Academic, Recital Policies

Curriculum Guides 

Links to the University Catalog course listings for each major are available in Academic Programs (see web menu on the left).

Official Registration Required

No student who is not official registered may remain in a class, lesson or ensemble. Faculty are responsible for insuring that they are only teaching students who are on the Registrar's offical class lists. It is not allowable for students to post-register for a class.

Applied Music Requirements

All students must study with members of the Cali School faculty.

An applied music fee, in addition to tuition, must be paid for private instruction.

Piano students are expected to accompany at a level of ability designated by their teachers.

Private Lesson Registration Policies and Procedures

1. The Cali School director, with coordinators, determines full time faculty load requirements for private students and/or chamber ensembles for the academic year before any instructors are assigned private students and/or chamber ensembles. No part time or visiting specialists are assigned private students until full time loads are filled.

2. Teaching assignments before registration go from coordinators to instructors and the school administrator.

3. All students must be registered in order to receive private lessons. Students may not receive double lessons in any one semester without registering for both sets of lessons (i.e. percussion/drum set or piano/ harpsichord or clarinet/bass clarinet). All double sets of lessons must be approved by the director, and are never automatic. Double sets of lessons require a cumulative 3.00 GPA in previous semester, and a B or better on private study.

4. No student may receive additional semesters of private lessons beyond curriculum requirements without director’s permission.

5. Instructors will not be compensated for unregistered students. Any student not registered by the second week of semester should not be receiving private lessons under any circumstances.

6. By August 15, each coordinator will receive information from the school administrator regarding which students are registered at that time. Later registrants will be added as soon as registered, but coordinators will receive information available as of August 15.

7. All coordinators in each area (Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Percussion, Piano, Voice, Composition, and Guitar) must report final teaching assignments to the director and the school administrator by the end of the second week of each semester.

8. If an instructor of Applied Music has a registered student who is not present, instructor must advise the academic administrator by the third week of semester.

Note: If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0, or the grade earned in Applied Music is lower than a B, lessons may be curtailed. If improvement is not demonstrated, music major status will be in jeopardy.

Undergraduate Recital Requirements

Performance students—2 recitals (first before end of junior year, second in the senior year)
Music Education students—1 recital in the senior year. 
Theory/composition—1 recital of original compositions in the senior year.

Piano students are expected to accompany at a level of ability designated by their teachers and to participate actively in the musical life of the university and the community. 

All students are expected to perform during performance practicum at least once during each semester of primary study.

Chamber Music Policy

  • All students are required to register and complete all chamber music requirements listed in their respective curricular programs.
  • Students who have completed their required chamber music courses will be allowed to take additional chamber music ONLY if their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above.
  • No student will be allowed to participate in any chamber music section if they are not registered.
  • Faculty who teach chamber music sections with unregistered students will NOT be compensated for the teaching of that section.
  • Students are not allowed to participate in more than one chamber ensemble during any given semester unless they receive permission by the Director of Music.
  • Any ensemble that has more than 50% who have already taken their required number of semesters for chamber music, will need approval by the Director of Music to proceed.

Undergraduate Ensemble Requirements

Requirements vary with each concentration, but all students must perform in ensemble(s) for eight semesters in order to gain broad experience in ensemble repertoire. Students may be assigned by the school director to an ensemble in accordance with the needs of particular ensembles, regardless of the completion by the student of the minimum requirements. If a student's GPA falls below a 3.0, ensemble participation may be denied.

Performance Practicum RequirementsThere are mid-day performances, masterclasses, and lecture/recitals by students, faculty, and guests every week. Every music major must register for MUPR 039, Performance Practicum (0 credit) or MUPR 040 Performance Practicum for Performance Majors (0.5 credit), for eight semesters or as outlined in their curriculum guides.

Academic Retention Standards

Read the university retention standards in the university catalogs. They are part of the criteria used to determine whether you may remain in a program. The Cali School also monitors each student's progress.

Graduate Students
You should discuss requirements with your adviser and primary teachers.

Undergraduate Students
If you fail academic work you may be asked to suspend applied music lessons and/or ensembles until your academic work has improved.

If your GPA falls below 3.0, you may not be allowed to join ensembles and/or take applied music lessons. You would be required to focus on academic improvement.

Grades required to remain a music major: 
You may be required to repeat any music courses in which you receive a D+, D, D-, or F. Courses may be repeated a maximum of two times after the first failed attempt. Passing grades must be earned at each level of a sequence of courses before you are allowed to progress to the next level. Contact your advisor if you are having trouble at any point in your studies.

