Music Handbook

I. Mission Statement

The Goshen College music department cultivates excellence in musical performance, pedagogy and scholarship. We believe musical expression is a human manifestation of the divine creative impulse and, as such, serves as a window into the individual soul, a bridge between human beings and a means of shared religious experience.

The music department is committed to the core values of Goshen College. A life that is Christ-centered is implicit in our belief that all musical expression is a gift from God. The study of music prepares for a life of passionate learning in that it places equal demands on knowledge, technical skill, and expressive capabilities. The music department plays a unique role in developing servant leaders through requiring our students to master the arts of teaching, performing and conducting, all skills that empower self and others. We believe in the power of music to develop noble human beings, connected to Goshen College’s mission to train compassionate peacemakers. Inasmuch as the study of music theory, history, literature, and pedagogy requires an awareness of diverse cultures and worldviews, we embrace the aim to develop students who are responsible global citizens.

Student Learning Outcomes

Music majors and minors will demonstrate:

1. Growth in musicianship and artistry for excellence in music performance

2. Increased skills and knowledge for quality scholarship in music

3.The development of expertise towards effective pedagogies and leadership in music

4.The ability to integrate performance skills, aesthetic understandings and academic work towards music’s service as an instrument of peacemaking and the deepening of Christian faith.

5. Preparedness for a vibrant career that includes using the musical arts for a positive contribution in the communities in which they will live, and others

II.  Academic Schedule and Audition Dates

Fall Semester (2014)
Fall semester begins Tuesday, August 26
Lessons begin Week of Sept. 1 or 8
End of Add/Drop Tuesday, Sept. 2
Community Engagement Day
(First Year Students not available for classes)
Wednesday, Sept. 24
Fall Break October 13-17
Last day to withdraw with a “W” Monday, November 17
Thanksgiving Break November 27-28
Last day of Fall classes Monday, December 8
Fall music juries Tuesday, December 9
Applied grades due Friday, December 13
Spring Semester (2015)
Spring semester begins Wednesday, January 7
Lessons begin Week of January 12 or 19
MLK Day (only evening classes) Monday, January 19
Mid-Term Break February 23-27
Last day to withdraw with a “W” Friday, March 13
Good Friday (no classes) Friday, April 3
Last day of classes Friday, April 18
Spring music juries Monday, April 20
Commencement Sunday, April 26

III. Music Department and Music Center Policies

Music Center Personnel

The Music Center staff serves the Music Department, the Community School of the Arts, the campus community, and the surrounding community.

  • Marcia Yost, Executive Director
  • Debra Kauffman, Associate Director, Director of Community School of the Arts
  • Brian Mast, Managing Director
  • Dustin George-Miller, Office Coordinator

Music Center Hours

7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

The Music Center generally closes at 8:00 p.m. during holidays and the summer months.

Please note: the Music Center will lock exterior doors at 10:00 p.m., though students are allowed to remain in the building for practice and study purposes until midnight. Students may gain access to the Music Center between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight, as well as during holidays and summer months by calling campus security at x-7599. You must present your college ID to the security officer for admittance.

Music Center Office Hours and Listening Room Hours

M-F 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Closed weekends.

Listening Room and Listening Library/Music Education Resource Room Policy

The Listening/Music Education Resource Room will be open during the hours posted above. Additional hours can be scheduled when requested by a faculty member or student for class needs. The door to the library holdings will remain locked at all times. Materials will be checked out only through the Music Center office during daytime hours.

Workroom Policy

The music faculty, music center office staff, CSA staff and teachers, and designated student assistants are the only persons who have access to the workroom.

Student Photocopying

Students are allowed access to the Music Center photocopier for academic use.  Students are to log into the multifunction machines with their own GC ID and photocopying will come out of the student’s print balance.  Copying of music for applied lessons is strongly discouraged – it is illegal and subject to hefty fines. See “Music Purchasing” section for information about where to purchase music.

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin Boards have been designated for special uses. Please use a given board for its specified purpose only. Under no circumstances are items to be taped on walls. It is not allowed to use the acoustical panels in classrooms, studios and practice rooms as bulletin boards. Small bulletin boards outside of studio doors are to be reserved only for the person who inhabits that room.  Students who wish to post items on Music Center bulletin boards should first obtain permission from the Music Center Office.

