Advisory Statements & Policies

Space limitations do not permit inclusion of many specific policies and regulations in the Programs and Courses Catalog. Therefore, it has become necessary for the School of Music to publish these items separately (see below). Those which follow attempt to answer general questions and to provide explanations of topics of general concern.

Music Majors - When is a Freshman a Music Major?

Students who have successfully auditioned for acceptance as a music major and who are taking an applied music course for two hours credit plus are registered for Theory 1, Aural Training 1, Sight Singing 1, Large Ensemble, and Piano or Group Piano are considered music majors. Formal declaration of major occurs earlier for music students than for other majors on campus. Changes in declaration can be made with advisor approval.

Applied Music

All music majors must be enrolled in applied music at the concentration level during the freshman year - two (2) credit hours. Students who are permitted to take additional applied lessons in an area other than the concentration will normally register for one (1) credit hours. Those taking applied music for two credit hours will receive two half-hour lessons or one 1-hour lesson per week. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange a lesson time with the instructor.

Music Organizations and Ensembles

All music majors are required to be registered for a large organization each semester of full-time residence. For purposes of satisfying this requirement, the following ensembles qualify as large organizations:

These organizations are open to all university students, by audition. Music majors receive one (1) credit for each ensemble, up to a total of sixteen (16) over a four-year period. A maximum of two ensemble credits per semester will be allowed. A maximum of 7-8 credit hours may be counted toward the minimum requirements for the degree.

Freshman Music Core Requirement

All students who have been admitted to the School of Music and wish to pursue a music major curriculum should take the following courses during the freshman year:

^Theory 1*,2 4 hours
^Aural Training 1, 2 2 hours
^Sight Singing 1, 2 2 hours
Applied Music (2,2) 4 hours
Ensembles (1,1) 2 hours
Liberal Arts Core 18-20 hours

* Some students may need to take Introduction to Theory prior to Theory 1.
^ Denotes co-requisite courses (taken simultaneously).

Music Theory

On the first day of classes at UNI, freshman music majors/minors will take a diagnostic test in Music Theory fundamentals.  The results of this test will help determine which section of Music Theory would be appropriate for your skill level.

The link below will allow you to download a PDF of a sample of this diagnostic.  We encourage you to complete this test to help you determine if your theory skills may need sharpening. 

Click here for a sample of the diagnostic examination: page 1 page 2 page 3

Click here for the answer sheet to the sample diagnostic examination.

Click here for suggested knowledge base for Theory 1 courses.

Aural Training and Sight-Singing

We use the following systems for singing pitches and counting rhythmic syllables:

  1. Solfege, utilizing a “fixed do” approach. 
  2. In this system, the pitch C (C’s in all octaves) is always sung as do. If we sing in the key of D major, the tonic (first) pitch will be sung as re. Each pitch of the chromatic scale carries its own unchanging syllable.  The link below contains a diagram of the chromatic solfege syllables utilized at UNI.

    Click here for a sample of the solfege syllables utilized at UNI.

  3. Rhythmic Syllables
  4. A vocabulary of syllables corresponding to specific rhythmic durations is learned and combined with conducting as a means of improving rhythmic-reading abilities.  Click on the link below to download more information about the rhythmic syllables utilized at UNI.

    Click here for a sample of the rhythmic syllables utilized at UNI.

The following resources may also be helpful in preparing for Theory 1.

  1. Harder and Steinke, Basic Materials in Music Theory, A Programmed Course, 12th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009
  2. Website:  www.musictheory.net
  3. Website:  www.teoria.com

Computer Resources

A computer lab with 23 iMac workstations and keyboards is available to all students in the Russell Hall music building. 

We currently use the MacGamut 6 software as a component of the Aural Training courses.  In addition, we have many other software titles housed on the CHFA (College of Humanities & Fine Arts) server.  Among these are the industry standard notation programs, Finale and Sibelius.

Piano Proficiency

Piano proficiency is required of all music majors. Most freshmen should enroll in group piano class or applied piano continuously (semester by semester) until the piano proficiency examination has been passed. See further stipulations in the NOTES listed on each degree's Plan of Study.