Sophomore comprehensive exam and assessment:
At the end of the sophomore year, you must demonstrate comprehensive musicianship in performing primary, functional keyboard skills, theoretical and practical skills, secondary vocal skills and others related to your concentration. You must perform adequately in these areas in order to continue as a music major. 

Requirements for final admission to undergraduate programs:

  • Theory/Composition— Final admission in junior year; in addition to full audition requirements, candidates must submit a portfolio of compositions and/or analytical sketches before completion of sophomore year.
  • Music Therapy— Final admission in junior year; in addition to full audition requirements, all credentials (including reports of clinical experience) will be evaluated at the end of sophomore year.
  • Performance— Provisional acceptance is determined by an applied music jury at the end of the freshman year unless a postponement to the middle of the sophomore year is requested by the major teacher. Full admission is delayed until after a sophomore recital and/or demonstration of a solid grasp of technical aspects of the performing medium, and genuine musicality and sensitivity.
  • Music Education— Final admission is granted only after an interview and review of credentials toward the end of the sophomore year.


Repeating Courses: Undergraduates may only repeat courses in which they have received below a C-.

Incomplete Grades: Incomplete grades will be granted by faculty members in cases where a student has completed most of the work for a course and extraordinary circumstances preclude her/him from finishing the required work by the end of a semester or summer session. Incomplete grades will be posted for a period of approximately six weeks after the submission of final grades: February 15 for a Fall course, June 30 for a Spring course, and October 15 for a Summer course. If work is not completed and a final grade posted within that time, the grade will revert to an F. Faculty members will no longer need to submit incomplete contracts, the grade will suffice. Letter grades may never be changed to an Incomplete.

Grade Changes: A change of grade request must be initiated by faculty, approved by the school director, College of the Arts dean, and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar no later than one semester after the original coursework was due to be finished. In the event that a faculty member has left the employment of the University, the Director shall determine his/her willingness to consider “IN” grade completions as well as grade changes. The school should determine how the individual would be contacted for this purpose. In the event that the former faculty member is not available for completion of these tasks, the school will choose some continuing faculty person who can act in his/her behalf. Note that no changes will be made to the academic record beyond 30 days of the student’s graduation date. 


You must discuss individual repertoire and requirements with your teacher.

Samples of undergraduate jury requirements: 

French Horn

Voice Jury Sheet SP2014

Recital Policies Summary

Time and Length of Recitals

Recitals will start no later than 5 minutes after the scheduled time (ex., no later than 2:05 for a 2 pm performance). House will open half an hour prior to your recital (7:30 for an 8 pm start).

The length of a recital shall be no longer than 90 minutes including one 10 minute intermission and any encores.

Scheduling and Confirming your Recital

Except for performances in September and October, all recitals must be scheduled at least 8 weeks before the recital date.

A signed recital form is required. Your recital becomes official when the Concert Manager receives your completed form.

The Cali School has a no?cancellation policy for its concerts.

Scheduling a Rehearsal

Dress rehearsals may be scheduled during the school week between 9am to 9pm Mon-Fri, if staffing is available. Schedule your dress rehearsal at the same time you schedule your recital. No unscheduled rehearsals will be permitted in the hall. After you return your recital form you may schedule your dress rehearsal. One, 2-hour dress rehearsal is available per faculty or student recital.

Rehearsal times are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Starting an hour before all recitals and events, you may have a 30 minute soundcheck before the house opens, ie. 7 to 7:30 pm for an 8 pm performance.

Responsibilities for Performing in Instrumental Room (201) or Choral Room (G55)

The teacher of a student giving a performance or recording in 201 or G55 is responsible for making arrangements for the key (contact JaNeen Vinson, x7212, in the main office several days before the recital); supervising setup; and returning room to original setup as shown on setup chart on the wall by the door in each space. Students should be recruited to help with setup and strike of the rooms.


The Cali School makes an audio recording of every event recital for archival purposes.  There are times when recordings have failed in Leshowitz Recital hall due to technical problems or error.  In that case, we offer students the opportunity to record in a separate session during business hours.

We do not guarantee that recitals will be recorded in G55 or 201. It may be best for you to make your own arrangements for recordings when you are performing in those rooms.

Publicizing your concert

After it is confirmed, your recital will be posted on the Cali School and University web calendars unless you ask the concert manager not to list it.

Posters/flyers may be placed on general bulletin boards only. They are not permitted on walls or music stands in stairwells or hallways. Any items posted in off-limit areas will be removed.


No receptions are permitted in the Cali School building. No exceptions:  if you show up with food for a reception you will not be allowed to set up.

1. Students who live on campus may contact Tara Mellor (; 973-655-5310) and cc Ryan Baldwin ( for information about using Freeman or Russ Lounges.