Food and Drink Policy

Students may consume food and drink in the student lounge but it is forbidden in all other locations (water excepted in sealed containers). Performers are allowed food and drink in the Rieth & Sauder green rooms prior to a concert/recital. Faculty are allowed food and drink in their studios, conference room and in the workroom.


Lockers are available for student use. A maximum of two lockers (one small locker and one of variable size, depending on instrument size) may be issued per student. Large locker priority will be given to students with large or multiple instruments; due to high demand for large lockers, there is a high probability that you will need to share a locker with another student. A $1.00 rental fee will be required for each locker, paid each year. Select your preferred locker number(s) and obtain the lock combination from the music center office.

Storage Spaces

Special storage space has been created in MC 207 (closet beside MC 206) for all large choral scores and the department’s piano holdings. The LP archives and the orchestra library are stored in 140B, a storage area next to the south side of Sauder Concert Hall. Materials from these spaces are available only through faculty members, Office Coordinator, and/or student assistants.

Please note that students are not permitted to store instruments or personal equipment in any area except a Music Center locker. Unauthorized personal items found in Music Center spaces will be confiscated.

Music Library Sign Out

All library materials will need to be properly “signed out” by all (Choral library, piano library, vocal library, instrumental storage, etc.). Choral Library and Orchestral Storage doors will remain locked at all times. Students needing materials/instruments from these areas will need to check them out through Office Coordinator or student assistants.

Practice Room Sign-Up

Sign-up sheets are provided for all practice rooms. These will be posted on the small bulletin board provided beside each practice room door. Students who have signed up for a particular room at a particular time are guaranteed use of that space until 15-minutes after hour of sign-up. Others will need to find one of the remaining spaces.


Use of this room will be by sign-up only. A key can be obtained from the Music Office or Student Assistant.

Computer Lab

The computer lab is usually open during music center hours. First priority is given to students using the lab for work with composition software, ear-training software, and other instructional software. Students may also use the lab for internet and word processing needs.  The computer lab will be kept closed in the summer months; access can be coordinated with the Music Center Office.


Students who are granted key privileges to any locked Music Center spaces such as the Midi room, percussion room, and other academic spaces must first receive permission for access with the appropriate music faculty member.  Keys are issued through the Office Coordinator. Keys to Music Center spaces are not to be used for any other purpose. Failure to adhere to the key policy will result in permanent revocation of key privileges.

Smart Music Computers

Smart Music Computer Stations are located for student practice in the following rooms: MC226, MC227, MC111, and MC112. MC111 and 112 are located in the Community School of the Arts wing and will be available to college students for practice spaces when not in use for CSA teaching.

Performance Hall Pianos

Grand pianos in the Recital Hall and the Concert Hall will not generally be available for routine student practice. These spaces may be scheduled prior to recitals as follows:

Senior Recital

Piano recital – 6 hours of rehearsal time on the instrument in the hall.

Others – 4 hours of rehearsal time in the hall.

Sophomore Recital

Piano recital – 4 hours of rehearsal time on the instrument in the hall.

Other – 2 hours of rehearsal time in the hall.

Occasionally a lesson with the studio teacher may be scheduled in a performance hall, pending availability of the halls. The studio teacher must be present at the rehearsal. Reservations of performance hall rehearsal time should be made directly through Office Coordinator, in conjunction with the studio teacher.

Community School of the Arts

All students who wish to teach music lessons must do so through the Community School of the Arts. The CSA provides a wonderful opportunity for hands-on teaching experience within a supportive organization. Student pianists interested in teaching should enroll in Introduction to Piano Pedagogy.

If you are interested in being involved with the CSA, please contact one of the following CSA directors:

IV.  General Information for Applied Instruction

The following general guidelines for juries, recitals, accompanying, and the concerto/aria competition are to assist all music faculty in preparing students for these types of performances.  Please also refer to the Music Department web pages at: as well as the student handbook at:

For all juries, recitals, and recital previews the applied faculty professor is expected to be present.  In some instances an adjunct teacher may have a work conflict, but every effort should be made on the part of the instructor to navigate scheduling.  This greatly facilitates communication among faculty and students.


