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All music majors are required to complete a Senior Capstone Project as part of the requirements for their degree. Capstones should be scheduled during your senior year. You will work with your major studio instructor to plan your capstone and you, your major studio instructor and your music advisor should work together to schedule the capstone which may take place during a Performance Class or in an individually arranged concert depending on your specific music concentration. Two additional faculty beyond your major studio instructor should be present during your Capstone.

Audio Production Capstone

The Audio Capstone will be given at the end of A423, Project in Music Technology. The student will have completed all audio courses and an internship and will have earned a C or better in all music courses up to that point. It will take place in the Recital Hall during a regularly scheduled Performance Class and consist of a recording, a paper and a presentation.

Recording - The recording will contain 5 pieces of music that the student has recorded. Diversity of musical style is encouraged. At least one classical and one virtual instrument- based recording will be required. Student participation in performance is encouraged also.

Paper - A five- page paper explaining the equipment and techniques used and creative and practical decisions made will accompany the recording.

Presentation - The student will make a 25-30 minute presentation during Performance Class in which portions of the five pieces will be presented and an explanation of equipment, techniques and creative/practical decisions will be explained. A visual aid component is encouraged. Students should remember that they will be presenting this material to an audience that includes fellow Audio/Sound Engineering students as well as musicians in other fields. It is important to be able to communicate to both types of audiences.

Assessment of Audio Capstone will be based upon:

Evaluation: the recording will be evaluated on the following qualities:

  1. Instrument balance and tonality
  2. Ability to describe in detail the equipment used
  3. Ability to describe in detail the techniques used in creating the recording
  4. Ability to describe contextual reasons for the choices noted above
  5. Choice of material based on performance, recording quality and diversity of material

Evaluation: the paper, which must be presented prior to the presentation, will be evaluated on the following qualities:

  1. Grammar
  2. Organization
  3. Quality of content
  4. Appropriate length

Evaluation: the presentation will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Thoroughness of content
  2. Ability to communicate ideas clearly and in an organized way

Sound Engineering Capstone

The Sound Engineering Capstone will take place in the Recital Hall during a scheduled Performance Class and consist of a recording, a paper and a presentation. It will be given at the end of A423, Project in Music Technology. The student will have completed all audio courses and an internship and will have earned a C or better in all music courses up to that point.

Recording - The recording will consist of 4 pieces of music that the students has recorded. Diversity of musical style is encouraged. At least one classical and one virtual instrument- based recording will be required. Student participation in performance is encouraged also.

Paper - A four-page paper explaining the equipment and techniques used and creative and practical decisions made will accompany the recording.

Presentation - The student will make a 20-minute presentation during performance class in which portions of the four pieces will be presented and an explanation of equipment, techniques and creative/practical decisions will be explained. A visual aid component is encouraged. Students should remember that they will be presenting this material to an audience that includes fellow Audio/Sound Engineering students as well as musicians in other fields. It is important to be able to communicate to both types of audiences.

Assessment of the Sound Engineering Capstone will be based upon:

Evaluation: the recording will be evaluated on the following qualities:

  1. Instrument balance and tonality
  2. Ability to describe in detail the equipment used
  3. Ability to describe in detail the techniques used in creating the recording
  4. Ability to describe contextual reasons for the choices noted above
  5. Choice of material based on performance, recording quality and diversity of material

Evaluation: the paper, which must be presented prior to the presentation, will be evaluated on the following qualities:

  1. Grammar
  2. Organization
  3. Quality of content
  4. Appropriate length

Evaluation: the presentation will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Thoroughness of content
  2. Ability to communicate ideas clearly and in an organized way

Composition for the Concert Stage Capstone

Composition for the Concert Stage capstone will take place in the Recital Hall during a scheduled Performance Class and consist of a portfolio and a presentation.

Portfolio - Students will produce a portfolio of compositions reflecting the works completed in K300 and K400. The portfolio will consist of a written score and a recording (MIDI or live performance) of each work. A minimum of 32 minutes (about 8 minutes of music per semester of composition study) of music is required for the portfolio. The portfolio must include one large orchestral, band, or choral work.

Presentation - Composition students are required to present an analysis of one work at a Performance Class as part of their Capstone Project. A visual aid component is encouraged. Students should remember that they will be presenting this material to an audience that includes fellow composers as well as musicians in other fields. It is important to be able to communicate to both types of audiences.

