UAF Music Student Handbook
Seventh Edition, 2021
The Music Handbook no longer exists as a hard-copy printed publication. It now exists in virtual form on this website. (Students may print their own copies of these pages, if they wish.)
The purpose of this Handbook is to provide general clarification of policies and procedures that have been used by the Department in the past but have never been comprehensively stated for the benefit of new and returning students. The Handbook is designed primarily for the guidance of undergraduate students majoring in Music. It may not (does not) directly address issues relating to graduate students or non-music majors.
Although most of the policies contained here are familiar to current students, some policies have been clarified with respect to participation in large ensembles, preparation for junior and senior recitals, and attendance requirements for Departmental recitals and convocations.
Modifications of policies contained in this Handbook may be made at any time. Announcements of such changes will be posted on departmental bulletin boards, announced at Town Meeting convocations or brought to student's attention by their academic advisor or private lesson teacher.
Suggestions for improving the usefulness of this Handbook are actively sought. The Department appreciates being informed of any typographical errors, and also appreciates comments on how this document can be improved. Send your suggestions to email@example.com.
The Department of Music resides within the UAF Fine Arts Complex and includes some of the most modern facilities to be found anywhere. The music facilities include:
- Teaching studios
- The Eva McGown Music Room (Room 217)
- Practice rooms
- Joseph Fejes Listening Facility/Gordon B. Wright Library (Room 205)
- Media Center (Room 305)
- 906-seat Charles W. Davis Concert Hall
Other facilities include:
- 460-seat Lee Salisbury Theater
- KUAC public radio and television studios
- Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
The Rasmuson Library contains a sizable collection of books, periodicals, music scores, vinyl discs, CDs and DVD recordings for check-out using your Polar Express card.
The Joseph Fejes Listening Facility/Gordon B. Wright Library contains many rare and out-of-print long-play vinyl discs and pre-vinyl 78 rpm records, along with other CDs and sheet music for check-out. It also contains instruments for rental.
The Media Center (Room 305) is available only for students enrolled in courses in music technology, composition and music theory. Other students can pay a $5.00 fee to the Music Department for access.
Many rooms in the music wing of the Fine arts Complex are locked at all times and can be accessed by each music student's Polar Express card. Do not ever admit non-music students to any of the locked rooms. If you believe your Polar Express card is not working or if you see a non-music student accessing secured music rooms, please see the Music Office Manager in Room 201 (474-7555) or call the UAF Police Department (474-7721) immediately.
For security reasons, the music wing of the Fine Arts Complex is normally locked between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and weekends during the school year. It is often closed during holidays and between semesters.
No smoking is permitted on the UAF campus, which includes the Fine Arts Complex.
The Fine Arts Complex is wired for high-speed Wifi connectivity. Students may access the Wifi by connecting to "UAlaska" and entering their UAF username and password.
Practice rooms are available only for UAF students enrolled in:
- Private lessons
- Music classes
- Department sponsored ensembles
Priority is given to students enrolled in private and class lessons.
Practice room reservation policy is as follows:
- Students enrolled in private/class lessons should consult their private instructor to determine the appropriate amount of daily practice time.
- A student may initially reserve a practice room for one hour per day for each credit of instruction (i.e. one hour for one credit, two hours for two credits, etc.).
- Students should go to the Music Office (Room 201) during the first two weeks of classes to sign up for the recommended amount of time.
- Certain practice rooms are reserved for exclusive use by piano majors, harp students, or percussion majors.
- Students who do not practice at their reserved practice times may have their practice room reservations cancelled and re-assigned to another student.
- Given ongoing developments with Covid, students may only use the designated room that has been assigned to them. Furthermore, the room must be santized by the student upon entry and when they exit the room. Santiation supplies are provided by the department and are located in each practice room.
It is prohibited for anyone to use practice rooms to give private music lesson instruction for personal financial gain. State law forbids such a practice.
The Piano Laboratory (Room 225) is available without a reservation for UAF music majors for keyboard practice, provided a piano class is not in session.
No food or drinks are to be placed on the pianos at any time.
The University is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Personal belongings such as instruments, metronomes, music or clothing should not be left in the practice rooms for even the shortest amount of time.
