Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

    Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalogue 
2023-2024 Catalogue

Belhaven University Music Handbook

Table of Contents




Mission Statements

Belhaven University prepares students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.




Mission Statements

The Belhaven Music Department echoes the psalmist’s proclamation “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” The department’s close community and biblical foundation aim to help each individual pursue their calling in God’s kingdom, guiding musicians as they embrace the talents that God has entrusted and placed within them. Belhaven University’s music degrees focus on building a firm footing suitable to a variety of professional callings, including graduate study. 




Accreditation and Memberships

Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees. Belhaven University is one of 36 institutions accredited in all four of the major arts - music, dance, theater and visual arts. The university is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

The Belhaven University Music Department and/or faculty are members of the following organizations:

American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA)
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
International Guild of Musicians in Dance (IGMD)




Admission to the Music Department

Current and prospective students who have applied for and been granted admission to Belhaven University and wish to declare a major in music as a Bachelor of Arts in Music (No Emphasis, Composition, Global Music, or Performance) a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, a Bachelor of Music in String Performance, or an Artist Diploma in Violin or a minor in music must audition and/or present a portfolio (composition) to be considered for admission to the major of their choice.

Specific audition requirements per degree/instrument can be found here.




Music Degree Options

The Music Department offers several degrees and degree options:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
    • No Emphasis
    • Composition
    • Global Music
    • Performance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education
    • Instrumental Emphasis
    • Vocal/Choral Emphasis
  • Bachelor of Music in String Performance
  • Artist Diploma in Violin Performance 

Information about degree requirements and course offerings can be accessed online here. Curriculum tables can also be found in the appendix.


The Bachelor of Arts in Music combines the standard music core with a significant number of required electives that allow students to “build” their own emphasis. Students can pursue multiple areas of interest by choosing other music or non-music related courses, and this degree pairs well with most minors.


The Bachelor of Arts in Music (Composition Emphasis) combines the standard music core with individualized applied study of creative musical design including composition, songwriting, structured improvisation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Students present new works through Composers Forum concerts and a capstone composition concert. Graduates are prepared for various paths including performance, composition, and graduate study.


The Bachelor of Arts with a Global Music Emphasis combines the standard music core with a crosscultural classes and exposure including short-term immersion in another culture. “There sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Romans 10:18.


The Bachelor of Arts in Music (Performance Emphasis) contains the standard music core with performances related courses. It provides students with performance opportunities with their primary instrument/voice, while still allowing students the freedom to explore other areas of interest through the required electives.


In combination with Belhaven’s Education Department, the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education prepares students to teach music in public and private schools and for licensure by the Mississippi Department of Education. This degree has two tracks -instrumental and choral/vocal-and incorporates method and education courses, an internship, and student teacher experience in addition to the standard music core classes.


The Bachelor of Music in Performance is the most musically intensive degree. It is geared towards students who desire preparation for further study, containing the standard music core, additional performance related courses, two recitals, orchestra, and chamber ensemble. String faculty are well networked and can connect students with opportunities in the community.


The Artist Diploma, a two-year program, focuses on the training of violin performance via private instruction, orchestra and chamber ensemble performance, participation in professional performing organizations, competitions, and festivals. Its goal is to prepare gifted students for high level graduate schools and/or a professional career.




Private Lessons

Private lessons are open to all students by audition and require prior music department approval. Before registering for private study, contact the music office to discuss your interest and arrange for an audition. Once you have been approved for private study, you will be assigned an instructor and permitted to register. In subsequent semesters you may continue in private study with the same instructor. You may change instructors only with sufficient cause and by arrangement with the faculty involved and music department approval.

Lessons are offered for 1, 2, or 3 credits, depending on experience and degree of study. Students taking elective lessons, or as a music minor typically register for 1 credit. Credit hours for majors depend on degree and level/year of study. Course numbers for private lessons (as well as ensembles) follow a five-year cycle, which permits students to earn multiple credits in private study, in keeping with federal regulations.

Once you have been approved for lessons in an applied area (i.e. piano), register by selecting the appropriate area to be studied, the private teacher, and the desired number of credit hours. Be careful to select the appropriate course number for your applied area, instructor, and “cycle year” (where “#” = 1 to 5), as listed below.


MUS-100 Music Studio Class (MSC) is corequisite with private lessons. If you have an intractable schedule conflict (e.g. an academic schedule conflict due to second-major course requirements, mandatory athletic practice, or an inflexible work schedule) consult the Music Chair for approval to be excused from regular attendance. You may still need to attend on occasion to meet your MSC performance requirement. Register for section two of MUS-100 only if it is necessary to work around a schedule conflict and with the Music Chair’s approval.

Occasional Area Meetings provide a “master class” opportunity for students in various performing areas to perform for one another and receive more detailed feedback from their instructors, fellow students, and the occasional guest artist. All music majors must attend their respective area meetings (minors and elective students are encouraged to attend), which will be scheduled well in advance.


