's absence due to family emergency, participation in a UW-W-sanctioned event (if the instructor is informed in advance), and other unavoidable circumstances deemed justifiable by the instructor.
2. Faculty are not required to make up lessons canceled due to student illness.
3. Lack of preparation is, of itself, not a legitimate excuse for missing or postponing a lesson.
4. Students who miss a lesson, even for a legitimate reason, must contact their instructor as quickly as possible to reschedule. Undue delay in doing so may result in a missed lesson being reclassified as an unexcused absence.
Note: These are general departmental guidelines. Individual instructors may stipulate more stringent or detailed attendance policies in their course syllabus. Attendance policies for studio seminars are determined by each applied faculty member.

C. Penalties for Unexcused Absences
Each instructor's syllabus describes how unexcused absences are figured into the final semester grade.

D. Juries and Proficiency Examinations
1. Jury: Every music major enrolled for applied lessons (Primary or Secondary) is required to perform before a panel of faculty members at the end of the semester's study. Here, and elsewhere in this Handbook, such a panel, and the hearing itself, is referred to as a jury. The applied instructor makes the jurors' written comments and marks available to the student afterward, and an average of the marks ("jury grade") is used in determining the final course grade (= 75% instructor's grade for the semester, 25% jury grade). In some cases, jury results are also used to determine a student's status within the music major program.
Note: If a student has performed a required Junior or Senior recital during the semester, the instructor may waive the jury requirement.

2. Piano Proficiency Exam
BM students (all emphases) whose principal instrument is not piano or organ are required to pass a piano proficiency exam. The test is given during the jury time at the end of each semester as well as the beginning of the fall semester. It can be scheduled once the student and instructor both feel that the student is adequately prepared. Students must initially take the test as a whole, but can later retake any parts they have failed.

1. Vocal Area Students
a. All major and (harmonic and melodic) minor scales, 2 octaves
b. All major and minor triads and inversions, 1 octave
c. All major and minor arpeggios, 4 octaves
d. Diminished 7th arpeggios in all keys, 4 octaves
e. Prepared piece (need not be memorized) must be approved by a member of piano faculty
f. Sight reading (two 8-bar pieces) steady tempo must be emphasized
g. Accompanying a vocal (choral) piece
h. Playing two lines out of four choral parts (soprano & alto, for example)
i. Harmonization of a given melody

Students are given the music for (g), (h), and (i) one week before the jury.
2. Instrumental Area Students
a. All major and white-key (harmonic and melodic) minor scales, 2 octaves
b. All major and minor triads and inversions, 1 octave
c. All major and minor arpeggios, 2 octaves
d. Diminished 7th arpeggios in all keys, 2 octaves
e. Prepared piece (need not be memorized) must be approved by a member of piano faculty
f. Sight reading (two 8-bar pieces) steady tempo must be emphasized
g. Playing two lines out of an orchestral score (one must be from a transposing instrument)
h. Harmonization of a given melody
Students are given the music for (g) and (h) one week before the jury.
Note: Students passing this exam are waived from any remaining Class, Functional, or Secondary Piano requirements. They may then be permitted to enroll in individual keyboard lessons, subject to faculty (teaching-load) availability.

E. Change of Instructor
Change of instructor requests are granted only when the student and instructor are both convinced that a change would be in the student's best interest, or where there is compelling evidence of incompatibility. Requests will not be considered during the course of a semester, and only exceptionally during a student's first year of instruction.
Students experiencing serious difficulty with a private instructor should first make an attempt to deal with the problem directly through open discussion with the teacher concerned. If this approach fails, or if the nature of the difficulty is such that direct discussion seems inappropriate, the student should refer the matter to the Department chair.

Note: See also Appendix One (Instrumental/Keyboard students).

A. Required Recitals
Junior Recitals (BM Performance Emphasis only): These students must perform a half recital (25 or more minutes of music) during the third Level of Study.

Senior Recitals: While studying at the fourth Level of Study, all BM candidates are required to prepare and present a senior (solo) recital in their primary applied area. Majors in the Performance Emphasis must prepare a full recital with a minimum of 45 minutes of music. Others prepare a half recital with a minimum of 25 minutes of music.

B. Optional (Non-Required) Recitals
Full- or Half-Recitals not described in B. or C. above are optional. Students wishing to present such recitals must obtain approval from their applied instructor and area faculty. Scheduling priority is described in IV.F. below.

C. Recital Hearing
Students preparing a recital (B., C., or D. above) perform their pieces for a faculty panel four weeks before the proposed recital. See Appendix One and Appendix Two below for specific requirements and procedures.

