Important Dates for Undergraduate Music Students

During New College Student Orientation, the School of Music has its orientation for new musician students. Mark these dates and times on your calendar.

Information on supplies, practice facilities, lockers and policies and procedures is on the School of Music Orientation webpage. If you have additional questions, contact David Winkelman, Associate Dean of School of Music.

School of Music Orientation

Music Orientation Schedule

Tuesday, August 15: Mandatory Meeting

Tuesday, August 15 at 4 p.m. in Watson Hall in the School of Music Complex.
All new undergraduate students must attend this meeting. (Parents or other relatives are also invited to attend.) School of Music staff and administrators will be introduced, important information will be shared, and questions on music-related topics will be answered.

Tuesday, August 15 & Wednesday, August 16: Skills Placement Assessments

In addition to completing work in your major area, required ensembles, and a variety of other music courses, you will also take classes in theory, aural skills and keyboard skills, courses which fall under the general heading of “Foundations of Music.” You will be most successful in these courses if you arrive possessing functional knowledge in the following areas:

  • Scales – major and three minors (natural, harmonic, melodic)
  • Key signatures – for both major and minor keys
  • Intervals – up through octave, with particular fluency up through fifths
  • Triads – major, minor, diminished, augmented
  • Rhythm & Meter – relationships involving whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes and their related rests within the context of simple and compound meters
  • Clefs – treble and bass

Placement evaluations for Foundations classes will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, 15 and 16 August. The initial evaluation on Tuesday will be written and will focus on assessing the fluency of your basic knowledge in the material described above. You are strongly encourage you to study and prepare for this assessment of basic musicianship either through the use of a standard theory text or by accessing some of the numerous resources available on the Internet.

For those of you who demonstrate competency with this basic theory and aural skills material, there will be additional evaluation on Wednesday to assess your breadth of knowledge and ability with more advanced skills such as part writing, harmonic analysis, form analysis, sight singing, and rhythm performance. If you have had prior training in these more advanced topics, you will want to thoroughly review material so you can demonstrate the full extent of your knowledge.

On Wednesday, every student will participate in a keyboard skills assessment. This will be a short (5-10 minute) one-on-one interview with a member of the Keyboard Skills faculty. During the interview you will be asked to demonstrate your ability with certain
keyboard skills, such as playing scales and/or simple melodies. If you have never studied piano, do not worry and do not feel compelled to arrange lessons over the summer. Alternately, if you have studied piano and would like to prepare a short piece to present, feel free to do so.

Wednesday, August 16-17: First-of-Year Hearings

First-of-Year Hearings, short juries presented by students, allow the faculty to assess students as the year begins. In addition, for students needing to be placed into either large or chamber instrumental ensembles, the hearings provide the faculty with important information for decisions about appropriate assignments.

The following departments require First-of-Year Hearings for new students: brass, guitar, organ, percussion, piano, strings, voice, and woodwinds. This year, most hearings for new students will be held on Wednesday, August 16, although string principal hearings will occur on Thursday evening, August 17. In addition, voice hearings will be held during the week of August 21, and guitar hearings will be held at a somewhat later time after the semester is underway.

Times and locations will be posted on the bulletin board outside the Music Office on Tuesday, August 15. It is extremely important you are prepared to perform at your assigned time as hearing times cannot be rescheduled.

If you have questions about appropriate repertoire for the First-of-Year Hearing you should ask for guidance from the faculty member with whom you will be taking lessons. (If you need help in contacting that faculty member, contact David Winkelman for assistance .) In general, the guidelines are as follows:

  • Brass, string, and woodwind students should prepare a piece not longer than five minutes in length. Accompanists are not required and will not be provided for these instrumental hearings. In addition, you must prepare the orchestral excerpts chosen by the faculty for your particular instrument. Details about these orchestral excerpts will be available in early summer.
  • Other instrumentalists (organ, percussion, and piano) should prepare a piece not longer than five minutes in length. (Note: Collaborative piano students should consult with Dr. Allison Gagnon regarding repertoire selections.)
  • Voice students should prepare a piece not longer than five minutes in length. Accompanists will be provided for voice hearings.

Thursday, August 17: Small Group Meetings

On Thursday, David Winkelman will meet with all of you in small groups to go over basic information, to review curriculum requirements, and to answer any questions you might have.

Sunday, August 20: Studio Meetings

Many faculty will hold studio and/or department organizational meetings Sunday afternoon, August 20, at 5 p.m. Be certain to keep that time available in your schedule.

Monday, August 21: Classes begin

All classes begin on Monday, August 21.