Department of Music

Student Handbook

 

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Guidelines for Music Capstone Projects

Capstone types

The BME capstone experience includes a “half” recital, plus a teaching internship semester. The teaching internship is beyond the scope of this document, and not subject to the guidelines within it.

The BM capstone experience includes both a “half” (“junior”) recital plus a “full” (“senior”) recital. For a student who has changed degree programs, the applied area may determine that a previous BA or BME “senior” recital may satisfy the BM “junior” recital requirement only if it is of appropriate difficulty and quality.

The BA capstone may be a half recital, a research paper with public reading, a scholarly presentation with accompanying document and visual aids, or a different project approved by the capstone advisor. Approved projects should draw upon the student’s completed music coursework (and may include interdisciplinary elements), should have both written and public presentation components, and should be approximately equivalent in scope and difficulty to other capstone projects.

Recital Research paper Presentation Other project
Half Full
Degree paths BA (“senior” recital)

BME  (“senior” recital)

BM (“junior” recital)

BM (“senior” recital) BA BA BA
Public presentation component Public performance Public reading Public presentation

A public presentation should be well-rehearsed and use only minimal notes.

Varies with project, but both public and written components are required.
Written component Program notes. See “Guidelines for Program Notes” Research paper

Students who wish to build on research done in previous classes must provide a copy of work from those classes and obtain permission from the capstone advisor and the previous instructor.

Audience handout (1-2 pages, with references), plus visual aids (such as a slideshow) that support and enhance the spoken component.
Prerequisites Must have a grade of C or higher in the previous semester’s work in major individual performance area. See catalog for additional course prerequisites. See catalog for course prerequisites.
At least one semester of 300-level applied study must be completed prior to the recital semester. At least three semesters of 300-level applied study must be completed prior to the recital semester.
Enroll in course BA: MUS 490

BME: AMU 450

BM: AMU 300

AMU 450 MUS 490
See the “Recital Checklist” for additional details and procedures.

Capstone advisor and initial approval

Each capstone project is completed under the supervision of a capstone advisor.

  Recital Research paper Presentation Other project
Half Full
Who serves as advisor Applied teacher Applied teacher in most cases, but student may request another capstone advisor who has expertise in the area of focus. This must be approved by the applied teacher, the proposed capstone advisor, and the department chair.
Project selection process Applied teacher assigns or oversees selection of repertoire. Applied teacher supervises preparation of recital in regular lessons. Capstone advisor advises student in selection of an appropriate project type, based on student’s interests, strengths, and likelihood of successful completion. Capstone advisor approves project topic. Capstone advisor supervises completion of paper, presentation, or project in regular meetings with the student.
Scheduling of public event Capstone advisor advises student in selection of a date for the final recital, paper reading, presentation, or public event developed for an “other” project.
  As a courtesy to collaborative musicians, a recital should be initially scheduled the semester before it is to be performed.
  Takes place during Recitals and Activities class. May take place during Recitals and Activities class, but may be scheduled for other times with approval of capstone advisor, department chair, and collaborative musicians. Takes place during Recitals and Activities class. Typically should take place during Recitals and Activities class, but may be scheduled for other times for compelling reasons, with approval of capstone advisor and department chair.
Public event duration 20-25 total minutes of music 45-50 total minutes of music Time required to read the paper aloud, plus five minutes allocated for audience questions. 20-25 minutes Typically 20-25 minutes, but may be longer according to the demands of the project.
Submit approval form Submit the completed “Capstone Experience Proposal Approval Form” to the department chair within the first week of the semester during which the capstone will be presented. This ensures that committees are formed and reviews are scheduled.

Preliminary review

Each capstone project must be reviewed at a preliminary stage by a review committee.

  Recital Research paper Presentation Other project
Half Full
Formation of committee Department chair assigns two additional faculty members to serve on the review committee with the capstone advisor.
Where possible, the committee members should be the capstone advisor, an additional faculty member from the student’s performance area, and a faculty member from another area. Besides the capstone advisor, at least one of the committee members should be a member of the music faculty. Where appropriate and available, the third committee member may be from another academic unit.
Review date Department chair schedules review dates.
Scheduled between two and three weeks before recital date. Scheduled at least three weeks before the public reading date. Scheduled between two and three weeks before presentation date. Typically scheduled between two and three weeks before public event date, but this may be altered to suit the demands of the project with the approval of the capstone advisor and the department chair.
Review duration 15 minutes 25 minutes Committee may take up to one week to review the paper. 25 minutes Typically 15 minutes, but this may be altered to suit the demands of the project with the approval of the capstone advisor and the department chair.
Review procedure The review must demonstrate that the student will be ready for public performance/presentation as scheduled, or that the research paper can be completed on schedule. If the recital or presentation is longer than the duration of the review, the committee may choose to hear any portion(s) of it during that time.

The review committee provides written feedback on written and public components to the capstone advisor, who assists the student in making appropriate improvements.

The review committee decides by majority vote to approve the public event to proceed as planned, or to delay the event pending approval at a second review. The committee determines an appropriate timeline for the second review. Failure of a second review should typically result in delaying the event until a subsequent semester, but under special circumstances the committee may approve additional reviews.

Review must be performed with the collaborative musicians who will be playing for the recital.

Program notes should be in a final draft form, and copies provided to the review committee at the time of the review.

Audience handout should be in a final draft form, and copies provided to the review committee at the time of the review. As appropriate to the project, written component should be in a final draft form, and copies provided to the review committee at the time of the review.
Press release After approval by the review committee, the student must submit a press release and headshot photo to the music office

Final grading

Each capstone project must be reviewed in its final form by a recital/paper/presentation/project committee, made up of faculty who did not serve on the review committee.

