In this section you will find information on private lessons, piano proficiency requirements, and milestones in your UMM performance career, like the jury.
- Individual Performance Studies
- Piano at UMM
- Performance Assessment
- Secondary Performance Area
Individual Performance Studies
The foundation of a musician’s career is private study with an artist in their specialization; consequently, Individual Performance Studies (Music 1200-1223, 3200-3223) are required for seven semesters of a Music Major’s career at UMM.
Note that there is an additional fee for Individual Performance Studies.
- Music 1200-1223 is private lessons for students who have not passed a jury (i.e. students in the early stages of their career at UMM). Each number in the series is designated for a particular instrument or voice.
- Music 3200-3223 is private lessons at the advanced level (i.e. students who have successfully passed a jury). The numbers in the series correspond to the numbers in the 1200 series (i.e. both 1200 and 3200 refer to piano lessons).
- Music Majors are required to take at least two semesters of 3000-level lessons in order to graduate.
These policies apply to all students enrolled in Individual Performance Studies, regardless of their standing as Music Majors, Minors, or Majors in other disciplines.
There are two sections of each Individual Performance Study Course: 001 and 095.
- Continuing students should contact their faculty instructor to receive a permission number, and then enroll in the 001 section.
- New students should enroll in the 095 section, and then contact the faculty instructor via email to obtain a permission number and then use the permission number to enroll in the 001 section.
- Remember that you are not officially enrolled in Individual Performance Studies until you are in the 001 section. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the faculty member for a permission number.
- The 095 section of Individual Performance Studies will be canceled two weeks into the semester.
Once the student is enrolled, they should set up a weekly time with the assigned faculty member.
- Remember that some faculty commute in once a week just for lessons, so be flexible when you are finding time in your schedule.
- Once your lesson time is set, make it a priority! A faculty member who drives three hours to give you a lesson will not appreciate you forgetting a lesson, or arriving unprepared!
For some courses of Individual Performance Studies, there are multiple teachers.
- Music majors will have priority to be assigned to tenured/tenure-track faculty members.
- Piano students will be assigned faculty instructors by Professor DuHamel.
- Voice students who are unsure of which voice instructor to sign up under should contact Professor Hodgson.
All students enrolled in Individual Performance Studies are required to perform a final exam at the end of each semester enrolled.
- Students who perform a half recital, full recital, or jury are exempt from the performance final for that semester.
The final requirements are as follows for various courses.
Voice (Music 1204/3204)
- Students will sing repertoire prepared that semester.
- All repertoire must be memorized.
- The number of songs required will be based on the number of semesters of private voice study.
- First semester students will prepare two songs.
- Second semester students will prepare three songs.
- Third (or more) semester students will prepare four songs.
- Two songs will be performed during the exam, one selected by the student and one randomly selected by the voice faculty.
- If one of the songs is performed on a mixed recital, only one song selected from the remainder of the repertoire will be required for the final exam.
Instrumental (Music 1205-1223/3205-3223)
- Students will perform a work or movement of a work from the standard repertoire of at least four minutes.
- The work must be performed with accompaniment (unless it is unaccompanied).
- A substantial etude, or two shorter etudes of contrasting styles, may be substituted the first semester of study.
- Students are responsible for the following scales. Faculty may on occasion require the performance of scales during the final exam.
- First semester students will master the chromatic scale and all major scales through three sharps and three flats.
- Second semester students will master the chromatic scale, all twelve major scales, and one form of the minor scale through three sharps and three flats.
- Third (or more) semester students will master the chromatic scale, all major scales, and all three forms of the minor scales in all keys.
- Students who are not Music Majors or Music Minors, or who are taking applied lessons on a secondary instrument, are required to master scales as assigned by the instructor. However, it is suggested that the aforementioned schedule of scales be adhered to as closely as possible.
- An instrumental student who performs a solo work on a mixed recital during the semester will be exempt from the final exam.
- Note that all students must perform at the end of their second semester of study, regardless of whether they have performed on a mixed student recital or not.
Keyboards (Music 1200-1203)
- Students will prepare two works from the standard repertoire, one of which must be memorized.
- Scales and technical exercise must be prepared according to the requirements for students who are piano majors, piano minors, fulfilling piano proficiency requirements, or fulfilling the Artistic Performance (Art P) portion of the General Education Requirements.