A private music lesson is an appointment with a professional mentor who cares about your musical and personal growth. Come to your appointed lesson prepared to be relationally present, attentive, and ready to work. Preferably, warm up before you arrive. Dress appropriately. Be on time. Bring your journal, a record of your practice hours, your music, and a sharp pencil.

Keep your appointment! If you know you must miss a lesson, notify your instructor at least twentyfour hours in advance. If illness or other mishap prevents your attendance, contact your instructor as soon as possible. If, in your instructor’s judgment, you provide adequate reason or explanation for your absence, the lesson may be made up at the instructor’s discretion and convenience.


You are responsible for purchasing your own music, but how this is done will depend upon each individual teacher. The amount of music needed for the semester will depend on your skill level, how many lesson credits you have registered for, and the  nature of the repertoire itself. Illegal photocopies of copyrighted music are not permitted: When suitable, make use of (public-domain) literature available online.


The private lesson grade reflects your pursuit of musical growth and development, as indicated by
preparation, participation, attitude, work ethic, and performance.
Grades are calculated as follows:

  • 30% = Total Practice Hours
  • 30% = End-of-Semester Juries
  • 40% = Instructor’s Assessment.




End-of-Semester Juries

The End-of-Semester Jury is held on Study/Reflection Day and serve as a final exam for private lessons. All students enrolled in private lessons must do a jury for each private study area.

Jury repertoire requirements will vary depending upon each student’s degree program and number of registered credit hours for each private lesson:

  • All students registered for 3 credit hours in a private lesson should prepare 12 minutes of music from memory (as required by the performance area, voice students prepare 7 pieces).
  • All students registered for 2 credit hours in a private lesson should prepare 8 minutes of music from memory (as required by the performance area, voice students prepare 4 pieces).
  • All students registered for 1 credit hour in a private lesson should prepare 4 minutes of music, from memory (as required by the performance area, voice students prepare 2 pieces).

Fewer selections may be performed than indicaed above if the recital repertoire piece (movement) or pieces (movements) have a combined performance time which meets the time requirements of the jury.

It is expected that most solo repertoire pieces will be performed from memory, except for avantgarde compositions that would not usually be performed by memory. If in doubt, speak with your private instructor.

Students selected for a Best of Belhaven concert who are registered for 2 or 3 credit hours will be allowed to perform a “half” jury during end-of-semester juries. (These same students may not present their “Best of Belhaven” piece in their “half” jury.)  Students registered for 1credit hour and chosen for Best of Belhaven will be exempt from their end-of-semester juries. (Special Note: Because of the distinctive nature of composition juries, a “half” jury for composition students does not shorten the meeting time. Instead, participation in Best of Belhaven is recognized explicitly during the jury meeting so that jurors can factor it into their evaluations and feedback.)

Junior and Senior Music Majors who have passed a Recital Jury during a semester are exempt from End-of Semester Juries for that semester in their principal instrument.

Jury Repertoire must be made by mid-semester.

Juries may be used by students to audition for acceptance into the music major, minor or the BM program (strings).

For each jury, the student fills out a jury form obtainable from the Music Office, listing compositions practiced and/or performed that semester and turns it in to the Music Administrative Assistant by the posted deadline. Failure to do so may result in points being deducted from the jury performance grade.

Sign-up sheets for juries will be posted several days before juries. Reminder: Students with more than 1 private lesson area should sign up for more than one jury. For each private lesson, a student should sign up for the number of time slots that equals the number of credit hours that student is receiving for his/her private lesson, unless the student has earned a half jury due to a BoB (Best of Belhaven) performance.




Practice Hours

Musical talent calls for faithful investment: the routine, persistent pursuit of disciplined practice habits. To encourage this, the Music Department requires you to track and reflect on your practice.

The minimum practice required for a private lesson are determined by the performance area and number of lesson credits, assuming a standard of twelve full weeks of practice time per semester:

  • Winds, Brass, Percussion, Voice, Strings: 4 hours weekly per credit.
  • Piano/Organ, Guitar, Harp, Composition: 5 hours weekly per credit.

If you are preparing a recital, add your recital credit(s) to your lesson credits to determine weekly practice.

Log your practice hours daily in your practice journal and report the total to your instructor at your lesson each week. Unreported hours cannot be counted toward your final grade.


Follow the policy set by your instructor for maintaining a journal and bringing it to lessons. You can derive great benefit from tracking and routinely reflecting on your practice habits. A practice journal is a place to reflect creatively and critically on your process: goals, strategies, insights, questions, frustrations, and other information to consider with your instructor. Your journal can increase the effectiveness of private lessons, helping your instructor pinpoint areas of concern more quickly and illuminating your musical and personal growth.

Caution: Avoid Overuse Injuries.

Be cautious about practicing too much, too quickly! Work to develop stamina. All instrumental areas can develop overuse injuries. Take periodic breaks to flex, stretch, and relax body and mind. Alternate physical practice with related practice activities: memorization and score study.


Sign-ups for practice hours occur during the first music studio class of each semester. In the interest of honoring seniority, opportunities to reserve practice rooms are prioritized by class rank and degree status. In the interest of fairness, students sign up for half of their allotted hours at a time, in two rounds.