These occur at the end of each semester.  Applied students perform repertoire and, possibly selected exercises, as chosen by the instructor for a panel of music faculty. Faculty will give written constructive comments to the students that the applied teacher will then place in the student’s personal file.  Access to documents in your student file is granted through the Office Coordinator.

Juries provide a performance focus and sense of accountability for the semester of applied study.   All students are expected to prepare and perform a jury unless excused by their applied teacher.  There may be some situations where such a performance may be more of a hindrance than a help to musical growth. Students giving major recitals toward the end of a semester may be excused from a jury. Most often

Music majors and minors in their primary instrument/voice present 7-minute juries, all other students are given a 5-minute time allotment.  Students and their teachers are responsible for filling out a jury form and bringing several copies to the jury.  Jury forms are available from the music office approximately 2 weeks before the jury, and the music office will prepare a schedule for individual juries shortly before the jury date.

The final grade is determined by the applied teacher based on the criteria presented at the beginning of the semester in a syllabus.  Other faculty may give written grades on their jury comments, but the final grade is the decision of the applied teacher.

Practice Requirements

Goshen College expectations state that for every hour of class credit, three hours of outside work per week is expected. For applied lessons, the applied music instructor will set practice requirements with each student; music majors and minors are expected to practice beyond this minimum as outlined by the applied music instructor.

Mileage Reimbursement

While the vast majority of lessons take place in the Music Center, very occasionally students will need to travel to their lessons. In these cases mileage will be reimbursed if a student uses his or her own vehicle, or a Goshen College vehicle will be provided for this travel. Students must make arrangements through the Music Center Office for reserving a car for off-campus lessons. A travel waiver must be signed and turned into the Physical Plant before travel is authorized. These forms are available in the Music Center office. Please note that due to liability, Goshen College requires that students be at least 21 years old before a college car will be issued.


Sophomore recitals are 20-minute programs (performance time), and must demonstrate an acceptable level of technical and musical competence.  All music majors present a sophomore recital.  Following the recital music faculty evaluate the performance, as well as the student’s course work and ensemble involvement.  Passing this recital is necessary for continuance in the music major. Music minors present a similar recital, but this may occur anytime before graduation.  All sophomore recitals or music minor recitals must demonstrate historical (must have at least 2-3 historical time periods), technical, and expressive variety.

Junior recitals are 30-minute programs (performance time) for those students whose performance level is particularly high, and who may be planning to pursue graduate study in the area of performance or composition.  These recitals must demonstrate a high level of musical and technical competency.  This recital is part of the performance endorsement of the music department. Music faculty evaluates the performance level of this recital.  Passing this recital is necessary in order to receive the performance or composition endorsement. This is not a required recital for a music degree, and students must apply for permission to present a junior recital. Junior recital programs may include one major work (such as a complete concerto) or several contrasting works.

All students who wish to pursue the option of a junior recital must complete the following: 1) present, and have accepted by the music faculty, a written proposal; and 2) present, and pass, a junior recital preview.  These steps are explained as follows:

Junior Recital Proposal
This would require that all students considering a junior recital submit a 1-2 page written proposal (typed and double-spaced) to the Music Faculty by October 1 (or the Monday following this if it falls on a weekend) in the beginning of their junior year.
This proposal will include the following

  1. A brief explanation of why the student wishes to pursue this option
  2. A self-evaluation that addresses the student’s musical and technical strengths and weaknesses
  3. A brief statement concerning a student’s possible plans upon graduation
  4. As a separate attachment: a list of all past repertoire

Junior Recital Preview
Following acceptance of this proposal, the student will present a ten-minute preview recital of the recital program approximately four weeks prior to the anticipated performance date.  This preview will be heard by a small group of music faculty, most likely from the student’s area of applied study.  At the time of this preview the student will need to submit a typed program with timings as well as translations if applicable.

