General Information and Policies
The Department of Music and Theatre Arts provides a diverse program of training in music that reflects historical traditions of music, music education, and music ministry leadership. It seeks to broaden each student's knowledge of musical practice and to challenge all students to develop and utilize their artistic talents in both secular and sacred contexts in ways consistent with their Christian worldview. Further, the Department of Music prepares students for opportunities to study music at the graduate level in varying areas of specialization and for professional success in vocations in the field and its related fields.
- Goals and Objectives
All music students will develop extensive academic knowledge, musical understanding, and performance skills in the following areas:
Aural Skills and Analysis
Students will develop an understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, and they will be able to employ this understanding in aural and visual analyses. Further, students will have knowledge of musical forms, processes, and structures, and they will be able to use this knowledge in compositional, performance, scholarly, pedagogical, and historical contexts according to the requisites of their specializations. Finally, students will be able to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.
Composition and Improvisation
Through imitation of various musical styles, experiences in original composition, and manipulating the common elements of music in non-traditional ways, students will develop compositional skills. Improvisational skills will be incorporated into students' performance studies and various academic classes.
History and Literature
Upon hearing a piece of music or examining its written score, students will be able to make intellectual observations regarding its genre, period of composition, and possible composer. This will be made possible by the student's understanding of music in the Western tradition, the stylistic characteristics of the music, and their historical context. Further, students will be exposed to a large amount of musical literature during their undergraduate experience, and this will enhance the students' knowledge of standard literature and the aesthetic concepts of each period of music history.
Students, through public performances, will demonstrate a competent level of musical understanding and technical proficiency requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area. In addition, students will demonstrate a functional performance level in a second performance medium. Students will also demonstrate a moderately proficient performance level of keyboard skills. Students will demonstrate their ability to function as valuable members of a variety of ensembles, both large and small, throughout their baccalaureate program. Students will be able to read a musical score at sight with fluency, and they will acquire rehearsal and conducting skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation.
Through laboratory experience, students will demonstrate competence utilizing technology as it related to composition, performance, analysis, teaching and research.
By the end of their undergraduate study, students will be able to work independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; and repertory and history. Students will be able to form and defend value judgments about music. They will have acquired the tools to work with a comprehensive repertory, and they will have an understanding of the basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the musical enterprise.
Music Handbook Topics
- General Information
Purposes of Each Music Major Program
All-Level Music Education Major (Choral and Instrumental Tracks) (B.M.)
The Music Education Program at East Texas Baptist University prepares students for Texas educator certification in All-Level Music and a career as a choir director, band director, or music teacher. The three main components of the Music Education program are musicianship, teacher education, and music education. Courses such as Harmony, Ear Training, Music History, and Conducting, along with private applied lessons and ensemble participation, help prospective music educators develop their personal musicianship and content area knowledge. Teacher education courses such as Classroom Management and Effective Teaching Strategies, Integrated Technology in the Classroom, and Special Education prepare them to work with children and youth in school settings. Music education courses, such as Marching Band Techniques, Teaching Choral Music, and Elementary Music Curriculum and Instruction, cover material specific to music education. Our faculty includes experienced specialists in choir, band, and elementary music and we offer choral and instrumental (band) tracks so students may specialize in their area of interest while still receiving well-rounded preparation.
Our program includes a sequential progression of experiences with K-12 students, schools, and teachers. This begins in the freshman year with video observations of a wide range of school music classes and an interview with a music teacher, and continues in subsequent years with 30 hours of observation and 45 hours of practicum in local public school music classes, and supervised practice teaching with elementary homeschool students. The entire final semester is spent student teaching in public schools at both the elementary and secondary levels.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of additional extracurricular professional experiences such as attending the Texas Music Educators Association convention, participating in the ETBU Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), teaching private lessons, and assisting with on-campus events like workshops for music teachers and clinics for school bands.
Preparation for the state examinations for educator certification is incorporated throughout the program. In the senior year, practice tests and review with faculty members prepare students to take the exams during (or before) their student teaching semester. Students who successfully complete all program requirements and pass their exams are ready to be recommended for certification immediately following graduation.
Worship Studies (B.M.)
