Individual Practical Study Information Package

Welcome to the Music Department. Below you will find information that covers all performance courses offered in our department. Please read this information carefully.

Performance Courses

I. Degree Requirements:

MUS 172 and 173 are required for Music Minors.
MUS 172, 173, 272 and 273 are required for Music Majors.
MUS 372, 373, 455 and/or 475 are required for Honours Music students only.

All other courses are considered as Elective Instrument Courses.

II. General Grading Policy:

Because students entering the program are at such diverse levels of performance ability, the most important considerations in determining a student’s final grade are progress in facility on the instrument and growth in the understanding of both the instrument and its music. For this measurement we rely largely on the judgment of our instructors.

However, the scale of marks does imply some fixed standards:
80% – 100% indicates first-class honours and is reserved for those who make exceptional progress at their own level of expertise.
65% – 79% indicates second class honours and represents good work.
50% – 64% indicates acceptable, but not the student’s best work.

III. Specific Course Details:

A. Individual Practical Study (Elective or Second Instrument I – VI)           

  • MUS 170/171; 270/271; 370/371
  • Course code ending in MUS “70” = 1 credit
  • Course code ending in MUS “71” = 2 credits

These include courses in performance study on a principal or secondary instrument that is not a program requirement. Enrollment in these courses is open to students in the Department of Music and to non-Music students by audition.

B. Individual Practical Study (Principal Instrument I – VI)

  • MUS 172/173; 272/273; 372/373
  • 2 credits each

Individual practical study is a progressive two-, three-, or four-year course program in performance study on a principal instrument.

MUS 273: Students wishing to perform a mini or joint recital must submit a proposal including repertoire selections signed by their respective instructors to the Chair of the Department for approval before scheduling the event. A jury must still be played.

MUS 373: Students may perform a half-recital, as well as a jury exam. This half-recital serves as excellent preparation for the full recital required for MUS 475.

C. MUS 455: 

  • 6 credits, full year course

“Special Project” typically consists of a lecture-recital project and is a two-semester (full-year) course. Grading is decided on a case-by-case basis and will be determined by the assigned advisor at the outset. The recital portion will be of approximately 15-20 minutes’ duration with an accompanying presentation. The repertoire should reflect the special nature of the project, decided in consultation with both the student’s advisor and instrument/voice instructor and must be approved by the Music Department Chair at the beginning of the course. The research component will weigh heavily in the determination of the student’s final grade. Lessons are equivalent to MUS 372-373.

D. MUS 475: 

  • 6 credits, full year course

“Recital” is intended for the most advanced student performers who are capable of performing a full-length solo recital. Two external adjudicators evaluate this full recital that is performed in lieu of the second semester jury exam. This is a two-semester (full-year) course. Course grading is as follows:

Term I:
Teacher report: 10
Jury: 10

Term II
Teacher report: 25
Jury: 45
Paper: 10

The final recital will normally be of 45-50 minutes duration. The repertoire should cover at least three historical periods (and three languages for voice), decided in consultation with the student’s teacher. The program must be approved by the Music Department Chair by the end of the fall term.

Paper: The Department Chair will appoint each student a faculty member to advise in the preparation of the final paper. The paper should be between 2000-3000 words in which the recital repertoire is covered in detail. The discussion should include historical information, biographical details, analysis, etc., all of which will be agreed on by the student and advisor. The advisor is responsible for assigning a due date and for grading the final paper. A summary of this paper will be presented as concise program notes in the program distributed at the time of the recital.

IV.  Fee Surcharges: Please see page 17 of the current Academic Calendar for details.

V.  Keycards: the University has installed a keycard access system to guard against potential theft and vandalism across campus. Those students registered in practical study courses are entitled to a card in order to gain access to practice facilities located on the main floor and in the basement of the Music Building. Please see department secretary Monique Lafaille to fill out the required form. Bring your completed form to Buildings and Grounds secretary, whose office is located across the street behind the department with a $20 refundable deposit. Your card will be ready for pick up within 48 hrs.

Please note building hours are 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM seven days a week.

VI.  Practice Room Sign-Up: Students enrolled in practical study courses are guaranteed daily practice time.

VII.  Locker Sign-Up: Please contact the department curator to sign up for a locker.

VIII.  Studios: 

Principal and Elective courses are now scheduled on Wednesday in the timetable for student recitals that occur in the last few weeks of term as well as other special events. These recitals give those enrolled in lessons the opportunity to perform works “in progress” in front of an audience of their peers in preparation for future performances or exams. It is an invaluable performing experience.

Those students not required to perform may still do so with the consent of their instructor and permission of the Department Chair. We strongly encourage all students to play when ready. Attendance at these recitals will be taken via sign-in sheets. Each unexcused absence will result in one percent (1%) deduction in your final grade in your performance course. If for some reason you cannot attend a scheduled studio, please submit a written request for your absence to the Department Chair.

A list of dates and the names of those required to play will be posted outside the main office by the 6th week of class.

IX.  Concert Attendance: 

The Music Department considers attendance at the Musique Chez Nous concerts to be very important. We believe that listening to high-quality live performances is a big part of your musical education. The pool of obligatory concerts includes any event that features our faculty or professional artists invited from the outside, as well as the St. Mark’s Chapel Organ Series. Student attendance will be taken via sign-in sheets at these events. Concerts involving students (Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, etc.) are excluded from the pool, although we do want you to attend these and support your colleagues! You may miss one event per term with no penalty. After this, we will deduct one percent (1%) off your final grade for each concert missed. Note that working as an assistant at concerts (box-office, usher, etc.) counts as attending. If for some reason you cannot attend a concert please submit a written request for your absence to the Department Chair.

That’s the heavy bit. But think of this – you’ll be getting a free subscription to the best music series in the province outside of Montreal or Quebec City! You’re guaranteed great seats and you’ll see international stars, talented local performers as well as your teachers. You will probably also be called upon to help with the production or stage management or box office for the concert series. These are paid positions! So, you’ll be supporting YOUR music series, since the first aim of presenting all these concerts is educating YOU and you’ll be getting paid. Indeed we hope that to help ensure the success of our concerts you’ll be bringing your friends along too. Please note that these concerts are FREE TO ALL STUDENTS WITH A VALID ID CARD. Concerts are a vital part of the life of the Music Department at Bishop’s and that’s why we want to ensure that you are there. We look forward to seeing you in Bandeen Hall this season.

X.  Accompaniment:  The allotted hours in the chart below for each course includes accompaniment for the studio recital and the end-of-term jury/recital. Any additional rehearsals with the accompanist must be paid for by the student at the Department-established rate of $60/hour. The Department Chair will be responsible for assigning accompanists to students in consultation with the available accompanists and the student’s instructor. It is the responsibility of the student and accompanist to keep an accurate record of rehearsal hours. Unused accompaniment hours in the fall semester may be carried forward to the winter term but may not be carried forward from year to year. The “donating” of a student’s unused accompaniment hours to another student is not allowed.

XI.  Summary of Course Requirements:

In the following table please locate your practical study course and its requirements.

NOTE:  X* means ONLY music majors and minors enrolled in these courses are required to attend MCN concerts.

Summary of Course Requirements