Music, Theatre, and Dance Student Handbook

Student Handbook
for the
Music, Theatre and Dance Department

For Music & Dance Majors & Minors

(Update: August 22, 2016)

*Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.



1. Department of Music and Dance Faculty and Staff

2. University Publications

3. Auditions

4. Placement Exams

5. Faculty Advisors & Major Declaration Forms

6. Facilities

7. Practice Rooms

8. Equipment

9. Library

10. Degree Programs

11. Transfer Students

12. Performance Honors in Music

13. Keyboard Musicianship

14. Applied Music Study

15. Studio Classes

16. Student Recital Hour - Fridays at Noon

17. Piano Pedagogy Certification

18. Accompanying/Collaborative Pianists

19. Chamber Music

20. Music Ensembles

21. Dance Ensembles

22. Concert Attendance

23. Semester Jury Examinations

24. Bachelor of Music Mid-Program Review

25. Bachelor of Music Education Mid-Program Review

26.  Bachelor of Arts in Dance Mid-Program Review

27. Bachelor of Arts in Music Extended Jury for 300 level lessons

28. Music Recitals and Programs

29. Senior Dance Performances

30. Music and Dance Student Organizations

31. Scholarships

32. Music Writing Competition

33. Internships with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Other Arts Organizations

34. FERPA form for Students Requesting Recommendations

35. Time Conflict Procedures for Course Registration



This Student Handbook for Music and Dance Majors and Minors contains important information, some of which is not found in other university publications. It has been prepared to facilitate entry into the music and dance degree programs and to provide a guide for future degree planning. While every effort has been made to achieve complete accuracy in this handbook, students are encouraged to seek advice and clarification of specific details from their music or dance faculty advisor.


1. Department of Music and Dance Program Faculty and Staff

A current list of faculty and staff is available online at


2. University Publications

University Catalog: The primary source of information about GVSU, including degree requirements. It is available online at Students should refer to the catalog from their admission year. If curriculum requirements change, students are allowed to complete their degree under the catalog from their admission year.

My Banner: A running account of grades and academic progress through a student's degree program is available online at under "Students" then "Banner." A Degree Evaluation report shows the requirements for a specific degree and details a student's progress towards his/her degree. It should be consulted by a student with his/her faculty advisor each semester as decisions are made for fulfilling requirements and choosing electives. The report lists courses completed and requirements still outstanding. The Degree Evaluation is the official university record on a student's eligibility for graduation and students are responsible for knowing its contents. Any discrepancies or questions should be discussed with the student's advisor.

Annual Class Schedule: A schedule listing courses, including course number, code number, time, place, and instructor, is available online at by the end of February for the following academic year. Working from this schedule and in consultation with an advisor, students are able to prepare academic plans for each new semester.

The Student Code: A handbook designed to outline student rights and responsibilities according to University policy. This publication is available online at or can be obtained from the Dean of Students Office in Room 202 of the Student Services Building.

GVSU Career Services: This website contains essential information to begin the career search process, including resources to assist the student. This is particularly important near the end of the degree program. It is available online at or you can stop by the Career Services Office located in Room 206 of the Student Services Building.


3. Auditions

In addition to the formal admission to GVSU, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music or dance is required to arrange an on-campus audition with the department. A successful entrance audition must be completed prior to being accepted as a music or dance major or minor and being given permission to enroll in music and dance major courses.

Music auditions generally consist of the performance of a prepared piece(s), sight-reading, and appropriate technique material. Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement exam and a keyboard placement exam. Recommended audition repertoire and an application can be found at under "Auditions."

For the Dance Program there are five auditions which emphasize ballet and modern technique. Students will also perform a 1-2 minute solo in any idiom. Information can be found online at under "Auditions."

When considerable geographical distance or extreme hardship prevents an on-campus audition, an applicant may, with the permission of the department, submit an audio/video recording which reflects the audition requirements listed online at

Arrangements for auditions may be completed only after an application to GVSU has been submitted. To arrange an audition, applicants can go online at or call the department office at (616) 331-3484 to request an audition application and audition requirements. Return the completed audition application no later than three weeks prior to the requested audition date. Audition times are arranged through the Music and Dance Department Office at (616) 331-3438.

Auditions for performing ensembles--bands, choirs, and orchestras--take place immediately prior to Fall semester and as needed prior to Winter semester. For information, contact the department office at (616) 331-3484 or the appropriate ensemble director. A list of ensemble directors is available online at


4. Placement Exams

Music Theory Placement: A session introducing students to music theory and aural perception study at GVSU will be scheduled on the audition day. Transfer students' prior theory study will be considered and appropriate starting points determined. Entering freshman may not have studied music theory. High school theory study is helpful, but is not required for admission. Freshmen will be placed in beginning classes. At the placement session, students will be asked to sing, briefly, because it is essential that students are able to demonstrate musicality freely through the use of their voices. Should you have questions about the music theory portion of the audition process, contact Professor Lee Copenhaver, Coordinator of Music Theory, at (616) 331-2580.

Keyboard Musicianship Placement: Also on audition day, all new students must take a Keyboard Musicianship Placement examination with Professor Helen Marlais. For keyboard musicianship requirements in the various degree programs see Keyboard Musicianship below.


5. Faculty Advisors & Major Declaration Forms

After successful audition and acceptance as a music or dance major or minor, students will declare their major or minor during the summer orientation/registration experience. Students may change their decision at a later time.