Gaining accompanying experience is important in the development of competent pianists, and is strongly recommended for piano students by the music faculty.
One credit per semester is offered on a S/N basis for accompanists through Music 1050, contingent upon the student’s accompanying load.
Music students who wish to work with an accompanist are responsible for securing their own accompanists.
- Pianists registered for Music 1050 are to be reimbursed by the soloist $75 per semester for up to 15 hours, and $5 an hour for any hours over 15.
- Larger projects require an additional fee of $25 per half recital or jury, and/or $50 per full recital.
- These fees should be paid in advance during the first week of each semester.
Please see Accompanying Policies on the Opportunities page for a complete discussion of the responsibilities of both accompanists and soloists.
Piano at UMM
Piano is open to all students at UMM! We hope you will join us for some music-making in this academic year and beyond.
In order to place you with the instructor who is the best match for you, all students interested in piano (including all incoming and transfer music majors and minors, and all students registered for MUS 1111 and MUS 1200 sec 095) will need to meet with Prof. Ann DuHamel. Meetings are held during orientation (fall semester), and during registration periods for upcoming semesters (fall and spring semester) in HFA 64; sign up on the bulletin board next to HFA 68.
Please bring to this meeting your completed Incoming Piano Student Info for Placement form. You may also return this form electronically via email to Prof. DuHamel before your meeting.
For students (non-music majors) with no prior piano experience
You do not need to meet with Prof. DuHamel, nor fill out the Incoming Piano Student form. You should register for MUS 1044. This class is designed especially for students like you.
Only students with no previous piano experience should register for this class.
There are two sections of this class. If the class is full, please put your name on the waitlist; typically there are openings the first week of class. If you’ve not been placed into the class by the end of the first day of classes, please contact Prof. DuHamel.
For music majors and minors (primary instrument is not piano) with no prior piano experience
Register for MUS 1111 (Functional Keyboard for the Music Major I). It is strongly recommended you begin this course sequence your first year at UMM.
The goal of the piano proficiency is to demonstrate mastery of technical ability, sight-reading skills, accompaniment skills, and musicianship at the keyboard. This achievement is intended to prepare students for the minimal skills required as professional musicians. All Music Majors must either pass the four semesters of Functional Keyboard for the Music Major (MUS 1111-2, 2111-2) or enroll in MUS 1200 until the piano proficiency exam has been passed. If it will take you longer than two semesters to achieve proficiency via MUS 1200 (and piano is not your primary instrument), it is strongly advised that you register for MUS 1111-1112, 2111-2112.
The piano proficiency exam will be given at the following times:
- Concurrently with finals of fall semester
- Concurrently with finals of spring semester
A committee of 2-3 piano faculty will hear the piano proficiency exams.
The requirements detailed below are a reflection of syllabus requirements for MUS 1200 if you are a music major.
The skills tested on the piano proficiency are dependent on the student’s primary performance medium.
Voice and Instrumental Majors
- Major and harmonic minor scales, two octaves, hands together with correct fingering, sixteenth notes at quarter = 54.
- Major and minor triads and inversions, solid and broken, hands together.
- Major and minor arpeggios, two octaves, hands together, triplets at quarter = 54.
- I – IV – I – V –V7 – I cadence in all keys, with chords in both hands
- Score Reading
- Vocal Major: Sight read two lines of an SATB score
- Instrumental Major: Transpose at sight one instrumental line from a band or orchestra score to C concert pitch.
- Vocal Major: Prepare 3 accompaniments, of which 1 or 2 will be chosen:
- 1 Italian Art Song from 26 Italian Art Songs and Arias or its equivalent;
- 1 Fauré Melodie or its French song equivalent;
- 1 Schubert, Schumann or Mendelssohn Lied (Songs do not have to be in the original key.)
- Instrumental Major: Prepare two pieces, of which 1 will be chosen, of comparable difficulty to those found in Suzuki Violin School Book 2
- Play two piano solos, one of which is memorized, of which the levels are comparable to the Level V repertoire of the MMTA (Minnesota Music Teacher’s Association) syllabus
- Two pieces are required, as the proficiency will occur in lieu of the final for piano lesson that semester.
- Major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales, four octaves, hands together, sixteenth notes at quarter = 144.
