Department of Music

End-of-Semester Jury Examinations

A jury examination is where a private lesson student performs solo literature in a concert setting before a jury of faculty members seated in the audience.  

This examination takes place on an appointment basis during the final examination week  Students should sign up for an examination time on sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board near MUS 201 approximately ten days  prior to the final examinations week.   (Students should remember this when making end-of- semester travel plans.)  

The purpose of the jury examination is to provide a forum for the student to demonstrate technical and musical growth achieved during the semester, and to serve as the final examination for applied music study.

Preparing for a Jury Examination

Prior to appearing before the jury, students should fill out a Repertoire Sheet that lists information required by the jury faculty prior to hearing the student perform.   (These forms are in the Music Office).   Students should then make five (5) copies of this document to be distributed to faculty jury members prior to their performance.

End of semester jury exams are mandatory for all student enrolled in private lesson study. (Failure to take the jury examination is justification for failure of the course.)   One possible exception to this rule:   If a student has performed a faculty-graded solo recital during the second half of the semester, this jury performance requirement may be waived at the discretion of the applied music teacher. If the graded recital occurs during the first half of the semester, the need for an end of semester jury examination will be determined by the teacher in consultation with the Department Chair.

Works previously performed by a student on a Music at One recital may not be performed at the end of semester jury examination.

Normally, students majoring in music are expected to advance to the next level of applied music study if the previous level is successfully completed. There are certain instances, however, when the jury or instructor may require that a student be "held at level" rather than advanced to the next level of applied music study. The reasons for such a hold could be:

  1. when study is primarily a personal avocation, and is not professionally oriented,
  2. the study is in a secondary performance area, or
  3. the likelihood for successful completion of the next higher level is poor and where more study at the same level is deemed essential.

Any level of applied music may be repeated for credit until the student is ready for advancement to the next level of private lesson study.

Students who are completing their first jury may also be auditioned to determine their qualifications to enter the Bachelor of Music degree program.   Students auditioning should also fill out an Entrance Audition form, make five copies of that form for the jury members and distribute these forms to the jury along with their Repertoire sheets..

Jury performances are closed to the public.

Criteria for Letter Grading of Jury Examinations.

The music faculty jury awards performance grades based upon the musical and technical quality of the performance (as appropriate for the enrolled level of study), the number of credits enrolled, and the amount (and difficulty) of the music literature and technical studies substantially prepared during the semester of study. Stage presence may also be considered. The different letter grades awarded by the applied music jury usually reflect the following qualities.

"A" grade: generally characterized by demonstrated excellence of technical command and musicality throughout the performance; demonstrated assimilation of smaller phrases and sections into larger formal sections, and demonstrated awareness of the formal sections. Student is expected to demonstrate uninterrupted concentration and complete attention to details of performance. These details include articulation, pronunciation of text (for vocalists), control of dynamics, attention to markings of the score, and correctness of performance for the music era represented.

"B" grade: demonstrated by good technical command of work being performed, good quality of pronunciation and attention to dynamics, articulation, and fidelity to the written score. Ability to project the spirit of the work selected, and ability to control the work at the tempo selected.

"C" grade: indicated by works performed with rhythmic continuity and steadiness throughout, limited but generally adequate technical command to perform the work chosen. Some flaws of memory (for pianists and vocalists) may be present. Selection of inappropriate performance tempo.

"D" grade: indicated by the presence of significant flaws in the performance, such as interruptions in the rhythmic pulse, words incompletely memorized or poorly pronounced; inability to perform a work up to normally acceptable tempo or inability to maintain continuity of performance. (Please note: students receiving a "D" grade in applied study may not advance to the next higher level of study.)

"F" grade: multiple instances of inability to maintain pulse or rhythmic continuity, presence of severe memory slips. 


The jury grade is based, not only upon the demonstrated quality of the performance alone, but also the fulfillment of recital attendance and other requirements of the course, as stated by the instructor in his or her course syllabus.

Brass, woodwind, string, and percussion students are expected to perform one accompanied work and one unaccompanied work (or etude) that display different musical styles. In addition, these students are expected to perform one example each of a major and/or minor scale and related arpeggios (appropriate to the level of study), to be selected by the jury. Memorization of music literature for these instrumental areas is required only when specifically indicated by the applied teacher.

Keyboard students will be asked to perform two contrasting shorter works or two contrasting movements from a larger work. Technical studies may be required at the discretion of the applied teacher.  Piano performances are expected to be memorized. Organists may use music.

Undergraduate voice students registered for two credits will be asked to perform three contrasting works from memory. Music is expected to be memorized unless the selection is from an oratorio.   Students should be prepared to sing all three pieces, as time allows according to instructions from jury coordinator.   Students enrolled for four credits shall be required to present five works to the jury.

Graduate voice students are also required to have five works prepared for the jury examination.

Insufficient recital attendance can also affect the letter grade given for private lesson study. Students who enroll in applied music study must attend at the minimum number of eligible concerts during the semester as defined by the syllabus for Mus. 190: Recital Attendance.   A student who has failed to meet the minimal recital attendance requirements will have his or her applied music grade lowered by one letter.   Remember that concurrent enrollment for Mus. 190 is required for all undergraduate music majors enrolled in private lessons.

The student's private lesson instructor will normally award the grade determined collectively by the faculty jury. The instructor may, in some instances, raise or lower the jury grade recommended by the jury by one letter grade, if, in the instructor's opinion, that student has made unusual progress (or lack of same) during the semester.   (Under no circumstances, can a private lesson student earn an A grade if the minimum requirements for Recital Attendance have not been met.)   Applied music grades cannot be adjusted more than one letter grade without prior consultation and approval of the Department Chair.