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.
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 but they do carry an additional charge, separate from your University tuition.
Jazz: guitar, piano, bass, drum set
Keyboard: piano, organ
Woodwinds: bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone
Brass: trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba
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 would be 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 and they count towards your total hours of registration each semester. 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.
A small number of advanced students with significant prior performance experience may be recommended by the Eastman faculty supervisor for one-hour “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.
All new students requesting lessons must play an audition for a faculty supervisor and Teaching Assistants from the Eastman School. There is a web-based application system for River Campus students to use in requesting this audition time. The web address for the application is https://www.esm.rochester.edu/lessons/.
When you complete the form and click ‘submit,’ you will receive an automatically generated confirmation via e-mail. Then, James Warlick from the College Music Department will follow up later with another e-mail that confirms the date, time, and location of your audition. Contact information is listed below if you have additional questions or problems:
James Warlick, Manager of Music Performance Programs
College Music Department, University of Rochester
1-339 Dewey Hall, Box 270052
Rochester, NY 14627
phone: 585-273-5157; fax: 585-273-5337
The second step is to take the audition on your instrument or voice. You should be prepared to perform recently learned repertoire, and may be asked to describe your previous study for the faculty supervisor and/or TAs. If you are approved for individual studio lessons, you will be notified by the faculty supervisor or your assigned TA and given a permission code to use for online registration. 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).
The third step is to go online and register for “130” lessons in your performance area. 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 a different CRN, and you will need the permission code of your individual instructor to register in the correct section.
Enrollment in more than one lesson requires the approval of Dr. Honey Meconi, the Chair of the Music Department in the College. 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 him/her. 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. Because of space limitations at the Eastman School it may be very difficult for a TA to re-schedule a lesson time once the weekly time has been established.
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 lesson TAs and their faculty supervisors are required to attend 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 studio following the complete hearing of all auditionees. For piano students, your audition will be heard by the Supervisor of the Secondary Piano Lesson Program Tamari Gurevich, and she will assign you to the TA studio.
The 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 arrive at 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 web registration to pre-register in November with the same TA.
Following the spring jury, students who want to return for fall semester lessons should also use web registration to pre-register. At that time, because of shifting assignments for TAs, you must use 130 Staff for your registration. This will require that you have a “permission code” from Amanda Sharpe, the Academic Affairs Office Administrator. To get this code, contact her by phone (274-1023) or by e-mail email@example.com. To reserve your 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 a permission code 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 Music Department. He will arrange the January audition times 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.
The 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 to determine this.