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Guidelines for Probationary Majors

What does probationary status mean?

Students admitted on probation to a music degree program at UW-Whitewater must demonstrate that they can bring their performance to the level of musicianship expected for entering freshmen. They must also demonstrate that they can handle the academic side of university study, in both music and non-music coursework. This must be accomplished within the first semester of study in the UW-Whitewater Department of Music. From the Music Department Handbook (January 2007):

"I.D.2: The progress of students admitted by the Department as "probationary" will be reviewed after their initial term. 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 "C" or better 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. [Note that in Spring semester 2008, probationary lessons will change to an S/NC grading basis. At that time, the requirement will change from a "C" in probationary lessons to a passing grade (S).]"

All probationary students should register for 1-credit lessons in the section of applied study for probationary majors:

  • Wind and percussion players register for MUSC 060.
  • Singers register for MUSC 070.
  • Keyboard players register for MUSC 080.

All probationary students should register for one large concert ensemble. Note that probationary students may not register for Marching Band.

  • Singers register for Concert Choir
  • String players register for Orchestra
  • Wind and percussion players register for Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Fall) or Concert Band (Spring).

We recommend that you manage your time and energies carefully so that this semester will be a successful one. Your continuation as a music major will depend on the outcome of your jury and your academic classes, so please consider the following suggestions:

  • For incoming Freshmen: Continue to practice at least one hour per day between your Preview session and the first week of the semester so that you will be ready for your applied study with your assigned instructor. Make contact with your applied instructor prior to your arrival at Whitewater, as he/she will have suggestions to help ensure that you can start successfully.
  • For transfer students: Practice as directed by your applied instructor
  • Register for a carefully-planned load of only 13-14 credits in this probationary semester. A typical Fall semester for an incoming freshman might include:
  • Applied study, as described above - 1 credit
  • One ensemble, as described above - 1 credit
  • MUSC 100, Recital Attendance - 0 credits
  • MUSC 151, Theory I - 2 credits
  • MUSC 153, Aural Skills I - 2 credits
  • MUSC 186, Class Piano - 1 credit
  • GENED 110, World of the Arts - 3 credits
  • ENGLISH 101, Freshman English (if your ACT scores qualify) - 3 credits
  • INTRAUNV 104, New Student Seminar - 1 credit (not a degree requirement, but strongly recommended as an introduction to university life.)
  • Keep in mind that you must also do well in your academic classes. Theory and Aural Skills in particular are often quite challenging for new music students, and will take several hours of study and practice each week.
  • If you are having trouble in academic classes, talk to your professors immediately. If you wait until the end of the semester, it will be too late.
  • Keep non-musical and non-academic activities (work, social activities, etc.) to a minimum during your first semester at UW-Whitewater. For example, we strongly discourage probationary students from pledging fraternities or sororities during this initial semester, or from joining other groups that will take lot of your time. If you are successful during your first semester, you will have many more opportunities to participate in this part of college life.

If you meet the department's musical and academic expectations at the end of the semester, your status will be changed from probationary to a major in good standing. The members of the Music Faculty sincerely wish you success!