Senior Recitals are approximately 50-60 minutes in duration (performance time – including a short intermission), required of all music majors, and must demonstrate strong competency, musically and technically, in the area of applied instruction.   All senior recitals must demonstrate historical (must have at least 3-4 historical time periods), technical, and expressive variety

All senior recitalists will present a twenty-minute preview of their program approximately 4 weeks prior to the performance; the program and any accompanying program notes (several print copies) must be available at the time of the preview.  The music faculty in conjunction with the applied teacher must approve the program, the performance level, and program notes.

Several open senior recital dates are reserved early in the fall semester of each calendar year.   Senior music majors will be given these dates when they are available. Seniors can request their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for specific dates with submission of the request form, which will be emailed to them in the fall semester. Senior recital scheduling forms can also be obtained from the Music Center office. Approval of the applied teacher and accompanist (when applicable) is required.

Guidelines for Accompanist Use

When an accompanist is used, it may be a student accompanist or a paid staff accompanist.  This section provides information regarding these two scenarios.  When a student is preparing for a recital, the applied teacher should be aware of who the accompanist is several months before any given performance.

Student Accompanist

Many sophomore recitals (see below), are accompanied by music majors and minors with piano as their emphasis.  These students are required, as part of their piano study, to collaborate with other students, and whenever possible, to accompany sophomore recitals.   When a student soloist is paired with a student accompanist in preparation for an upcoming recital, the solo student’s applied teacher should oversee that the following guidelines are being met.

Expectations for the use of an assigned student accompanist

  1. Music is given to student accompanist in a timely manner, at least one week prior to any given lesson, and far in advance of any public performance.
  2. Each pair is expected to practice together at least 40-60 minutes per week.  Most likely the first few weeks of rehearsals will need less time, but as the semester lengthens, it may mean that rehearsals are longer – especially near any performances (master classes, Friday noon recitals, sophomore recitals, etc.)
  3. Accompanists should attend most lessons beginning the final week of September.
  4. Accompanist, student soloist, and the solo student’s applied teacher work together in mutal respect of each other’s talents, schedules, and unique personalities.

Staff Accompanist

Below are general guidelines when using a paid staff accompanist.  These guidelines state the time that students and teachers will have with a paid staff accompanist.

Senior Recitals
1 Recital = 5-6 contact hours with the following mutual expectations (accompanist, applied teacher and student)

  1. 4 lessons, 30 minutes each of time spent in lessons (2 hours)
  2. 1 hour – dress rehearsal and performance
  3. 2 hours of time in other rehearsals

Junior Recitals
1 Recital = 7-8 contact hours with staff accompanist, with the following mutual expectations (accompanist, applied teacher and student)

  1. 6 lessons, 30 minutes each of time spent in lessons (3 hours)
  2. 2 hours – dress rehearsal and performance
  3. 2-3 hours of time in other rehearsals

V. Music Department Information

Music Degrees

Goshen College offers a Bachelors of Arts in Music with the following concentrations: music education, performance, piano pedagogy, and music in worship. In addition, students may also choose to pursue the “performance endorsement” or “research endorsement” in addition to their area concentration. Minors in music, music in worship, and piano pedagogy are also offered. See the Goshen College catalog for detailed information.

Ensemble Opportunities

Music majors need at least six semesters and music minors at least four semesters of participation in a core ensemble (orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber choir, or chorale).  Students who have a music scholarship must be in a core ensemble each semester on campus.  Majors, minors, and non-majors are invited to participate in the music department’s non-core ensembles (Lavender Jazz, Men’s Chorus, Women’s World Music Choir, Voices-n-Harmony). Ensembles may be taken for 1 credit or no credit. See the course catalog for details.

Core Ensembles

Chamber Choir (24-45 singers)

Repertoire includes accompanied and a cappella music from early to contemporary periods. Choirs occasionally join with the college orchestra or guest orchestra in the performance of a major work. Numerous on and off-campus performances.

Symphony Orchestra

Performs symphonic and chamber repertory, in biennial opera/musical theater productions, and accompanies the winners of the annual concerto-aria contest. Several concerts are given during the year with occasional tours.

