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Music Student Handbook

This guide has been prepared to facilitate the pursuit of a major in music at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The College catalog contains much of the vital information relating to the music tracks, the class requirements and course descriptions. This handbook contains additional information that will help you in your endeavor to successfully earn your music degree at WLC.


    Wisconsin Lutheran College's music program focuses on both the science and artistry of this sacred and ancient communication tool. By pursuing a major or minor in music, a student will acquire the knowledge and perception essential to excellent musicianship. The program features academic studies in music analysis, music literature and repertoire, and the historical development of music. Additionally, private lessons, master classes, recitals, and vocal and instrumental performing groups serve to advance and strengthen the student's skills in making music.

    Students who pursue a major in music can select from six academic tracks. The music education track, either in choral or instrumental music, is designed to equip, develop, and certify candidates for teaching general music (grades K-12) and choral music (grades 6-12) or instrumental music (grades K-12) programs in Wisconsin public school systems. The church music track equips students with the skills and knowledge useful for serving as a church musician. The music history/literature track provides the student with a historical understanding of music while expanding the student's repertoire. The music theory/composition track stimulates creative composition and arrangement through intensive analysis of scores and original composition. The music performance track, in vocal, keyboard, or instrumental, is designed to prepare students for a career in performance and teaching on their major instrument. The piano pedagogy track trains students to teach music at the piano to students of all ages. All tracks can prepare students for graduate studies in the respective fields.


    Music is both artistry and science. Wisconsin Lutheran's music program offers the chance to study both the methods and the aesthetics of this powerful mode of communication. You can develop your talents and enjoy the enriching, broadening experience of music performance, both individually and as part of a group.

    The College's popular performing artist series brings nationally and internationally recognized artists to campus on a regular basis. Periodically, these groups offer master classes and perform with WLC college ensembles.

    The Music Department at Wisconsin Lutheran is housed in the Center for Arts and Performance (Capstone), featuring a 370-seat concert hall, practice rooms, a rehearsal hall, a multimedia lecture hall, and an electronic music lab. This state-of-art facility is home to the College's fine performing ensembles, including the following ensembles.


    • Wisconsin Lutheran Choir
      Performs for college concerts and chapel and is open to any Wisconsin Lutheran student. The choir also performs on an annual concert tour. Membership is by audition.
    • Chamber Choir
      Select group of singers that performs both on and off campus. Membership is by audition.
    • Chapel Choir
      An ensemble that performs regularly for chapel and campus concerts.
    • Concert Band
      Open to any Wisconsin Lutheran student and performs traditional concert band repertoire for on and off campus concerts. Membership is by audition.
    • Jazz Band
      An instrumental ensemble devoted to the performance of standard jazz repertoire. Membership is by audition.
    • Handbell Choir
      Open to any Wisconsin Lutheran student, they perform both on and off campus.

    Other ensembles include Brass Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, Flute Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Clarinet Ensemble.


    The procedure for the declaration of music major is the same procedure for the college as a whole with the following specific qualifiers:

    1. The student must have completed the following courses:
      • Theory I, Aural Skills I,
      • Theory II, Aural Skills II
      • Two hours of lessons in one performance medium
      • Participated in an ensemble for one year
      • Demonstration of sophomore level performance skill on an instrument
    2. Academic achievement (GPA of 2.75 in music courses)
    3. Demonstration of academic and/or performances potential relative to goals.
    4. Transfer students need to complete at least one semester in music classes before declaring music as a major.

    Advanced Placement Tests

    Students may elect to take a placement test in order be exempt from a class or have a course requirement waived. These cases will be handled on an individual basis provided the student has had some formal instruction or experience in an area specifically related to the class. For example, a student who has had music theory on the high school level may take a placement test to be exempt from Theory I.


    All music majors must be enrolled in a large group ensemble each semester in residence. Ensembles that meet this requirement are:

    • Voice - WLC Choir, Chapel Choir
    • Instrumentalists - Concert Band
    • Strings - Chamber Ensemble
    • Guitar - Jazz Band


    All students who take applied lessons will have a performance final (a jury) exam at the end of each semester.

    1. Juries will be held during exam week.
    2. An honors recital will be presented at the end of each semester. Those students performing in that recital will be juried at the recital and are not required to take the jury during the exam week.
    3. The performance will be evaluated/graded by the faculty according to a scale similar to that of the state solo and ensemble contest sheet.
    4. The performance final grade will be pass or fail. Failure to take a jury at the end of the semester (an unexcused absence) will result in a failure of the course.
    5. Music majors who present a junior or senior recital in a particular term do not have to take a jury.

    Proper dress and performance demeanor at juries is important. While the jury is not a formal affair demanding a tux or gown, it is a serious endeavor and the approach and dress for such an event should reflect a professional attitude.

    Juries will be held on the Tuesday of Exam week. A signup sheet for jury times will be posted outside the music faculty offices two weeks before the date of juries each semester. Students are to sign up for a time slot for each music lesson for which they are registered. Students are to complete a jury form and attach a typed sheet listing the repertoire studied during the semester including scales, technical etudes, pieces listened to, etc.



