Office of Academic Affairs

Non-Primary Lessons for Eastman Students

1. Are Eastman students eligible to take non-primary lessons at the Eastman School of Music?

2. Which instruments can be studied?

3. Who teaches non-primary lessons?

4. How are non-primary lessons organized?

5. How do I sign up for an audition?

6. How do I upload my pre-recorded audition?

7. How do I officially register for non-primary lessons?

8. Can I take non-primary lessons on more than one instrument or voice?

9. What are the expectations for students who take non-primary lessons at Eastman?

10. What are the expectations for the instructor?

11. Can I continue to take non-primary lessons every semester?

12. What if I have concerns about my lessons?

 

1. Are Eastman students eligible to take non-primary lessons at the Eastman School of Music?

Eastman students who are enrolled for degree study are required to take 160 or 460 lessons on their primary instrument (one-hour lessons at 4 credits each term). In addition, Eastman students are eligible to enroll in elective secondary lessons at 130 or 430 levels. These are 2 credit half-hour lessons, taught by graduate teaching assistants. Along with their primary lessons, Eastman students are allowed to take one registration per semester of 130 or 430 lessons. For example, a student studying violin (VLN 160 lessons) may be interested in also taking viola (VLA 130 lessons). Eastman students may not take additional lessons in their primary area of study (e.g., a piano student may not take PA 160 and PA 130). Exceptions may be made for students pursuing secondary lessons on period instruments (e.g., a trumpet student may also take baroque trumpet lessons).

Any Eastman student interested in secondary lessons must audition for these non-primary 130 or 430 lessons. To be accepted for lessons, a student must be prepared at a minimum of an intermediate level of performance achievement; beginning instruction is not offered for college credit.

Some Eastman students have a degree requirement to take 130 lessons on a specific instrument in addition to their primary lessons. Students needing 130 lessons to fulfill their specific degree requirements will be asked to audition to provide information necessary to assign an appropriate instructor and will be assigned to lessons as required by their curriculum.

Please note that only undergraduate River Campus students and Eastman students are eligible for these lessons. TAKE 5 scholars, KEY students, and UR/Simon graduate students are NOT eligible. While River Campus students follow the same audition process, please note that their guidelines for lessons are different than those for Eastman students.

Students who have not previously studied an instrument or voice but are interested in beginning instruction should contact the Eastman Community Music School for information on lesson opportunities. These ECMS lessons do not earn college credit, and they do carry an additional charge, separate from your University tuition.

 

2. Which instruments can be studied?

Jazz: bass, drum set, guitar, piano (plus trombone and trumpet for 21-22)

Keyboard: organ, piano (students seeking piano lessons must first complete degree level piano class requirements)

Woodwinds: bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone

Brass: euphonium, French horn, trumpet, trombone

Percussion

Strings: cello, double bass, guitar, harp, viola, violin

Voice (classical)

 

3. Who teaches non-primary lessons?

The majority of instruction is provided by Graduate Teaching Assistants who have been selected by the performance departments at Eastman. Each TA is assigned a faculty supervisor who monitors the operations of the lesson program in their area. Faculty supervisors organize the audition process for accepting new students and arrange for the jury exams in the spring semester. Supervisors are assigned to mentor the TAs over the course of the year. In select areas, non-primary lessons instruction is provided by a faculty member. Your instructor will be assigned to you and requests for specific instructors will not be accepted.

 

4. How are non-primary lessons organized?

Non-primary lessons are offered for collegiate credit. They count towards your total hours of registration each semester, and the final grade is calculated in your semester Grade Point Average. Lessons are graded each term, with a performance jury exam required in the spring semester.

Lessons are offered with the course number of “130” or “430” for 2 credits; these include 14 weekly half-hour lessons in a single semester, for 7 hours of total instruction. Students and instructors may decide to have 1-hour lessons bi-weekly through the semester; the total hours of instruction will not exceed 7 hours total. Eastman students are NOT eligible to take additional 160/460 (4 credit) lessons.

 

5. How do I sign up for an audition?

All new students requesting lessons must present an audition for a faculty supervisor and the Teaching Assistants from the Eastman School. For this 2021-22 year, we proposed a return to in-person auditions, but there may also be a mix of pre-recorded and live via Zoom auditions.

There is a web-based application system for students to use in requesting an audition located here: http://www.esm.rochester.edu/lessons/. When you complete the form and click ‘submit,’ you will receive an automatically generated confirmation message. The audition process is coordinated by James Warlick from the College Music Department. He will follow up to share the audition format, deadline, and requirements for your instrument. Because these lessons are offered to both ESM and River Campus students, we collaborate to organize these lessons. Contact information is provided below if you have additional questions or problems:

James Warlick

Manager of Music Performance Programs
College Music Department
University of Rochester
Dewey Hall 1339, Box 270052
Phone: 585-273-5157; fax: 585-273-5337
Email: jwarlick@ur.rochester.edu

 

6. How do I upload my pre-recorded audition?

If you are requested to pre-record your audition materials, please review the audition requirements carefully and make sure to include ALL the required information in your recording. Upload your audition recording to YouTube as an unlisted video (this setting keeps your audition private and will only allow those with the link to view it). Email the link for your recording to Mr. Warlick, to be shared with the appropriate faculty supervisor for your instrument. We will not accept file shares or actual video files, only a link for an unlisted YouTube recording.