D. Scheduling and Presenting Recitals
The scheduling of recitals is coordinated through the Office of Public Events - CA 2031
All required recitals must occur on campus. Students preparing a recital have several related responsibilities:
1. Publicity and Program Information: regardless of recital hearing date, the Office of Public Events (OPE) must have this information a full month prior to the event. Guidelines for submission will be emailed to recital performers approximately 6 weeks before the recital. The OPE prepares press releases for all scheduled performances. Students may choose to prepare their own posters, etc. for display and distribution on campus. Programs may be edited for errors and inappropriate content.
2. Assistants: students must make their stage set-up and lighting needs known to the stage manager(s) who will be assisting them with their recital. A page turner should also be recruited if needed.
3. Forms for piano/harpsichord reservation, reception serving, and stage manager request are available online as PDF files (IV.G.1). (add a link)
4. Recital Fee: A $75 fee will be assessed for every required or elective student recital sponsored by the Department. 12:00 p.m. student recitals, studio recitals and recitals organized by Department-sponsored student organizations are exempted. Students sharing a recital each pay half ($37.50). The fee supports purchase and maintenance of Recital Hall recording equipment, hiring of recording technician(s), and tuning/maintenance of the concert grand piano. For this fee, students receive 75 copies of a professionally-prepared program and a CD of the performance. Note that the Department is not responsible for recording recitals that do not take place in the Recital Hall. Fees will be assessed through the student's UW-W Fees in two installments:
a. Students will be assessed a $35fee ($17.50 for a half recital) at the time they schedule the recital. This fee is not refundable. If a student must reschedule a recital, they will need to pay the $35 fee again.
b. Students will be assessed the remaining $40 ($20.00 for a half recital) at the time they the present their publicity and program information, one month prior to the recital date.

E. Recital Hall Availability
Use of the Recital Hall prior to a student's scheduled performance is limited as follows:
Pianists (solo): full recital, 6 hrs.; half recital, 3 hrs.; convo or jury, 1 hr.
All others: full recital, 3 hrs.; half recital, 2 hrs.; convo or jury, 1 hr.
Note: See V.E. below for additional guidelines.
F. Private study during the semester of the student's senior recital
All students will enroll for 1 credit of MUSC 489 (Senior Recital) during the semester of their recital. BM Music Education students will enroll for 1 credit of 400-level lessons that semester. BM Music Performance students will enroll for 3 credits of 400-level lessons, unless they have already fulfilled the requirement for 24 total credits of applied study, in which case they will enroll for 2 credits. In all cases, private study will continue until the end of the semester.
G. Student (Convocation) Recitals
Student recitals are scheduled on a regular basis every semester, during the 12:00 p.m. convocation hour. Most performers are BM students, but BA majors and music minors are welcome to perform as well.
To schedule an appearance on a student recital, a student must fill out a Student Recital Information sheet, have it signed by the instructor in charge of musical preparation, and submit it to the Student Recital Coordinator.

A. Practice Rooms
Rooms 12, 17, and 19 (grand pianos) and 20-through-26 (upright pianos) are locked at all times. Policies concerning access and use are described below:
Priorities on Practice Room Use: Rooms 19, 20 and 21 are for piano majors only. Priority for use of Rooms 25 and 26 is assigned to instrumental practice.

Other Guidelines in the Use of Practice Rooms (These also apply to other practice and rehearsal facilities):

  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited.
  • Music and personal belongings are to be removed upon leaving, and the room restored to order (lids down on grand pianos).
  • Evidence of misuse/vandalism should be reported to the Music Office promptly.
  • Abuse of practice facilities, or failure to abide by these policies, can lead to withdrawal of practice privileges.

CA 1010: Teaching or rehearsals scheduled by faculty take priority over student use of this room.
Doors must be locked after practice.

B. Rehearsal Rooms
CA 1, 3, 5, 6, 30, and CA 1005 are available for student rehearsals. CA1005 is not available during Recital Hall performances or when needed by a departmental performing ensemble
Reservations are arranged through 25Live.

Room Set-Up and Security: If it is necessary to move chairs, stands, or other equipment in these rooms, the original set-up must be restored when finished. Specialized musical and audio/visual equipment is not to be used without faculty permission. The door must be locked afterward.

C. Rehearsals in Recital Hall
Students may practice or rehearse in the Recital Hall. Reservations are arranged through the Program Assistant. For rehearsals not attended by faculty, the student takes responsibility for the room's use.
Equipment normally in the Recital Hall or storage room should not be removed from the area without faculty approval. Only Department-owned items can be left or stored in these locations.
When finished with practice, the piano must be locked, covered, returned to its usual location, and plugged in. Stands and chairs, too, are to be straightened up. Students must lock doors and turn lights off.
Recital Hall Pianos: The Steinway 9-foot concert grand, to which access is restricted, is covered and locked when not in use. A key for the keyboard lock may be obtained from the Program Assistant and returned immediately upon completion of use. The instrument must not be used without authorization.

D. Keyboard Instruments--Care and Relocation
Keyboard instruments are not to be moved from their normal location without faculty approval and supervision. Mechanical defects or damage to instruments should be reported promptly to the keyboard coordinator, who notifies the piano technician. Keyboards with humidifiers must be plugged in when not in use. Report flashing lights on humidifiers to the Program Assistant.

