Enrolling in lessons
Do I have to audition for private lessons?
Yes - this is called a Level I (placement) audition. Requirements vary from teacher to teacher. Some teachers will accept students with zero prior experience, while others (including piano, violin, and viola) will expect to hear 1-2 contrasting pieces which show your playing ability based on several years of previous study. Contact your teacher to ask about their requirements for accepting new students.
Instruments with multiple instructors (including jazz guitar, classical voice, and classical piano) will generally hold group auditions at the beginning of each semester to place new students.
Music majors are required to pass a Music Major Audition (Level II) before they are accepted for study in MUL 134, and an Intermediate Level Examination (Level III) before acceptance for study in MUL 234.
How do I enroll in private lessons?
- Register for lessons online before or during the first week of classes.
- Contact the teacher(s) to ask if they require a placement audition.
- Set up a lesson schedule with your teacher.
- Fill out the applied lesson contract (PDF) and submit to the Music Department Office by add/drop deadline.
Which section do I enroll in?
- MUL 022, 033 - Lessons for NON-MAJORS / NON-MINORS
- MUL 034 - REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS (Music Education & Bachelor of Music students only)
- MUL 044 - NON-REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS
- MUL 074 - Lessons for Music Tech/Business majors preparing for the Level II audition
- MUL 133 - Lessons for music MINORS
- MUL 134 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Level II jury)
- MUL 234 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Level III jury)
Each lesson level is further broken down by instrument. For example: a non-major/non-minor interested in jazz guitar should enroll in MUL 033 I. A music minor violinist should enroll in MUL 133 X. A music major vocalist who has passed their Level III should enroll in MUL 234 Y.
Enroll in 1 credit for weekly 30-minute lessons; enroll in 2 credits for weekly 1-hour lessons.
What type of credit do I receive for taking lessons?
Applied lessons are available for one or two credits. Each student receives one private lesson per week for 14 weeks. Private lessons are available for variable credit as follows:
1 credit = One half-hour lesson per week (14 lessons)
2 credits = One full-hour lesson per week (14 lessons)
Music majors generally take lessons for two credits. Music minors and non-majors may take lessons for one or two credits based on the student's level and teacher's availability. Please contact your teacher to determine whether you should register for one or two credits. Unfortunately, there is no way to audit lessons for 0 credits.
To switch between 1 or 2 credits, visit your myUVM Portal. Under the Registrar tab, in the top right corner, you will see an option to "change variable credits." (See screenshot)
What if I'm already at the 19-credit limit?
You may request permission from your college (usually via e-mail) to take additional credits. There is no additional tuition charge to take lessons as your 20th/21st credit, but you must still pay the lab fee for private lessons (see the box at the top right of this page). Once your college has granted you permission to take more than 19 credits, you will be able to enroll in lessons.
From the UVM Catalogue: "Any student enrolled in excess of nineteen credits because of private applied lessons will be charged only the additional Private Lesson fee, and not the supplemental tuition charges for taking more than the permitted eighteen credits. However, permission from the respective dean’s office to exceed eighteen academic credits in a semester must still be obtained."
Practice, attendance, and grading
How often will I have to practice?
Expectations will vary from teacher to teacher, but students should expect to practice a minimum of three hours per week. Students should consult their teachers for details.
Attendance at all lessons is a course requirement. If a faculty member must cancel a lesson, they will inform the student by e-mail or by a sign posted on the lesson studio door. Students should then contact the faculty member to schedule a make-up lesson.
If a student must cancel a lesson, they must inform the faculty member by e-mail or voice mail prior to the lesson time. When possible, faculty will make up a lesson canceled prior to the lesson time. No make-up lesson will be scheduled when the student does not contact the faculty member prior to the lesson time. Furthermore, faculty will not be expected to make up more than two lessons canceled by the student.
Lesson registers and grading
At the end of the semester, students must fill out a lesson register form (PDF) listing repertoire studied during the semester and give the form to their teacher no later than the last lesson of the semester. The instructor will then fill out the final portion of the form and return the form to the Department Office (music majors) or keep it for their own records (non-majors). No grade will be given until the applied lesson register has been completed.
Performances & exams
End-of-semester Area Juries are generally required of music majors, and may be required of some non-majors. (All piano students taking private lessons must take an Area Jury.)
All music majors except Music Technology and Business concentrators are required to pass an Intermediate Level Jury (Level III). Concentrators in Jazz Studies and Classical Performance usually do this at the end of sophomore year, and History/Literature and Composition/Theory concentrators usually do this as their capstone performance in junior or senior year. Passing the Level III jury allows the student to register for lessons in MUL 234.
Student Performance Recitals
A music major enrolled in applied lessons in their principal instrument must perform on at least two Student Performance Recitals prior to being eligible for an Intermediate Level Jury (Level III), and another two recitals prior to being eligible for a Solo Recital Examination (Level IV). Please contact the department office if you have questions about this requirement.
Music minors and non-majors/non-minors may sign up for Student Performance Recitals at their teacher's discretion.
Music majors in the B.A. program with a concentration in Classical Performance or Jazz Studies, as well as B.S. Music Education students, are required to perform a Senior Recital in their last year of study. Bachelor of Music students are required to perform Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Recitals. (Read more about solo recitals.) Students must pass a Solo Recital Jury (Level IV) four to six weeks before any required recital.
Piano Lesson FAQs
What piano class should I enroll in?
MU 021 - Group Piano Lessons
For students with no previous piano experience.
MUL 022 - Basic Private Lessons: Piano
For students with some prior piano experience - for example, you took lessons as a child but have not played in several years, or play by ear but don't read music, or took MU 021 group piano and want to continue.
MUL 033 - Private Lessons: Piano (non-majors/non-minors) &
MUL 133 - Private Lessons: Piano for Music Minors
Students must pass a Level I placement audition to enroll in MUL 033 or 133. We request to hear two contrasting pieces you've already learned (from score, not by ear) and also some sightreading. Examples of audition pieces could include sonatinas, sonatas, minuets, nocturnes, inventions, and more. This need not be a polished performance but should give us an idea of your playing level and background. Students auditioning successfully have typically studied piano several years. If you are a beginner, you might consider MU 021 or MUL 022.
For questions about piano placement, please contact Ms. Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.