In the first round, students sign up for half of the practice hours required for their primary lesson (including additional hours required of recitalists), rounded up:

  1. Senior and junior music majors
  2. Sophomore and freshman music majors
  3. Music minors
  4. Elective students

In the second round, students may sign up for their remaining hours. This is usually administered in the music office during the second week of classes. Those who could not be present for the first round may sign up for all their required primary-lesson practice hours.

After the two rounds are complete, students taking additional private lessons may sign up for the additional hours required of them. See the music office to make allowable reservations.

Some practice rooms are reserved for select groups (such as pianists or percussionists) at various stages in the sign-up process. Others have restricted use by nature: for instance, the practice modules in Caldwell Hall are available only to women, including those residing in other residence halls, but may not be used during prescribed quiet hours.

Please make consistent use of the hours you have reserved. If you are not using a given room when you have reserved it, another student may make use of the room in your absence until you arrive. If you are using a room at a time someone else has reserved, be prepared to kindly relinquish the room upon their arrival.

The music department reserves the right to pre-empt your reservation on the rare occasion of an extraordinary event or circumstance.


To enhance security in the Center for the Arts and Caldwell Hall (where practice modules are located), students taking private lessons will need to check out practice-room keys from the music office. The keys open practice modules, the adjunct studios, room 103, the piano lab, and the computer lab. Guard your key carefully: lost keys will result in a charge of $100. There is no need to turn in a key in December unless you are leaving, graduating, or will not be taking lessons. All keys should be returned to the Music Administrative Assistant at the end of the spring semester unless you are a continuing student who will be staying in Jackson over the summer and practicing in the CFTA.


Below is a partial list of useful practice habits and activities. Prioritize and balance the various ways you are practicing. Talk with your instructor about which of the following are suitable for your situation and performance medium.

Use repetitive drills with appropriate care, so that you protect yourself against developing overuse injuries. As a rule, each hour of repetitive physical practice should include a short break (5-15 minutes, depending on your condition and mindset). Also, utilize stretching, warm-up, and cooldown procedures appropriate to your performance medium.

Things which DO Count Toward Practice Hours:

  • Anything your instructor assigns to you.
  • Rehearsing (with an accompanist) music assigned by your instructor.
  • Practicing (on your own) ensemble music assigned by your private teacher.
  • Practicing (on your own) music that you have agreed to play for a student composer (with your private instructor’s approval).
  • Practicing approved technical exercises specific to your performance medium.
  • Instrument maintenance that is integral to practice: making reeds, filing nails (guitarists)…
  • Studying assigned repertoire (score study and active listening).
  • Doing research or character study for your musical-theatre or opera repertoire.
  • Doing research on pieces for program notes, phonetics, or performance practice.
  • Journaling, critical thinking.
  • Personal preparation of music for rehearsal and performance in BU events held off campus with consent of your private teacher.
  • Soloists and small ensembles rehearsing with accompanists for which you do not receive ensemble credit (with your private teacher’s approval).
  • Writing music (composers).

Things Which DO NOT Count Towards Practice Hours:

  • Time spent in small or large ensemble rehearsals at Belhaven unless allowed in the list above.
  • Time spent in rehearsals or performances for non-Belhaven organizations.
  • Anything else your instructor has not allowed for you to do.




Collaborative Pianist Guidelines


  • Students taking private lessons in brass, woodwind, string, or voice will be assigned a Collaborative Pianist by the Collaborative Pianist Coordinator.
  • Students are provided 2 hours of rehearsal time per applied lesson credit hour across the semester. Scheduled rehearsals may not be less than 30 minutes. A semester is defined as the first day of class through fall or spring commencement.
  • If a student is performing a recital, an additional 2 hours of rehearsal time is provided on top of the rehearsal time offered for each credit hour.
  • It is not the private instructor’s or Collaborative Pianist Coordinator’s responsibility to communicate with one’s pianist regarding lessons and performances. Students should be communicating with him/her directly to schedule performances and rehearsals. Also, students are responsible for keeping track of their performances and rehearsal time to make sure it fits within the requirements.
  • Students must provide 24 hours’ notice if it is necessary to cancel a rehearsal or performance or the time will not be refunded.
  • Two weeks’ notice is required before all performances unless the student’s pianists agrees otherwise.
  • All music must be given to the student’s pianist before Midterms.
  • At least one rehearsal is required before a performance.


A student’s account will be charged as follows when registering for private lessons/recital:

1 Credit

2 Hours/
Up to 2 Performances

2 Credits

4 Hours/
Up to 3 Performances

3 Credits

6 Hours/
Up to 4 Performances


+Recital I
+Recital II

+2 Hours/
+1 Recital Performance



A “performance” is any Belhaven sponsored event on or off-campus and includes juries. Non- Belhaven events are not covered in this contract, and students are responsible for compensating their pianist separately.

If a student wants extra performances, email the Collaborative Pianist coordinator for approval.




