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Music Scholarship Information

The Adrian College Music Department

Music Student Handbook




August 2014

Mission Statement

The program in Music challenges students to achieve excellence in musical performance through active and creative learning in a supportive community. Students are educated through a series

of required and elective courses in applied music, performance, theory, history, and a senior capstone solo recital. Students graduating with a major in music will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in the synthesis of preparing and performing music based on informed historical and theoretical practice. The program is designed to prepare students to engage fully in the creative arts; think critically as they explore multiple points of view; make connections across disciplines; and continue to pursue knowledge throughout one’s life.

 The Music Department Handbook provides music majors and minors with a description of policies and procedures adopted by the music faculty at Adrian College.  This handbook is updated periodically.  When a policy is updated, students will be notified and the policy will take effect immediately.  Students "grandfathered" out of certain policies will be decided upon by the department chair in consultation with other music faculty on an individual basis.  Questions regarding the policies of the department should be directed to the department chair.

Students "grandfathered" out of certain policies will be decided upon by the department chair in consultation with other music faculty on an individual basis.  Questions regarding the policies of the department should be directed to the department chair.

Applied Lessons

Little else supersedes the importance of the student’s weekly private lesson. At the same time, the student may not use the applied lesson time as an excuse to miss or be late to his/her
other classes. The student is expected to arrive on time to their lesson fully prepared with music, pencil, and any other materials required by the student’s instructor. An instructor has the right to dismiss the student from the lesson if the student is not prepared.

Choosing to study with an applied instructor at Adrian College is regarded as a commitment to that particular instructor's teaching philosophy. For this reason, it is not appropriate for a student to take ongoing concurrent lessons with another teacher without the approval of the Adrian College applied instructor. Outside instruction during the summer is permitted and encouraged.

Applied Lesson Absences

The student’s applied instructor may have specific policies regarding absences described in the syllabus which the student will receive at the beginning of each semester of study. In general, if the student is ill or must miss a lesson, the student MUST notify the instructor 24 hours in advance either in person, by phone, or by e-mail. Notifying an instructor 24 hours in advance allows the student the opportunity to have a make-up lesson. Less than a 24-hour notice results in a forfeiture of the student’s lesson for that week.

Applied Lesson Grading

The applied instructor may have specific policies regarding grading described in the applied instructor’s syllabus. The student’s instructor is the only faculty member that determines
the student’s applied lesson grade.  In addition to preparation and progress in the student’s weekly lesson, the student’s applied lesson grade will also reflect the student’s consistent attendance and performance twice per semester in Studio Class, as well as the
student’s concert attendance record.   


Students are expected to practice and learn all music assigned to them weekly by their applied instructor.  Coaching with an accompanist is allowed ONLY with permission of the applied instructor to help perfect the repertoire that the student has already learned to prepare for performance in studio class, recitals and juries.

In a semester where a student is preparing for a recital, extra coaching time can be allotted by the applied instructor.  A schedule of coaching hours will be posted two weeks in advance.  Sign-up for coaching is done on a first-come, first served basis. Only students preparing for a recital may "lock" a regular weekly coaching session on the schedule with applied instructor permission. 

The student MUST sign up at least 24 hours in advance for a coaching session.  If the student registers for a coaching session and is unable to keep the appointment, the student must notify the accompanist and/or the department secretary as far in advance as possible.  The student’s account will be charged $12 for a missed coaching session. If a student misses two coaching sessions, the student will forfeit the right to have any coaching sessions for the remainder of the semester.

Studio Class

All music majors and minors are required to participate in studio class which takes place every Tuesday at noon for vocalists and every Thursday at noon for instrumentalists. During studio class students perform for one another in an informal setting under the guidance of music faculty. The faculty coordinator will take roll, make announcements, organize student performances, and facilitate discussion after performances. Students are expected to perform at least twice each semester in studio class.  Students sign up to perform on the sheets located on the bulletin board. If the student is performing a piece which requires accompaniment, the student must meet with the accompanist at least once prior to performing in studio class.  There may be times when a student must perform without accompaniment. 


All music majors and minors must perform a jury each semester of their applied study.  Music faculty members provide written feedback to students using a jury sheet.  Students may review their jury sheets during the next semester with their applied instructor.  All jury sheets are filed in each student's portfolio and may be reviewed at any time.

The jury provides the music faculty an opportunity to hear and discuss the progress of every student in the program. Students are expected to demonstrate consistent progress in their jury performances.  If the faculty, in consultation with the applied instructor, feels that a student is not demonstrating sufficient progress, that student may be placed on probation.

While every jury is important, the jury at the end of the sophomore year is a landmark jury called the Sophomore Barrier.  If a student does not pass the sophomore barrier, then it will be necessary for that student to meet with his/her advisor and other faculty to consider other degree alternatives outside of music.

Students do not perform a jury during the same semester as their junior or senior recital.