 

7. How do I officially register for non-primary lessons?

If you are approved for non-primary lessons based on your audition, you will be notified by the faculty supervisor or your assigned TA. If you are not approved, the faculty supervisor will notify you with an explanation.

Registration is a two-step process via the UR Student system. 130 Lessons are restricted to students who have auditioned and have been accepted into lessons so students must first request Course Section Pre-Requisite Override (Instructor Permission). Please do NOT request an Override until you know your assigned instructor’s name and section number. If you request the incorrect section, your request will be denied.

Please use these instructions to help you make this request and make certain to enter your teacher’s name in the comment section to help us process approvals more quickly: Requesting-Permission-to-Register Instructions. Amanda Sharpe (listed as an additional instructor) will review requests for eligibility and approve students to register for lessons.

Once your request to register has been approved, you will go back into UR Student to add the 130 lessons to your registration. Each performance area has a three-letter abbreviation used for this, e.g., trumpet lessons would be listed as “TPT 130.” Each TA will have an individual section, and you will need the specific section number (ex: TPT 130-3) in order to register with the proper instructor.

For questions or issues regarding registration you may contact academicaffairs@esm.rochester.edu or registrar@esm.rochester.edu.

 

8. Can I take non-primary lessons on more than one instrument or voice?

No. Eastman students may only register for one set of 130 or 430 lessons per semester.

 

9. What are the expectations for students who take non-primary lessons at Eastman?

You are responsible for consistent preparation for your weekly lesson as outlined by your TA instructor, and you are expected to communicate regularly with this TA. Inconsistent attendance or cancelling of lessons by the student will be reported as “unsatisfactory progress” in lessons and may result in dismissal from the lesson program. A mutually agreeable weekly lesson time should be arranged so that lessons may begin as soon as possible in the semester.

Anyone who takes non-primary lessons at Eastman must show evidence of progress and accomplishment by playing a jury–or its equivalent–each spring. If you do not perform a jury, you will not be allowed to continue lessons the following year. In exceptional circumstances, a jury performance requirement may be fulfilled during the audition times at the beginning of the following fall term.

 

10. What are the expectations for the instructor?

Teaching Assistants are employed to teach lessons as a component of their graduate award from the Eastman School of Music.

Prior to the start of the fall semester, all non-primary lesson TAs and their faculty supervisors are required to participate in an orientation session, where the procedures for the lesson program are explained.

For most instruments and voice, the TAs will participate in the audition process, and will notify you of your acceptance to their specific section following the complete hearing of all auditionees. For piano students, your audition will be reviewed by Tamari Gurevich, Supervisor of the Secondary Piano Lesson Program, and she will assign you to a TA section.

Your TA must provide you with a written syllabus for your lessons. This document should include their contact information and the general objectives for this enrollment. Your instructor may also include recommendations for background reading, listening assignments, or specific concert performances at Eastman that would be valuable to your study. TAs are expected to be punctual and to start your assigned lesson time prepared to teach. A policy for re-scheduling and make-up lessons should be clearly articulated on the syllabus; TAs and students should make sure this is clarified at the beginning of the term.

 

11. Can I continue to take non-primary lessons every semester?

If you are approved for lessons in the fall semester and want to continue into the spring semester, simply use your UR Student registration process to pre-enroll with the same TA. Following the spring jury, students who want to return for fall semester lessons should also use this same process to pre-register. At that time, because of shifting assignments for TAs, you must request permission via the override eligibility request feature. Once approved to add lessons, you will use the general 130 instrument section for your registration. To reserve your fall semester studio space, it is important that you make this contact before you leave campus for the summer break. If you were unable to enroll in May but find in late August that you now want to return to lessons, it may still be possible to continue. You must contact Amanda Sharpe for permission BEFORE the first day of fall semester classes.

On the first day of fall semester classes, all remaining teaching slots will be opened to new students. A very limited number of openings may appear in the spring semester. If you were unable to enroll for fall semester lessons but want to be considered for the spring, contact James Warlick in the College Music Department. He will arrange spring audition times and procedures as needed.

If you are absent from campus for a semester or academic year to study abroad, or if you take a leave of absence, your lesson spot is not automatically held for your return. You must contact Amanda Sharpe in the Academic Affairs Office at Eastman to re-activate your request for instruction. You will not be required to re-audition if your record indicates your previous semesters of study have been successful.

Eastman School of Music will make every attempt to keep your TA instructor consistent from year to year. Sometimes, however, the TA will have a new assignment that does not include applied lesson teaching, and you will need to be assigned to another TA for continuing study. Your records will be transferred to the new TA so that you can continue to make progress in your study.

There is a limit on the number of elective lesson credits that will apply toward your degree requirements. Students who must take 130 lessons to fulfill specific degree requirements should consult an academic advisor.

 

12. What if I have concerns about my lessons?

The Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs ensures the quality of instruction in the lesson program for River Campus and Eastman students and will respond to concerns that may arise during the academic year. Please contact asharpe@esm.rochester.edu to share any such concerns.

Donna Brink Fox, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs
Rev. 10/25/21