Once registered, the department assigns an official departmental faculty advisor, based on degree program and the following list. While students are free to seek advice from various members of the faculty, the official departmental faculty advisor plays a special role as mentor. Students should contact their advisor at their first opportunity.

Faculty advisors:

BA degree students

Last Names A-L: Prof. Lisa Feurzeig, 331-2584, 1324 PAC

Last Names M-Z and Composition: Prof. Bill Ryan, 331-3087, 1225 PAC

BM degree students

Vocal:  Prof. Dale Schriemer, 331-2573, 1232 PAC

Flute and Clarinet: Prof. Arthur Campbell, 331-3162, 1221 PAC

Oboe and Bassoon: Prof. Marlen Vavríková, 331-2999, 1207 PAC

Saxophone: Prof. Dan Graser, 331-2943, 1226 PAC

Brass and Percussion: Prof. Mark Williams, 331-3537, 1224 PAC

Strings/Guitar: Prof. Pablo Mahave-Veglia, 331-3386, 1229 PAC

Piano: Prof. Helen Marlais, 331-3390, 1227 PAC

BME degree students

Vocal/A-L: Prof. Charles Norris, 331-3385, 1320 PAC

Vocal/M-Z: Prof. Henry Duitman, 331-2581, 1217 PAC

Instrumental A-L: Prof. John Martin, 331-2942, 1500 PAC

Instrumental M-Z: Prof. Barry Martin, 331-2579, 1219 PAC

Music Minors: Prof. Lee Copenhaver, 331-2580, 1209 PAC

Transfers (BA only): Prof. Lisa Feurzeig, 331-2584, 1324 PAC

Transfers (BM only): Prof. Marlen Vavríková, 331-2999, 1207 PAC

Transfers (BME only): Prof. Beth Gibbs, 331-2837, 1320 PAC

Dance Majors 

A-L: Prof. Carrie Morris, 331-8184, 1607 PAC

M-Z: Prof. Hannah Seidel, 331-3487, 1605 PAC

Dance Minors:  Prof. Carrie Morris, 331-8184, 1607 PAC

Transfers (Dance only):  Prof. Carrie Morris, 331-8184, 1607 PAC

From semester to semester, faculty advisors assist students with organizing their programs, completing courses of study, interpreting requirements, and answering other questions. To assist in planning, the student and his/her advisor should maintain a Degree Checklist. These forms are available on the Department website (

The availability of good advice on a student's life and on academic and professional matters in a student's major field constitutes an important element in university education. Although final choices will always be up to the student, a student is encouraged to talk through plans, requirements, possibilities, goals, problems, strategies, etc. with members of the music/dance faculty at Grand Valley State University. Faculty members are committed to providing their best advice and support.


6. Facilities

Performing/Classroom Facilities: The Department of Music and Dance is located in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the GVSU Allendale campus. The original building was finished in 1971. In 1997 the building underwent major renovations and expansion. You will find the PAC a pleasant and attractive home for music and dance. The Performing Arts Center is in close proximity to Zumberge Library, Cook-DeWitt Center, Kirkhof Center, the Cook Carillon Tower, and campus housing. Available facilities include the Louis Armstrong Theatre, which seats 500, and the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall, which seats 100, along with 14 teaching studios for individual performance instruction, and a total of 26 practice rooms. Four large rehearsal rooms for instrumental ensembles, choral ensembles, percussion teaching and rehearsing, and chamber sectionals occupy the south wing of the PAC. In addition, a new dance wing was added in 2001 and includes two spacious studios with sprung marley floors, a quadraphonic sound system, large locker and dressing rooms, and four faculty offices. A third concert auditorium, which seats 250 in the neighboring Cook-DeWitt Center, is also often used for student and faculty performances. This hall houses the Jay and Betty Van Andel 28-rank Reuter pipe organ used for lessons and organ recitals. The Cook Carillon Tower houses the 48-bell Cook Carillon cast by Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands. The Beckering Family Carillon is the focal point of the Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

Music Education Room:

The Music Education Resource Room (PAC 1211) houses a variety of teaching and learning materials for music instruction. In this room students will find choir, band and orchestra methods books, educational CDs and DVDs, standardized testing materials, music textbooks, and other materials with which they may cultivate and clarify new knowledge and pedagogy.

Music Technology Lab:

The Music Technology Lab (PAC 1206) is a large multi-user facility with 22 workstations. Each lab workstation contains a Macintosh computer with professional-level software, ranging from music editing programs to music notation programs . All workstations are linked to additional outboard audio gear in a shared rack at the front of the lab. Students can work with MIDI, software synthesis, digital signal processing and editing, physical modeling, sampling, algorithmic composition, a variety of music theory and ear-training programs, and other applications. The lab is open to all students.

At certain hours the Lab is used as a classroom to introduce music technology and theory applications. A schedule is posted on the lab door. It is also used for Film/Video students. Most of the time, however, it is open for individual student work projects. The Zumberge Library Listening Lab houses the university's primary facility for listening to recordings and CDs along with scores and music book collection. Please note that the Music Technology Lab is designed for serious work by Music and Film/Video students.

Keyboard Lab:

The Keyboard Lab (PAC 1406) is used by students in Music 263, 264, 283, or 284 (Keyboard Musicianship 1, 2, 3, or 4). Instruction is given on electronic keyboard instruments to groups of 10-12 students. Rapid progress is possible under this system. Keyboard Musicianship requirements for the various degree programs are given on p. 13.