Assessment: of the Composition/Concert Stage capstone will be based upon:

  1. Proper use of notation and legibility of the score(s)
  2. Quality of the recordings for each work
  3. Thoroughness of the presented analysis and correct application of analytical techniques
  4. Ability to describe the process used to compose the work(s)

Composition for Film & Media Capstone

Composition for Film & Media capstone will take place in the Recital Hall during a scheduled Performance Class and consist of a portfolio and a presentation.

Portfolio - Students will produce a portfolio of compositions reflecting the works completed in K300 and A321. The portfolio will consist of a written score and a recording (MIDI or live performance) of each work. A minimum of 20 minutes of music is required for the portfolio. The portfolio must include a project that highlights composition with Film and/or other media.

Presentation - Composition students are required to present an analysis of one work at a Performance Class as part of their Capstone Project. A visual component is encouraged. Students should remember that they will be presenting this material to an audience that includes fellow composers as well as musicians in other fields. It is important to be able to communicate to both types of audiences.

Assessment of the Composition/Film & Media capstone will be based upon:

  1. Proper use of notation and legibility of the score(s)
  2. Quality of the recordings for each work
  3. Thoroughness of the presentation and correct use of terms and any analysis techniques used to describe the project(s)
  4. Ability to describe the process used to compose the work(s) as it relates to the accompanying media (e.g. film or video game)
  5. Effectiveness of work with accompanying visual media/concept.

Music Business Capstone

The Music Business Capstone will take place in the Recital Hall during a Performance Class. It will include a resume and materials used to acquire the internship, a paper and a presentation.

  1. Job description, learning objectives, resume used to obtain internship.
  2. A five-page paper describing the internship experience. The paper should include an analysis of the business' strengths and weaknesses based on the internship experience.
  3. A 20-25 minute presentation in Performance Class describing the business where the internship occurred and personal experiences in internship. The presentation should also include information as to what was gained from the internship and what could have been better.

Assessment of the Music Business Capstone will be based upon:

  1. The appropriateness of the resume to the job description
  2. Writing mechanics of the paper
  3. The thoroughness of the analysis
  4. The thoroughness of the content of the presentation
  5. How well the audience was engaged during the presentation

Music Education Capstone

The Music Education capstone reflects the student’s accomplishments in performance as well as teaching. The performance capstone (half recital) may be presented at the end of the junior year or beginning of the senior year. The teaching component (student teaching and a compendium) will occur in the senior year.

Recital - Students will share a recital with another vocal/instrumental performer at the end of the junior year or beginning of the senior year prior to student teaching. This performance will showcase literature learned from their vocal/instrumental study and should include a diversity of repertoire. Singers should include works in multiple languages. (see Performance Capstone for additional details on presenting a recital.)

Student Teaching/Senior Seminar/Compendium - In their last semester of study, students will be required to complete two student teaching internship placements: an elementary school setting and a secondary (middle/high) school setting. Each placement will be seven weeks long. In conjunction with student teaching, students will participate in a music education senior seminar class throughout their student teaching internship placement. The senior seminar will assist students in the preparation for their first year as a music educator. Students will be constructing a compendium of information needed for their first year of teaching. This compendium will include but not be limited to lesson plans, handouts, assessment materials, written evaluations, their educational and musical philosophies, a resume and cover letter, along with other materials gathered through their internship placements.

Assessment of the Music Education Capstone will be based upon:

  1. The recital will be assessed in a manner similar to the recital assessment for Performance Majors but proportional to the requirements of a half-recital (that is, one shared with another performer)
  2. Students will be observed during student teaching by a Music Dept. faculty member from the appropriate discipline area (vocal or instrumental). As part of the observation, the faculty member will write an evaluation as to the quality of the student’s class preparation, knowledge of the material and communication/teaching skills
  3. Senior Seminar students will be assessed on the quality of their constructed compendium.

Performance Capstone

The Capstone project for Performance Majors is a Senior Recital which will take place in the Recital Hall during the student’s senior year.

Recital - The performance should include approximately one hour of music including repertoire from at least three different musical periods. Vocal repertoire should represent works in four languages and should be memorized. Instrumentalists, especially pianists, are encouraged to memorize their music but it is not required. (It is important to keep in mind that singers, pianists and string players typically are expected to perform auditions for graduate school by memory.) Music that has piano or other accompanying instruments must be performed with that accompaniment/ensemble and it is the student’s responsibility to make appropriate arrangements.

