Department of Music

Student Handbook

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Individual Performance (AMU)

Performance Information

Earning a bachelor’s degree in music includes development of the essential skill of performance. Performance studies focus on several factors such as artistic expression, knowledge of repertoire, performance technique, and the ability to aurally perceive and perform notated music at sight. Acquiring certain levels of mastery of these competencies is an expectation for the professional degrees (BM and BME) in order to graduate.  Competency will be assessed in various ways as a part of weekly private lessons, semester juries, and degree recitals, as appropriate for the particular area of concentration and focus of study.

Studio Lessons – “AMU”

Students majoring in music are required to take lessons in their applied area during every semester in residency at DSU until degree requirements are met, with the exception of BME students during the semester in which they are the directed teaching internship.

Credit in individual performance is determined at the rate of one hour of credit for each one-half hour private lesson weekly. Students taking 2 or more semester hours of applied instruction will receive a one clock-hour lesson per week. (NASM standard: up to an hour of instruction plus 3 hours of independent work per week for each credit hour taken – see p. 103).

Students are expected to meet practice expectations as set by their major applied instructor.

The maximum combined number of credit hours of individual performance that may be taken in one semester by BME, BA or BM candidates is four.

Students are expected to attend all lessons and to arrive at lessons on time and prepared to begin playing or singing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructor regarding any missed lessons prior to the scheduled period, if at possible. Documentation is required to receive an excused absence for all missed lessons. A rescheduled lesson may be given if the absence is excused due to illness, an emergency, or a University-related activity. Applied faculty members are not required to reschedule lessons canceled without sufficient cause or missed without notification, which will likely affect the student’s studio grade. Students should refer to their individual instructor’s syllabus for particular policies and procedures.

Applied instructors are not expected to reschedule lessons missed due to official holidays or pre-empted by campus-wide events.

A request to change applied studios requires the consent of the department chair and is only considered when the student has first met with the current applied instructor, after which the instructor agrees to initiate the change if the desire to leave that studio cannot be resolved.

Such requests will usually not be considered until the student has had at least two semesters of study under one professor. Although requests for a specific professor are honored when feasible, the most efficient use of faculty, facilities, and concern for student learning must outweigh personal desires. Responsibility for assignment to a specific studio rests solely with the department chair.

Bachelor of Music (BM) Candidates

The BM in Performance degree requires that candidates successfully perform a greater amount of literature with a higher degree of difficulty than is required of BA or BME candidates. Approval by area faculty is necessary to enter the degree program.

Bachelor of Music entrance process (approved by faculty 3/26/2014)

A student must have auditioned for faculty in the performance area to be a music major.

A student may be admitted into the BM degree at the entrance audition or during a later semester jury, if not initially approved for the BM degree.

If a major at the 100-level of applied study in the BA or BME program was also approved for the BM degree on their initial audition form, they may add or change to the 100-level of the BM degree with only the consent of their applied professor and advisor.

A student at the 300-level in another music degree program must audition and be approved by performance area faculty to enter the BM program at the 300-level. The audition can take place at the semester jury and should represent the musicianship expected of a 300-level BM student.

End-Of-Semester Jury Procedures

A final performance assessment by performing area faculty panels, called a “jury,” is required at the end of each semester for all music majors and minors enrolled in applied lessons, with the following exceptions:

Students enrolled in AMU 210 for credit/no credit only (no grade).

Students who have performed a junior/senior recital during the semester.

Students in their first semester of graded applied study on a minor or secondary instrument/voice.

Failure to perform the semester jury will result in a failing grade for the semester. Exceptions may be made for cases of medical or family emergency at the discretion of the Chair of the Department of Music, in which case the student will receive an Incomplete until they have successfully completed a jury the following semester. The area faculty will set the date for the postponed jury.

Jury lengths are as follows

  • Non-music majors: 5 minutes
  • BA and BME Music majors: 10 minutes
  • BM Music majors: 15 minutes
  • All percussion :15 minutes


Each member of the jury, including the student’s applied music teacher, grades the jury.

The average of the panel’s grades, based on a 4.0 scale, will equal one-fourth of the final grade.

Students enrolled in AMU 210 as non-majors do not play a jury and do not receive letter grades. They will receive either a grade of CR (credit) or NC (no credit).

Scale Barrier Exams

The requirements for the scale barrier exams are as follows:

Woodwinds and Percussion

The faculty will select three keys at random:

  • Students will perform major, natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales in the parallel keys.  For example, if ‘C’ is one of the keys selected, students will perform ‘C’ major and three forms of ‘C’ minor scale.
  • Students will follow the scale format assigned by their assigned teachers, which may also include arpeggios.

Low/High Brass Studio

  • Students must know all keys, perform major, natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor, along with 2 octaves.


Piano Scales

  • All forms of major and minor scales; 4 octaves, hands together with correct fingering, minimum speed: 60 = 4 notes per tick.


  • Tonic triad – all major and minor tonic triad, 4 octaves, hands together with correct fingering, minimum speed: 60 = 2 notes per tick.
  • Dominant seventh chord – all major and minor keys, 4 octaves, hands together with correct fingering, minimum speed: 60 = 2 notes per tick.
  • Leading tone seventh chord – fully diminished, all major and minor keys, 4 octaves, hands together with correct fingering, minimum speed: 60 = 2 notes per tick.

Upper Division Study

Upper division study is required in BME and BM degrees; only required for BA if capstone will be a half-recital.

Upper division status generally indicates that a student has demonstrated a level of technical and musical proficiency sufficient to continue with advanced study. Jury approval is necessary for advancement into upper division individual performance.

To achieve upper division status, students typically play a “barrier” jury at the end of the second semester of their sophomore year. Before performing the barrier jury, students who are woodwind, brass, or percussion majors must complete a separate Scales Proficiency Exam. See your applied professor for the exam requirements. Piano majors may attempt the barrier jury and a piano proficiency in the same semester, but both must be passed for successful completion of the barrier jury.

Junior/community college transfer students must enroll in lower division performance course numbers until their status has been validated by jury examination after at least one semester of study at DSU.

After students successfully complete the barrier jury, they may register for upper division AMU lessons for the following semester.

Students who do not pass the barrier jury will be allowed to attempt again during the following semester’s jury period.

Students should be aware that not passing the barrier jury in a timely manner may delay their date of graduation.

At least one-third of the individual performance requirements must be met at the upper AMU level to graduate.