Music PAC Annual Report

Music PAC Annual Report

The following Student Learning Objectives and assessment information is for Professional Artist Certificate (PAC) post-graduate programs in the School of Music. Concentrations are offered in the areas of Brass, Collaborative Piano, Composition, Guitar, Orchestral Conducting, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings and Woodwinds. In addition, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute offers the Fletcher Institute Professional Artist Certificate (FIPAC).

Program Mission

The School of Music’s stated mission and goals for the Master of Music degree program focuses specifically on student learning:

“The School of Music of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts prepares students for professional careers. Our goal is twofold: to enable students to attain their highest musical aspirations and to meet the challenge of succeeding in a highly competitive profession. ...

“In its conservatory setting, UNCSA provides an artistic environment in which each student pursues personal musical development. But the School of Music is also a professional training ground in which the student actively and realistically prepares for the practical aspects of making a living as a musician.

“The Graduate Program represents the School of Music at its highest level of artistry and education. The two-year Master of Music degree’s goals and objectives are to prepare and train students for careers as professional classical musicians....” (from the UNCSA 2015-2016 Graduate Bulletin, p. 73)

In addition, the School of Music’s stated program mission and goals clearly stem from the mission of UNCSA and align directly with the Mission Statement of UNCSA:

“The University of North Carolina School of the Arts provides gifted emerging artists with the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to excel in their disciplines and in their lives, and it serves and enriches the cultural and economic prosperity of the people of North Carolina and the nation. UNCSA is the state's unique professional school for the performing ... arts, training students ... for professional careers in the arts.” (from the UNCSA 2015-2016 Graduate Bulletin, p. 10)

 

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)


SLO 1. Professional Collaboration
  • Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with other musicians at a professional level. This can be demonstrated (but is not limited to) large and small ensemble work, teaching, or work as an opera singer.

Assessment Plans and Activities

Direct Assessment

Performances and/or Final Projects

  • Annual Juries/Recitals 
    First-of-Year Hearing (for certain concentrations), Fall Jury, and Spring Jury or Recital Hearing and Recital
  • Public Large Ensemble Concerts
  • Public Chamber Ensemble Concerts

Indirect Assessment

  • Data from the 2016 School of Music Graduate Questionnaire
  • Acceptance to doctoral programs/Professional work obtained

 

SLO 2. Professional Readiness
  • Demonstrate the ability to function as a professional musician, which includes a highly developed artistry; exhibiting fine-tuned skills in performance practice, communication, arts advocacy; and the ability to continuously improve as an artist.

Assessment Plans and Activities

Direct Assessment

Performances and/or Final Projects

  • Annual Juries/Recitals
    First-of-Year Hearing (for certain concentrations), Fall Jury, and Spring Jury or Recital Hearing and Recital
  • Projects and other work products accomplished in Career Strategies classes

Indirect Assessment

  • Data from the 2016 School of Music Graduate Questionnaire
  • Evidence from current and former students in the areas of professional employment, fellowships, scholarships to attend summer festivals and other evidence including freelance professional work while in school

 

SLO 3. Technical Skills
  • Demonstrate professional-level technique. For performers, this includes (but is not limited to) proficiency in performance, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, the ability to sight read at a professional level, and the ability to quickly assimilate music from a variety of style periods and genres. For composers, this includes (but is not limited to) the ability to develop ideas effectively, to compose idiomatically in a variety of media, including electronic and acoustic, and to notate compositions coherently.

Assessment Plans and Activities

Direct Assessment

Performances and/or Final Projects

  • Annual Juries/Recitals 
    First-of-Year Hearing (for certain concentrations), Fall Jury, and Spring Jury or Recital Hearing and Recital
  • Public Large Ensemble Concerts
  • Public Chamber Ensemble Concerts

One-on-One Instruction/Small Group Work

  • Weekly private lessons
  • Weekly master classes

Indirect Assessment

  • Data from the 2016 School of Music Graduate Questionnaire
  • Acceptance to doctoral programs/professional work obtained

  


Evidence of Student Learning

The following Music Graduate Programs (PAC/FIPAC) Student Learning Outcomes Map documents the connections between each of the three Music SLOs and courses and/or activities within the Music curricula.