Music Studio Class (MSC)

All students taking private lessons must also enroll in MUS-100 Music Studio Class, a weekly gathering of the Music Department students and faculty. MSC affords students the opportunity to practice performing their lesson repertoire in a supportive and encouraging environment. It also provides a forum for departmental news and announcements, guest artists, presentations and discussions about topics relevant to music-making, community life, and corporate prayer. See the Academic Catalog for a brief course description.

Failure to complete any of the MSC requirements (attendance, performance, work) could result in an unsatisfactory grade for the semester.


All music students enrolled in private lessons are allowed a maximum of three absences from MSC each semester. Exemptions from this requirement may be requested of the Music Chair by students on a case-by-case, per-semester basis.

  • Music, Dance, and Theatre majors must attend their respective departmental meetings with exceptions given on a date by date, case by case basis.
  • Music Minors who also minor in Dance or Theatre will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


Music majors & minors and Musical Theatre majors must perform in Music Studio Class once per semester on their principal instrument. Music students enrolled in applied composition lessons must have one of their pieces performed each semester in MSC. Students taking elective lessons (including majors studying secondary instruments) are strongly encouraged (but not required) to perform in MSC each semester.


Music majors are encouraged to attend as many department events as possible and events in other arts disciplines. The minimum concert attendance requirement for music majors is 5 different music events each semester. Music minors should attend at least three music events per semester. Students regularly performing in the Marching Band may receive additional concert credit from these multiple performances in the Fall Semester. Students may substitute other music events in the community with approval of their private teacher and proof of attendance. Evidence of their attendance, such as programs with student’s names written on them, should be turned into the Music Administrative Assistant. However, most of the concert attendance requirements should be met by attending Belhaven University Music Department events.

Concert Attendance is tracked in the Music Office; if you are unsure of how many attendance credits you have, please see the Music Administrative Assistant.


In addition to the attendance requirements at concerts and MSCs, all music majors and minors are expected to assist as house managers, stage managers, stage hands, sound and lighting technicians, page turners, reception servers, etc. at a certain number of Music Department sponsored concerts each semester. Please see Concert Logistics below for the list of jobs and descriptions.

  • Majors: 3 work credits
  • Minors: 1 work credit

A sign-up sheet for all concerts will be posted on the bulletin board. The Music Administrative Assistant keeps records on who has met this requirement. Music majors and minors may volunteer above and beyond this requirement, and other students are welcome to participate.




Concert Logistics

One full-time faculty member (faculty member “in charge”) will be on site 60 minutes ahead of each program and will remain after the conclusion of each program for 30 minutes. If there are still items to put away, that responsibility will go to the student workers to complete. This faculty member will serve as facilitator/coordinator, staying aware by monitoring the performance venue and concert preparations, but involved in set up only as necessary to ensure a performance starts on time.

One full-time faculty member (the “opener”) will be on site 15 minutes ahead of each program and will greet and pray with the audience at the beginning of each program using a hand-held microphone supplied by one of the Sound/Video/Recording/Photo Technicians.




Concert Logistics

Summary Timeline: Faculty and Student Workers, Arriving Before the Concert

  • 60 minutes before concert: House Manager, Stage Manager/Light Technician, Sound/Recording/Video/Photo.
  • Technicians, Faculty Member “in charge”.
  • 45 minutes before concert -Stagehand, Ushers/Reception Servers.
  • 30 minutes before concert - Page Turner.
  • 15 minutes before concert - Faculty Member “opener”.




Concert Logistics

Summary Timeline: Faculty and Student Workers, Departure After the Concert

  • Immediate exit - Page Turner, Faculty Member “opener”.
  • Materials returned to Music Office - Sound/Recording/Video/Photo Technicians, House Manager.
  • Stage cleared - Stage Manager/Lighting Technician, Stage Hand.
  • Recordings made, Sound Equipment secured - Sound/Video Technician.
  • Performance Venue empty and cleaned - House Manager.
  • Lights Off - Stage Manager/Lighting Technician.
  • 30 Minutes after the Concert - Faculty Member “in charge”.
  • Reception cleared, materials cleaned, Music Administrative Assistant Office locked - Reception Servers.




Concert Logistics

  • Be present 1 hour before the program to check the house and to ensure it is clean, orderly and ready for an audience.
  • Maintain the integrity of the Concert Hall.
  • Verify the attendance of hosting faculty member.
  • Open the house 15-30 minutes prior to the beginning of the program.
  • Manage the lobby outside the Concert Hall until the first major work has been completed.
  • Restrict the flow of audience members into the concert hall after the program has started; only allowing entry between movements and during applause.




Concert Logistics

  • Be present 1 hour before the program to go over stage changes with the performers and ensure the stage is ready for the performance.
  • Wearing the headset already placed back stage by the sound technician. This is so he/she can communicate to the sound and light technicians when the performer is about to come on stage as they will be wearing headsets as well.
  • Open and close side entrance door for the performer(s) during the performance.
  • Must thoroughly clean equipment and strike the stage at the end of the first half and at the conclusion of the concert, everything is to be returned to its original location.
  • Allow concert stage lighting to remain in effect until the applause has finished and all performers have exited the stage (exception: large ensemble concerts may return to house lighting after the applause has finished).
  • Remain after the program until everyone has left the performance venue before turning off ALL lights.