    Music Department Student Recitals

    Music majors are required to perform at least once each semester on their primary instrument in a music department student recital.

    Music majors are required to attend at least two WLC student and/or faculty recitals presented each semester in residence.

    A faculty member or student worker will take attendance at the door at each one of the recitals. Students are responsible for signing in for proper credit.

    All recitals require a professional decorum of dress and proper concert etiquette.

    Concert Attendance

    Music majors are required to attend two concerts presented each semester in which they are not performers; i.e. WLC Band or Choir concerts, a Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra Concert the Classic Series offered each year at WLC, concerts by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Ballet company. Other concerts may be attended for credit if approved by the applied instructor. Proof of attendance will be the submission of a ticket and program to their advisor.

    Students are expected to attend Master Classes, Workshops or special events in music that are appropriate to their discipline. They are also encouraged to attend professional performances, meeting and workshops in the Milwaukee area whenever possible.

    Purpose of the Policy

    The purpose of the attendance requirement is:

    1. To increase student awareness of the diverse music repertoire.
    2. Help students become aware of performance technique and etiquette.
    3. Develop a general musical understanding, camaraderie and support among the music faculty, music majors and music minors.


    All music majors are required to present a full senior recital of approximately one-hour in length. Performance majors are required to present a half recital during their junior year of study. Students are encouraged to include some chamber music in their recitals: i. e. duets, trio, obbligato instruments, etc.

    Student Responsibilities

    The student is responsible for the following in preparation for their recital:

    1. Arranging for an accompanist (and or other musicians who will assist) and their remuneration.
    2. Reserving the Concert Hall (or Chapel) for the recital date. This should be done in consultation with the instructor and the Director of Fine Arts Programming Office. This includes completing the Facilities Use Form and insuring that it is properly routed through the Campus Events Office (Be sure to include piano, stands and any other additional setup items that are required.)
    3. Reserving rehearsal dates in the Concert Hall or Chapel.
    4. Setting a date for the jury of the recital at least 30 days before the recital date. This jury, conducted in front of the music faculty will help in determining the viability of presenting the recital.
    5. Preparation of advertisements, program, and program notes for the recital.
    6. Preparations for a brief reception after the recital.

    Music Department Assistance

    The music department will assist in the following ways

    1. Advertisement of the recital program in consultation with the Director of the Fine Arts Programming for the Capstone and the Public Affairs Department of the College.
    2. Printing of advertisements, programs, and program notes for the recital.

    Dress for the Recital

    Men - You may borrow a Concert Tuxedo from the Choir or Band. A nice suit and tie would also be appropriate. Dark sock and dress shoes are required.

    Women - Gowns or long dresses (tea length or longer) are appropriate or you may borrow a Concert Gowns from the Choir or Band. Shoes should coordinate so they are not a distraction.

    Recital Timetable Planning Guide

    12 - 6 months before recital date -
    1. Select (with the aid and advise of the private instructor) the recital repertoire
    2. Hire an accompanist (and instrumentalist). Expect to pay the other musicians on your recital. Discuss with them, as needed the fee they expect for rehearsal time and the recital itself.
    3. Reserve the Concert Hall or Chapel with piano on stage for the rehearsal date(s) and recital date.
    4. Set up recital jury with music faculty date
    5. Begin formating program notes.
    2 Months before the recital date -
    1. Select what you will wear to perform and rehearse in that clothing to make sure it is comfortable.
    2. Discuss what you are going to wear with your accompanist and anyone else on your recital.
    1 Month before the recital date -
    1. Hold recital jury with the music faculty.
    2. Program notes should be presented at this time to the faculty.
    3. Send out invitations and advertisements after you have successfully performed the recital jury.
    4. Double check on the reception arrangements
    2 Weeks before the recital date -
    1. Finalize program notes for faculty proofreading and approval.
    2. The program notes must be proofread and approved by the faculty before the printing of the programs.
    3. Confirm that the hall is reserved with ushers, proper equipment and instruments.
    4. Meet with tech crew regarding lighting, movement of equipment on stage during the recital.
    1 Week before the recital date -
    1. Print programs.
    2. Type a list of responsibilities for the stage and lighting crews
    3. Make sure you recital apparel is clean.
    2 Days before the recital date -
    1. Mark stage for the placement of equipment, piano, stands etc.
    2. Make sure stage area is clean and piano polished
    3. Get a good night's rest.
    The Day of the Recital
    Enjoy the fruit of years of hard work and the beautiful music you will make.


    Reserve a practice room for yourself by signing up for practice rooms on the schedules outside the rooms and for the chapel by making your requests to the Campus Events manager. Be courteous to each other by giving everyone a chance to use the facilities - do not monopolize the time on any one-day. You may use the room whenever they are not in use, but yield to whoever has signed up for the time if they request it.