A limited number of storage lockers are available in the Locker Room (Room 139) for music student use based upon the following priorities:
- Storage of music-major-owned instruments, sheet music and equipment
- Storage of music materials by students participating in music classes and ensembles on a space-available basis
The Locker Room is locked at all times and may be accessed by students and staff with their Polar Express cards.
Do not admit non-music students to the locker room. Do not ever prop the door open!
Locker Room policy:
- A rental fee is charged for use of a storage locker.
- Students should see someone in Room 201 to obtain a locker.
- Only Music Department-issued padlocks may be used on lockers. Private locks will be removed by the UAF Facilities Services without prior warning to the student and the contents of the locker will be removed.
- Students may request that their padlocks be changed during the year to ensure the security of the lockers.
- Students should not share their padlock combinations with others.
- The Department Chair reserves the right to authorize the inspection of lockers at any time.
- Lockers are reassigned at the end of each academic year unless the student terminates study before that time.
The music building is locked between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays during the school year and is closed during holidays and between semesters. Students will not have access to the locker room during building closures.
The security of the Locker Room is the responsibility of the users of the room. Students store personal belongings in the Locker Room at their own risk. Please report suspicious persons or activity to the Music Office (474-7555) or the UAF Police Department(474-7721) immediately.
Instrument rental policy:
- A limited number of University-owned instruments are available for rental by music students or members of UAF music performance ensembles.
- Students who borrow or rent instruments assume responsibility for the instruments in their care and are required to pay for loss or damage beyond normal wear.
- Rental or borrowed instruments must be returned at the end of the school year for inventory and repair.
- Students who terminate study must return rental instruments immediately.
- Students who fail to return instruments will have their grades withheld until the instruments are returned or until the Department is compensated for the loss.
- An extended delay in the return of rental instruments will result in the Department filing a stolen property report with the UAF Police Department.
- Individuals checking out instruments do so with the understanding that they may be required to share the instrument.
- Notify the person in charge of locker assignments when moving an instrument from one locker to another.
- University instruments may not be removed from the Fairbanks municipal area, except for Music Department authorized trips.
Students are asked to exercise extreme care when transporting instruments outdoors during periods of extreme low temperatures. Please discuss with your applied instructor the best ways to transport and store University instruments as well as any actions to avoid when doing so.
Never leave your instrument in your vehicle, even if it is locked.
Music Department chairs and stands should never leave the music building. Please report any music stands or equipment found outside the Music Department to UAF faculty or staff.
Music students may use the Piano Laboratory (Room 225) during the times when the room is not being used for scheduled class piano instruction. This room is locked at all times and must be accessed with a Polar Express card.
Students enrolled in Class Piano (MUS 151) and Functional Piano (MUS 152, 153,154, 155) have access to the Piano Laboratory and may practice at any time the room is not in use.
- Please use headsets while practicing to minimize disturbance to others.
- Food and beverages are prohibited in the Piano Laboratory.
- Do not admit non-enrolled students into the Piano Laboratory.
- To minimize the spread of germs, please use the hand sanitizer and clean the keyboard before and after use.
- Turn off the keyboard when done practicing.
- Turn off the lights and shut the door when leaving.
- Notify the Music Office (474-7555) or your instructor if any keyboards are malfunctioning.
This room is locked at all times and must be accessed with a Polar express card. Students enrolled in select music theory or music technology courses may use the Media Center (Room 305). Polar Express card access is granted through the Music Office Manager.
This room contains a number of high-end Macs and Windows PCs.
No food or beverages are allowed in the Media Center.
Please be considerate to others using the room by keeping your volume low or using headphones when playing back recorded files.
Do not prop the door open or admit non-music students to the Media Center.
This room is locked at all times and must be accessed with a Polar Express card.
The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is a multi-million volume interdisciplinary library that contains much of the non-scientific liberal arts holdings at UAF. (Other specialized libraries on campus serve specific scientific disciplines.)
This library houses many books on music, as well as music scores, periodicals and recordings, including some complete editions of composers' works. It also houses DVDs and supports a number of online resources for music research and study.
The library is located adjacent to the music wing of the Fine Arts Complex.
