Applied Music Policies
The School of Music offers lessons on five levels of intensity: Performance Major, Principal, Minor, Secondary and Elective. The Performance Major level is for the student whose primary interest is performance. It requires a high level of accomplishment. The Principal level is the primary performing level of B.M. candidates in Church Music, Commercial Music, Music Education, Musical Theatre, Piano Pedagogy, Theory, Composition, Music Major with an outside Minor, as well as for B.A. and B.F.A. candidates in Music. The Secondary level is the required second area of performance for B.M. and B.F.A. music candidates. Piano is the required secondary unless piano or organ is the principal.
Elective study is available to all students of the university, if faculty loads permit. No audition or jury exam is required of elective students. In addition to the private lessons, applied study for the major and principal includes weekly seminars; classes in technique, literature, diction, styles, improvisation, and pedagogy; and recital participation and attendance. Minor study includes seminars and recital participation and attendance only.
Principals and majors have three courses of supportive nature:
- Seminar – Required each semester enrolled in Applied Principal.
- Technique/Literature/Styles/Pedagogy – A series of courses in literature, styles, diction, and pedagogy related to the student’s applied principal.
- Recital/Workshop Attendance – Students must enroll and successfully complete seven semesters of MUG 2000, Recital/Workshop Attendance. Students enrolled attend a prescribed number of recitals and concerts and all master classes/seminars in their major applied area. A syllabus which includes specific requirements is distributed at the beginning of each semester; syllabi are also available in the Music Office and online (through Blackboard website).
- Juries. Music majors and minors must perform for the faculty each semester in their applied principal performing area, the equivalent of a final examination in lecture courses. Students who are taking applied study for elective credit are not required to audition or to take a jury. Students who wish to apply elective credit toward major or minor requirements, to move from a classical to a commercial principal, from a B.A. to a B.M. program, or from principal to performance major status must audition at jury time.
Sophomore Technical. At the end of the second year of classical applied study, or the first semester at Belmont for a student transferring four or more semesters of applied principal credit, the Sophomore Technical exam must be taken. The technical is a part of the Admission to Junior Standing. The student must demonstrate technical mastery of the principal instrument through performance, appropriate literature, technical studies and/or verbalization of technical understanding.
If the Sophomore Technical is not passed, the student may retake the Technical Exam once. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, the student may not continue in that principal area as a music major.
Commercial Music majors with voice, keyboard, wind, string or percussion principals must demonstrate facility in classical literature and styles as a part of the Sophomore Technical Exam.
Departmental Recital Requirements: All music majors must perform on a Departmental Recital during their Junior Year (3000-level applied study).
Recital Requirements. Performance majors in the Bachelor of Music degree and Performance emphasis under the Commercial Music major will give a half recital (25 minutes) in the junior year and full recital (50 minutes) in the senior year. All other majors will give a half recital in the senior year. A faculty hearing is required two weeks prior to the recital. All majors and minors must perform in their applied principal on Departmental Student Recital on a schedule specified in the School of Music Handbook.
Secondary Requirement. The study in the applied secondary is intended to establish functional usage on a practical level. To best accomplish this, a class approach is usually employed which allows the student two hours per week in directed study. Students with a strong background in the secondary applied may request private study. Piano is the required secondary instrument, unless the principal performing area is piano or organ. Voice is the required secondary area for keyboard principals majoring in Church Music and Music Education (vocal licensure). Keyboard principals in other majors may select their secondary from one of the approved secondary areas and must complete four semesters of study in that area.
Piano Proficiency Exam. All music majors must pass the Piano Proficiency Exam demonstrating functional use of the piano. Scales, chord progressions, harmonization of given melodies, improvisation, sight reading, as well as repertoire are included in the exam. Students must continue to study piano until the Piano Proficiency Exam is passed. Successful completion of this exam is a requirement for scheduling the student's senior recital.
Commercial Music Study. The opportunity to study the performance, composition and arranging of Commercial Music is a distinctive of Belmont's School of Music. A major in Commercial Music under the Bachelor of Music degree is an intensive program of study with specialization in Commercial Music built on a strong classical music base. Students pursuing classical music majors – Classical Performance, Church Music, Music Education, Musical Theatre, Piano Pedagogy, Music with an Outside Minor, Theory, and Composition – may also elect study in Commercial Music.
Recitals and Concerts
Many opportunities to hear and perform all types of music exist in the Nashville area. The School of Music presents student, faculty, and guest artist recitals. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra and other local arts organizations often offer discounts to Belmont University students. Other educational institutions and theaters in the city offer additional cultural experiences.