Dance Studios:

Dance studios are located in the 1600 wing of the PAC. Please do not eat or drink in the studios. No street shoes are to be worn on the marley floor and items that may be damaging to the floor (ex. sharp heels, shoes that scuff, props with nails and screws protruding) are strictly prohibited. Sound, lighting, and musical equipment are to be used only with permission from a faculty member. Due to limited space, the dance studios are off limits to non-dance majors/minors and student groups/clubs/organizations.

Cook Carillon & Carillon Study:

Since 1994, the GVSU Allendale campus has been enhanced by the Cook Carillon and Tower presented by Peter and Pat Cook. The instrument has 48 bells and was cast by Eijsbouts Bellfounders and Clockmakers in Asten, The Netherlands. In 2000, a second carillon, the Beckering Family Carillon and Tower, was dedicated at the Richard DeVos Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. It is possible for students with keyboard or percussion skills to study carillon with the University Carillonist in the same manner as other applied instrument study is available. Interested individuals can contact the University Carillonneur through the Department Office to arrange for an interview/audition. In order to study carillon performance for credit, a student must have sufficient keyboard skills to be able to read and play four parts at sight with accuracy and musicality.

Department Office:

The Department Office is located in Room 1300 of the Performing Arts Center. The Administrative Assistant, Department Secretary, and student workers can assist with department procedures and answer many questions.


7. Practice Rooms

Practice Rooms: Practice Rooms are located in the 1400 and 1500 hallways of the PAC, as well as eight rooms in the basement of Murray Living Center.

Practice Room Reservations: On a designated day during the first week of classes each semester, music majors and minors must make reservations for practice room times in the Department Office, Room 1300 PAC, between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. During this sign-up time, students can sign up for a total of two hours each day during the peak time of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, and a total of one hour during all other times. The following day, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., in the Department Office, all Music Majors and Minors may reserve time in any practice rooms that are left open. There are five "Piano Preference Rooms" (PAC 1401, 1407, and 1409) and one "Voice Preference Rooms" (PAC 1413) and one "String Preference" room (PAC 1411) that will be offered to students studying those instruments first. On the second day of sign-ups, any music major or minor may reserve times in these rooms. A map of practice rooms will be available during sign up.

Practice Room Rules: There is no eating in practice rooms. The "Ten-Minute Rule" is in force for all practice rooms at GVSU. This means that any music student may take a practice room that is not occupied by ten minutes past the hour. NOTE: Leaving books, equipment, etc., does not ensure holding a room.

When time permits, students may be able to use a faculty studio--written permission is required--for rehearsals. There are also grand pianos located in the large rehearsal rooms, which can sometimes be reserved through the department office.

To schedule regular, small-ensemble rehearsal times, students may request the use of unscheduled studios and/or classrooms. See the Secretary in the Department Office to check availability and to schedule the rooms.


8. Equipment

Equipment/Instruments: String and wind students are expected to own instruments of suitable quality. Occasionally, students who are members of the GVSU bands and orchestras may ask to use, and must assume responsibility for, professional-quality instruments owned by the University. These tend to be the large, less portable, instruments. For information on the use of these instruments, see one of the band staff (Room 1500 PAC) or the instrumental ensemble conductors.


9. Library

For guides to resources available through the University Libraries, please access links below:




10. Degree Programs

Music Degree Programs

Grand Valley State University offers four undergraduate degree programs in music: the Bachelor of Music degree, the Bachelor of Music Education degree, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, and the Minor in Music. Sample plans can be found at under the "Current Students" navigation item. The student's advisor can also provide further information.

All music majors and minors play an entrance audition to gain admission to their respective degree program. A Mid-Program Review (MPR), or evaluation of overall progress determined by a faculty committee, is required at the end of the sophomore year for BM and BME students. Successful completion of the MPR is necessary for admission to upper-division courses. For a detailed description of the MPR, see sections 23 and 24.

Bachelor of Music (BM): The BM is designed for students who demonstrate exceptional preparation for college-level applied music and for whom graduate school in performance is a realistic goal. Instruction in guitar, organ, piano, voice, and band and orchestral instruments is offered. For students with abilities in composition and/or jazz studies, there is opportunity to develop these skills as well.

Bachelor of Music Education (BME): Students who successfully complete the BME degree will be certified to teach vocal, instrumental, and general music at any elementary or secondary school in Michigan. Because of the many skills required of a school music teacher, care should be taken in planning and undertaking the course of study in this program. Many of the required courses, including teacher assisting and student teaching, are in the College of Education. It is imperative that all candidates for the BME degree work with their advisors to become knowledgeable about College of Education requirements and deadlines.