For more information about the Rasmuson Library visit: http://library.uaf.edu/
The following information has been compiled for informational purposes only. Not all details about undergraduate degree programs are discussed here.
For more detailed information consult your advisor and the UAF Catalog at:
Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this Handbook, UAF and the Music Department reserve the right to make changes to policy at any time.
The Department offers the following undergraduate programs of study:
- Bachelor of Arts in Music
- Bachelor of Music in Music Education (K-12)
- Bachelor of Music in Music Performance
The Bachelor of Arts in Music is a liberal arts degree with an academic focus in either composition, music theory or music history. The degree allows the student to complete an academic minor in a subject area other than music and has a Senior Capstone Project. Students graduating with this degree are able to pursue many different paths, i.e. continuing on to graduate degree programs in music history, composition or music theory, or, if minoring in business, pursuing a career in arts management. A traditional liberal arts degree, the Bachelor of Arts in Music can also serve as an entry point to other fields and careers.
The Bachelor of Music in Music Education is a professional degree designed to prepare students for careers in music education. It leads students not only to completion of a degree, but also to professional certification as teachers for the State of Alaska public schools. Students graduating with the BM Degree in Music Education often find employment in the Alaska Public School System.
The Bachelor of Music in Performance concentrates on the intense preparation required for professional music performance. Two solo recitals, a Junior and a Senior, must be presented by the student for completion of this degree program. Many students who graduate with this degree continue onto graduate-level study in music performance and obtain career positions with professional orchestras, ensembles, and arts organizations .
New students desiring to become music majors should contact the Music Department Office (474-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org). They will be referred to a faculty member who will conduct a preliminary interview and evaluation.
New students must file an Application for Admission through the UAF Office of Admissions and apply for a February audition at uaf.edu/music.
Auditions for entrance into a degree program in music occur the last weekend of February.
Students can either audition in person or send a DVD by mail or digital video files through the internet. While these formats are eccepted, it is strongly suggested that students audition in person whenever possible.
The audition must include two contrasting pieces; they do not need to be performed from memory.
To be placed appropriately within the Department, students must demonstrate by performance audition that they have reached an acceptable level of performance ability on their principal instrument.
After the February audition, students will be notified whether they have been accepted into a music degree program.
If a student has been admitted, but has not been accepted into a degree program, he/she may register in the Fall as a provisional music student with the understanding that he/she will audition again for a degree program in February of that academic year.
Students entering as prospective music students are given music diagnostic examinations in Music Theory and Ear Training. Based on the results of these examinations, students will be placed in MUS 131 Basic Music Theory and MUS 133 Basic Ear Training or, if needing more review and background, placed in MUS 103 Fundamentals of Music.
Prior to taking the exam, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with basic written theory, i.e. scales, keys and triads. The following textbook is recommended: The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis 4th ed by Jane Piper Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin. Students are also encouraged to take piano lessons to increase their general level of piano proficiency.
Students who are new to college life sometimes have difficulty adjusting to the structured nature of college-level study.
If you are having difficulty keeping up with the pace of a class or individual lessons:
- Make an appointment to see your instructor outside of class.
- Find a tutor or specialist on campus to help you with your studies.
- Demonstrate initiative in trying to resolve your specific situation.
- Use your fellow students as study buddies.
- Use upper-classmates as mentors.
Take the freshman workshops offered on campus to help you develop study skills and time management.
Communicate early and often with your instructors so that they can help you before a crisis occurs.
Generally speaking, 100, 200, 300 and 400 level courses are best taken in the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years, respectively.
However, transfer students, music education majors, and students enrolled in MUS 103 Fundamentals of Music their first year may require an extra semester or year of study.
Students desiring to complete a degree program in four years should plan to carry a full course load each semester.
Students will be required to repeat courses in their major if they receive a grade lower than a C, i.e. a C- or lower.
If performing poorly in a class, make an appointment as soon as possible with your instructor to resolve the issue.
For each semester of study, students should meet with their advisors to review their progress. Consult the checklist in Degree Works often.
Students may be exempted from a specific course if the instructor is willing to state in a petition that the student has achieved the minimum competency required. However, the student will not receive credit for the course.