VI. SCHOLARSHIPS (Music Majors only)
The Department of Music awards a number of scholarships to music majors each year. These scholarships are awarded to both new freshman and to continuing music majors. The criteria for selecting scholarship recipients vary according to the source of the funding.
Funds for music scholarships are derived from several sources including endowments, gifts and donations, proceeds from benefit concerts or events, and music-student organizations. Scholarship awards are credited directly to the recipient's financial aid account as follows: one-half the award during the eleventh week of the Fall semester, and the remaining half distributed after midterm of the Spring semester.
Music Department Scholarships are offered to new freshman music majors on the basis of academic preparation and entrance audition results. Continuing music majors wishing to be considered for a scholarship must submit an application; application forms and instructions are available in the Music Office during the spring semester of each year.
Departmental Scholarship offers and awards for the following academic year are typically announced by the first week of April. Scholarship award decisions are made by the Department's Scholarship Committee, which consists of the Area Coordinators, Department chair, and Scholarship Coordinator, who chairs the Committee.
In addition to Department Scholarships, other organizations award scholarships to music students. These organizations have their own criteria and application processes. In recent years, scholarships have been awarded to music students by the Collegiate National Association for Music Education (CNAfME), Delta Omicron (DO), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

A. Guidelines for Scholarships
For additional information about music department scholarship eligibility requirements, please refer to the department's Scholarship Guidelines here:

NOTE: While Section VII. contains music-minor-specific information, minors are responsible for all applicable portions of Section IV above.
A. Course Requirements
The various music minor programs are described in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Active Minor: To be considered an active minor, a student who has not completed all four of these courses must be enrolled in at least one: MUSC151 (Theory I); MUSC153 (Aural Skills I); MUSC152 (Theory II); MUSC 247 (Music History III). When enrollment must be limited for a course taken by both majors and minors, the Department gives preference to majors.
B. Private Applied Study
Private lessons are available only to those minors who have passed an audition. Due to teaching-load considerations, however, it may not be possible to provide private applied lessons to all minors wishing to enroll during any given semester. Scheduling priority is given to active minors who have not yet completed their applied music requirement (if applicable).
C. Advising
The Music Dept. designates one or more faculty as Music Minor advisors. During the period of advisement that precedes registration for each semester it is the responsibility of each music minor to meet with his/her advisor. The Music Minor advisor(s) can assist students in course selection, keeping in mind requirements for maintaining active music-minor status (see especially VII.A. above).
Students must promptly report any changes in their status as music minors to the Registrar, the Music Office, and their advisor.

APPENDIX ONE: Instrumental Area Recital Procedures
Recital hearing procedures and guidelines (Revised 2/6/02)
1.The date of the hearing must be scheduled at least one month in advance of the recital date.
2.A "recital hearing form" must be secured from the Music Office. This may be done by the performer, studio instructor or a committee member, but should be coordinated by the student and studio instructor prior to the hearing.
3.It is the responsibility of the performer to arrange the hearing date and time. This should be coordinated with the studio instructor and accompanist to determine a primary date as well as one or two alternate times in order to expedite the process.
4.The committee is to consist of three professors (two faculty and the primary studio instructor).
5.In the event of a scheduling conflict, alternate faculty may be selected to serve on the hearing committee.
6.The jury should be scheduled during a 45-minute time slot. In the case of joint recitals, performers may request separate hearings. (This is up to the discretion and coordination of primary studio instructors, performers and accompanists.)
7.Chamber music may be performed at the hearing but is not required. (This is left to the discretion of the primary studio instructor.)

APPENDIX TWO: Keyboard/Voice Area Recital Procedures
1.A student is eligible to apply for permission to present a recital only after performing solo works on at least three departmental student recitals, and only with his or her studio teacher's permission.
2.The student and/or studio teacher must submit a completed recital request form to the vocal or keyboard coordinator before April 1st of the academic year before the proposed recital is expected to be performed.
3.If the recital request is approved by the voice/keyboard faculty, the form is forwarded to the Office of Public Events. Students approved for recitals must meet with the Office of Public Events to schedule a recital date. Recital requests not approved are returned to the studio teacher.
4.At least four weeks before the scheduled recital, a recital hearing must be performed for a three-person faculty committee, including the student's studio teacher. The student must contact the area coordinator at least eight weeks before the recital date to schedule the hearing. (If the recital is scheduled during the first eight weeks of the fall semester, the student must contact the coordinator during the first week of classes.)
5.For the recital hearing, the student must provide three comment sheets listing the works to be performed (including movements where appropriate), and three copies of the music for the committee members.
6.In order to be approved to perform the recital, the student must perform the recital program at a level judged acceptable for public performance at the recital hearing. This is decided solely by the recital hearing committee.
7.A student's studio teacher has the option to cancel the recital hearing and recital at any time prior to the hearing.
8.After successfully passing the recital hearing, the student must contact the Office of Public Events and make all arrangements for facilities reservations, program preparation, stage managing, recording, etc. Students who do not pass the recital hearing are not be permitted to perform the recital.