In the final year, following a semester of teacher assisting, each student will be assigned a semester of student teaching in a school which offers good opportunities within the student's specialty. Pre-service teachers have regular meetings with music education faculty. Student teachers are given a minimum of three observations by the music faculty during the student teaching semester in addition to observations by the College of Education faculty.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The BME degree program is given in collaboration with the GVSU College of Education (COE), and the COE's minimum requirements for admission to the Teacher Education program (as they apply to music majors in the BME degree program) should be carefully consulted by interested students. The regulations concerning academic achievement, the Michigan Basic Skills Test, prerequisite courses, recommendations, experience (25 hours of experience with children or youth), academic progress, university basic skills, TB Test Report, Felony Conviction Statement, Current Degree Analysis, Resume, as well as application deadline dates, together with Music Department Keyboard Musicianship requirements and College of Education Advancement and Exit Requirement can be found online at:

Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA): The BA degree in music provides a course of study for students interested in a liberal arts degree with a major in music. This degree, with its foreign language component, offers an appropriate background for prospective advanced-degree candidates who are preparing for careers in composition, technology, music history, music theory, jazz studies, library science, or independent studio teaching. It also works well for students who want to study music but are aiming at careers in other fields, and for students with double majors. There is sufficient flexibility within the B.A. to provide an opportunity for acquisition of those skills that are necessary in the current technological environment. The culminating event of the BA is a senior project planned and carried out with the help of a faculty advisor. Students electing a BA in music must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours in music planned with the approval of a faculty advisor in the department.

In the final year of the BA degree, each student designs and completes a senior project. Each BA student should consult with his or her advisor in the junior year to begin planning the project. Once the project topic has been selected, the department chair will assign an appropriate advisor for the project. Since some projects are difficult to complete within a semester, a student may take an independent study in one semester to begin exploring a topic and then sign up for the project itself in the following semester.
Each BA project will be evaluated by a committee of three people that includes at least one faculty member from the music department. Experts from other departments or from outside GVSU may be included on the committee as appropriate. This project has a good deal of flexibility. The plan should be designed to meet one of the following descriptions; any adjustments require the consent of the project advisor. Note that a recital is not permitted as a project unless the student is enrolled in applied lessons. Also, a project funded by the Student Summer Scholars program cannot double-count as a BA project.

Music Minor: The music minor program is designed for students with previous training in music seeking non-music degrees who desire to increase their knowledge of music or further develop their skills in music. In May 2004, the Michigan Department of Education adopted standards that require a minimum of 60 hours in music courses to become certified to teach music in the public schools. Therefore, GVSU and all other teacher preparation programs in Michigan no longer offer teachable minors in music. A student choosing to minor in music must complete 28 hours of music courses. A checklist of required courses can be found at under the "Current Students" navigation item. Selection of elective hours in the music minor program should be made in consultation with Professor Lee Copenhaver who can be reached at (616) 331-2580 or

Dance Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Dance (BA): The BA in Dance is designed for students who demonstrate exceptional training for college-level dance. Students will focus their conservatory-like experience on ballet and modern training while refining technique in various other dance styles such as jazz and pointe. Students will also focus their academic experience on dance history, technology, composition, improvisation, pedagogy, and theoretical perspectives to ensure their success as educated members of the dance community. The BA degree prepares students for many careers, such as performance, teaching, choreography, and also for further study in a master's degree program.

Dance Minor: The dance minor program is designed for students with exceptional training in college-level dance interested in continuing their dance education. The student choosing to minor in dance must complete 23 credit hours in the field. Students will focus on performance in the styles of ballet, modern, and jazz with additional courses in dance history and composition. Students also have the opportunity to tailor their degree program while meeting the requirements of the Dance Minor through dance electives such as ballet partnering, pointe, Dance Company, pedagogy, and men's technique.

Dance Majors/Minors have the opportunity to participate in the GVSU Dance Company, the resident fine arts dance company of Grand Valley State University. Students are encouraged to participate in student choreographed and produced dance concerts and the American College Dance Association conferences.


11. Transfer Students

Transfer students are required to complete 30 hours at GVSU. Because backgrounds and requirements differ considerably, transfer students should consult their advisor during their first two weeks.

Transfer music students must fulfill by audition or placement the following requirements:

1. Performance audition to determine competency level on major instrument

2. Keyboard musicianship assessment

3. Ear training assessment based on Music 234 (fourth semester ear training) exit standards

4. Theory assessment based on Music 231 (fourth semester theory) exit standards

5. Degree analysis beyond the above assessments to compare applicant's course work to GVSU requirements, from which a determination of an applicant's standing and deficiencies if any will be made.

Additional requirements for students seeking music teacher certification or transferring to the BME degree from another institution:

1. Successful completion of the BME Review (if beyond sophomore music standing)

2. Consultation with the College of Education regarding core courses and requirements

Transfer students in Dance are required to complete 30 hours at GVSU, which includes at least 8 hours in ballet, 8 hours in modern, 2 hours in Dance Company, and 3 hours in choreography. Students should consult their advisor early in the program.

Transfer dance students must fulfill by audition or placement the following requirements:

1. Ballet and Modern class auditions to determine competency level in technique

2. 1-2 minute solo performance in the idiom of their choosing

3. Degree analysis beyond the above assessments to compare applicant's course work to GVSU requirements, from which a determination of an applicant's standing and deficiencies if any will be made

Note: If transferring dance history credits, a transcript grade of "B" or better is required, otherwise a comprehensive history exam is required to determine transfer.


12. Performance Honors in Music

The faculty of the music department encourages all students to achieve their highest possible development in performance. Performance Honors allows students in the BA or BME degree program to audition to enter the BM series of applied study (MUS 144/145, etc. one hour lessons, in place of the MUS 141/142, etc. half-hour lessons). This option is especially good for students with strong performance skills who enter college uncertain of career goals and wish to keep open the option of transferring to the BM degree program especially during their first two years. Students can audition for the Performance Honors program during their initial audition or any subsequent jury. If Performance Honors is carried into the third and fourth years, junior- and senior-year recitals are required. Students may relinquish the Performance Honors option simply by returning to the standard applied study courses for their degree (MUS 241-242 rather than 244-245, etc.). Students are strongly advised, however, to discuss such decisions with advisors and performance faculty before making any decisions. Students in performance honors lessons will be expected to perform a half recital for MUS 345 and a full recital for MUS 445.