Music Student Learning Outcomes Map

The direct assessment data is qualitative and exists in a variety of types, including formats such as written jury and recital hearing comments, documented and recorded performances (some reviewed by outside critics), and artifacts from student projects and presentations. This qualitative data is valid and valuable within a conservatory environment. Nonetheless, the School of Music will be seeking ways to supplement this qualitative data with appropriate quantitative data, further enhancing our ability to assess program effectiveness and to track longitudinal trends.

The indirect assessment data is quantitative and primarily derives from the annual School of Music Graduate Questionnaire administered toward the end of each academic year. As part of this questionnaire, using a 5-point scale (1=very poor/needs significant improvement, 5=very good/needs no improvement), students are asked to rate how well they feel the graduate curriculum is helping/has helped them grow and achieve success in each of the five Music SLOs.

In addition to the SLOs, through the questionnaire students are also asked to rate explicit components of the graduate curriculum. These curricular components are the same ones documented in the SLO map presented above. Even though the students assess courses and activities, not the actual SLOs, because of the background mapping with the SLOs the data provide a valuable, alternate framework and lens through which to view the program as a whole and to assess its overall health, including the status of the three SLOs. For example, if students were to express concern about the effectiveness of lessons, not only would the School of Music move to understand and address the concern about course effectiveness, but because all three SLOs are embedded in lesson work, the School of Music would also know to investigate more thoroughly possible negative impacts upon the SLOs.

The Three SLOs

SLO 1. Professional Collaboration

Direct Assessment(s)

  • All students successfully completed required juries or recitals.
  • Of particular note are the numerous and highly successful concerts that were presented throughout the year. These concerts encompassed a range of opportunities including orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, opera, and chamber ensemble. Among the many performances, notable standouts include Orff’s Carmina Burana in which the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra collaborated with the UNCSA Cantata Singers and the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, Bach’s Magnificat in which the UNCSA Cantata Singers collaborated with the Magnolia Baroque Players, the four-concert Chrysalis Chamber Music Festival, and a four-concert tour of North Carolina mounted by the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the School of Music collaborated with other UNCSA schools in two A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute productions (Rota’s The Italian Straw Hat and Brook’s reworking of Carmen), in CP Taylor’s musical Good, and in the annual UNCSA production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker.

Indirect Assessment(s)

  • Through the 2016 Graduate Questionnaire, students assessed a learning outcome of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Interpretation
With regard to the SLO Professional Collaboration, the current 2015-2016 average score of 4.4 compared to the previous year’s average of 4.1 points to a continued satisfactory result in this student learning outcome.

The apparent growth in this SLO may be partially due to the newly created Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute (CCMI), a graduate level curriculum available to both MM and PAC students. Included in the curriculum are courses in coached chamber ensembles, as well as a one-semester seminar in chamber music. The seminar included a visit to a professional recording studio where the chamber groups of CCMI did a mock recording; guest lectures by specialists in areas of chamber music; and lectures by our own faculty. Guest lectures will continue again next year. This SLO improvement may also be due to the fact that several students were afforded the opportunity to work directly with guest professional musicians in chamber music concerts, including members of the Chamber Music Society – Lincoln Center.

NOTE: Due to the transition in the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies position, there was no School of Music Graduate Questionnaire administered in Spring 2014, thus eliminating the possibility of a 3- year longitudinal comparison in that data set. The questionnaire administered in Spring 2015 had twelve responses. Though less than desired, these numbers do provide a few instances of comparison between AY 2014-15 and AY 2015-16. Also to be noted is that the two aforementioned questionnaires were administered in such a way that the data from the MM and PAC students was aggregated. 

SLO 2. Professional Readiness

Direct Assessment(s)

  • All students successfully completed required juries or recitals.

Indirect Assessment(s)

  • Through the 2016 Graduate Questionnaire, students assessed a learning outcome of 4.6 out of 5.0.