Students may elect to earn class credit through the Credit-by-Examination option. For this option, the student fills out a form at the Registrar's Office and pays a fee. The instructor gives the student an examination and sends the grade result to the Registrar.
Transfer students may also petition to request exemption from a course based upon the justification that they have completed the course at another university. Students must supply documentation to support their request.
Keyboard skills are a necessary component of any serious music study. They assist the student in reading musical scores, benefit studies in music theory and ear training, and are an invaluable tool for students preparing to be future teachers.
There are two possible pathways for completion of the Piano Proficiency
- Functional Piano: Four consecutive semesters of MUS 152, 153, 154 and 155.** The series must be taken
in sequence. In order to advance to the next level, the student must receive a passing
**Students enrolled prior to the 2021-2022 academic year only have three semesters of Functional Piano.
The student MUST be enrolled in MUS 131 to enroll in MUS 152.
- Exam: The Exam is designed only for students who have taken over five years of private piano lessons and play at an upper intermediate level. An appointment to test out can be made at any time during the semester, but is strongly encouraged during the first year of study.
Both pathways require instructor permission. The instructor will interview each prospective new or transfer student either at the entrance audition in February OR at the beginning of the Fall semester. The instructor will decide the best pathway for each student at that time.
Functional Piano is designed to be taken during the first year of study in conjunction with MUS 131 Basic Music Theory I. If the student is enrolled in Music Fundamentals (MUS 103X) it is highly suggested that they also enroll in Class Piano (MUS 151).
After completing the Functional Piano series or the Exam, the student enrolls in MUS 253 Piano Proficiency. This is a zero credit, pass/fail, class that makes it clear on your transcript that you have passed the Piano Proficiency requirement. It must be completed before the student's Senior Recital.
Student teaching cannot be scheduled until the Piano Proficiency Requirement is completed.
Students may drop a course up to the deadline date set by the institution. Attempts to drop a course after the posted date may be denied. Consult your course instructor and advisor early if a course needs to be dropped.
Instructors are permitted to give an Incomplete grade only if the student:
- has substantially participated in more than half of the course,
- has earned a C grade in the course up to that point, or
- when a sudden emergency has prevented the student from completing the course on schedule.
Incomplete grades must be completed within a year or else they are automatically converted to an F grade.
A student whose overall grade point average drops below 2.00 is placed on academic probation for one semester and may be disqualified from the University if the grade point average is not raised to a 2.00 during the following semester.
This information is not a substitute for regulations and policy contained in the UAF Catalog which can be found here: https://catalog.uaf.edu/catalogcontents/. Students are advised to consult the catalog and speak to their advisor for further questions and clarifications.
There are two types of music performance ensembles at the UAF Department of Music:
- Large Ensembles:
MUS 117 - Northern Lights String Orchestra
MUS 203 - Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra
MUS 205 - Wind Ensemble/Wind Symphony
MUS 211 - Choir of the North
- Small Ensembles:
MUS 307 - Chamber Music
All students enrolled in private lessons must be enrolled in a large or small ensemble for credit.
All undergraduate music majors are required to complete a minimum number of large ensemble credits to meet their curriculum requirements at UAF.
The minimum required number of ensemble credits varies depending upon the degree program. Please consult your advisor.
Large and small ensembles may not be audited.
MUS 307 Chamber Music is not a substitute for the Large Ensemble credit, except for piano majors who may substitute up to two credits of MUS 307 Chamber Music - Accompanying for two credits of the Large Ensemble requirement.
In addition to weekly rehearsals, students registered in music ensembles are required to participate in all concert and recital performances presented by that ensemble. Failure to participate will likely result in an F grade for the course.
Non-music majors are encouraged to participate in Large Ensembles and must be enrolled for credit.
A student whose principal performing instrument is a band or orchestral instrument may be required to participate in a Large Ensemble at the discretion of the directors involved.
Without exception, students who are unable to read music notation will not be admitted to private lesson study.
An essential part of all undergraduate music programs is private lesson study (sometimes referred to as Applied Music).
There are additional fees for private lessons. See the UAF Catalog: https://catalog.uaf.edu/catalogcontents/ for information on fees.
