Performance Core

The performance core, in combination with arranging, ear training, harmony, conducting, tonal harmony and counterpoint, and music technology courses, will provide students with a broad-based musical vocabulary, important skills for their major studies, and a well-rounded musical background. Every entering student is placed into performance core courses based on their ensemble rating audition. 

The performance core comprises a mix of private lessons, instrumental labs, and ensembles. Private lessons provide in-depth, individualized study of an instrument while labs give students an opportunity to workshop specialized instrumental or stylistic topics. Ensembles teach students how to play music with others, working together toward a performance. 

Entrance Requirements

All entering students must audition in their instrumental department to get their ensemble ratings, which are used for placement into private instruction and ensemble courses.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of the performance core, students will:

  • synthesize and integrate knowledge of contemporary and traditional styles into musical interpretation;
  • synthesize and integrate knowledge of posture, breathing, and instrumental technique into their daily practice routines;
  • demonstrate technical proficiency on their principal instrument;
  • demonstrate the ability to sight read music in a variety of styles;
  • play music in a variety of contemporary and traditional styles;
  • play in ensembles of varying size, instrumentation, and stylistic orientation; and
  • apply knowledge of musical styles and harmonic practices in improvisation.
Required Courses

Semester one: 

Semester two:

Semester three:

Semester four:

Note: Students should enroll in an ensemble and private instruction during their first four fulltime semesters. In semester two they may select either a 50-minute lesson (2 credits) or a 30-minute lesson (1 credit) with a corequisite one-hour lab (1 credit ILXX course). Lab credits may replace ensemble credits and vice versa, and one performance studies course (PSXX) may replace 2 credits of ensembles or labs during the first four semesters. Additional PSXX courses may be taken as general electives or approved specified elective (ASE) credits, depending on major. Performance major ASEs include ENXX, ILXX, PFET, and PSXX courses. Performance major ASEs do not include performance studies health courses PSH, PSHR-321, PSVC-425, PSPC-341, or PSME courses.