School of Music

Academic Courses of Study

The freshman-year curricula are practically identical for all degrees within the school, giving students one academic year in which to make a final decision regarding their programs. From the time a specific program is approved for a student, that student must adhere to his/her selected program and to the total number of credits listed for that program. Changes in program and courses, or in major and secondary instrument or voice, require the approval of the adviser, department chair, and associate dean.

Performance Study

All private lesson study required in the student's program is included in the basic tuition charge, subject to the conditions under "Explanation of Charges." Elective private lessons, whether for music majors or nonmajors, are subject to a private lesson fee in accordance with the schedule shown under "Expenses." Normally, elective private lessons are taught by graduate students. All private lesson registration and preregistration are through the music office only.
Expenses, Explanation of Charges

Performance courses are of two general classifications: private instruction for voice and instrument and class instruction for minor (secondary) instrument study. A class section usually consists of eight students. Those majoring in the performance or performance/music education (four-and-a-half-year) program take a one-hour private lesson each week (for 4 credits); all others take a half-hour private lesson each week (for 2 credits). All music students attend one repertory class each week conducted by the major performance teacher.

Attendance at Performances

All full-time students in the School of Music are required to attend 10 ensemble, faculty, or guest artist recitals or master classes each semester. In addition, they are required to attend 5 student recitals. The associate dean will determine how this policy applies to transfer students. All other students must meet the requirement for six semesters. Additional attendance requirements are at the option of the major teacher.

Performance Requirements

All students enrolled in the B.M. in performance and B.M. in performance/music education (four-and-a-half-year) programs must successfully perform two solo recitals as part of their degree requirements. Other students may elect to perform in a graded recital with the permission of their major teacher. The required recitals are graded by three faculty members from the School of Music. Normally, the major teacher and two faculty members from the student's division comprise the grading committee. Elective recitals are normally graded only by the major teacher.

The final grade for these recitals is determined by averaging the grades assigned by the members of the grading committee, according to the following system:







A -






























All undergraduate music majors must perform a jury at the end of each semester. Students who perform a graded recital and students who are off-campus because of student teaching may be exempted at the discretion of their major teacher. Nonmajor students enrolled for 3 credits of private study must also perform a jury at the end of the semester. Juries are graded on a pass/fail basis. If a student receives a grade of F from the majority of the faculty hearing a jury, the major teacher must issue a grade for the semester no higher than D. The grade of I, "incomplete," must not be used in these cases. The incomplete grade is to be used only if a student is unable to perform a jury because of illness or providential intervention. The chair of performance studies must also be informed of the jury failure. The chair will then request that a letter of warning be sent by the associate dean to the student (see "Academic Status"). To be removed from warning, the student must pass the jury in the following semester and receive a semester grade of C- or higher.
Academic Status

Every music student is required to meet specified minimum requirements in piano, relative to his or her curriculum. Students having voice or piano as the major instrument, regardless of their curricula, take keyboard musicianship, which includes accompanying, transposition, and literature.

Ensemble Policies
Major Ensembles

Certain ensembles are designated major ensembles. All full-time music students are required to participate in a major ensemble each semester until the ensemble degree requirements are fulfilled.

A student may participate in additional ensembles, up to a total of 10 ensemble participation hours per week. Exceptions beyond 10 hours can be made in very unusual circumstances by the associate dean in consultation with the performance teacher and conductor.

If additional ensembles are taken, they can be taken for 0, 0.5, or 1 credit. Students should normally enroll in ensembles for credit, unless the total credit enrollment exceeds 18 credits. Ensemble and chamber music credits over and above the required ensembles may be applied toward music elective requirements according to the following formula: for every 3 credits of music electives required in each degree program, 1 credit of ensemble or chamber music may be counted toward elective requirements, with a minimum of 1 credit and a maximum of 4.

Ensemble transfer credits may not be used to exempt a student from ensemble participation.

All music education students must participate in a major ensemble during the on-campus portion of the student teaching ("block") semester.

The organizations designated below as major ensembles carry 1 credit for all students except where required as a second ensemble. The organizations designated as minor ensembles carry 1 credit when required as a major ensemble in the student's degree program.

