Section 6: Departmental Performance Philosophy

Music Student Handbook

Section Contents

Desired Outcomes of Individual Study

Individual instructors will provide you with a syllabus for your applied lessons. Details may vary, but all areas share basic philosophical ideas, including outcomes, which explain the specifics of experience both in the lesson itself and in the context created. These desired outcomes include:

  • Develop musicianship
  • Develop technique
  • Master unique challenges of the idiom
  • Utilize and apply theoretical principles
  • Develop musical discrimination
  • Gain familiarity with solo literature
  • Increase confidence as a performer
  • Establish and meet personal goals
  • Work toward a sustained performance experience commensurate with personal goals and abilities
  • Collaborate with other musicians in performance
  • Shared experience with a professional musician/teacher to gain insight into a higher level of understanding

Why Perform?

Central to your applied study is the premise that you will share your music; that you communicate with music and explore the discipline as a “ performing art.” The non-major may elect to go as far as possible in the pyramid or stop at the point of end-of-semester auditions; this will be for you and your instructor to discuss and decide. The major is required to minimally present a shared recital in the senior year.

At Gustavus, there is a progression within the course of private study that leads to successful solo performances. Performing multiple times in each of the non-auditioned settings will provide experience and develop confidence in the individual. Different areas vary slightly in the terminology, but the principle remains constant across the department. Auditioned and competitive performance settings then offer challenges for the serious performer.

The Performance Pyramid

Your experiences should build from intimate, peer-supportive situations to more challenging situations:

  • Studio Classes
  • Area Seminars
  • End-of-Semester Performance Assessments/Juries
  • Saturday Morning Recitals 
  • Chapel Performances (if literature is appropriate, by recommendation of instructor and/or Area Coordinator)
  • Informal Recitals (for special situations, to accommodate special literature/interests; audition required, previous performance experience required)
  • Solo with ensemble accompaniment (most often a senior year opportunity)
  • *Shared Recitals (junior and senior year, audition and previous performance experience required)
  • *Full Recitals (senior year, audition and previous performance experience required)
  • *Senior Music Major Capstone Recitals (required for music majors, half or full recital)
  • Senior Honors Recital (selection by competition, previous performance experience required)

*Student recitals will be held on Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM or 7:30 PM.

Revised: October, 2016