Private Lessons and Juries

Private Lessons

All Music majors will take Studio Instruction in their performance medium. It is department policy that Music majors are required to study their major performance medium (instrument or voice) with an SSU faculty member. The department funds 60–minute lessons for B.M. students (Applied Music, MUS 147 and 447) and 45–minute lessons for B.A. music students (Private Instruction, MUS 133/443-143/443).

Private Lesson Registration Card

Practice Expectations for Private Lessons

  • 3 hours daily for BM in Performance
  • 2 hours daily for BM in Music Ed (Pre-Certification)
  • 1.5 hours daily for BA students

This may include rehearsals at the discretion of the instructor.

Grading Criteria

Jury = 25% of Private Lesson Grade
The other 75% clearly spelled at the discretion of the individual instructor (attendance, preparation, practice etc.)

Scales for Classical Instrumentalists

Every semester during the first four semesters students should prepare at least 3 major and 3 minor scales (all 3 forms), so that the total of all 24 scales and arpeggios have been mastered by the end of the sophomore year.  

  • Individual instructors determine the manner in which they are prepared.
  • Individual instructors determine which scales are the best order for their instrument. 
  • 20% of the Jury will be performance of 1 major and 1 minor of these scales each semester. 

Four-Year Curriculum of Lesson Repertoire
Suggested repertoire includes year by year


Each semester, enrolled Music majors perform a 10-minute Jury before members of the Music Department faculty. Juries take place during the next–to–last week of classes. Juries are intended to monitor student's applied progress. Students work closely with their Private Lesson Instructor to select Jury music, using the Four-Year Suggested Repertoire List as a guide. 

Sign Up

To schedule the Jury day and time, students, working with their Private Lesson Instructors, complete the Jury Entry Form, get their Instructor’s signature, and submit the signed form to the Music Office no later than Monday of Jury Week.

Jury Entry Forms


Entry Form for COMPOSITION

Entry Form for JAZZ

Entry Form for VOICE

Jury Preparation

Students must be ready to perform two contrasting selections in the 10–minute time allotment. For Jazz Studies majors this would include one from the list of required tunes based on your level. The other selection may be an etude, exercise or another piece. 


If a piece calls for accompaniment, Classical Instrumentalists are expected to arrange for a pianist well ahead of time. (Vocalists and Jazz Studies majors are already addressing this)

Provide Copies Of Music

You must bring no fewer than four (4) copies of your music or originals (8 preferable), bound and ready to pass out to the Jury panel. Copies must be made at your own expense. Composers must follow the current policy and bring copies of their scores as well as a written statement of explanation. 

Composition Majors

Composers provide the Jury panel bound, two-sided copies of each score along with a one-to-two page analysis of each composition completed during the semester. Composers will briefly discuss works and provide means of hearing scores. They must be able to describe and defend compositional processes. The faculty look for:

  • continued advancement in technical and creative processes
  • development of an individualized voice in his/her/their work
  • different approaches to pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and instrumentation

Composers are expected to complete two-to-four compositions each semester, depending on the medium. They must compose in different media (piano, vocal, percussion, winds, etc); the order of which is determined by the instructor. 


Scales, one major and one minor, will comprise 20% of the Jury grade. 

Every semester during the first four semesters students should prepare at least 3 major and 3 minor scales (all 3 forms) for their Jury, so that the total of 24 scales and arpeggios have been mastered by the end of the sophomore year. Individual instructors will determine the manner in which scales are prepared. Individual instructors will determine which scales are the best order for their instrument. 


Fall Jury also counts as your Scholarship Continuation Audition. It is possible for a re-ranking to result in an adjustment (higher or lower) to your award or, in some cases, loss thereof.

Jury Evaluation

Each member of the Jury fills out the Jury Evaluation Form. Students are rated in the following categories:

  • Quality of Sound
  • Technique
  • Musicality
  • Other Factors

Each category is rated on a scale of 1 (low) to 25 (high) on a 100% scale. 

  • Bachelor of Music majors must score 75% and above (averaged for all jurors) to pass.
  • Bachelor of Arts majors must score 65% and above (averaged for all jurors) to pass.

The Jury grade factors into the Private Lesson grade at the discretion of the Private Instructor. 

    Jury Evaluation Forms


    Evaluation Form for COMPOSITION

    Evaluation Form for JAZZ

    Evaluation Form for VOICE


    Students who fall below Jury performance level expectations (below 75% for B.M.; below 65% for B.A.) will be placed on Probationary status the following semester. Students on Probation may, at the discretion of the faculty, be ineligible for state-supported lessons and will be required to remediate deficiencies at their own expense. At the end of the Probation semester, the student must sign up for a jury and successfully pass all deficient material. 

    Continuation Jury

    If at the end of the sophomore year two or more consecutive Juries have not been passed the student may be dismissed or reassigned from the Music major degree program. Bachelor of Music students can become Bachelor of Arts students, Bachelor of Arts students can become Music Minors.