Office of Academic Affairs
Individual Studio Lessons for River Campus Students
University of Rochester students who are not concurrently enrolled in an Eastman degree program may audition for individual studio lessons at Eastman. To be accepted for individual studio lessons, a student must be prepared at a minimum of an intermediate level of performance achievement; beginning instruction is not offered for college credit.
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.
River Campus 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.
Jazz: guitar, piano, bass, drum set (plus trombone and trumpet for 21-22)
Keyboard: piano, organ
Woodwinds: bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone
Brass: trumpet, French horn, trombone
Strings: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, classical guitar
The majority of instruction is provided by Graduate Teaching Assistants who have been selected for that assignment by the performance departments at Eastman. Each TA is assigned a faculty supervisor who monitors the operations of the lesson program in his/her 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 some exceptional circumstances, a River Campus student may be assigned to individual studio lessons with a faculty member at Eastman. This requires the approval of the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and is based on (1) an outstanding audition along with documentation of significant prior study, and (2) available time in a faculty member’s studio teaching load.
4. How are individual studio lessons organized?
Individual studio lessons at Eastman 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.
Individual studio lessons for River Campus students are normally offered with the course number of “130” lessons for 2 credits; these include 14 half-hour lessons in a single semester, for 7 hours of total instruction. A small number of advanced students with significant prior performance experience may be recommended by the Eastman faculty supervisor for one-hour-per-week “160” lessons for 4 credits with the Teaching Assistant. Any request for “160” enrollment requires the approval of the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Eastman School. This longer lesson time is typically based on a previous year’s successful jury and the one-hour lessons are not offered for first-year students.
All new students requesting lessons must present an audition for a faculty supervisor and Teaching Assistants from the Eastman School. For the fall of 2021, we intend to revert 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 River Campus students to use in requesting an audition. The web address for the application is http://www.esm.rochester.edu/lessons/. When you complete the form and click ‘submit,’ you will receive an automatically generated confirmation message. James Warlick from the College Music Department will follow up to share the audition format, deadline, and requirements for your instrument. Contact information is provided below if you have additional questions or problems:
Manager of Music Performance Programs
College Music Department
University of Rochester
Dewey Hall 1339, Box 270052
Phone: 585-273-5157; fax: 585-273-5337
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. If you are an international student who cannot access YouTube, please contact Mr. Warlick for alternate instructions.
If you are approved for individual studio lessons based on your audition, you will be notified by the faculty supervisor or your assigned TA. If you are not approved for individual studio lessons, the faculty supervisor may recommend a piano class or a voice class instead (these carry credit and have no additional cost), or lessons through the Eastman Community Music School (not for credit, with extra charges).
Registration is a two-step process via the URStudent 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). You will need to know your instructor’s name.
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 URStudent to add the 130 lessons to your registration. Lessons are Eastman courses so please make certain to select the EASTMAN calendar term. If you do not choose this, lessons will not appear as registration options. 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 (TPT 130-3) in order to register with the proper instructor.
Enrollment in more than one lesson requires the approval of the Chair of the Music Department in the College, Dr. Matthew BaileyShea. Two sets of lessons would be allowed only at the “130” level.
You are responsible for consistent preparation for your weekly lesson as outlined by your studio TA, 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 studio 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 fall semester.
Anyone who takes individual studio 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 enroll in 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.
Teaching Assistants are employed to teach individual studio lessons as a component of their graduate award from the Eastman School of Music.
Prior to the start of the fall semester, all individual lesson TAs and their faculty supervisors are required to participate in an orientation session, where the procedures for the lesson program are explained. For the fall of 2020, this orientation will be a virtual session.
For most instruments and voice, the TAs will participate in the audition process, and will notify you of your acceptance to their specific studio 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 studio.
Your TA must provide you with a written syllabus for your individual studio 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.
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 studio 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 studio 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 studio lesson slot 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 studio 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 lesson credits that various River Campus majors will accept towards a degree in the College. Please consult with your own academic advisor.
You will be a member of the Eastman musical community through your individual studio lessons, and you can attend concerts and events here during the academic year. We expect all concert attendees to participate in the daily health check-in with the Dr. Chatbot app. Concert information and the events calendar can be accessed through the Eastman website at www.esm.rochester.edu.
As the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Eastman, my responsibility is to ensure the quality of instruction in the individual studio lesson program for River Campus students and to respond to concerns that may arise during the academic year.
Welcome and best wishes for success in your musical studies at the Eastman School of Music!
Donna Brink Fox, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs