Department Facilities and General Information


The Music Department is located in the Davidson Music Center (No. 45) on the easternmost part of the Cal Poly campus. Enter the campus on Grand Avenue; the Music Building is the second building on the left. Temporary parking permits should be purchased at the small building at the entrance to the campus. If you are arriving in San Luis Obispo via Highway 101, the appropriate exit is Monterey Street from the north or Grand Avenue from the south.

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Music Office

The Music Office is in Room 129, on the ground floor of the Music Building. Phone numbers are (805) 756-2406 or 756-2607. Messages can be left on voice-mail on either department number. The department fax number is (805) 756-7464. Operating hours listed below.

The mailing address is:

Music Department
Cal Poly
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0326

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Music Library & Computer Lab

Description: The Music Library consists of a collection of records, compact discs, tapes, scores, videotapes and computer-aided theory and musicianship programs providing study aids for the faculty and students of the department. All items must remain in the department offices at all times. There are 4 rooms available for listening, video and DVD viewing, and projects for the recording classes. The listening rooms are equipped with compact disc players, and in some cases record players. All of the listening rooms are equipped with a computer, with software available for a variety of music theory and musicianship programs, and a video monitor for videotape viewing. Listening rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rooms cannot be held or reserved. The Music Library is housed in Room 129 (the Music Office) on the ground floor of the Music Building. 

Hours and Policies

Regular hours for the Music Library are posted. The normal schedule is:

  • Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday through Thursday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday 12 noon – 3 p.m.

Summer hours:

  • Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Exceptions will be posted in the building and on the main Web page. Materials do not circulate outside the library. Students must present a current CPSU ID card in order to use the facilities and materials. Federal copyright laws prohibit taping (copying) of recorded materials.

No food, beverages, or smoking are allowed in the listening facilities.


The collection of recordings is organized to serve the needs of the department curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the listening and study requirements of the courses offered by the department. The collection consists, therefore, of the history of traditional Western music, non-Western music (to serve the needs of World Music courses) and the history of American jazz. The collection also consists of scores of standard works which can be used in conjunction with the recordings.

The Music Library also contains a number of basic reference materials such as Baker’s Dictionary of Music, The Harvard Dictionary of Music, and The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments.

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Keyboard/Musicianship Lab

Located in Room 101 of the Music Building, this facility offers 14 electronic keyboard stations (Yamaha Clavinova) for instruction and practice. Hours of available practice times vary from quarter to quarter. Schedules will be posted outside the classroom, or check in the Music Office for times. Computers have been installed at a number of the stations, offering several drill programs for musicianship skills.

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Robert E. Kennedy Library (University Library)

The Robert E. Kennedy Library contains an extensive collection of music books, periodicals and scores. It has some listening facilities in the Learning Resources Center. In the Reference Section there is a recent edition of the New Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians and a copy of the MGG (Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart—for those who read German).

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“Music Use” fee

A quarterly $20 fee is assessed of all students who qualify to sign up for practice rooms, check out a locker (for instrumentalists), a school instrument and/or musician’s ear plugs. The quarterly fee covers all three items. A separate fee of $20 is required when taking courses involving the music technology studio or the recording classes.

There are two ways to pay the fee, which can be paid for more than one quarter at a time, up to $60:

  1. Pay through the portal. At the “Money Matters” tab, click on “Make a Payment Now” and go to “Music Fees”). There may be a 2.75% convenience fee for credit (vs debit) transactions; which is .55 for $20. A receipt will be emailed to you which you need to forward to

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Music Technology Studio

ROOM 125 (see "Music Use" fee above): The Music Technology Studio serves as a resource for the music technology courses and student and faculty projects. It includes both analog and digital synthesis capabilities as well as a complement of studio processing and recording equipment. The studio’s individual workstations support software synthesis, digital sound editing, hardware synthesis, and sampling. The studio is networked by both audio and MIDI lines. All work stations have access to mainframes and Web resources.

Studio time is in great demand and limited. Priority for time in the studio is given to classes in music technology, then to special projects related to course work, and finally to extracurricular projects. Scheduling is handled through the coordinator of the music technology program.

A $20 "Music Use" fee is assessed quarterly of all students using the studios.

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Department-owned Instruments

The Music Department maintains a large inventory of instruments for use only by students in music classes. The policies for using the Department instruments are available from the Music Department. Failure to return a department instrument by the due date will result in a monetary hold being placed on the student’s records.

The department also owns a collection of modern and historic keyboard instruments including 1 9-foot Steinway concert grand piano and 1 7-foot Yamaha artist grand piano, 1 harpsichord, and a 4-rank portative organ. The Performing Arts Center houses concert instruments, including a 40-rank C.B. Fisk tracker action pipe organ and a Regier reproduction of a Walther fortepiano.

A $20 "Music Use" fee is assessed quarterly of all students using department instruments.

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Practice Rooms

The ground level area of the Music Building houses practice rooms available to students enrolled in a Music Department performance-related course who have paid the "Music Use" fee. Music majors taking private lessons on piano are provided rooms with grand pianos whenever possible. Information concerning rooms and other space reservations is available in the Music Office, Room 129.