Major Ensembles
 Minor Ensembles


 Accompanying Master Class


 Chamber Orchestra

Concert Band

 Guitar Ensemble


 Piano Ensemble

Symphonic Band

 Pianist as Collaborator

Women's Chorale

 Jazz Workshop

Wind Ensemble

 Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The following fulfill the major ensemble requirements for the performance majors listed:

Voice major -- Choir, Chorus, or Women's Chorale

Keyboard major -- Choir, Chorus, Women's Chorale, Pianist as Collaborator, Accompanying Master Class, Guitar Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, Piano/Instrumental Duo, or Piano/Vocal Duo

Guitar major:

   Music education, performance, and music education/performance -- Choral Ensemble (Choir, Chorus, or Women's Chorale) and/or Guitar Ensemble (as specified in the curriculum outlines)

   All other guitar major degrees: Choral Ensemble (Choir, Chorus, or Women's Chorale) or other major ensemble by audition, including Guitar Ensemble

String major -- Orchestra

Wind and percussion majors -- Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, or Orchestra

Jazz studies major -- Jazz Laboratory or Vocal Jazz Ensemble (as specified in the "Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies" curriculum outline)
Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

Minor Ensembles

The following organizations are designated minor ensembles and carry 0.5 credit for music majors and 1 credit for all other students:

  • Brass Choir
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Madrigal Singers
  • Percussion Ensemble

The ensembles listed below carry 0.5 credit for music majors when used as an elective ensemble. As with other minor ensembles, they carry 1 credit for non-music majors:

  • Accompanying Master Class
  • Campus Band
  • Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Jazz Workshop
  • Pianist as Collaborator
  • Piano Ensemble
  • Piano/Instrumental Duo
  • Piano/Vocal Duo
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Music majors should see the statement above (under "Major Ensembles") covering total weekly ensemble participation hours allowed.

Opera/Musical Orchestra

Opera/musical orchestras are ensembles that perform in the major productions of one opera and one musical per year. Students participating in these ensembles may earn music elective credit. See the course description under MUMC 14000 Music Theater Rehearsal and Performance.

Course Exemptions

Students may be exempted from courses in the School of Music through examination by the departments concerned. Resulting credit deficiencies may be made up in any area in music upon consent of the student's adviser and the associate dean.

Music Electives

Ensemble and chamber music credits over and above the required ensembles may be applied toward music elective requirements according to the following formula: for every 3 credits of music electives required in each degree program, 1 credit of ensemble or chamber music may be counted toward elective requirements, with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 4 credits. Performance studies in an instrument/voice other than the major and elective recital credits may apply toward music electives. Performance study in the major performance area taken in addition to the degree requirements may also apply toward music electives.

Pass/Fail or S/D/F

With the exception of MUMC 10100 Recital Attendance, MUMC 14100 Recording Workshop, and PFMJ 19900 Performance Repertoire and Pedagogy, music courses may not be taken on a pass/fail or S/D/F basis by music majors or minors.

Fundamentals of Music Theory, Sight-Singing, Keyboard Musicianship, and Recital Grades

Students must repeat MUTH 10100 Fundamentals of Music Theory until they receive a grade of B or higher (based on achieving a score of 84 percent or higher on the course's final exam).

Students must repeat keyboard musicianship or sight-singing courses in which they receive a grade lower than C-.

A grade of C- is the lowest acceptable grade for successful completion of a required undergraduate recital. In the event that a student receives a grade of D (+ or -), the grade will stand and be computed into the GPA, but the student must take the course again. A completely different program must be performed when repeating the course.

Physical Activity, Leisure, and Safety (PALS)

Physical activity, leisure, and safety (PALS) courses may be taken as free, general, non-liberal arts electives. A maximum of 6 credits is permitted.
PALS Courses

Liberal Arts

All students in music must, by mandate of the New York State Education Department, take a certain number of liberal arts courses in completion of their degree program. These courses must be taken outside the School of Music.

Distribution Requirements

The school stipulates that these liberal arts credits must fill certain distribution requirements as indicated in the requirements of each degree program. To satisfy these distribution requirements, students should select their courses from the following categories. Please note that not all courses within each listed discipline are liberal arts courses. Those that are not liberal arts courses are marked "NLA" in the course descriptions in this catalog and in the Undergraduate Course Offerings published each semester. Courses marked NLA do not fulfill the liberal arts requirement for the School of Music.

Humanities (HU)

  • Art history
  • English
  • Modern languages
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies
  • Speech communication (with HU designation)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (SS)

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Speech communication (with SS designation)

Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NS)*

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

* Music education and performance/music education majors must take one course in biology, chemistry, physics, or health sciences, and one course in mathematics.

Fine Arts (FA)

  • Cinema
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Drawing
  • Graphics
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Photography