Non-Core Ensembles

All Campus Band
Lavender Jazz

Lavender Jazz is Goshen College’s big band. The group plays classic jazz standards and styles, such as swing, blues, waltz, mambo, cha cha and funk. Lavender Jazz performs in a variety of settings, including concert halls, malls, churches, and high schools.

Men’s Chorus

Made up of all the men from across the campus who enjoy the vitality and energy of a collegiate male chorus. Most Chorale and Chamber Choir men also participate in Men’s Chorus. The chorus performs at the annual Goshen College Christmas Concert, two concerts during the second semester, as well as off campus concerts. It is open to all male students without audition.

Women’s World Music Chorus

The Women’s World Music Choir sings music of international cultures and indigenous peoples. In doing so, the members celebrate the music of the world, as well as the role that women take in maintaining the arts within cultures. Membership is open to all women without audition. The choir sings an average of 3-4 performances each spring semester.

Chamber Music

Designed as an avenue to explore the intricacies of small ensemble playing. Preformed chamber groups of two to eight students work with the instructor on rehearsal techniques and music decision-making in a master-class setting. The class meets weekly and is open to all vocalists and instrumentalists.

Music Purchase

You are expected to purchase the music you study for your personal score library. You may order music from the Goshen College Bookstore or elsewhere. Some of the best, fastest and most reliable outlets are:


Music Department Weekly Recitals

The students and faculty of the music department community will gather in Rieth Recital Hall for a weekly student recital every Friday at noon. Attendance is required for all majors and minors and students taking applied lessons. Failure to attend regularly will result in the deduction of a letter grade for your applied study. Exceptions will be made for class conflicts. Music majors are required to perform on a recital at least once per semester. Music minors are required to perform on a recital at least once per year. All students must sign up to perform in the music center office in consultation with the applied instructor and accompanist.

Professional Music Organizations

Music majors and minors are strongly encouraged to become members of professional organizations specializing in their instrumental of choice. Many of these organizations have affordable student membership rates. Music Education majors are required to be members of the Goshen College NAFME (National Association for Music Education) chapter. Goshen College also has a student chapter of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). Contact information for several recommended organizations is listed here:

Keyboard Proficiency

Before graduation, students are required to demonstrate facility in sight-reading, keyboard technique, harmonization, transposition, improvisation and playing by year. Exams will be given at the end of each semester. Exam requirements are available in the Music Center office.

VI. Concerto-Aria Competition Guidelines

revised September, 2013

The annual Goshen College Concerto-Aria Competition is held each year in November.  Winners perform at the February Symphony Orchestra concert. The following guidelines govern the competition:

  1. Goshen College students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year are eligible to participate.
  2. The competition will be divided into five categories: solo vocal, solo instrumental, solo piano, ensemble, and original composition. Students may compete in only one category each year, including performing a solo part in a composition entry.
  3. Anticipated performers for a featured part in a composition entry must perform their part at the audition.
  4. The selection of winners is made by the music faculty. The orchestra director will serve as convener of the selection committee.
  5. There may be one, more than one, or no winners in a given category.
  6. Previous winners are ineligible to compete again in the same category.
  7. Students who would like to participate should obtain approval first from their applied music teacher. Special attention should be given to the student’s schedule commitments during the spring semester when the performance with the orchestra is scheduled, so that ample time and energy are reserved for preparation and for rehearsing with the orchestra.
  8. Students must be enrolled in applied music study during the semester of the competition.  If chosen as a ‘winner’ to perform with orchestra, the student must also be enrolled in applied study (in the area for which they are performing) the term when they perform.
  9. Repertoire selected for competition must have an available orchestral accompaniment. Students are responsible to check this with the orchestra director by the audition date. Full score and Finale version of original compositions are due to be submitted to the orchestra director by the audition date.
  10. It is encouraged that performance times of the concerto movement, concerto, or aria not exceed 15 minutes.  A total of approximately 45 minutes performance time will be allotted for the Concert-Aria winners in the concert.
  11. All solos will be performed from memory, both at the competition and at the final performance with the orchestra.
  12. Memorization is not required for instrumental ensembles.
  13. Winners are selected based on the level of performance at the audition, not on the anticipated level of performance on the date of the Concerto-Aria concert.