The world and work of church music is diverse and rapidly changing, and we strive to provide students the opportunity to broaden their experiences in preparation for this field. The Worship Studies major is a curriculum designed to provide a wide range of opportunities to students who seek to use their music skills to minister to others, primarily through traditional music leadership roles in the church but also through less traditional performance-based ministry opportunities available to ministry-minded musicians.
The curriculum provides an historical foundation of church music and helps the student develop personal philosophical approaches to scripturally-based ministry and worship practices. In addition to basic musicianship skills common to all music majors, Worship Studies students are challenged to (1) develop skills in directing music ensembles of all ages and types found in most churches, (2) understand and respond to God's call to ministry in their personal lives, and (3) gain experience working in music ministry leadership positions during, and as a part of, their course of study at ETBU.
Since many young students seeking opportunities to respond to God's call to ministry are unsure how that call will materialize into long-term vocational plans, students are encouraged to pursue the Worship Studies major. They are assigned faculty advisors who can mentor them, inform them of the professional opportunities that are available to them, and guide them through this decision-making process.
Music Major (B.A.)
The Music Major on the Bachelor of Arts degree is provided for students to (1) develop competency in basic musicianship that will serve them in a variety of personal and professional endeavors throughout their life, (2) prepare students for graduate school programs in a variety of disciplines and fields, and (3) facilitate interdisciplinary endeavors and liberal arts pursuits. This degree provides a significant amount of flexibility and elective options for students. These electives allow students to focus on a particular area of the music discipline such as music theory, music composition, or musicology. In addition to regularly scheduled courses, these students can work with faculty members to create special topics courses that are specific to their areas of interest. These students can also use electives to select a minor from another academic field to integrate a wider range of academic interests. Some of these minors are Religion, Business, Theatre Arts, English, Foreign Languages, and Psychology. Students are encouraged to study the ETBU catalog to determine the minor area that best compliments their interests and career goals.
Students completing a Music Major on the BA degree may qualify for a wide variety of graduate programs both in music and in other disciplines. Students are provided faculty advisors to assist them in choosing the best electives and courses that will help them reach their professional goals.
Accreditation and Affiliation
East Texas Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award associate and bachelor's degrees. The University is authorized to certify teachers under authorization of the Texas Education Agency and is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
NASM provides institutional accreditation for colleges and universities of all types and sizes relative to their departments and schools of music. It is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the agency responsible for the accreditation of all music curricula. The organization is a constituent member of the American Council on Education, and it cooperates with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The standards for accreditation by NASM are rigorous resulting in only about one-third of music departments and schools being accredited. East Texas Baptist University is, therefore, pleased to report that it has been continuously accredited by NASM since 1979.
Additionally, the Department of Music is affiliated with Texas Association of Music Schools (TAMS), which is a non-accrediting organization. This organization addresses matters of common concern to Texas Schools of Music.
Academic and Professional Integrity
All ETBU students are expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of their academic and professional work. These include, but are not limited to, issues related to plagiarism and copyright law. See the Academic Integrity policy in this year's Academic Catalog.
Copyright law information is provided to students throughout their course of study, but students are also directed to the websites of various music organizations including those listed below. The websites for these organizations provide useful information about the laws that affect musicians and music students. For more information on copyright laws, see the following links:
- Facilities and Equipment Policies
The music buildings are available for use throughout the academic year. Some rooms in these buildings such as the Bennett Technology Center, Mabee Recital Hall, choral and instrumental rehearsal halls and practice rooms are open for student use at various hours in the evenings and on weekends. Please note the building hours schedule below. You may reserve a specific room or hall to assure that it is available for your needs. Mrs. Purvis in the Office of the School of Communication and Performing Arts will assist in this process. Students are expected to take care of these facilities in the absence of faculty/staff supervision.
The two performing arts buildings (JGMB and REDW) are available to students from 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., weekdays and weekends. To ensure the safety and security of all students using these buildings, JGMB will be locked at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and REDW will be locked after band rehearsal (approximately 5:15 p.m.) Monday-Thursday and locked at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. Both buildings will be locked on weekends. When locked, students may access these buildings during the accessible hours using their student ID cards.
The Jenna Guest Music Building (JGMB) houses the vocal, choral, and keyboard areas of the Department of Music as well as the Department of Theatre Arts. Included in the facility are the Office of the School of Communication and Performing Arts, Choral Suite, Mabee Recital Hall, Bennett Technology Center, Worship Studies Lab, practice rooms, classrooms, faculty and student lounge, and the vocal and keyboard faculty office/studios. The Theatre Arts faculty and classrooms are also located in this building.
