Departmental Guidelines & Procedures

Music Minors

Students wishing to pursue a music minor should contact the full-time faculty advisor within their primary instrument, i.e. Dr. Shook (Piano), Prof. Kirk (Winds & Percussion), Dr. Peterson (Strings), Prof. Knodle (Voice). Specific requirements are outlined in the college catalog. After completing requirements for the music minor, students are welcomed to enroll in at least one large ensemble each semester.

Majors, Minors & Transfer Students

Students entering the music curriculum are required to have an audition and a musicianship evaluation prior to matriculation.

Diagnostic Exams

Upon acceptance into the music program all incoming music majors including transfer students are required to take a diagnostic exam in music theory, music history, and piano within the first two weeks of their first semester. These exams will be scheduled with Dr. Shook (piano), Dr. Peterson (music theory), and Prof. Kirk (music history). 

Email Communication Policy

As a divisional goal for both faculty and students it is expected that email will be the primary means of communication within the performing arts division. It is expected that all students will reply to email within 24 hours of receiving the email on a weekday Monday – Thursday, and 48 hours on a weekend Friday – Sunday. Faculty will then also respect this guideline and will reply to student email in a timely fashion.

Music Scholarships

Monetary support is offered to students interested in music participation. Auditions are required of new students. Scholarship amounts vary depending on ability and level of involvement. Students receiving scholarships in music are expected to exhibit exemplary attitudes, commitment, and enthusiasm. They are expected to fully participate in designated activities with model records of attendance, preparation, and performance. Students with the highest scholarship awards are expected to volunteer for work hours as needs and projects arise throughout the department.

Instrument Rental

A limited number of musical instruments are available for rent through the Music Department. Students will be responsible for upkeep and returning instruments in a condition equal to or better than the condition when checked out. All instruments must be returned for inspection no later than May 1. The fee is $80.00 for the academic year to be paid to the Performing Arts Faculty Assistant. The rental fee covers annual maintenance and chemical cleaning to maintain the instrument in Good Playing Condition (GPC).

Enrolling in Music Ensembles above 18 hours

All ensemble participants are required to register for ensembles. When your semester credit load is already 18 hours you should enroll for zero credit in the music ensembles, for less than 18 hours you should enroll for 1 credit in music ensembles until 18 credits is reached.

Applied Private Lessons

It is your responsibility to contact your instructor in private applied lessons prior to or during the first week of the semester to schedule lesson appointments. Do not expect your instructor to contact you. If you fail to contact your instructor during the first week, the lesson will not be made up. If you do not know the name of your private instructor contact a Music Department Chair for that information.

All students should register for the correct credit option approved by their applied lesson instructor. For example, a student taking private piano lessons for a half hour, or .5 credits, would register for MUS 230M, Section A. Students taking a 1 hour lesson, or 1, 2 or 3 credits, would sign up for MUS 230M subsection A1, A2, or A3 respectively. Consult your advisor if you have any questions. All applied lesson students are also expected to perform in atleastone performance class in Performance Forum as part of their applied lesson grade, unless students are exempt by their applied lesson teacher in the first semester of study.



If, because of illness or some other valid reason, the student must miss a lesson, the instructor should be notified in advance. This notice must be given in person, by phone call, or by email to the instructor in advance. Occasionally the teacher is prevented from being at the scheduled lesson. In such cases the lesson is rescheduled at the convenience of the teacher and the student. 

The teacher is obligated to make up a lesson in two cases only: 

1. The teacher misses a lesson for any reason. 

2. The student gives notice 24 hours in advance with good reason (e.g., illness or death in the family.) 

* The teacher may choose to make up a lesson for other reasons but is not obligated to do so. 

Performance skills are taught through private studio lessons. The final grade given each semester is an evaluation of work done and progress made in both lessons and juries. Unexcused absences from lessons will be reflected in the semester grade.

Applied Examination (Juries) Guidelines

Performance examinations “juries” occur during finals week at the end of each semester, and are adjudicated by the music faculty. All students, who are enrolled in applied music study are required to take a jury examination in each of their applied areas. 

* Students may be exempt from a jury examination their first semester of applied study, with their instructor’s approval, to focus on building their technical and musical facilities. 

A student who has performed a half or full departmental recital within six weeks of the jury date may be excused from the semester jury exam, with the approval of the applied instructor and the music faculty. 

All B.A. Music & B. Mus. Music Education majors are required to select a minimum of three pieces, or 6-8 minutes of music, from their repertoire studied each semester in their applied lessons for jury examinations. All B. Mus Performance majors are required to select a minimum of 4 pieces, or 8-10 minutes of music, from their repertoire studied each semester in their applied lessons for jury examinations. All non-majors and minors are required to select at least two pieces in contrasting styles, or 4-6 minutes of music, from their repertoire studied each semester in their applied lessons for jury examinations. Exceptions need to be approved by the applied instructor and the music faculty.  