Accompanist for Juries

Students must provide sheet music to their jury accompanist at least three weeks in advance.  Students may not perform a piece in juries without having at least one coaching session prior to jury day with the accompanist on the music to be performed.  If a student is unable to adequately rehearse with his/her accompanist, that student will perform their jury without accompaniment.  It is the student's responsibility to find adequate rehearsal time with the accompanist. The best way to accomplish this is to sign up for a coaching time early and always arrive on time to the coaching appointment.

Jury Sheets

The department secretary will provide jury sheets and post a sign-up sheet and instructions for students two weeks prior to juries. These sheets must be completed, signed by the student’s applied instructor, and returned to the department secretary by the date specified on the sign-up sheet.  Failure to complete the jury sheet and turn it in on time may result in the student’s jury being cancelled.

Jury sheets are used by the faculty to assess each student's performance.  The rating scales on the sheet are used for departmental assessment and may be used by the applied instructor as part of the student’s grade.  Only the student’s applied music instructor will determine the student’s final grade for applied lessons.  Juries will provide the student’s instructor one of several assessment tools for determining the student’s final grade.

Completed jury sheets are filed in the student’s student portfolio which is on file in the Music building. The student may review their jury sheets at any time.  Only the student and the music faculty have access to the student’s portfolio. No other students have access to the student’s jury sheets.

Missing a Jury

If a student is ill, he/she must inform their applied instructor and ask him/her for an evaluation as to whether he/she should perform or not. Only the student’s applied instructor can excuse the student from juries. If the student is excused from juries, the instructor will inform the student’s accompanist as soon as possible.  Being excused from a jury does not affect the student’s grade or standing in the department. A make-up jury will take place early in the next semester.

Unexcused absence from jury will result in probation and may result in being excused from the degree program.

Freshman Requirements for Juries

Instrumental:  Prepare a minimum of two works; an extended work may take the place of multiple works.

Vocal:  Fall - perform 2 works

             Spring - perform 3 works (in two languages)


Sophomore Requirements for Juries

Instrumental:  Prepare a minimum of three works; an extended work may take the place of multiple works.

Vocal:  Fall - perform 4 works (in three languages)

             Spring - perform 6 works (In three languages)

Instrumental and Vocal Sophomore Barrier
(See "sophomore barrier")


A student performing their sophomore barrier jury should

sign up in the spots designated at the bottom of the sign-up sheet.


Junior Requirements for Juries

Instrumental:  Prepare a minimum of four works; an extended work may take the place of multiple works.

Vocal:  Fall - perform 4 works (in three languages)

             Spring - perform 6 works (in three languages)


Senior Requirements for Juries

Instrumental:  Prepare a minimum of four works; extended works may take the place of multiple works.

Vocal:  Fall - perform 5 works (in four languages)

             Spring - Senior Recital


Minor Requirements for Juries

Students pursuing a Music Minor will follow the repertoire guidelines required for freshmen and sophomores. Music minors must perform four consecutive juries (2 years) demonstrating appropriate development as expected from Music majors during their first two years of study.

 Sophomore Barrier

The jury that takes place at the end of the sophomore year is called the "sophomore barrier." Music faculty will decide at this time whether a student is permitted to continue with their degree work in music. If a student is making good progress in applied lessons and doing "B" or better work in academic course work, he or she will pass the sophomore barrier.  If a student does not pass the sophomore barrier, they are put on probation and advised to consider other degree options. A student who is performing their sophomore barrier jury will sign up in the area designated on the sign-up sheet.  This longer time period allows for faculty discussion time regarding the student's performance and progress.


A music student may be put on probation as a result of poor performance in jury, low GPA in music course work, lack of progress in applied lessons, or lack of participation in studio class, performances, or related events.  A student has one semester to correct the problem or will need to meet with his/her advisor to find alternative degree programs.

Piano Proficiency Exam

The following degree programs require a Piano Proficiency Exam:

            BM - Performance

            BME - Music Education

            BA - Music

Students prepare for the exam by taking Keyboard 1 - 4 or electing to take Applied Piano in place of the Keyboard classes.  The final exam for Keyboard 4 is the Piano Proficiency Exam (usually taken at the end of the sophomore year).  The exam includes scales, chord construction, chord progressions, 5-note exercises, transposition, accompanying a melody, playing 4-part harmony (hymn), and performance of a prepared piano piece.  The exam is adjudicated by the keyboard professor and department chair. Starting fall of 2015, the entire exam must be repeated if a student fails one or more parts. 

Music Education majors must pass the exam prior to student teaching. BM and BA students must pass the exam prior to graduation.

 Student Recital Hour

Students who perform in Studio Class may be selected to perform on a Student Recital Hour, a formal student recital featuring several singers or instrumentalists.  The Studio Class coordinator shall select which students have earned the right to perform at Student Recital Hour. This recital will take place in Dawson Auditorium near the end of the semester.  Students must provide music to the accompanist at least two weeks in advance of the recital and schedule a coaching with him/her prior to the performance date.