The Mabee Recital Hall serves as the primary performance hall for all solo recitals, studio classes, chamber music performances, and student performances. The Hall provides one Steinway & Sons 9' grand piano and one Kawai 9' grand piano. As a general rule, the Steinway instrument is available for use by faculty and piano concentrations only. The Kawai instrument is available to others and remains unlocked on the RH stage. The seating capacity of the hall is 168, and it is available to students for personal practice and recordings. Students may reserve the Hall in the School of Communication and Performing Arts office.
The School of Communication and Performing Arts Office, located in JGMB room 100, is open from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00 a.m. for Chapel. To contact the School of Communication and Performing Arts office, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 903.923.2158.
The Bennett Technology - Mac Lab (BTML) houses over 2,000 LP recordings, approximately 2,000 CD recordings, 3,000 musical scores and 21 state-of-the-art Mac computer stations. These resources are available for Communication, Music and Theatre Arts student use, and we encourage students to work in this lab on class assignments and projects. The hours of the Bennett Technology Mac Lab vary each semester according to the needs of the students and availability of the BTML staff. See the bulletin board outside of the JGMB 114 Mac Lab for current semester lab hours.
The Redwine Instrumental Music Building (REDW) houses the instrumental area of the Department of Music. Included in REDW are the Band Hall, practice rooms, a sectional/rehearsal room, instrumental library, and the instrumental faculty office/studios.
The Baker Chapel in the Rogers Spiritual Life Center (RSLC) serves as the primary performance space for ETBU large music ensembles. The annual Christmas Festival Concert and various choral and band concerts are held in this venue. The 1,500 seat auditorium is also used by other University organizations and departments, as well as community organizations.
Scheduling and Equipment
The facilities (classrooms, rehearsal halls, practice rooms, labs, etc.) and equipment (music stands, chairs, instruments, etc.) are for the exclusive use of ETBU students, faculty, and staff. Activities in these buildings are generally limited to those activities associated with academic requirements of the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts. Use of the facilities in these buildings must be scheduled through the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office. Anyone who sees individuals or groups not associated with the School of Communication and Performing Arts in the music buildings should notify the office or campus security immediately.
Use of band, orchestra, jazz ensemble and percussion equipment by any groups other than ETBU music ensembles and percussion students is strictly prohibited. Music stands are assigned to specific areas of the music buildings and must not be moved from their designated locations for personal "gigs" or other miscellaneous performances. Unauthorized removal of stands or any other school property will be considered theft. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the loss of building use privileges.
Individuals and groups must restore student desks, pianos, risers, and other classroom furnishings to their proper places after use. Students who violate this or other stated policies may lose the privilege of using ETBU music facilities.
University Bands Instrument Storage Policy
• All lockers must be checked out through the University Bands Office
• Any locker containing ETBU-owned instruments must be kept locked with a University-issued lock or a personal lock. Any student who does not store and secure an ETBU-owned instrument properly will lose the privilege of using both the instrument and the locker.
• Lockers containing personal instruments should be secured with a personal lock. The University assumes no responsibility for instruments stolen or damaged from lockers with or without locks. You leave them here at your own risk.
• It is recommended that you secure lockers containing books, music and accessories with a personal lock. Again, ETBU assumes no responsibility for your personal items, secured by lock or not. You leave them here at your own risk. Book lockers are available in the JGMB. They may be checked out through the School of Communication and Performing Arts office.
Practice rooms are located in the JGMB, and additional practice rooms, primarily for instrumentalists, are located in the REDW. These rooms are provided for the exclusive use of ETBU performing arts students. Failure to observe the following may result in the loss of practice room privileges.
• Rooms containing grand pianos are reserved for use by piano majors enrolled in applied piano only.
• Students are encouraged to use practice rooms for teaching private lessons to students in the Marshall community if their private instructor supports such activities. However, the Dean must clear any regularly scheduled teaching in these rooms.
• Food and drinks are not allowed in the practice rooms.
• Practice rooms are for personal practice only.
• Practice rooms are not to be used as storage for instruments, music, or other personal belongings. The office staff will remove items left in practice rooms.