    Students who intend to major in music should take lessons on their major instrument throughout their freshman year in order to meet degree requirements. They will however pay for their first year of lessons according to the applied lesson fee schedule or until they have been accepted and declared as a music major. After they have been accepted and declared as a music major the applied lesson fees will be waved in their primary and secondary instruments up to the number of credits required for their degree programs.

    Lessons are available for 1 hour or credit per semester (= one 1/2 hour lesson per week) or 2 hours of credit per semester (= one hour lesson per week) Declared music majors should enroll for 2 hours of credit during their Junior and Seniors years of study.


    Storage & Security

    Student and school instruments are to be stored in the instrument storage room and lockers. Students are responsible for their instrument's security and care.

    The instrumental storage area should remain locked. However, students can gain access to it by obtaining a key from the security desk.

    A student may provide their own lock for the instrument storage lockers, but any lock left on after the end of the semester will be removed by the Facilities Management Office.

    Technique Classes

    The college will supply instruments for any technique classes required as part of a students curriculum such Brass, String or Woodwind Techniques or Guitar and Autoharp. The student is responsible for the instrument's care and security during the semester in which the instrument is rented by the college for their use. The student will pay for damaged instruments.


    Room 207 is a state of the art computer music lab, which is reserved for use only by students enrolled in classes in the music curriculum.

    No food or drink is allowed in the room for the simple reason that such materials can do damage to the equipment.

    Only properly licensed software may be loaded or used in any of the lab's machines. Duplication of any copyrighted software in the computer lab is forbidden

    No equipment shall be removed from the computer laboratory at any time without authorization from a music faculty member.

    Hours of operation of the lab are those of the facility. Students can gain access to the lab by obtaining a key from the security desk.

    Problems with computers, synthesizers, or electronic pianos are to be reported to Dr. Braun.


    Students who intend to major in music should take lessons on their major instrument at the beginning and intermediate level each semester they are on campus. Each semester of applied lessons taken before a student declares music as a major, will be paid for by the student according to the fee schedule. Music lessons that are required for music majors (this may include 1-2 half hour lessons or an hour lesson, depending on the emphasis chosen by the student) will be waived for majors beginning the first semester after they have declared such a major (as early as the first semester sophomore year). The Registrar will provide the Business Office with a list of declared music majors prior to each billing cycle (July and December). Any student taking a music lesson(s) who is on the list will receive a credit for the music lesson(s) charge if the lesson(s) is (are) necessary to complete the major requirements (as demonstrated on the degree audit maintained by the Registrar's Office). If a student who is a music major changes majors but continues taking lessons, the student will begin paying for lessons at the current per-credit tuition charge beginning the first semester following such a change. Music minors will no longer have their lesson fees waived.


    Students should be able to perform piano repertoire up to the early intermediate level by their senior year. A student may demonstrate the level of proficiency by performing for the music faculty prior to acceptance to the major or take Mus 182 until he/she is able to reach the early intermediate level represented by the repertoire listed below.

    • J. S. Bach - any of the pieces from the Anna Magdalena Notebook; any selection from the Little Clavier Book for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach; any of the 18 short preludes. (i.e. Bach - Two- or three-part Inventions)
    • W. A. Mozart - First Book for Young Pianists (ed. Palmer; Alfred Publishing.) (i. e. Mozart - Sonata K. 545 first movement)
    • R. Schumann - e.g. Of Foreign Lands and Peoples from Scenes from Childhood
    • F. Chopin - Any waltz such as the a minor, any easy prelude from Op. 28 Preludes
    • D. Scarlatti - any selection from First Book for Young Pianists (ed. Halford)
    • M. Clementi - Sonatina Op. 36 No. 1 first movement
    • L. Beethoven - An Introduction to his Piano Works (ed. Palmer; Alfred Publishing) (i.e. Beethoven - Sonata Op. 49 No. 1 or 2 first movement)
    • J. Burmuller - Ballade in c minor, Arabesque in a minor (or similar etude)
    • R. Schumann - Op. 68 Album for the Young. Pieces such as the Happy Farmer, Soldier's March, The Wild Horseman
    • Debussy - Children's Corner: Doctor Gradus ad Parnasum
    • 20th c. contemporary literature such as Twenty-four Little Pieces Op. 39 by Kabalevsky; Six Children's Pieces by Shostakovich, First Term at the Piano by B. Bartok


    Students who intend to be piano performance majors will be expected to play pieces from the following repretoire upon entrance to the music major program.

    • J. S. Bach - Two- or three-part Inventions or any prelude and fugue from the WTC
    • W. A. Mozart - Sonata K. 545 first movement
    • R. Schumann - e.g. Of Foreign Lands and Peoples from Scenes from Childhood
    • F. Chopin - Any waltz such as the a minor, any easy prelude from Op. 28 Preludes
    • Debussy - Children's Corner: Doctor Gradus ad Parnasum
    • L. Beethoven - Any sonata
    • Any 19th century romantic work of merit, e.g. Chopin Nocturne, Mendelssohn's Song Without Words
    • Any 20th century work of merit