Performance Study Requirements

The music department believes students enrolled in individual performance studies should have a thorough knowledge of the Rudiments of Music (MUSIC-100), enrollment for lessons is contingent on successful completion of MUSIC-100 or MUSIC-131 (Basic Musicianship), or exemption from, MUSIC-100, regardless of whether a student's home institution is Mount Holyoke or one of the other colleges in our consortium.

Steps toward Initial enrollment in Performance Study

All Mount Holyoke and Five College students must do the following in order to qualify for MUSIC-151 (Individual Performance Study):

    1. Take the MUSIC-100 Exemption Exam. Please look over the exam schedule, skills tested, and review materials ahead of time.
    2. Audition/interview with department faculty during the first week of classes.
      Students wishing to take private performance study on any instrument sign up for an audition (held the first week of each semester).
      During your audition, be prepared to:
  • Piano: play a prepared piece which represents your level of musicianship and ability and sight-read some brief passages. 
  • Voice and all other instruments: perform a short prepared piece which represents your level of musicianship and ability.

Based on the results of the audition/interviews, register for MUSIC-151 (Individual Performance Study) and, if required, MUSIC-100 (Rudiments of Music) or MUS131 (Basic Musicianship).

Beginning Students

Students who are accepted for lessons and evaluated in their audition as beginners on their instrument or voice must satisfy the music rudiments requirement in one of the following three ways:

  1. Pass the MUSIC-100 Exemption Exam prior to enrollment in performance study; or
  2. Enroll concurrently with their first semester of performance study in the 2-credit MUSIC-100 (Rudiments of Music) for the first half of the semester) or the 4-credit MUSIC-131 (Basic Musicianship); or 
  3. Enroll concurrently with their first semester of performance study in a Five College course equivalent to MUSIC-100 or MUSIC-131.

Experienced Students

Students who are accepted for lessons and evaluated in their audition as experienced players or singers (i.e., having had previous instrumental or vocal training) may, after taking the MUSIC-100 Exemption Exam and obtaining the permission of the instructor, enroll in MUSIC-151 (Individual Performance Study) for one semester without satisfying the rudiments of music requirement. Continued performance study beyond this single semester grace period requires satisfying the rudiments requirement either through exemption or concurrent enrollment in MUSIC-100 or MUSIC-131.

Performance teacher's schedules

Openings on performance teachers' schedules will be filled according to the following order of priority:

  1. Declared Music Majors and Minors. 
  2. First, Second, and Third-year students who demonstrate proficiency on their instrument at or above an upper elementary level, with order of placement determined by extent of experience and quality of performance. 
  3. First, Second, and Third-year students who wish to begin their study of an instrument or voice, provided they enroll concurrently in MUSIC-100.
  4. Fourth-year students, with order of placement determined by extent of experience and quality of performance. Senior beginners must enroll concurrently in MUSIC-100.

Placement is contingent on teacher availability and cannot be guaranteed to any level of student qualification.