13. Keyboard Musicianship

Upon entrance, all students will be placed in the appropriate keyboard musicianship class. Students who are beginners or relative beginners on piano are placed in Music 263 or 264. A combination private/group lesson is given in a digital Yamaha Clavinova lab which seats 12 students. Unless they place out, based on prior study, students must pass the appropriate terminal Keyboard Musicianship course for their program as follows:

VOCAL MAJORS in the BM and BME degree programs must complete Keyboard Musicianship IV (MUS 284);

INSTRUMENTAL MAJORS in the BM and BME degree programs must complete Keyboard Musicianship III (MUS 283)

BA MAJORS (MUSIC) and MUSIC MINORS must complete Keyboard Musicianship II (MUS 264).

BME STUDENTS: Without exception, students in the Bachelor of Music Education program must pass the appropriate terminal course during the semester prior to submission of the application to the College of Education. No student will be recommended by the music faculty to COE before completion of the piano requirement.

Music majors and minors should take keyboard every semester until the requirements are completed.


14. Applied Music Study

"Applied Music" is individual instruction on an instrument or in voice. Lessons begin the first week of classes. Returning students should consult their applied teacher for lesson time and place. New students will be assigned an applied teacher at the music major orientation. Students may also inquire in the department office for applied teacher assignments. Once new students have been assigned an applied teacher, they will be given the opportunity to sign up for lessons. Applied Music 445 (BM students), 441 (BME students), or 242 (BA or Music Minor students) must be completed successfully prior to graduation.



15. Studio Classes

Studio classes are required of all students enrolled in applied music. Studio classes are held each week for all instruments. The studio class is typically run by an applied teacher for his or her own students or the students of other teachers in their area. The purpose of the class, as determined by individual faculty, can include providing an additional performance venue for students, providing an informal occasion for trying out works in progress, introducing new ideas, or hosting guest teachers/artists.


16. Student Recital Hour - Fridays at Noon

Student Recital Hour (SRH) is held every Friday during Fall and Winter semesters for one hour starting at noon. Attendance is required of all music major and minor students registered for applied lessons. On occasion, this hour is utilized for a meeting to provide important information to students.

Attendance at eleven recital hours fulfills the minimum requirement per semester. Attendance is taken at each SRH and records are reviewed at the end of each semester by the Music Department office staff. Attendance at SRH affects applied lesson grades as follows: students who only attend a total of 10 or fewer SRHs will have their lesson grade lowered by 1/3 of a grade (A- becomes B+; B becomes B-; etc.) This change will be made by the applied lesson instructor at the end of each semester. On occasion, SRH is cancelled. When SRH is cancelled, all students are given credit for attendance.

SRH provides students a forum to take performance-ready works out of the practice room and teaching studio into a live performance environment. With the approval of their applied lesson instructor and accompanist (if applicable) students can test new repertoire as a step toward a jury or recital. As SRH performances are open to the public, appropriate performance attire is required for all performers.

To perform on SRH, students should obtain an SRH Request Form from the Music Department office, have it signed by their applied lesson instructor or chamber music coach and accompanist (if applicable) and submit it to the SRH Coordinator, Professor Dan Graser, a minimum of one week prior to the desired performance date. Recital performances are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so early submission is highly encouraged to ensure the requested performance date is available. Any questions regarding SRH can be directed to the SRH Coordinator, Professor Dan Graser at (616) 331-2943 or


17. Piano Pedagogy Certification


Overview of Courses


18.  Accompanying/Collaborative Piano

See Accompanist Contract under Student Forms:


19. Chamber Music

GVSU music students are strongly encouraged to explore the playing and singing of chamber music. To
get ideas on repertoire, learn the names of other interested students, and make arrangements for coaching,
a student should contact his/her applied music teacher.


20. Music Ensembles

A list of Music ensembles is available at:


21. Dance Ensembles

The GVSU Dance Company together with the Freshman Company are the resident dance companies of the Dance Program and perform two mainstage productions per year. Guest choreographers and performers from national and international modern and ballet companies are invited every year to set work on the Dance Company and Freshman Company and each provides one week of master classes. Students also have the opportunity to perform in works choreographed by GVSU Dance faculty and local dance educators. The Freshman Company is only open to dance majors and minors.  The Dance Company is only open to dance majors.  Participation in the Dance Company and the Freshman Company meet the performance requirement for the Dance Program and is a total of 4 credit hours.


22. Concert Attendance

Regular attendance at a variety of concerts each semester is a vital component of a good music or dance education. In the midst of daily practice times, ensemble rehearsals, and other study and analysis, the magical qualities of live performance and the high artistry of creative practitioners provide models and expand awareness as they give pleasure and inspire. They provide connection to a larger worlds of music and dance, without which the weekly round of practice and academic study may become isolated and routine. Concert attendance is monitored by the student's applied lessons teacher or the directors of the Dance Company and Freshman Company.