Practice rooms are not open during holidays and breaks.

Absolutely no food, beverages, or smoking are allowed in the practice rooms.

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Instrument Lockers

  • The purpose of lockers is to reduce damage to and loss of state-owned instruments which otherwise might be left unsecured and unattended.
  • CPSU assumes neither responsibility nor liability for instruments and equipment stored in
    Music Department lockers.
  • Lockers not assigned for state-owned instruments may be available for storage of private instruments.
  • The use of lockers and instruments will be reviewed each quarter by the department. Renewal of an instrument and/or locker requires paying a “use” fee and presenting it to the appropriate individual. The "Music Use" fee can be paid for an entire year, eliminating the need to renew check-outs each quarter. State instruments must be returned at the end of the year. Since school instruments are sent out to be thoroughly checked and repaired during the summer, instruments are generally not available during that time.
  • The Department Chair approves all exceptions to the assignment of school instruments and lockers.
  • Failure to return a locker key by the contract due date will result in a monetary hold being placed on the student’s records.

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Student Mailboxes

Each music major will be assigned a mailbox located in the lobby of the Music Building. Mailboxes should be checked on a daily basis for important information and handouts.

Student Equipment Requirements

Protocols will likely continue to be in place regarding sanitation and personal protective equipment for anyone entering campus buildings. Efforts to keep the Davidson Music Center sanitized and safe for everyone's protection include requiring music majors to have two items:

  • A fold-up music stand
  • Regular access to a piano/keyboard

There are many brands of stands available, and your choice should be sturdy, yet lightweight, as you could be carrying it with you to rehearsals and lessons. One option is the Lunies Sheet Music Stand which comes with a rechargeable light, stand clips for outdoor use and a carrying case.

You will also need regular access to an electronic keyboard for your required Piano Skills classes since you will need to practice every day. There are practice rooms available in the music building, but depending on COVID restrictions for the fall, you might not have regular nor on-demand access to these, so students have found having a piano/keyboard in their dorm/apartment made regular practice and progress easier. Our public practice room pianos will likely experience an increased amount of hands-on use, so your having access to a personal keyboard remains one of our safety protocols.  

Acceptable options must have at least 76 keys that are touch-sensitive so you can play dynamics. Plus a headset jack, built-in speakers, an AC adapter, an instrument stand, and a sustaining pedal — or one that can be purchased separately. The Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA is a good option, but you may need to purchase a pedal separately.

Sources include Amazon and other online retailers, but whatever you choose should include the above specifications. You will be using the keyboard during your entire time at Cal Poly to work not only on piano repertoire, but also on your theory assignments, musicianship, etc., so it is a good investment and allows you to practice in your place of residence. This gives you a lot of flexibility.

Many of us are experiencing a variety of losses and some are quite severe. Students who are experiencing financial hardship may apply for a grant through Cal Poly Cares. Students who are not federal Title IV eligible, including international and undocumented students, are also allowed to apply.

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Recordings of Recitals & Concerts

Students proficient and competent in recording techniques are eligible to work as a recording assistant for the department. This activity is coordinated by Benjamin Reveley, the Department Technician. Typical assignments include recording department ensemble concerts, student recitals, and guest lecture-demonstrations. Students interested in being recording assistants should contact Benjamin Reveley (756-6835; 471-5121 cell). Copies of recorded events are available for a charge.

General Information & Fees

The music technology program attempts to provide recording assistants and equipment for concerts, events, and recitals sponsored by the Music Department. To ensure high quality recordings and to offer these services efficiently, it is necessary for you to complete the Request for Recording Services form as accurately and fully as possible. This form should be submitted at the same time that you submit the forms for concert, project, or recital approval.

Music majors are required to have recitals and performance related senior projects recorded. Alhough you are not required to utilize the recording arts program services, it is expected and in your best interest that your recordings be of professional quality. Minimum fees are charged for our services. These fees cover the costs of personnel to record the concert, equipment, and DVD/CD. The minimum charge for recording is $75 for an on-campus 1 hour recital. If additional services are needed or special circumstances are present in your concert, there may be additional costs. Additional charges ($125 minimum) could be applied for off-campus events.

Current recordings of Music Department recitals are stored in the iTunes library on the Music Department listening room computers (Rooms 129B-129E).


The Request for Recording Services form should be submitted along with the recital or project forms to the Music Office. You will then receive a notice acknowledging that your recital or project has been scheduled or that there is a conflict hindering scheduling. You will also be notified of the fee for providing the requested recording services, along with any additional fees. Upon notification that your event has been scheduled, this fee must be paid promptly. Payment should be made at the State Cashier's in the Administration Building, and the receipt turned in to the Music Department office. Similarly, if you have been notified of some conflict in scheduling, you should quickly resolve this conflict by contacting Benjamin Reveley. Concerts, performance projects, and recitals are always scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, planning in advance is recommended.

It is important that each request for recording an event be placed on a separate form. Additional forms are available in the Music Office.

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