2.  Students who commute may schedule receptions in the Student Center: The Student Center is heavily used so space cannot be guaranteed. If you are interested in holding a reception there, contact Martha Learner as soon as possible.

Stage Configurations and Set-Up Requirements

Meet with Production Manager or designee no later than one month prior to your recital to discuss your stage setup and any/all special needs you may have. 

Student ensemble configurations must be discussed with the Production Manager to ensure the number of performers and instruments can be comfortably and safely accommodated on the stage and also conform to fire code regulations. Any performance including more than 5 musicians must be approved by the Production Manager.

Stage entry and hall use: Performers may enter from the stage left door only, and are restricted to performing from the stage only.  If there are space concerns, singers only may be placed in the balcony (this will eliminate 10 audience chairs). Other instruments are not allowed to be played in the balcony.

Stage set-up: Depending on your set-list, you may be required to pre-set for a piece at either the beginning of the show or intermission (this may require that extra chairs, large instruments, additional equipment, etc., be on stage when they are not in use). You and/or other performers at your recital may need to help with stage changes.

Media collaborations: Due to setup/time restraints, only one piece with other media (ex. dance, film, etc.) is permitted per recital.

Piano placement: The piano may be moved on or off stage at either the beginning of the performance or intermission and must remain there for the entire half.  It would be best if, the piano could remain stationary for an entire half.

Instrument cases will be stored in G2 if there is no class scheduled; if cases are backstage they must be removed immediately after the performance. 

Percussion equipment: If your recital requires percussion and you are using MSU equipment, there must be an MSU percussionist to supervise the move and play the instruments. If you have a non-MSU percussionist, they are responsible for bringing their own equipment.

Use of harpsichords, synthesizers, or other specialty instruments will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Partch instruments will not be used in the Leshowitz Recital Hall without explicit written consent from Charles Corey.  Moving of Partch instruments will be the performer’s responsibility in consultation with Prof. Corey.

Audio Visual Equipment, Recording and Lighting

Sound: Discuss the use of any sound equipment (microphones, amplification, etc.) with the Production Manager or designee at least one month before your recital. Availability is not guaranteed. There are a limited number of microphones available, and they should only be used for vocalists when absolutely necessary.  No instruments should be miced beyond standard amplification.  Exceptions to this may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Projection: Use of projection must be discussed with the Production Manager or designee

Rehearsal lighting: There is a standard lighting wash for rehearsals. Students and faculty are asked not to change those settings.

Recital lighting: There is a standard lighting setup in the hall. There will be no special lighting for any recitals.

Accompanist Services

1. Professional staff accompanists and piano students are available for masterclasses, Wednesday mid-day and degree recitals, juries, and for voice lessons. At the beginning of each semester, you should discuss with your studio professor your accompanist needs for the entire semester. Your studio professor will take care of making arrangements for an accompanist.

2. Accompanist will NOT have all the necessary music. Music scores must be given to the pianist no later than eight weeks before any performance.

3. The university pays for a limited number of rehearsal hours for each kind of performance, as follows: 

  • Degree recital 8 hours* 
  • Wednesday mid-day recital 3 hours 
  • Masterclass performance 1 hour 
  • Juries 1 hour

*Clarification of these 8 hours: The School pays up to 8 hours of accompanist rehearsal time for a degree recital. The accompanist is also paid another 2 hours for the recital itself.

N.B. If you are a voice student, please note that these hours are outside of the regular weekly lesson time. 

4. There is a $200 recital fee that is added to your university tuition bill for the semester. This fee includes payment to the accompanist for 8 hours of rehearsal plus 2 hours for the actual performance. You may adjust these hours as long as the total does not exceed 10 (for example, 7+3).

Each staff accompanist is paid by the university for rehearsing with students, and playing for studio voice lessons, juries, masterclasses, and degree recitals. You should not pay any additional fees unless you use rehearsal time beyond the allotted number of hours. Students must pay accompanists privately for any time beyond the maximum number of rehearsal hours shown above.

5. You may make private arrangements with your accompanist for extracurricular events such as competitions or off-campus recitals and you must pay the accompanist to work with you. The university will not pay for accompanists for these events or for rehearsals for such events. Be professional and make all financial arrangements clear from the start. It is always a good idea to make a simple written contract with your accompanist stating hourly rate and number of hours planned. Make no assumptions when money is involved.

6. Guidelines for cancellations and lateness - If a student needs to cancel an appointment with the pianist, or if the pianist must cancel an appointment with the student, he or she must give at least twenty-four hours notice. If one of you is late, he or she cannot expect the other to wait beyond 12 minutes.