Concert / Recital Attendance

Music majors and minors are expected to regularly attend department-sponsored concerts and recitals, including the "on-campus" ASO concerts listed on the department concert attendance sheet.  While no student is expected to attend 100% of all concerts and recitals, students should make an effort to attend a majority of these events. Attendance of music majors and minors will be taken to ensure students are meeting this expectation. Lack of attendance at recitals and concerts will result in a lowered applied music grade. Obviously, students should not miss class in order to attend a concert.


All music majors and minors have a portfolio file in the music department. Jury sheets, recital programs, copies of harmony and ear training final exams, and copies of music history papers are all collected in this file.  A student may review his or her folder at any time by simply requesting the file from the department secretary.  Portfolios are used by the music department in the program assessment process.


The following music degree tracks have a recital requirement:

BM - Bachelor of Music in Performance - requires a Junior and
Senior Recital

BME - Bachelor of Music in Music Education - requires a
Senior recital

BA - Bachelor of Arts in Music - requires a Senior recital

            BA - Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre - see Musical Theatre Senior Project

Students pursuing a degree in Arts Management or a Minor in Music may elect to perform a recital, but it is not required for the degree. Please see non-academic recital for information regarding the accompanist fee.

The recital should consist of repertoire drawn primarily from the traditional oeuvre of classic musical literature.  A senior recital is traditionally 45 to 60 minutes in length and usually contains an intermission. The junior recital is traditionally 25 to 35 minutes in length and may or may not have an intermission. Junior recitals are usually coupled with other junior recital performances (two at a time). Senior recitals usually stand alone.

The repertoire should reflect a variety of composers and stylistic periods appropriate to the instrument.  The applied instructor MUST approve all selections performed on a recital.

Program notes are required to be written by the student for each piece on the program.  The program notes will be printed as part of the program and must be sent to the department secretary fully formatted in Word two weeks prior to performance.


Recital Dates

Recital dates should be put on the music calendar at least four months in advance.  The date for the student’s recital jury and dress rehearsal are also set at that time.  The department secretary will provide the student with a recital checklist as the student begins to plan his/her recital.  Students must confirm with the following personnel to set a recital date:

  • Applied music instructor
  • Accompanist
  • Music department secretary

    Only when these three parties agree on dates for both the recital jury and the recital, can the date be set in the calendar.

    If a recital must be postponed, the student may NOT take an incomplete. The student must
    re-take the recital course (junior or senior) and register for applied lessons as well.

    Recital Checklist

    The student’s first step to setting up the student’s recital is to stop by the Music Office to pick up a recital checklist from the department secretary. The checklist provides the student a step-by-step process for choosing a date, getting departmental permission, reserving the space with the Conferences Office, and begins the process of preparing the printed program, program notes, and posters. 

    Recital Accompanist

    Students must communicate with their accompanist as soon as they begin planning the recital. The accompanist MUST have copies of ALL music at least one month in advance of the recital.  It is the student's responsibility to organize and prepare copies of music for the accompanist.  Failure to provide this service will result in the cancellation of the recital.  Students performing a recital may “lock in” a weekly 1/2 hour time with the accompanist.

     Recital Jury

    Before a student is permitted to perform a recital, he/she must first pass the recital jury. A recital jury must take place AT LEAST ten days prior the actual recital date.  It is performed in the actual recital space and is attended by the department chair and the applied instructor. The student is required to perform the entire recital as it will be presented in the actual recital performance (with the accompanist and any other performers who will be appearing in the recital). Final approval for the actual recital performance is granted only after the student successfully passes the recital jury.  Lack of preparation at the recital jury will result in the postponement of the recital performance.  If a recital must be postponed, the student may NOT take an incomplete. The student will receive an "F" for the course and then retake the course for a new grade. The student who must repeat their recital course work must also register and pay for applied lessons.

    Program Notes

    Students must provide program notes for their recital.  Program notes consist of information about each composer and information that is available regarding each particular work being performed.  Singers must also provide translations of all songs in foreign languages. The general expectation is that each piece performed in the recital will have an informative paragraph in the program notes. The recital notes MUST be proof read by at least two faculty members prior to printing.

    Non-Academic Recital

    A student may elect to do a recital not required for their particular degree. For instance, a student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in music may choose to do a recital. Any recital, elective or required, must be approved by the applied instructor and the department chair. A recital jury is required for all recitals. 

    There is a $250 accompanist fee for all elective recitals (recitals required by a degree track will not have this fee).  The fee is to be paid directly to the accompanist at the time of the recital.

    BM in Performance

    Students must have completed at least one semester of applied lessons at Adrian College prior to auditioning for acceptance into the BM Performance track.  The audition for the degree track takes place during the jury and must have the approval of their applied instructor.  A student in the BM Performance track must receive a letter grade of "B" or better in each music course after being accepted into the degree track.  Students not meeting the academic or performance level expected for this degree track will be placed on probation.

    BME Music Education

    Please familiarize yourself with the policies regarding the BME in the Teacher Education section of the college catalogue.  A BME student must receive a "C" or better in all music and teacher education coursework.  Students who do not meet the academic or performance level expected for the BME degree will be placed on probation.