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Jury Examinations

The purpose of the Jury is two-fold: to determine that adequate progress is being made in private study, and to verify that this progress is sufficient to warrant advancement to the next level of private instruction. Progress will be evaluated with special focus on these musical aspects:

  • technical aspects
  • sound
  • musicality/interpretation/expression/presentation
  • media-specific aspects (if applicable)

Progress should be demonstrated through performance of diverse and appropriate repertoire [which is reflective of the content of the student’s private instruction]. Consult your instructor to determine what repertoire is appropriate for advancement to the next level.

All music majors enrolled in private lessons (MU 150, 250, 350) will be required to perform a jury in the Spring of each year during finals week. This requirement must be met (regardless of whether the student passes the jury or not) before permission will be granted to continue lessons. The only exception to this requirement is for students who have passed a senior project (recital) pre-recital.

Students participating in Cal Poly’s London Study Program spring quarter must complete a jury at the end of winter quarter.

It should be noted that the 250-level jury carries significantly more weight than other juries which are primarily intended to verify progress. Since passing to the 350 level is the minimum required for graduation, it should include a choice of literature that demonstrates a wide range of styles and musical challenges, and a level of competence that is reflective of university training. A student should work carefully with his/her private teacher to select repertoire that is particularly appropriate for this jury. At least three full-time faculty members will hear each jury, and the private instructor will be encouraged to attend. The jury panel may raise or lower a student’s grade by up to one letter grade from that assigned by the instructor.

To schedule a jury, a student must first submit a “Request for Jury” form, signed by the private instructor, by the end of week 5 of the quarter. If the form is not received by the deadline, the student may have to wait until the next quarter to take their jury. This form should indicate the repertoire to be performed, and whether the student needs to use an official departmental accompanist. The department will announce how much rehearsal time will be available per student for each jury; factors which will affect this decision will include, but are not limited to: accompanist availability, number of students performing juries, space availability, and funding considerations. Individual rehearsal times (approximately ten minutes in length) can be confirmed in the Department Office.
 
There is a limit of 12 units of credit for state-funded private instruction, corresponding to lessons every quarter for four years (although only 9 units of credit for private instruction are required for the degree). Students who have remained at the same level for 6 units without passing a jury to proceed to the next level may be subject to paying for private instruction until they pass to the next level.
 
The following information may be used as a guide to the expectations for each evaluation level.

Jury Requirements for each level of Applied Music

The following information may be used as a guide to the expectations for each evaluation level:

  • MU 150–To pass the MU 150 jury (and advance to the 250 level), students must demonstrate significant progress and show good achievement in the musical aspects listed at the beginning of the Jury Examinations section. This should be achieved after completion of 3 quarters of MU 150.
    • Voice: A repertoire of 5 pieces; at least 1 foreign language will be represented, and all pieces much be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 5 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining two.
    • Piano/Guitar:  A repertoire of 4 contrasting pieces representing different periods or styles; 3 of the 4 pieces must be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 2 pieces. The Jury Committee may also ask pianists for scales and arpeggios.
    • Wind & String Instruments: A repertoire of 4 contrasting pieces/études. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 2 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining piece. The Jury Committee may ask for scales.
    • Percussion: A repertoire of 3 pieces, including works for mallet, timpani, and snare drum, multi-percussion, world percussion, or drum set. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the JuryCommittee at the jury. The student selects the first piece; the Jury Committee selects the order of the remaining 2 pieces.
  • MU 250–To pass the MU 250 jury (and advance to the 350 level), students must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the three musical aspects listed at the beginning of the Jury Examinations section. This proficiency will be demonstrated in the performance of appropriate repertoire studied during MU 250. Because passing the 250-level jury is required for graduation and represents achievement of a minimum level of performance skills expected of a graduate from the Cal Poly music program, this jury carries significantly more weight than the MU 150-level jury. Therefore, the jury repertory should include a choice of literature that demonstrates a wide range of styles and musical challenges, as well as a level of competence that is reflective of university training. A student should work carefully with his/her private teacher to prepare appropriate repertoire.
    • Voice: A repertoire of 5 pieces not prepared for previous jury levels; at least 2 foreign languages will be represented, and all pieces must be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 5 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 4 pieces.
    • Piano/Guitar: A repertoire of at least 4 significant contrasting pieces not prepared for previous jury levels; these pieces should represent different periods or styles, and 3 of the 4 pieces must be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 2 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining piece. The Jury Committee may also ask for scales.
    • Wind & String Instruments: A repertoire of 4 contrasting pieces/études not prepared for previous jury levels. These pieces should represent different periods or styles. A list of this repretoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 2 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining piece. The Jury Committee may also ask for scales.
    • Percussion: A repertoire of 4 pieces, not prepared for previous jury levels, including works for mallet, timpani, and snare drum, multi-percussion, world percussion, or drum set. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 2 pieces.
  • MU 350–To pass the MU 350 jury (and advance to the 450 level), students must demonstrate continued progress and show advanced consistency in the three musical aspects listed at the beginning of the Jury Examinations section. This proficiency will be demonstrated in the performance of appropriate repertoire studied during MU 350.Passing the MU 350 jury is not required for graduation, and therefore signifies a level of competence beyond that which reflects satisfactory completion of university training in the field of music. Students are expected to present a special and compelling musical delivery coupled with an exceptional level of technical ability. Students wishing to pursue performance at the graduate level or present a senior recital at Cal Poly should make every effort to reach the 450 level. The jury should include a choice of literature that demonstrates a wide range of styles and musical challenges. A student should work carefully with his/her private teacher to prepare appropriate repertoire.
    • Voice: A repertoire of 5 pieces not prepared for previous jury levels; at least 3 foreign languages will be represented, and all pieces must be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will consist of 3 of these 5 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 4 pieces.
    • Piano/Guitar: A repertoire of at least 5 significant contrasting pieces not prepared for previous jury levels. These pieces should represent difference periods or styles, and 4 of the 5 pieces must be memorized. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 5 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 2 pieces. The Jury Committee may also asks pianists for scales and arpeggios).
    • Wind & String Instruments: A repertoire of 4 contrasting pieces/études not prepared for previous jury levels. These pieces should represent different periods or styles. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 2 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece and the Jury Committee selects the remaining piece. The Jury Committee may also ask for scales.                  
    • Percussion: A repertoire of 4 pieces not prepared for previous jury levels, including works for mallet, timpani, and snare drum, multi-percussion, world percussion, or drum set. A list of this repertoire will be presented to the Jury Committee at the jury. The jury will include 3 of these 4 pieces; the student selects the first piece, and the Jury Committee selects the remaining 2 pieces

Students who have arrived at the MU 450 level in instruments or voice will be those expecting to present a Senior Recital. Students aspiring to offer a Senior Recital should make every effort to reach the MU 450 level.