- Major and minor triads and inversions, solid and broken, hands together
- Major and minor arpeggios, four octaves, hands together, triplets at quarter = 120 and sixteenth notes = 120.
- I – IV – viio – iii – VI – ii – V7 – I cadences in any major key, roots in the left hand are acceptable;
- i – VI – iv – iio – i64 – V7 – i cadences in any minor key, roots in the left hand are acceptable.
- Sight-read a piece of comparable difficulty to those found in Level VII of the MMTA (Minnesota Music Teacher’s Association) syllabus
- The accompaniment portion of the proficiency will be waived for keyboard majors with the completion of 4 successful semesters of MUS 1050 or MUS 1201
- Play two memorized piano solos from the standard repertoire
- Two pieces required, as the proficiency will occur in lieu of the final for piano lesson that semester.
For music minors whose primary performance medium is not piano
Piano proficiency consists of four semesters of piano lessons or the Functional Keyboard for Music Majors sequence (MUS 1111-2, 2111-2).
For music minors whose primary performance medium is piano
In addition to the required 4 credits of MUS 1200, proficiency is intended to further your musicianship by practicing alternate performance mediums. Students are required to take four credits of the following:
- Individual Performance Studies on a different instrument
- Additional semesters of Individual Performance Studies - piano (MUS 1200)
- Accompanying (MUS 1201 or MUS 1050)
- Large Ensemble experience (MUS 1300, 1310, 1320, 1330)
- Any combination of the above
Goals and Purpose
The purpose of UMM’s accompanying policies is twofold:
- To provide pianistic support for students in Individual Performance Studies who require pianists;
- To provide opportunities for Piano Majors and Piano Minors to acquire and enhance collaborative piano skills.
- Piano Majors are required to take 4 semesters of MUS 1050 toward achieving piano proficiency;
- Piano Minors have the option of taking up to 4 semesters of MUS 1050 toward achieving piano proficiency.
- There are a limited number of accompanists available.
- Accompanists are assigned based on a number of variables, including difficulty of the repertoire and priority of the request. Prioritization is as follows:
- Recitals/Senior Projects
- Mixed Recitals and Competitions (e.g., NATS)
- You will be more likely to secure an accompanist by completing the Accompanist Request Form [Insert link to Accompanist Request Form.doc] and returning it to Prof. Ann DuHamel by the deadline: Friday of the 3rd week of classes at 5 p.m. If you are performing a spring semester recital, return this form fall semester prior to the recital.
- A student accompanist cannot be guaranteed if the form is not turned in by the deadline.
- Every effort will be made to match pianists to the demands of the repertoire. Assignments are made after all on-time Accompanist Request Forms have been received.
Responsibilities of vocalists/instrumentalists
- Complete the Accompanist Request Form in conjunction with your studio teacher and return it to Prof. DuHamel by the deadline.
- Include/attach originals or readable photocopies of the piano parts with your request.
- Check to see that all notes (including in bass clef) are on any photocopied page.
- If music is not included, you may not receive an accompanist assignment until it is submitted.
- Notify immediately both Prof. DuHamel and your accompanist if there are any changes in repertoire.
- All music must be received by the accompanist at least 2 weeks before the first rehearsal.
- Your accompanist may refuse any music that is given with less than 4 weeks to performance.
- Schedule rehearsals with your accompanist; rehearsals should be scheduled at least 1 week in advance.
- Check any recital, hearing, jury, competition, or other performance dates with your accompanist before scheduling it.
- Students performing in recitals, juries, mixed recitals, or NATS should plan to attend MUS 1050: Accompanying workshop (weekly, Thursday, 6 p.m., HFA Recital Hall), in the weeks leading up to the performance. The schedule for the semester will be posted no later than the 4th week of classes. Rehearse with your accompanist at least twice before bringing pieces to workshop.
- See below for suggested payment schedule.
Responsibilities of pianists
- You are expected to show up prepared for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals.
- Respond to email and other communication with collaborators, their professors, and Professor DuHamel in a professional and timely manner. Clear and prompt communication about rehearsals, repertoire, performances, etc. is essential and is necessary on everyone’s part. Always strive to solve any communication issues with collaborators first. If that doesn’t work, please contact professors to help.