Interpretation
With regard to the SLO Professional Readiness, the current 2015-2016 average score of 4.6 compared to the previous year’s average of 4.1 points to a continued satisfactory result in this student learning outcome.

While these results may be slightly skewed by the small number of students reporting in Spring 2015, the apparent jump of 0.5 between the two years is worthy of note and reflection. Part of the increase may be due to revised and enhanced procedures related to the PAC Project. For this past year, the policy of submitting a PAC Project proposal as part of the application/audition process was reinstated, a procedure that heightens student awareness about project topics, helps facilitate a more focused beginning to the semester and, ultimately, results in a more successful project. Also notable is the Interim Dean’s approval of a funding source (pending annual budget availability) to help support certain needs of a PAC Project. Finally, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs has continued to encourage off-campus performances as part of the Project, an aspect that helps develop and strengthen entrepreneurial skills.

NOTE: Due to the transition in the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies position, there was no School of Music Graduate Questionnaire administered in Spring 2014, thus eliminating the possibility of a 3- year longitudinal comparison in that data set. The questionnaire administered in Spring 2015 had twelve responses. Though less than desired, these numbers do provide a few instances of comparison between AY 2014-15 and AY 2015-16. Also to be noted is that the two aforementioned questionnaires were administered in such a way that the data from the MM and PAC students was aggregated.

SLO 3. Technical Skills

Direct Assessment(s)

All students successfully completed required juries or recitals.

Numerous highly successful concerts were mounted throughout the year involving repertoire that encompassed a range of technical skills and abilities.

The vast majority of students accomplished satisfactory work in their major area of study.

Indirect Assessment(s)

Through the 2016 Graduate Questionnaire, students assessed a learning outcome of 4.6 out of 5.0.

Interpretation
With regard to the SLO Technical Skills, the current 2015-2016 average score of 4.6 compared to the previous year’s average of 4.3 points to a continued satisfactory result in this student learning outcome.

The increase may be partially due to a number of Projects focused on orchestral auditions, and therefore, on more technical work. It also reflects the continued effort of our current faculty, as well as the continued invitation of internationally renowned guest artists, to work with the student population on all levels. Selected students were chosen to work directly in masterclasses with guest artists of Chamber Music Society – Lincoln Center, including performing in masterclasses at Lincoln Center.

NOTE: Due to the transition in the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies position, there was no School of Music Graduate Questionnaire administered in Spring 2014, thus eliminating the possibility of a 3- year longitudinal comparison in that data set. The questionnaire administered in Spring 2015 had twelve responses. Though less than desired, these numbers do provide a few instances of comparison between AY 2014-15 and AY 2015-16. Also to be noted is that the two aforementioned questionnaires were administered in such a way that the data from the MM and PAC students was aggregated.

  

Use of Student Learning Evidence

The three School of Music PAC / FIPAC Student Learning Outcomes appear to be satisfactory and stable, and the available data does not seem to indicate the need for specific changes to the program at this time.

As observed toward the beginning of the previous section, however, the direct assessment data currently exists solely in qualitative forms, and it is our belief that supplementing this qualitative data with appropriate quantitative data will further enhance our ability to assess program effectiveness and to track longitudinal trends. Thus, we plan on the following action during the coming academic year, addressing not only the enhancement of direct assessment data but will also the addition of a new dimension and depth to the indirect assessment data.

Modified Academic Program Evaluation Plan

Action #1: Modified Academic Program Evaluation Plan

In an effort to increase and improve the quantity and quality of assessment data, the Associate Dean of the School of Music will lead faculty in the development and implementation of an expanded Academic Program Evaluation Plan. This plan is anticipated to contain the following enhancements:

  1. Faculty direct assessment: a mechanism will be created through which qualitative assessments can be translated into quantitative measures; and
  2. Student indirect assessment: a small-group, exit-interview process will be created through which students graduating from the graduate program can provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback. (NOTE: This will be in addition to continuing to administer the annual Graduate Student Questionnaire.)
  3. Data coming from the PAC/FIPAC program will be disaggregated from data coming from the MM program.