The Recital Hearing - Students must perform their complete recital program for a panel of faculty three weeks prior to the proposed date of the recital. At this point the program is expected to be virtually ready for public performance with only minor fine-tuning needed. Students will only be permitted to give their Senior Recital if they pass the Hearing. Students not passing the Hearing may reschedule both the Recital and Hearing for the next semester.

Scheduling the Hearing and Recital and other Associated Responsibilities - part of the recital experience is learning to handle the various responsibilities in staging a performance. This means that, while one’s studio teacher and advisor may help select music, find an accompanist, schedule and organize various aspects of the recital, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to take care of all associated tasks. These include:

  • Scheduling the Recital – it is wise to work with the staff of the Music Office early in the semester of your recital to find a date for the performance, even if you are not expecting to perform until the end of the semester. Make sure your major studio teacher and at least two other music faculty will be available to attend the recital
  • Scheduling the Recital Hearing – the Hearing takes place in the Recital Hall. It should be scheduled as close to three weeks prior to the recital as possible and not within two weeks of the recital. Work with Music Office staff to arrange the Hearing. Your major studio instructor and at least two other music faculty must be available to attend.
  • Program Notes – the student is responsible for writing the program notes and providing an electronic draft of the printed program to the Music Office staff. A developed draft of your program should be presented at your Recital Hearing. The faculty panel will provide feedback for improvements. Once these improvements are made, submit an electronic copy of the program to the staff for printing. Music staff can provide you with samples of prior recitals for guidance. The final electronic version of your program should be submitted to the office two weeks prior to the recital.
  • Recording the Recital – if you wish to have the program recorded, please contact Prof. Haertel to discuss arrangements and fees.
  • Recital Reception – if you wish to have a reception for friends and family in the Lobby after your recital, please see the Music Office staff for assistance. The university requires that any campus events be catered by University Catering. The Music staff can help you arrange the reception and give you an idea of the cost involved.

Assessment of the Senior Recital will be based upon:

  1. Technique (e.g. technical facility, tone, intonation, enunciation, correctness of notes and rhythms)
  2. Musicality appropriate to the style and period of the work
  3. Ensemble
  4. Repertoire (includes diversity of periods and styles, inclusion of required languages, length of program, skill level required for repertoire)
  5. Program notes

Please note that students are not required to take an Applied Music Jury during the semester in which they give their Senior Recital.

Pre-Music Therapy Capstone

The capstone for Pre-Music Therapy will take place during the student’s senior year during a scheduled Performance Class in the Recital Hall and consist of a binder of songs, a paper and a presentation with a performance aspect.

Binder of Songs/ performance aspect of the presentation - The student will prepare a binder of 20 songs for piano (or piano and voice) and guitar (or guitar and voice) that could be used for music therapy. The songs should include at least four categories and be organized in collections such as: Folk, Holiday, Patriotic, Children’s, Musicals, Popular. At least two of these songs should be performed during the presentation, although the student may use his/her major instrument in addition to piano and guitar. The difficulty level of the music should be at least intermediate and reflect the performance ability of the student.

Paper/presentation - During either semester of the senior year, the student will shadow a music therapy professional for @ two hours a week for a minimum of one month. The student will write a paper based on this experience which discusses the type of therapy used by the professional, the issue it is trying to resolve and the results of the therapy during the entire period of observation. The paper should include some research on the aspect of therapy used that provides a foundation for the discussion and offers additional examples of its use. If the student is also taking courses in the Psychology Programs’ minor in Pre-Expressive Therapy, he/she is encouraged to include material learned in the minor. This information will be presented in Performance Class. The presentation should include at least two performance examples (see Binder of Songs above) using the student’s major instrument and one of the following: piano, guitar or voice. The performance examples should elucidate information in the report. A visual component is encouraged. Talk with your advisor for assistance in arranging the shadow experience.

It is important that the privacy of individual patients be observed and, therefore, no direct references should be made to a particular person or family.

Assessment of the Music Therapy Capstone will be based upon:

  1. Binder – variety of songs included, organization of the material
  2. Paper – quality of writing and level of detail
  3. Performance – quality of the performance with respect to achieving the level of skill needed to use musical performance in future therapy work after graduate school
  4. Presentation – clarity in communicating the material

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