Conducting Course Pre-Requisites

Students must have completed the Theory/Aural Training/Sight-Singing sequence before enrolling in Conducting 1. Students must have received a grade of C or better in Conducting 1 before enrolling in Conducting 2.

Recital Attendance

All music majors who are registered for 12 hours or more (full-time) are required to attend 8 approved recitals during each of the Fall and Spring semesters.
Part-time majors will attend in the following manner:

Student LoadRecitals
9-11 hour load 6 recitals
6-8 hour load 4 recitals
below 6 hours no requirements

Students may secure their Recital Cards from their Applied Music Instructor. These recital cards must be stamped at the time(s) and place(s) designated each semester. The recital cards must be retained until the end of the semester and turned in with the jury card at jury time. It is the student's responsibility to retain the card. If it is lost, the student must begin the attendance pattern anew.

Failure to achieve the minimum number of recitals in any semester will result in a deficiency. This deficiency requires that a grade of Incomplete be filed for the Applied Music concentration. Grades of incomplete convert to an "F" automatically after six months have passed. The deficiency in recital attendance should be removed at the beginning of the subsequent semester by attending "extra" recitals.

School of Music sponsored recitals/concerts and programs involving the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra qualify for recital attendance credit. A printed program must be presented to the applied instructor to receive credit for these concerts and recitals.

It is hoped that all students will view the recital attendance policy as an encouragement to enjoy the various performances sponsored by the School of Music.

Practice Room Policy

Practice rooms are for the use of university students with priority in scheduling given to music majors. Any practice room vacated for more than five (5) minutes may be considered unoccupied, whether or not equipment and/or study materials have been left by a previous occupant. most "reserved" practice rooms, such as percussion, piano, etc. require a key. These keys will have to be arranged for through your instructor and the music Secretary.

Please see additional practice room policies here.

Studio Changes

Requests for studio changes should be made directly to the Director of the School of Music or the Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies at any time during the academic year.

Spring Registration

All freshmen must consult with their advisor prior to registering for classes for the Spring semester. Registration will begin in mid-November and end in early December. Advisor names and registration times are listed in your MyUniverse Portal. ALL changes in class schedules and registration must be approved by your major advisor.

Wind and Percussion Majors - Ensemble Audition

All full-time wind and percussion music majors are required to audition for a major ensemble each semester - regardless of preference for ensembles. Each student must audition even though he/she may be planning to play only in Marching Band or Jazz One. Auditions will be heard by a panel of music faculty to include conductors of the major ensembles and members of the applied faculty. Audition dates and times for each semester will be posted on the School of Music Homepage and on the bulletin board outside Davis Hall. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are present for these auditions! If you have not received an audition time, please contact the Music Office at 319-273-2025 to be connected to the appropriate faculty member.

Music Scholarship Opportunity

Eligible music majors who have not received a music scholarship may audition for a continuing student scholarship. Information is listed under the Music portion of the UNIversity Scholarship Application for Undergraduate Students maintained by the UNI Financial Aid Office.

Harpsichord Use Policy

To view the current policy related to use of the UNI harpsichord, click here.

Building Access Policy

To view the current policy related to School of Music building access, click here.

Graduation Check/Record Analysts

Attention Juniors and Seniors:

Working toward graduation and want to be sure that you are on the right track? Plan a time to meet with your Record Analyst in the Registrar's Office. Record Analysts are assigned to specific majors (find yours here: www.uni.edu/registrar/students/current-students/record-analysts). If you are a double-major, visit the Record Analyst of your first major. Analysts are available for walk-in visits Monday-Friday between 12:30-4:30 p.m. Check in at the Office of the Registrar, 115 Gilchrist Hall and you'll be directed from there.

Please plan your graduation check visit PRIOR to advanced registration. Registration times are the busiest for Record Analysts and student may experience much longer wait times when attempting a visit during that time.

If you have questions, or if you'd like to request a graduation check, contact the Registrar's Office at registrar@uni.edu.