Concert Logistics

  • Be present 1 hour before the program.
  • Prepare the stage to be ready 30 minutes before the program begins.
  • Review assignments for stage changes during the program.
  • Remain after the program to help strike the stage.




Concert Logistics


  • Be present 1 hour before the program.
  • Set up microphones and do sound checks (must be completed before the House Manager opens the house).
  • Set up stage to sound booth communications (must be completed at least 15 minutes before the performance).
  • Record just moments before a piece has started and conclude the recording just moments after a piece has been completed.
  • Should allow 10-15 seconds of “dead air” at the beginning and end of each piece.
  • “Concert editing” of the recording should be done away from the actual moment of recording.
  • Stay after the program to put away all sound equipment.


  • Be present 45 minutes before the program.
  • Set up the video camera(s) mounted on a tripod and plugged in for power.




Concert Logistics

  • Be present 30 minutes ahead of the program to confer with the accompanist/performs(s).




Concert Logistics

  • Be present 45 minutes before the program starting time.
  • Set up white reception tables in CFTA foyer.
  • Check in with House Manager for assigned location) front table, entry doors, or escorting audience members to and from their seats).
  • During program, set up reception food/drinks.
  • After reception, clean up everything, washing punch bowl, trays, and any other pieces of dishware and put away.
  • Put away tables.




Additional Ways to Earn Work Credits


  • Perform a “new work” by a fellow student on a concert. (Receive work credit if not monetarily compensated or enrolled in the ensemble/course.)
  • Be present 30 minutes before the program starting time
  • Be sure to tell the Music Administrative Assistant of your role in the program, to receive credit


  • Perform collaboratively in recital/concert. (Receive work credit if not monetarily compensated or enrolled in the ensemble/course.)
  • Be present 30 minutes before the program starting time
  • Be sure to tell the Music Administrative Assistant of your role in the program, to receive credit.




Competencies and Proficiencies

Passage through Musicianship Levels/Courses (MUS123, 124, 223, 224) is attained with a final grade of C or above at each level. To satisfy the musicianship competency/course requirement, music majors are required to pass a minimum of four semesters of musicianship study including MUS223 Musicianship III. Music majors who earn a final grade of C or above in Musicianship III before completing a fourth semester of study in Musicianship must complete the minimum four semesters of musicianship study by taking MUS224 Musicianship IV. Minors are expected to complete two semesters and pass Musicianship II with a final grade of C or above. All musicianship courses may be repeated for credit.




Competencies and Proficiencies

See Appendix II, Music Degree & Emphasis to know what is required for each program. The following degree paths must complete piano proficiencies: Bachelor of Arts in Music (No Emphasis, Performance, Composition, Music Education (Instrumental, Vocal-Choral) and Bachelor of Music (string).

Piano proficiency exams occur at the end of each semester. Students do not need to enroll in piano class or private piano lessons during the semester that they take the proficiencies, but it is strongly recommended. Please arrange to sign up for the suggested number of jury blocks. Proficiencies are in 8 levels. Level 8 is for BMUS students only. Any combination of levels may be presented at one time.

Piano Fundamentals courses (MUS117, MUS118, MUS119) and Private Piano Lessons may be taken to prepare for passing Piano Proficiency Exams.




Competencies and Proficiencies

To pass Vocal Proficiency, a student must participate in a choral ensemble for one semester and complete one of the following:

  • One Semester of private vocal study
  • One semester of Vocal Fundamentals
  • Participation in a one-day, intensive seminar

Students who successfully complete 2 or more semesters of private vocal study with passing juries will be considered to have met the vocal proficiency requirements.




Best of Belhaven

Best of Belhaven is a Music Department sponsored concert intended as a showcase for students who have aspired to and achieved a high level of musical excellence and artistry while enrolled at Belhaven. Best of Belhaven occurs two or three times per year. These concerts include no more than 80 minutes of music. The concert program is selected from student solo and small ensemble performances presented during the academic year. The Belhaven music faculty makes the selection. If too much music has been nominated for a BoB Concert, the music faculty will decide what music to omit, but ensures that each student nominated has their moment on stage.

Each student performance accepted to Best of Belhaven will be limited to 9 minutes unless an exception is granted by the music faculty.

The selection process allows for any Belhaven student studying with a Belhaven music faculty member to have the opportunity to be considered for the Best of Belhaven concert. Music Department faculty members may nominate students from the pool of solo and chamber ensemble performances including MSC, junior/senior recitals and ensemble concerts held at least one week prior to the Best of Belhaven concert. To be accepted, the performance must be affirmed by most music faculty attending.





Preparing a formal recital should be planned carefully.

Recital I and II programs should be submitted to the Music Chair and Music Administrative Assistant for approval at least three months before the recital jury hearing date. Accurate timing of pieces must be included. The recital should not be changed after the program has been submitted to the Music Chair. Each recitalist must follow the Checklist: Belhaven Music Department Recital/Concert Preparation (at end of this handbook) throughout the recital preparation process.