Admission to private lesson study is by audition only. Permission from the instructor is required.
Admission to a Music degree requires an audition.
As stated previously, students enrolled in private lessons must enroll in an ensemble class.
Every student enrolled in Private Lessons at the 261 level, or higher, must appear on at least one Music at One recital as a soloist during each semester of study.
Space on Music at One is limited, so priority is given to full-time music majors requiring lessons in their principal instrumental area.
Students who do not meet these requirements, or who are not music majors, are encouraged to enroll in MUS 151 Class Lessons.
With the exception of harp, piano and percussion, all music students are expected to own their own instruments.
Students are required to enroll in and pass MUS 190 Recital Attendance the designated number of semesters specified in their degree program. See Music at One Recital Attendance Requirement section in the handbook.
Different music degree programs require different levels of private lesson completion and a different number of credits. Please consult the UAF catalog and your advisor.
The difference between a two or four-credit lesson is on the quantity and difficulty of the music learned, not on the length of the lesson. Four credit lessons are required for upper-class level (junior and senior standing) for BM Education and BM Performance Majors to fulfill credit requirements.
It is important that students attend each scheduled lesson. If illness forces cancellation of a scheduled lesson, the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible.
Lessons are made-up at the discretion of the instructor.
Music at One is a weekly student recital that normally takes place at 1:00 p.m. each
Thursday. There are two student requirements regarding the Music at One Recitals.
The first part is a Music Performance requirement, and the second part is the Recital
Each student enrolled in Private Lessons at the 261 level, or higher, must appear on at least one Music at One recital as a soloist during each semester of study.
Students must fill out a Music at One Recital Request Form which can be found here:
https://www.uaf.edu/music/students/forms.php. Due to Covid, only the online
Google Doc will currently be accepted. Please fill out ALL of the required information
as accurately as possible. Approval of the accompanist (if applicable) and private
instructor are required.
Works should be no longer than 8 minutes, unless approved by the Music at One
It is strongly suggested that students do not wait until the end of the semester to
At the beginning of the semester forms must be turned in at least one week prior to
the performance, however, it is highly encouraged that students plan their
performance further in advance and submit a request form as early as possible.
For dress and recital etiquette, students are advised to consult their private
Student recitals are recorded by the Music Department and stored on a digital drive.
If you would like access to these files, you may contact Gary Toth: email@example.com
or Sean Dowgray; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music at One is the name for student recitals that normally take place at 1:00 p.m.
Thursdays. Please see the Music at One Recital Attendance Requirement section in the
handbook. All Music Majors & Minors are required to enroll in and pass MUS 190 Recital
Attendance the designated number of semesters specified for each degree program.
MUS 190 Recital Attendance exposes students to a variety of musical experiences from
an audience perspective and encourages support amongst members of the department
with the intent of cultivating critical listening skills and heightened community
To pass MUS 190, students must sit as an audience member in a minimum of thirteen
(13) Music-Department-sponsored concerts or recitals over the course of a semester.
The Music Office has a list of concerts that qualify for meeting the recital attendance
requirement. Off-campus performances and non-musical on-campus performances
cannot be substituted for attending qualified Music Department related events.
Students may not include in the recital count those programs in which they perform
on stage, except for Music at One programs, if they remain in the audience for the
remaining part of the program.
One of the thirteen recitals includes doing a "practicum": acting as a stage crew
otherwise facilitating the production of a music department event. Information on
how to sign up for these practicums will be made available at the beginning of each
semester by instructor Sean Dowgray.
Students indicate their presence at an event by handing in a Recital Attendance Card
to a faculty member at the end of the event. (This includes those performing on Music
at One.) Students may NOT turn this card in to office staff. After the student's
presence is recorded, the card will be returned to the "card box" by the Music
Department Office door. Students will receive a notification via email that their
attendance has been recorded and their card returned to the card box. The student
should retrieve the card and use it again for the next event. Extra cards are available
if the card is lost.