23.  Semester Jury Examinations

At the end of each semester, all applied music students perform before a faculty jury a demonstration of what has been achieved during the term.  The applied teacher will assist with requirements and preparation for the jury.  Students are responsible for completing a Repertory Sheet that includes repertoire assigned and completed, technical studies, solo performances and small ensembles from the semester.  The Repertory Sheet must be completed and signed by the applied teacher prior to submitting it at the jury.  Final term grades are not predicated on the jury performance entirely, but the performance and Repertory Sheet should reflect the student’s achievements for the term.

Approximately three weeks before the end of the semester, available jury times will be posted on the department bulletin board and students may sign up for the time best suited to their schedule.  Students are responsible for coordinating a pianist for their jury (if deemed necessary by their applied teacher).  Please do not sign up for a jury time until you have secured your pianist’s availability. 

Students completing a required recital for MUS 345, 441, or 445 do not perform a jury examination at the end of the semester.  Students who performed a non-required recital during a semester are required to perform a jury examination that semester unless they arranged for a faculty committee for their recital.

At the middle and end of each semester all students enrolled in dance technique courses are required to perform a jury as demonstration of achievement throughout the semester.  Each faculty member will choose three combinations to be performed, focusing on technical aptitude, musicality, and performance quality.  Results of the faculty performance jury determine level assessment for the next semester’s course in the respective idiom.


24.  Bachelor of Music Mid-Program Review

The Mid-Program Review for Bachelor of Music students consists of the following:

1. A one to two page typewritten statement that includes an outline of the student's career goals, an evaluation of the student's strengths and weaknesses, and a plan for addressing the student's weaknesses. This statement must be signed by the student's applied teacher and delivered to the student's advisor no later than the end of the 7th week of the semester in which the Mid-Program Review will take place.

2. Once the advisor has received the statement from the student, he/she will check the student's academic records to confirm that the following criteria has been successfully met:

      - Completion of or current enrollment in MUS 119, 120, 130, 131, 133, 134, 263, 264.

The BM Advisors will be responsible for:

  • Pulling the student's academic record and filling out the MPR form.
  • Collecting the student's statement.
  • Disseminating the student's statement to the appropriate faculty before the jury.
  • Notifying the student of the faculty decision.
  • Filing the student's form and statement.


25. Bachelor of Music Education Mid-Program Review

The Mid-Program Review for Bachelor of Music Education students consists of the following:

1. A statement concerning reasons for choosing music education as a major. Students must outline career goals and identify those skills, knowledge and understanding they must develop as they prepare for student assisting, student teaching, and eventual full-time public school music teaching. This statement must be delivered to the Coordinator of Music Education and the student's applied teacher no later than the end of the 7th week of the semester in which the Mid-Program Review will take place.

2. During the 10th week of the semester in which the Mid-Program Review takes place, all BME students must present themselves for a preliminary, BME Pre-Professional Review (for admission to upper-level courses in music education) by the faculty Music Education Committee. The requirements are:

  • Completion of MUS 119, 120, 130, 131, 133, 134, 263, 264 and one class instrument course by the end of the semester in which the student takes the Mid-Program Review.
  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.7.
  • Interview on statement (see 1 above).

3. Students who pass the BME Pre-Professional Review must also complete a performance in the student's major applied area and an interview. These normally take place during regularly scheduled end of semester juries and are conducted by the appropriate area faculty. The student should sign-up for two consecutive 10-minute jury time slots. The performance consists of repertoire demonstrating the student's current performance level. Following the student's performance, questions may be asked about the performance, career goals, philosophy of music education, or their statement (see 3 above).

NOTE: Students must complete MUS 200, MUS 231, MUS 234, MUS 283 or MUS 284 as required and class instrument courses (MUS 253, 255, 257, 258) prior to enrollment in upper level music education courses (MUS 456, 461, 465, 320, 321 or 322).

The Music Education Coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Pulling the student's academic record and filling out the MPR form.
  • Collecting the student's statement.
  • Scheduling the Pre-Professional meetings with students and appropriate faculty and disseminating the statement and other information to the faculty before the meeting.
  • After the meeting, notifying the student of the faculty decision.
  • Filing the student's form and statement.

26.  Bachelor of Arts in Dance Mid-Program Review

The Mid-Program Review for Bachelor of Arts in Dance students consists of the following:

1. A one to two page typewritten statement that includes an outline of the student's career goals, an evaluation of the student's strengths and weaknesses, and a plan for addressing the student's weaknesses. This statement must be signed by the student's advisor no later than the end of the 7th week of the semester in which the Mid-Program Review will take place.

2. Once the advisor has received the statement from the student, he/she will check the student's academic records to confirm that the following criteria has been successfully met:

- Completion of or current enrollment in two semesters of ballet (DAN 241, 341, or 441), two semesters of modern dance (DAN 251, 351, or 451), DAN 175, DAN 275, DAN 211, and DAN 245.

- Minimum overall GPA of 2.7.

The student’s advisor will contact the student the 10th week of the semester to confirm his/her acceptance as a candidate for Mid-Program Review and forward the student’s statement on to the appropriate area faculty.

3. An interview with the student and, if the student is not currently enrolled in technique and/or performance classes, a performance demonstrating the student’s current performance level. These normally take place during the week of final exams. The interview will be on the topics presented in the student’s statement.