- Prepare well and consistently for all collaborative engagements (lessons, rehearsals, and performances). Do not sight read in rehearsal or lessons. Irresponsibility in attendance, preparedness, and performance will result in the forfeiture of rights to be paid or receive a passing grade.
- See below for rehearsal etiquette.
- Check with studio instructors of students you are accompanying to see if they have specific requests of you.
- Keep track of the amount of hours/lessons/rehearsals. Agree with your collaborators beforehand on rehearsal dates and times.
- Maintaining a dedicated log for tracking each person’s music, rehearsals, lessons, hours, and payment is effective.
- You have the right to refuse to play any music that is given to you with less than 4 weeks to learn it.
- Notify your collaborators immediately if there are any issues.
Allocation of Hours/Remuneration
Suggested costs for student accompanists are included here.
- Students in MUS 1050/1201/3201 are receiving both grade and credit for these courses, meaning the rates are not as high as what professional collaborative pianists charge.
- Typically at UMM, accompanists receive $75 for ‘basic’ services. This has been updated in Fall 2012 to include 10 half-hour services:
- 4 half-hour lessons
- 6 half-hour rehearsals; at least 2 rehearsals should occur before the first lesson
- MUS 1050, Accompanying workshop, does NOT count as a rehearsal
- The final
- One of these basic services may be used to play for a mixed recital. You must have at least 2 lessons with the studio teacher before a mixed recital.
- Additional fees may be charged for other events, such as:
- Additional rehearsals, including dress rehearsals ($15/hour; prorated accordingly)
- NATS performance ($25 for audition)
- Juries or half recital ($35)
- Full recital ($60)
- Payment: ½ of the total payment is due at the first rehearsal; ½ due prior to the start of the event (jury, recital, etc.)
- Non-student accompanists (e.g., professionals in the community) set their own rates. Vocalists and instrumentalists who contract with them are responsible for meeting their terms.
Responsibilities of vocalists/instrumentalists
- Show up on time for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals. If you need to change a rehearsal or lesson time, contact your pianist immediately.
- Be prepared for your rehearsals. You should know your notes, rhythms, and words (if applicable). Do not expect your pianist to teach you your part.
- Know your translation (by the first rehearsal) if applicable. Give your pianist the translation by week 5. A great resource is: http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/
- Plan to have all repertoire performance ready at least three weeks before the event.
Responsibilities of pianists
- Accompanists are always expected to act in a professional manner; this includes learning the music in a timely manner and responding to all communication re: MUS 1050.
- Show up on time for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals.
- Schedule for learning music:
- 1st rehearsal:
- have all correct notes and rhythms learned;
- be able to play at a steady tempo from beginning to end;
- during rehearsal find out locations of all breath marks;
- have all photocopies secured in a black binder.
- 2nd rehearsal:
- be at or closer to the goal tempo.
- 3rd rehearsal:
- be able to summarize the translation (if applicable) and understand how the piano part contributes to the musical storytelling;
- be able to play at tempo.
- 4th rehearsal:
- be able to follow all musical directives in the score;
- be able to follow your musical partner.
- All repertoire must be performance ready at least three weeks before the event.
- 1st rehearsal:
Performance Etiquette for Accompanists
- Dress properly for performances. All-black dress clothes are always safe. If you wear a dress or a skirt, make sure it covers your knees when you sit down, and wear hose or tights – no bare legs on stage.
- Be sure to wear shoes that are thin-soled for pedaling. Practice walking on and off stage in your performance shoes at the dress rehearsal.
- Adjust your own bench height if needed when you walk out onto stage.
- Carry your own binder on to the stage. If you are using photocopies, they must be in a black binder. Do not use loose copies on stage.
- Bow with the performer at the beginning and at the end of the performance. Practice this during your dress rehearsal. The soloist will walk on and off first.
- If you need a page turner for a performance, you are responsible for setting this up. Have your page turner at the dress rehearsal. The page turner walks on and off after the pianist. It is acceptable for the page turner to bring the black binder off stage after the performance.
In addition to the ongoing academic assessment that students undergo regularly through coursework and associated projects, Music Majors undergo regular assessment of their performance skills to ensure they are progressing at an appropriate pace. There are three major points at which performance ability is assessed: the end of the second semester of lessons, the jury, and the senior recital.