The Department will not "excuse" students from attending the minimum number of
required events. Work schedules, class conflicts, illness, unexpected concert
cancellations, to name but a few, do NOT count as acceptable excuses. Unusual
problems, which could prevent a student from meeting the course requirements,
should be brought to the attention of the course instructor at the beginning of the
It is strongly encouraged that students plan to attend as many concerts as possible
early in the semester so that if they are prevented from attending a concert later in
the semester, they will still pass the class. It is the student's responsibility to foresee
any scheduling problems and compensate accordingly by attending other events.
From time to time, the Music Department may convene Town Meetings (convocations)
for music students to discuss important changes of policy or other matters. They are
commonly held at the beginning of each semester and attendance is required. Recital
Attendance credit is given for Town Meeting convocations.
It is the student’s responsibility to read the Music 190: Recital Attendance Course
Syllabus located on the course Blackboard page as well as outside the Music Office
and make sure they understand all the details of this course. Contact the course
instructor, Sean Dowgray: email@example.com with any questions.
All students enrolled in private lessons are required to perform an end-of-semester jury in a concert setting before a jury of faculty members.
Juries take place during the final examination week.
Students should sign up for an examination time on the sign-up sheet posted near the Music Office, Room 201, approximately ten days prior to the examination week.
The jury serves as a final examination for applied music study. Failure to take the jury examination is justification for failure of the course.
Criteria for letter grading of the jury examinations can be found on the Jury Examination Form for each individual discipline: brass, woodwind, strings, piano, percussion and voice.
The private instructor is allowed to raise or lower the jury grade by one letter grade. Adjustments of more than one letter grade must be approved by the Department Chair.
Students who fail to meet the MUS 190 Recital Attendance requirements will have their grade lowered by one letter.
A missed jury due to serious illness or a family crisis may be rescheduled for the following semester. See Incomplete Grade section.
If a student has performed a faculty-graded solo recital during the second half of the semester, a jury performance may be waived at the discretion of the instructor.
Normally, music majors are expected to advance to the next level of study if the previous level is successfully completed. However, the jury panel may decide to hold a student at level.
Prior to the jury, students will fill out a Repertoire Sheet and make at least 5 copies to distribute to the jury panel prior to the performance.
Requirements for jury performance differ for each discipline and degree program. Please see your private lesson instructor for jury requirements.
Jury performances are closed to the public.
All degree recitals must be prepared under the supervision of a UAF private lesson teacher.
Students must register for Junior and Senior recitals, MUS 390 Junior Recital and MUS 490 Senior Recital.
Students must first fill out an Application for Solo Recital Scheduling Form:
- Juniors must have completed all of their lower division degree requirements in first- and second-year music theory, ear training and music history courses.
- Juniors and Seniors must have completed the minimal Piano Proficiency requirements, as stated previously.
- Transfer students must have completed a residency of at least two semesters of private lesson study at UAF to be eligible for a degree recital.
Reservations for solo recitals may be made after turning in the completed Application for Solo Recital Scheduling Form and Music Department Rooms Reservation Request Form to the Music Office Manager.
After the recital date has been reserved, fill out a Davis Concert Hall Event Planning Form, both sides.
Preparation of the printed program:
- The Music Department has created a printed program design template that all students must use for their programs.
- The template is obtained from the Forms page on this website.
- The content of the printed program must be approved by the private teacher.
- Student biographies are discouraged.
- Supplementary program notes may be submitted along with the program template.
- Printing of the program must be done by the Music Department.
- The template includes all of the required acknowledgements that must be included on the program.
- Printed posters may be posted on the Department and campus bulletin boards.
- Any information about the performance should include the following: who, what, where, when, time of performance, the fact that the recital is sponsored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Music in the College of Liberal Arts and the fact that there is no admission charge.
- Posters and flyers must have the same sponsorship and AA/EO statements included in the template for the printed programs.
- Students are responsible for the costs of printing their recital posters.
Recording the recital:
- The Music Department records all student recitals.
- Students should check with the Music Office as to the procedure for requesting a recording technician for their event.
- Recitals are stored on a digital drive. If you would like access to these files, you may contact Gary Toth: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sean Dowgray; email@example.com.
- A student may request that a copy be made for personal use. There is a small fee for the copy.
Grading the recital:
- For degree-required recitals, each member of the faculty in attendance will submit a Pass/Fail grade to the Music Office.