The BA Dance Advisors will be responsible for:

  • Pulling the student's academic record and filling out the MPR form.
  • Collecting the student's statement.
  • Disseminating the student's statement to the appropriate faculty before the interview.
  • Notifying the student of the faculty decision.
  • Filing the student's form and statement.


27. Bachelor of Arts in Music Extended Jury for 300 Level Lessons

Students enrolled in a BA in Music degree program may proceed on to the 300 level lessons by playing an extended jury in the student's major applied area. These normally take place during regularly scheduled end of semester juries and are conducted by the appropriate area faculty. The student should sign-up for two consecutive 10-minute jury time slots. The performance will consist of repertoire demonstrating the student's current performance level.* Faculty on the jury will determine if the student has demonstrated adequate skill to enroll in 300 level lessons.

* Students of voice need only sign up for one 10-minute jury time slot and sing three prepared pieces of repertoire demonstrating the student's current performance level.


28. Music Recitals and Programs

Recital Planning: A student should schedule the recital date and plan the recital program with his/her applied teacher and accompanist well in advance. Students giving a half recital are strongly encouraged to share a recital with another student giving a half recital. The same faculty committee (applied teacher plus two additional faculty members) would serve both students giving the recital.

Required performance times are as follows:

Half Recital: at least 30 minutes of music
Full Recital: at least 60 minutes of music

Required recitals are part of the regular applied lesson curriculum as follows:

MUSIC 345, 441: Half recital
MUSIC 445: Full recital *Individual faculty may have additional requirements and these requirements must appear in the applied lesson syllabi.

Performance Times: Monday through Friday: 5:30pm or 7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm, 2:30pm, 5:30pm or 7:30pm

1.BME students may not schedule a degree recital during semesters in which they are student teaching (EDI 431/432).
2. Students may not schedule a recital during the last week of classes or finals week.

Confirm Date and Space: Because recital spaces are limited a student should confirm a date MONTHS before the recital. PLAN AHEAD and PLAN EARLY. Winter semester is especially filled with recitals.

Recital venues and contact information for reservations:
Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall: Nate Bliton
Cook-Dewitt Center: Tami John (Events Services) or 331-2350

Students using Cook-Dewitt Center will also need to reserve the Steinway piano by contacting Nate Bliton

If the university harpsichord or organ is required, contact Professor Greg Crowell - as soon as a date is confirmed to make special arrangements for moving and tuning the instrument(s).

Pre-Recital Hearing: All students preparing to perform a recital are required to complete a Pre-recital Hearing. Once the recital date, time and performance venue are confirmed, it is the student's responsibility to select a faculty recital committee.

A. BM or BA Recital Committee (3 faculty members): Student's applied teacher and 2 other faculty members.
B. BME Recital Committee (3 faculty members): Student's applied teacher and 2 other faculty members with one being a member of the music education area C. Students sharing a recital will share a faculty committee (3 faculty members): 1. 2 respective applied faculty members and 1 one other faculty member 2. If same applied teacher, then applied teacher and 2 other faculty members. D. The applied teacher(s) must attend the recital; the other recital faculty member(s)are not required to attend the recital.

1. Having invited faculty and received positive responses from three faculty members, the student will schedule a pre-recital hearing preferably in the performance space.

2. All three faculty committee members must be present at the Pre-recital Hearing.

3. The applied teacher(s) must attend the recital; the other recital faculty member(s)are not required to attend the recital.

4. The Pre-recital Hearing must be scheduled ONE WEEK in advance of the actual recital.

5. If other students are assisting the recital performer, these participants must be in attendance at the Pre-recital Hearing.

6. Performing students are responsible for confirming the availability of the accompanist, faculty committee and any assisting performers for the Pre-recital hearing .

7. Students must have available at least one complete copy of the musical scores for use by the faculty recital committee at the Pre-recital Hearing.

8. Three (3) copies of the recital program are required for the committee members.

9. The student may choose the first selection and the committee may request to hear any or all of the remaining works.

10. Students are notified immediately following the hearing concerning permission to continue with the recital performance.

11. If a student does not successfully pass the Pre-recital Hearing: A. The Pre-recital Hearing must be repeated/scheduled at a later date. B. The initial recital canceled and rescheduled after the repeated Pre-recital Hearing.

Recital Coordinator: After securing the recital date, venue and faculty committee, the student must:

1. Complete the RECITAL APPLICATION (available in the "Current Students" area on the Music and Dance Department website
2. Send the completed application to the recital coordinator, Prof. John Martin (
3. Application must be submitted 4 weeks before pre-recital hearing.

Dress Rehearsal: A dress rehearsal in the recital space should be scheduled as soon as possible after the committee has approved the recital. All performing personnel should be present. It is not necessary to include the faculty committee in this rehearsal with the exception of the applied teacher.

Recital Programs:
1. Students create their own recital programs with final editing by the applied teacher following the format of sample programs (available in the "Current Students" area on the Music and Dance Department website
2. Three (3) copies of the complete program draft will be given to the recital committee at the pre-recital hearing. 3. The program will include: titles, dates of composition, composers' and/or arrangers' birth and death dates, assisting personnel and their instruments, text translations for vocalists, and program notes if required by the applied teacher (but see no. 6 below). 4. Once the recital is approved, incorporate any final revisions in the program copy as suggested by the recital committee. 5. It is the performer's responsibility to print his/her own programs. 6. Recitals that are BA senior projects (that is, done under MUS 479 01) must either include program notes or be done as lecture recitals. See "Degree Programs" in the handbook for further details.