  • Recital I consists of 22.5-30 minutes of music, and Recital II consist of 45-60 minutes of music.
  • The student will prepare program notes for all recitals and turn them in to the Music Administrative Assistant before their jury (see checklist). The student should seek assistance from his/her applied music instructor in preparing program notes. Plagiarism in writing program notes should be avoided.
  • The recital jury hearing should be held no more than six weeks before the recital to avoid having to reschedule a recital date. There must be three weeks between the date of the successful completion of a jury and the recital date. No exceptions.
  • The Junior and Senior Recital public presentations must be at least six months apart. No exceptions.
  • When scheduling a recital date, always consult with your private teacher, your family and the Facility Manager of the Center for the Arts. Wednesday night recitals are to be avoided if possible. Sunday recitals are not permitted.
  • The student will fill out a jury form, prior to their recital jury, and turn it into the Music Administrative Assistant. Recital Jury hearings are to be performed in their entirety. Assisting artists are required to perform at the jury. Exceptions must be approved by the Music Chair and the Recital Jury Chair.
  • The jury panel may elect to pass elements of a program without passing the entire program. Where entire programs have not been promoted to the actual recital, follow up juries may occur at intervals of 7 days or more to allow enough time for the student to improve the performance level of the re-juried pieces. After passage of the last jury, 3 weeks must pass before the actual recital is presented.
  • English translations for all songs to be sung in a foreign language are required to be placed in the program alongside the original text at least one week before the recital jury.
  • After a student recital is successfully completed, programs and Recital Checklist are put in the Music Department student file.






Many courses including but not limited to courses in Pedagogy, Form and Analysis and World Music are scheduled once every two years. Students must strive to take these courses if required for their major/minor when they are scheduled if they have taken the prerequisite classes. See the online catalog for the prerequisites for each course and speak with your academic advisor about when to take these classes.


All music majors are required to participate in large ensembles every semester until they have met graduation requirements. The ensemble must align with their primary instrument of study.
Music Minors are not required to enroll in ensembles that align with their focused area of private study.


  1. Once a student has earned 64 hours of credit, Belhaven University will only allow credits from senior colleges (4-year institutions) to transfer onto a student’s Belhaven University transcript.
  2. Attempts to enroll in classes past the “Last Day to Add Classes” will fail.


When you enroll in a class that has already started, any class periods you missed prior to enrolling are counted as absences.


Each student majoring in Music must take a written examination covering all the courses they have taken by the end of their final semester before graduation. The test will be administered prior to the mid-semester break of that semester. A score of 140 is required to pass the exam. If that score is not attained on the first attempt, Music Faculty will provide tutorials for students with a retest offered during the last 2 weeks of the semester. Failure to pass the exam will require additional study and testing before the degree is awarded. A grade of “S” (satisfactory) will be given when the exam is passed.


Students with an 18-hour course load may register for an ensemble for zero credit hours to participate without creating an overload.




Parking on Campus

If you have any questions regarding parking enforcement, permits, or other special needs on campus, please feel free to contact the Security office at or by calling the Security Office at (601) 968-5900. The above, and other information related to Campus Operations, can be found online here.

If you are parking at the CFTA, the East side gate will be closed and locked from 5:30pm onward unless there is an event taking place. If you typically park on the Music side, you may still enter from the West side and just turn right to park in the East side parking lot.





The Belhaven Security Department is in the Bettye Quinn Alumni House, on the corner of Peachtree and Riverside Drive (1849 Peachtree Street).

A security shuttle runs from 4pm to 12am every evening the CFTA is open during the school year. Pick up/drop off points include the CFTA Theatre entrance and the entrance to the Visual Arts and Dance Center.

Any time you need a ride to get around campus, you may call Security.

Be Street Smart and always aware of your surroundings. Furthermore, students are strongly advised to take the sidewalk to the Center for the Arts. Campus Security discourages cutting behind the Alumni House alone. Belhaven Campus Security may be reached at any time, day or night, at 601-968-5900 (x5900).




Students Teaching Private Lessons

As practice room space is at a premium, students are asked not to teach in practice rooms and modules unless doing so to fulfill a pedagogy practicum or other course requirement. The best options for teaching private lessons include several area churches where a student worships.





The CFTA is officially open from 6:30 a.m. until midnight Monday through Friday. Saturday hours run from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. unless there is an evening program. The CFTA is closed on Sunday. If empty, the CFTA will be locked as early as 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, but students may gain access by scanning into the Theatre Wing Monday-Saturday with practice available in a secure facility until 1:00am when the alarm is set.

Summer Hours: The CFTA is typically open 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday - Friday. If you are in the CFTA before 6 p.m., you can stay as late as 9 p.m. before Security asks you to leave.





The bulletin board in the music wing hallway is updated regularly with information on employment opportunities, workshops, performances, general announcements, etc. All announcements should be given to the Music Administrative Assistant to be posted with the date of their posting.