  Recital Research paper Presentation Other project
Formation of committee Department chair assigns three faculty members, other than those who served on the review committee, to serve on the  grading committee.
Where possible, the committee should include a faculty member from the student’s performance area, and two faculty members from two other areas. At least two of the committee members should be members of the music faculty. Where appropriate and available, the third committee member may be from another academic unit.
Grading procedure Prior success or failure by the student is not considered. Only the performance/presentation is evaluated.

Success in the preliminary review does not ensure that the grading committee will recommend passing grades, nor should a high grade be expected just for completing the project.

Committee attends the recital and provides written feedback and individual recommended grades to the capstone advisor. Program notes are required for completion of the project but are not graded. Committee reads the completed paper and provides written feedback and individual recommended grades to the capstone advisor. The public reading is required for completion of the project but is not graded.

See Capstone Paper Guidelines for specific format and content requirements.

Committee attends the presentation and provides written feedback and individual recommended grades to the capstone advisor. A supporting written document supplied to the audience is required for completion of the project but is not graded. Depending on the project, the committee observes the public event or examines the written materials, and provides written feedback and individual recommended grades to the capstone advisor.

April 2017

Guidelines on program notes for student recitals

All student degree recitals include program notes. Individual studios may have more specific requirements, but these general guidelines are recommended:

  • Program notes should be brief. Students’ time should be focused on preparing the performance, rather than researching and writing overly-long notes.
  • Program notes should be geared toward enhancing the audience’s understanding and appreciation of the music as necessary. Avoid spending too much time on composer biographies, analysis, play-by-plays, editorializing, philosophizing, or discussion of technical matters, except as they are clearly relevant to your audience.
  • Notes for a typical recital piece might include a succinct introduction to the composer (usually one or two sentences are enough) plus a few quick facts explaining what makes the piece unique, or providing background that will help the audience understand or enjoy it more. For some pieces and composers, little information is known. In those cases it is best to be very brief rather than trying to inflate the available information to fill a certain amount of space.
  • “General knowledge”-type information (such as that available in a general encyclopedia) does not require source citations. Other information should be cited using the system learned in music history courses.

Program notes must be submitted to the recital jury panel, who may offer comments and suggest revisions. Final recital panels should focus on grading the performance, and do not factor program notes into the recommended recital grade.

January 2017

Capstone Paper Guidelines

Proposal

Your proposal tells your committee about your topic, your initial research and questions, and the goals of your project. It should include:

  • Topic (title of paper)
  • 1-3 paragraphs (approximately 500 words) about your project
    • Bibliography with 5 or more proposed sources listed. Include a short summary of each source (this is called an “annotated bibliography”). You are expected to use sources from our library or InterLibrary Loan (ILL), including PRINT journals, books, and electronic materials. Annotated bibliography samples may be found at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/
  • Avoid using websites unless you get prior approval from your professor. (For example, a living composer’s personal website would likely be appropriate; a fan site might not.)

After you have been given approval from your committee, you will continue your research and begin writing. It is recommended that you begin with an outline.

Paper Format

  • Use Chicago (Turabian) Style. For more information, consult the following guides:

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 8th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Required Items

  1. Title page
  • Format: All text centered. See sample page.
  • Avoid MS Word’s templates.
  • Use “insert page break” to separate this page from the body of the paper.
  • There should be no page number on the title page. Start your page numbering on p. 1 of the body of the paper.
  1. Body of paper
  • The body of your paper, not including the title page or the bibliography, should be 15-20 pages. The excessive use of large block quotes is NOT an acceptable way to add filler to a paper.
  • The body should be double-spaced (without additional spaces between paragraphs; turn off this option in MS Word). Block quotes are single spaced.
  • All margins should be 1 inch except for the left, which should be 1.25 to allow for binding.
  • 12-point font: use a standard serif font such as Cambria or Times New Roman, not a “page filler” font (Arial or Courier).
  • Page numbers should be 1 inch down in the upper right hand corner of all pages (except the first).
  • Use quoted material successfully:
    • Introduce the quote. Explain WHY it’s important, who wrote it, or what it has to do with the topic of your paragraph.
    • A quote of three lines or fewer is inserted into the regular paragraph, double spaced, and surrounded by “quotes.”
    • A quote of four or more lines is indented as a block quote and is single spaced. No “quotes” are needed.
    • All quotes MUST be cited in your footnotes and bibliography.
    • A footnote should be placed at the end of the quote.
  1. Bibliography (see sample format).
  • Use “insert page break” before this page.
  • Title this page Bibliography. Follow it with two blank lines.
  • The first line of each entry is not indented; all subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches.
  • Each entry is single spaced, with one blank line between entries.

Research

The following are often useful starting places for research:

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  Edited by Stanley Sadie and J. Tyrrell.  London:  Macmillan, 2001.   (ML100 .N48 2001 Ref)

Randel, Don Michael. The Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003. (All music students should own this resource.

Taruskin, Richard. The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.  (ML160. T18 2005 Ref)

Assistance

Students are encouraged to use DSU’s Writing Center, a service of the Division of Languages & Literature. The Writing Center is located in Kethley Hall 201.

  • Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 12 pm  & 1 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Friday: 9 am – 12 pm

Writing Center Outpost (located on the 3rd Floor of Foundation and available to all students)

  • Sunday: 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Monday: 8 pm – 10 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 pm – 10 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 pm – 10 pm

January 2017