Recording Request: If the performer would like the recital recorded, please fill out an Audio Recording Request form available in the "Current Students" area on the Music and Dance Department website

Recital Checklist: The checklist for student recital planning is available in the "Current Students" area on the Music and Dance Department website

Non-required Recitals: If a student wants to perform a non-required recital, it is the applied professor's responsibility to ensure the student has scheduled the recital date and location no later than the fourth week of the fall or winter semester (the recital may take place at any time during the semester).


29. Senior Dance Performances

In the senior year of the dance program, students present their own fully-produced dance performance by enrolling in DAN 495. Students gain the ability to work collectively with other artists in their discipline to produce a concert of original choreography. Senior students are categorized into two groups:

1) Presentation of a Fall Performance or 2) Presentation of a Spring Performance

The following steps are required for dance performances:

1. Confirmation of performance date takes place

2. Students begin to develop the context and content of their concert. All students must choreograph at least two original dances

3. Students schedule/publicize/hold a formal audition to select performers for their original choreography

4. A rehearsal schedule is developed (at least 2 rehearsals per week are required) at least 2 months prior to the concert

5. Students fulfill the functions of technical theatre requirements i.e. stage manager, house manager, sound board operator, light board operator, etc. and all stage crew by delineating responsibilities among each other

6. Press/Marketing materials are established and implemented to promote their event

Students are graded on the amount of participation in all aspects of the production process and by peer reviews of each other's contribution to the concert as well as the completion of a professional portfolio. Dance faculty determine the final grade a student receives for the course.


30.  Music and Dance Student Organizations

Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education:

Collegiate Chapter of the Music Educators National Conference (CMENC) is the only national association that addresses every aspect of music education--band, chorus, orchestra, general music, teacher education, and research. MENC's more than 70,000 members represent all levels of teaching, from pre-kindergarten through postgraduate. Since 1907, the national association for music education has worked to ensure that every student has access to a comprehensive, sequential, and high-quality program of music education. The collegiate chapter at GVSU offers the future music educator -- BME candidate -- opportunities to serve music education needs of the surrounding area and experiences that facilitate professional growth and development. Further information is available from Professor Charles Norris (, who serves as faculty advisor.


The purpose of this organization shall be to provide and encourage student participation in dance on campus. Its goal is to serve student needs while still upholding its standard of artistic excellence. MOMENTUM is committed both to experimentation and high artistic quality, and its activities shall reflect this commitment. The activities of MOMENTUM shall not be limited to a select few, but should reflect the wide variety of students interested in dance. Further information is available from Professor Carrie Morris (, who serves as faculty advisor.

Mu Phi Epsilon:

Delta Gamma chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon is active on the Grand Valley State University campus. Open to music majors, minors and non-majors who have achieved high grades in music theory, Mu Phi Epsilon is an international fraternity dedicated to the promotion of music, friendship, and harmony. Mu Phi typically provides service to the university and to the music department, performance opportunities to its members, in addition to awards and scholarships that are available. Further information is available from Professor Barry Martin (, who serves as faculty advisor.

Sigma Alpha Iota Colony:

Formed to "uphold the highest ideals of a music education" and "to further the development of music in America", Sigma Alpha Iota continues to provide musical and educational resources to its members and the general public. Over a century old, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity has been honored to welcome a multitude of women from all walks of life, including musicians, teachers, composers, and conductors who gain lifelong friendships and professional contacts through their fellow sisters. SAI seeks women who uphold the highest standards of music, shine as outstanding leaders in their community, and promote programs and activities that stress the importance of music at their university. The SAI Colony of GVSU is in its beginning stages and seeks to better the music department through community service, benefit projects, fundraisers, and yearly recitals and performances. Contact advisor Marlen Vavrikova ( for more information on this honorary fraternity for women.


31. Scholarships

A current list of scholarships is available online at


32. Music and Dance Writing Competition

The Department of Music and Dance sponsors an annual writing competition that is open to all students enrolled in music or dance history, music literature, and music and dance theory/analysis courses or in independent study in music or dance during that academic year. The purpose of the competition is to recognize and reward high-level thinking and writing about music and dance, just as other awards recognize and reward high-level performance and teaching potential. Students may submit a paper written for a course or independently; they may also revise and expand a course paper. Three prizes of $300, $200, ad $100 are awarded. Papers are due in the Music and Dance Department Office by the Friday before spring break. They should be submitted with all indication of the author's name removed. Winners will be announced at the final Student Recital Hour of the Winter semester.


33  Internships with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Other Arts Organizations

Students interested in learning about working in arts management programs-both the business and artistic side of such organizations-are invited to consult with Professor Arthur Campbell concerning opportunities for internships with the GRSO and other organizations. Stipends for internships are pegged to the number of hours worked per week. An average of 12-15 hours per week may be expected as a minimum for such a position.


34. FERPA form for Students Requesting Recommendations

Students requesting a letter of recommendation from any faculty or staff member at GVSU must fill out a FERPA release form. The form is available at " FERPA Release for Reference Request".


35. Time Conflict Procedures for Course Registration

If a student needs to register for two courses which have overlapping meeting times, the student must fill out a Drop/Add form, have the Professors sign the appropriate form and then register in person at Student Services for the appropriate courses.

Page last modified November 3, 2017