Each student performing a jury is required to obtain and complete the jury examination form found on the Departmental Website. These must be turned in to the Performing Arts Faculty Assistant no later than the last day of classes each semester. Each student should bring multiple copies of the jury form, two for secondary juries and six for major juries.

The music faculty determine a grade, which are recorded on the Jury Examination Rubrics, along with comments about the performance. Each original copy of the completed jury rubrics are placed in the student's permanent file in the Performing Arts Office. 

The focus of the music faculty portion of the grade is the jury performance alone. The instructor’s portion of the grade reflects the work of the student in lessons throughout the semester.

Grades will be

100-97A+       96-93 A     92-90 A-         
89-87    B+     86-83 B     82-80 B-          
79-77   C+      76-73 C     72-70 C-         
69-67   D+      66-65 D
65-0     F

Major Grade:
50% Instructor Grade
 50% Music Faculty Jury Grade

Secondary Applied Music Grade:
75% Instructor Grade
25% Music Faculty Jury Grade

Music Major and Minor Interviews

Interviews with music faculty are required of all music majors and minors by faculty request. These interviews are designed to provide opportunities for communication, support, and encouragement throughout all students’ undergraduate experience. During the interview, academic programs, career plans, etc. may be reviewed. Students are encouraged to bring issues of concern and questions regarding your major, future plans, etc. during your interview.

Performance Forum

Classes and recitals provide opportunities to develop performance skills for music majors & minors, musical theatre majors, and students taking private instruction on an applied instrument. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the ability to critique performances and provide effective written and verbal feedback. Concert attendance outside of class time is required each semester of residence for music education majors, but is not required during the student teacher semester. All students studying privately, and all music majors and minors are required to attend the events listed below.


































Handbook & syllabus, attendance, schedule











Honors Recital – 7:00pm 










Adjudication Sheets/Delivering
Feedback/Bring your computer










Performance Class 1









Performance Class 2










Performance Class 3










Performance Class 4










Performance Class 5










No Class - Homecoming










Performance Class 6









Performance Class 7









Performance Class 8








Performance Class 9








No Class - Thanksgiving








Performance Class 10








No Class – Jury Prep







Juries (Majors)


































Welcome Back & Syllabus








No Class - KCACTF








Honors Recital – 7:00pm








Performance Class 1








Performance Class 2








Performance Class 3








No Class - KMEA








Performance Class 4








Performance Class 5








No Class – Spring Break








Performance Class 6








Performance Class 7








Performance Class 8








Performance Class 9








No Class – Good Friday








Performance Class 10








No Class – Jury Prep








Juries (Majors)




















            Concert Attendance is a portion of both Performance Forum and PREP 499. It is designed to encourage the building of professionalism, aesthetic appreciation, audience deportment, and create a collegial experience among performing arts majors and minors. These goals are accomplished through attendance at various concerts, performance forum, studio classes, and departmental recitals.

Concert Attendance is required for eight semesters by all Bachelor of Arts in Music, Music Performance majors, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre; seven semesters for Music Education Majors; and four semesters by all Music Minors.

In order to receive a satisfactory grade in Performance Forum each semester all students will:

Attend all Performance Forum classes. No more than two absences may occur each semester. Please discuss possible make-up work or projects with the Performance Forum Instructor.

  • Attend all Senior Recitals within the Performing Arts Division.

In order to receive a satisfactory grade in PREP 499 and qualify for degree completion all music majors must have attended 144 concert hours (18 hours per semester), by the semester they enroll in PREP 499. By attending all performance classes and recitals in Performance Forum each semester students fulfill 80 of those concert hours (10 per semester). 



  • Music Education students must have attended 126 concerts hours (18 hours per semester), which includes 70 Performance Forum hours (10 per semester), by the semester they enroll in PREP 499 if they are student teaching during their eighth semester. For students not student teaching during their eighth semester they must fulfill the full 144 concert hours. 


  • Transfer students entering in their junior year and Music Minors must have attended 72 concert hours (18 hours per semester), which includes 40 Performance Forum hours (10 per semester), by the semester they enroll in PREP 499. All other transfer students will have adjusted requirements depending on their starting year/semester.


Students who do not receive a satisfactory in this requirement will not be approved to the registrar for graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill this obligation. 

Each concert that is attended will count as one concert hour; to be counted students should hand in programs and a list of attended concerts to their advisor at the end of each semester to stay on track with this requirement. Music Minors should turn in programs to their area instructor.

The following concerts are accepted as one concert hour credit (to be counted you must attend the entire concert/production):


  • All SC & SC Sponsored concerts. (Excluding performance classes and student recitals associated with Performance Forum which are accounted for through attendance) 


  • All Junior & Senior recitals (required for Performance Forum)


  • All concerts held at other Colleges and Universities; for example, programs at WSU, Friends, Cowley, Bethel, etc.