In order to facilitate feedback for students, all three performance milestones are evaluated using the Performance Assessment Rubric. The rubric lists the aspects of music performance that the faculty evaluate. Sudents are scored according to their success with these criteria.
- Musical Elements: Pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, language skills (if applicable), accuracy
- Command of Instrument: Technique, tone, quality, intonation (if applicable)
- Presentation: Phrasing, musical style, ensemble, stage presence, appropriate literature, memorization (if applicable)
In order to successfully complete each milestone, students must earn a minimum score. As we expect students to improve over their career at UMM, these minimum scores increase at each milestone.
- End of second semester: 12
- Jury: 21
- Senior Recital: 30
At each milestone, students will be given feedback and their scores using the Performance Assessment Form. One copy of the form will be given to the student for their portfolio, and the other will be filed
The End of Second Semester
The first performance assessment takes place at the end of a student’s second semester of lessons.
- Students should perform the repertoire that is expected of them for their Individual Performance Studies final (see above).
- One copy of the form will be filed with the Music Discipline, while one copy of the form will be given to the student. The student should keep their copy for their portfolio (see Music 4901: Senior Project on the Curriculum page for more information).
- The End of Second Semester milestone is a checkpoint to inform students if they are making appropriate progress to pass a jury in two semesters, or if their progress is insufficient to accomplish that goal. While students may continue in the major even if they do not pass the End of Second Semester, it is an indication that the student may require extra work before they can pass a jury.
The second performance assessment is the jury, which generally takes place at the end of a student’s second year, or during a student’s third year. The jury determines if students are ready to enroll in the advanced level of Individual Performance Studies (Music 3200-3223).
Students may perform a jury if they are enrolled in their fourth (or later) semester of lessons.
- Remember that Music Majors are required to take at least two semesters of advanced Individual Performance Studies, so you will need to pass the jury by the end of your third year if you wish to graduate in four years.
- Plan carefully – you will want the opportunity to take your jury again if needed, so do not wait until the end of your third year to perform a jury.
Requirements for the jury
- Students should prepare a mini-recital of twenty minutes of music.
- At the discretion of the Individual Performance Studies instructor, the repertoire should include three different time periods.
- Vocal and Piano students must memorize their repertoire.
- Vocal Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in three languages (English may be used as one of the three).
- In addition to the performance, students should be prepared to answer questions about their future plans at UMM and what they intend to do with their degree.
Juries should be scheduled at least four weeks in advance and must take place in the regular fall or spring semester, not during finals week.
- Juries are generally scheduled during normal faculty meetings times, which for the academic year 2009–2010 will take place Thursday mornings, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Individual Performance Studies instructors are asked to attend the juries of their students, if at all possible.
Students will be informed immediately following their jury if they have passed or not.
- If a student does not pass their jury, the faculty may suggest a course of action for the student to take in order to pass their jury upon their next attempt.
The Senior Recital
The third and final assessment of a student’s performance abilities at UMM is the senior recital. Please see Senior/Half Recitals for more information and requirements.
- Note that students pursuing a teaching license are required to perform at least a half recital in their primary performance medium to demonstrate mastery of that medium.
Secondary Performance Area
Students who are pursuing teaching licensure are also required to demonstrate proficiency in a secondary area.
- For instrumental students, this means competency in another family of instruments.
- For Vocal Licensure, this means an instrument of any of the families.
- Vocal Licensure students whose main performance medium is keyboard or guitar must demonstrate secondary proficiency in voice.
Normally, one or two successive semesters of study in the secondary medium is an adequate effort leading to secondary performance competency. Formal study in the secondary area is optional.
The important criterion is demonstrating proficiency. While criteria for proficiency can be determined in consultation with the studio instructor in that medium, proficiency is generally demonstrated in one of the following ways:
- A full or half recital in the secondary medium.
- At least two solo pieces of contrasting styles in the secondary medium for a faculty panel.
Proficiency will be determined by the studio instructor in the secondary medium and at least one other faculty member present at the performance/s. Students who opt for the faculty hearing rather than a recital should find at least two faculty members to serve on the panel, one of whom should be the studio instructor in the secondary medium.
Students may also petition the music faculty to allow successful performance with a large ensemble for at least four semesters in the secondary medium count for this requirement.