Please limit usage of the Steinway grand pianos in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall and Concert Hall as they are especially to be used for preparing junior and senior recitals, and dress rehearsals for other Music Department events

If you discover issues with any of the pianos in the Music Department, please notify the Music Administrative Assistant as soon as possible. We do have a piano tuner on hand who can come in and fix a piano within a week, but we cannot fix a problem if we are not aware of it.





The Music Department Newsletter is a publication of the Music Department containing announcements and information of note for students and faculty of the Music Department. The newsletter is distributed at Music Studio Classes. Additional circulation is provided by email and posting on the Music Department hallway bulletin board. Faculty and students may post announcements by sending them to the Music Administrative Assistant ( no later than 12 p.m. on the Wednesday preceding the Music Studio Class. Announcements should be concise and of interest to our students and faculty.





If a music student is entrusted with any type of equipment in the Music Department such as the video camera, digital camera, SuperScope, microphones, cables, headsets, etc. and damages, loses or destroys one or more of these items in any way, he/she will be held responsible and must replace/repair said item(s).





Lockers are available in the Center for the Arts for instrument and music storage. These may be signed out at any time at no charge from the Music Administrative Assistant. Food is not permitted in lockers at any time. Lockers should be emptied at the end of each academic year. Items left behind will be thrown away. Summer usage of lockers is possible through dialogue with the Music Administrative Assistant.





All equipment and instruments held by the Music Department should be considered in use daily. They should not be available for lending to another part of campus without 1) an appropriate inquiry of the Music Chair as to availability and 2) a written assurance that those borrowing the equipment will be responsible for repair or replacement of the equipment in case of loss or damage.

Chairs in classrooms and the Recital Room are color coded for their location. Do not move chairs to any other venue. If you need chairs, please contact Mr. Frank Dolansky in advance.

Please be advised that if you rehearse, practice, study, etc. in any of the practice modules, concert halls, classrooms or common spaces in the Center for the Arts, you are expected to put everything back in its proper place when you are finished including chairs and stands. All lights should be turned off, pianos closed, doors closed, etc.

Stage right and stage left wings of the Concert Hall are not for storage of music chairs and chair racks, music stands and stand racks, drum sets, marimba, timpani, second (larger) conductor’s podium, etc. When these items are left in these places it makes it difficult to work/set up for other groups and events that also use the Concert Hall space.

Items stored on Stage Left:

  • Smaller conductor’s podium
  • Conductor’s stand
  • Black storage cabinets
  • Organ
  • Clear speaker’s podium
  • Small trash can
  • Lost and found box
  • 2 Chairs (do not remove from Concert Hall) Items stored on Stage Right:
  • Electronic drum set & stool
  • 4 floor monitors
  • Bass amplifier
  • Grand piano
  • Mic stands
  • Podium microphone
  • Small trash can
  • 1 music stand rack.






(course numbers follow a five-year cycle: “#” designates the cycle year, from 1 to 5)

MUS-C#1 Andrew Sauerwein COMPOSITION
MUS-G#2 Dennis Bonds GUITAR, JAZZ
MUS-G#3 Richard Brown GUITAR, BASS
MUS-H#1 Mandy Mangrum HARP
MUS-O#1 Carol Durham ORGAN
MUS-P#1 Kaitlin Moody PIANO
MUS-P#2 Warren Ertle PIANO
MUS-R#1 Owen Rockwell PERCUSSION
MUS-S#1 Richard Brown STRINGS: BASS
MUS-S#2 Nancy Bateman STRINGS: CELLO
MUS-V#2 Sarah Waters VOICE
MUS-V#3 Chrissy Hrivnak VOICE
MUS-V#4 Rebecca Geihsler VOICE
MUS-W#4 Olivia Boatman WOODWINDS: OBOE






  1. Sight-Read a single line melody: Read at sight a single line melody in treble or bass clef. Be prepared to play in any key up to 5 sharps or flats with dotted rhythms, accidentals, and no limit on its melodic span.
  2. Read two voices from a four-part texture: Simultaneously read two voices of a hymn given one week in advance of the proficiency date. Be prepared to play any two voices that are requested by the faculty.
  3. Harmonize a melody and play it: Harmonize a melody given in advance of the jury date. The accompaniment pattern is the students’ choice.
  4. Transpose the melody and accompaniment from #3: The same melody and accompaniment pattern will be transposed to another key at least one whole step away from the original key.
  5. Demonstrate 5-finger patterns in the requested keys: On request, play a 5-finger pattern in three (3) major and three (3) minor keys with both hands.
  6. Show an understanding of piano cadences: On request, play three major (I-IV-I-V7-I) and three minor (i-iv-i-V7-i) cadences with both hands.
  7. Play (prepared and with score) one of the following choices depending on student’s area:
    1. Music Education, and Vocalists: An accompaniment for choral or vocal solo (must be a minimum of 16 measures).
    2. Music Education, Instrumental: An accompaniment for an instrumental solo (must be a minimum of 16 measures).
    3. Composition, Music Education, Vocal: A four-part chorale
    4. Music Ministries: Sing while accompanying yourself on the piano with chords from a lead sheet.
  8. Demonstrate performing ability: BMUS students must play a piece at level three or above to prove the acquisition of performing skills at the piano from memory.