  • Concerts held in the Regional area; for example, church concerts, chamber music series, Wichita Symphony concerts (tickets available from the Performing Arts Office), musical theatre productions, public school concerts, etc.


  • Non-classical concerts by professionals that pertain to your area of study including and not limited to: Folk Ensembles, Popular/Rock Concerts, Contemporary A Cappella Concerts, Cabarets, etc.


  • Any concert you attend at a festival, tour, or conference that has a program would count as one concert hour. For example, hearing a five concerts at KMEA would count as five concert hours if you have all five programs. 


** There may be exceptions granted. If you have concerns about a concert not being accepted as credit, 

seek approval from your advisor previous to attending the concert. Your advisor will bring it to the music faculty and determine if the event is appropriate and what written response, if any, is required.

** Please read the bulletin board outside the Performing Arts Office for upcoming recitals, concerts, and other important announcements.


Performance Class & Honor’s Recital Performances (Performance Forum)

Students wanting to perform on a Friday Performance Class should sign up on the sheets outside the PAD office. Student’s nominated to perform in an Honor’s recital for Performance Forum should fill out the “Information for Recital Program” form found outside the PAD office.  The form is due no later than two days prior to the student recital to the Performing Arts Faculty Assistant. Students performing on performance class days for Performance Forum do not need to complete the form. 

When scheduling recitals and practice sessions in Messenger Recital Hall or Richardson Auditorium, the time and date must be scheduled through the PAD Office.           

All students taking applied lessons must perform in at least one performance class each semester in Performance Forum. Applied students in the first semester of study may be exempt from this requirement with permission of their applied teacher. 




            Students should wear formal attire(dresses for women, suit with shirt and tie for men) when performing in performance class, recitals, and juries.



Student & Professional Organizations






ToneBuilders is the student organization within the Music Department. Its mission is to construct and enhance the musical experience of the students at Southwestern College. The organization embodies this through community outreach, on-campus projects, and divisional collaboration. 

Music majors and transfer students must be an active member in Tone Builders every year beginning their second year of study at Southwestern. 

Highlights of Membership Responsibilities:

  • Ensemble Participation: Student must be involved in a year’s worth of at least one ensemble, or private lessons within the Music Department and/or The Community Music School at Southwestern College.


  • Service Component: Students must fulfill 10 service components during the year that benefits the Performing Arts, or some other pre-approved service component.


  • Music majors must be involved with a professional organization, Professional Organizations include: (NAfME, MTNA, ACDA, ASTA, PAS, etc.) 


  • Music Minors should be involved with a professional organization OR take a music credit, OR add 2 more service components. 


  • Participants should be involved with a professional organization OR add 2 service components, OR add another ensemble. 





Music majors are requiredto have membership in at least one professional organization each year after their freshmen year. 

B. MUS., in Music Education major calls for membership in a professional organization in their emphasis area. These can include: National Association for Music Education (NAfME), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Musical Teachers National Association (MTNA), NAfME Collegiate, American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Percussive Arts Society (PAS). B. A. & B. Mus. in Performance students should choose the professional organization in consultation with their applied instructor.

Scheduling Rehearsal Time in Messenger Recital Hall

Students preparing for a Senior Recital shall not schedule more than six hours a week as practice time on Messenger Stage.

Students preparing for a Student Recital shall not schedule more than one hour a week as practice time on Messenger Stage. 

Students may practice on stage anytime it has not been reserved. Flexibility and courtesy should be exercised at all times.

Accompanying Policy – Vocal and Instrumental


It is the responsibility of both the instructor and each student to contact Dr. Shook within the first two weeks of each semester to discuss accompanist needs. In addition, individual lesson times should be verified with the accompanist to ensure availability. Students enrolled in applied lessons for voice, brass, woodwinds, percussion or strings should arrange to have an accompanist for recitals, juries, and lessons at the instructor’s request. 


Student obligations:


  1. All music needs to be given to your accompanist the week it is solidified with your applied instructor, no later than the third week of each semester. 


  1. If you must miss a lesson, please notify your accompanist and instructor at least 24 hours in advance.


  1. Each student is allotted seven hours of practice time with your accompanist including lesson times. If you are interested in additional practice time with your accompanist (beyond the regular 7 hour or 14 half-hour lessons during the semester), you may arrange additional time at the discretion of the accompanist. You will be responsible for paying for this time directly to the accompanist at $15.00/hour.


  1. Students presenting required degree recitals may utilize an additional five hours of accompaniment time in preparation for the recital, paid for by the department.


Private Lesson Fee


Private study is an exciting opportunity for one-on-one instruction. SC is committed to providing a host of alternatives in this area. To offset the various costs associated with private lessons, including faculty salaries (adjunct & full-time), accompanist fees, etc., students enrolled in private lessons will be assessed $250.00 per credit hour of applied study.


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