*Students are required to perform satisfactorily in ALL items to receive a Pass in the Piano Proficiency Test.



  1. Sight-Read a single line melody: Read at sight a single line melody in treble or bass clef. Be prepared to play in any key up to 5 sharps or flats with dotted rhythms, accidentals, and no limit on its melodic span.
  2. Read two voices from a four-part texture: Simultaneously read two voices of a hymn given one week in advance of the proficiency date. Be prepared to play any two voices that are requested by the faculty.
  3. Harmonize a melody and play it: Harmonize a melody given in advance of the jury date. The accompaniment pattern is the students’ choice.
  4. Transpose the melody and accompaniment from #3: The same melody and accompaniment pattern will be transposed to another key at least one whole step away from the original key.
  5. Play Major 5 finger patterns chromatically up the keyboard for one octave in the style of a vocal warm-up.
  6. Show an understanding of piano cadences: On request, play three major (I-IV-I-V7-I) and three minor (i-iv-i-V7-i) cadences with both hands.
  7. Major and Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic Minor scales: Be able to play three major and three minor scales in any key requested by faculty. Must be 2 octaves. Hands separately is permissible.
  8. Play (prepared and with score) one of the following choices depending on student’s area:
    1. Music Education, and Vocalists: An accompaniment for choral or vocal solo (piece must be a minimum of 16 measures).
    2. Music Education, Instrumental: An accompaniment for an instrumental solo (piece must be a minimum of 16 measures).
    3. Composition, Music Education, Vocal: A four-part chorale
    4. Music Ministries: Sing while accompanying yourself on the piano with chords from a lead sheet.

      The playing level of the student should be fully demonstrated. Accuracy, continuity, confidence, and artistry will be evaluated.
  9. Demonstrate performing ability: BMUS students must play a piece at level three or above to prove the acquisition of performing skills at the piano from memory.

*Students are required to perform satisfactorily in ALL items to receive a Pass in the Piano Proficiency Test.





Musicians are athletes. The stresses placed on musicians’ bodies and hearing in non-musical daily activities, and the many hours of practice, may lead to debilitating overuse injuries that could end a musician’s performance career.

Injuries most often occur when an activity includes actions which force muscles beyond their acquired level of endurance. These kinds of “soft tissue” injuries are often like getting a “sunburn”, one does not recognize the danger of the moment until the injury has already occurred. “Soft tissue” injuries may not be evident 24 hours or more after the physical activity that caused the injury and may require months of healing time and physical therapy.

To be able to practice many hours each day:

  • Work gradually to increase from current daily practice to the desired level of daily practice.
  • Take a short break from playing/singing every hour during practice.
  • Be sure to use a playing posture that allows the most ease in playing/singing, i.e. piano bench height.
  • Begin practice by “warming up”; end practice by “cooling down”.
  • Just as sports athletes do, stretch muscle groups most heavily involved before, during and after practice.
  • Vary the kind of practice, volume level, speed, hand positions, etc.
  • It takes years and thousands of hours of practice to build a virtuosic technique, be realistic.
  • Maintain other regular physical activity that you pursued during the summer months for general physical health and stamina.
  • Eat well (good nutrition is an asset).
  • Sleep is required.
  • Understand what your body is telling you during any form of activity or time of rest.
  • Allow for time to overcome limitations imposed by a previous injury.
  • Recognize that the way you are practicing/performing now may need adjustments.

Injury avoidance for “musician athletes” has been a significant area of study since the mid-1970s. There are many resources available today to assist musicians in understanding how to avoid injury. Doing an internet search on “avoiding injury while practicing music” will yield millions of hits.
Alexander Technique, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi may all offer something of great value if studied with diligence. Know about “10,000 Hours of Practice” - what is fascinating about that hypothesis and what some are saying negatively about it. Discover the applicable resources available from music organizations that promote what you do. These organizations include AGO, ASTA, MENC, MTNA, NASM and NATS. Think critically, set attainable goals for practice, and assess practice during and afterwards.

Those who experience injuries affecting their playing or singing apparatus should follow practice guidelines set by their doctor, physical therapist, and private teacher, with the goal of full recovery to allow maximum practice and performance capability. Soft tissue injuries typically require much more recovery time than skeletal injuries. Be wise. Learn more. Protect yourself!


The human ear is a very delicate organ. Subjecting it to high decibel levels of sound for extended periods of time has been shown to cause permanent hearing loss. This type of hearing loss may be found in young and old. Be wise, protect yourself:

  • Wear hearing protection when working with sound producing mechanisms: power saws, mowers, guns, etc.
  • Avoid listening to music with headphones at high volume levels.
  • Avoid listening to live amplified music where the decibel level reaches or exceeds 90 db.
  • Learn more! See a helpful summary of dB levels at
  • BU Music Office has a decibel meter. Discover for yourself how many decibels are being produced in different activities. Check it out!