Music Education Curriculum Library
The Music Education Curriculum Library houses a variety of educational materials including classroom instruments, curriculum resources, manipulatives, and other items for use in ETBU Music Education classes. Request to access resources in the Music Education Curriculum Library should be made and scheduled with the Music Education Coordinator, Dr. Lynette Vincent, only. These requests should be made during regular weekday school hours according to Dr. Vincent’s office hours.
Student Use of University Copy Machines and Printers
Students are not allowed to use the copy machines in the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office or Redwine Instrumental Music Building as copies are charged directly to ETBU budget accounts; however, students are provided access to scanners and printers in the BTML and the Jarrett Learning Center.
Performance and Rehearsal Halls
Personal practice in the Choir Hall, Band Hall, and Recital Hall is strongly encouraged. These spaces are available to students during the evenings and weekends if time is available; however, they must be reserved by making specific requests in the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office.
Located in the JGMB, lockers are available to music students on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact the secretary in the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office for locker assignments.
Lost and Found
Items turned in to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office as "found" will be kept for one semester. Every effort will be made to determine the owner of the item. All unclaimed items will be sent to Student Services.
The Music Department employs a number of student workers for the purpose of assisting with the administrative, performance, and security needs of the Department. Students may go to the Financial Aid webpage to peruse and apply for appropriate employment positions (http://www.etbu.edu/financial-aid/).
- Performance Ensembles
The School of Communication and Performing Arts provides a wide variety of performing ensembles for student participation. Students are encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity to perform in these ensembles and to develop their performance skills by participating in a variety of ensembles. However, students should be careful not to allow the responsibilities of ensemble participation to hinder their progress in their academic and applied music areas. If a student shows signs of being over-committed in the performance area, his or her academic advisor may encourage him or her to reconsider participation in the performance ensembles. Performance ensembles are listed below.
Concert Choir (MUSI 2150)
The Concert Choir is a select mixed choir which performs music from various historical periods and styles. This choir serves as a public relations arm of the Music Department and tours in the spring of every other year. Two on-campus concerts and additional concerts as indicated on the course syllabus are performed each semester. The Concert Choir rehearses at 2:00 each Monday through Thursday. Membership is by audition, and formal attire is required. Music laboratory credit may be earned in this course.
Men’s Choir (MUSI 1138.07)
The ETBU Men's Choir is a non-auditioned choir and is available to any male student interested in singing in a choral ensemble. The choir performs folk, jazz, and pop music in addition to traditional men’s choral arrangements. The choir regularly collaborates with the ETBU Concert Choir and Women’s Choir and also regularly performs at university events.
Women’s Choir (MUSI 1138.08)
The ETBU Women's Choir is a non-auditioned choir and is available to any female student interested in singing in a choral ensemble. The choir performs folk, jazz, and pop music in addition to traditional women's choral arrangements. The choir regularly collaborates with the ETBU Concert Choir and Men’s Choir and also regularly performs at university events.
Hilltop Singers (MUSI 1158)
This chamber ensemble is a small, select group selected by audition from the Concert Choir membership. "Singers" study and perform choral literature from various historical periods and styles. University Singers rehearse Monday and Wednesday from 12:00 to 12:50. In addition to regular performances each semester, University Singers often perform for community, church, University, and other public relations activities.
Opera Workshop (MUSI 1157)
Opera Workshop at ETBU is open to all students regardless of major. The course can be used as an option toward fulfillment of both the Worship Studies major and the various Bachelor of Arts degrees. Auditions are not required for participation in Opera Workshop although they may be used for casting of particular roles. Through the performance of fully-staged operas and scenes, students will learn the various aspects of opera performance and production including, but not necessarily limited to, text analysis, stage movement, staging and technical demands. The repertoire performed is varied and carefully designed to allow students to discover their full potential as a singing actor.
Musical Theatre (MUSI 1159)
Musical Theatre performances are a cooperative effort of both the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts. The course can be used as an option toward fulfillment of both the Worship Studies major and the various Bachelor of Arts degrees. These performance opportunities are presented to provide additional stage experience to students. Auditions are required for participation in these productions. Through these experiences, students will learn the various aspects of musical theatre performance and production including, but not limited to, text analysis, stage movement, staging and technical demands. The repertoire performed is varied and carefully selected to allow the students to discover their full potential as a singing actor.
Opera Theatre (MUSI 3157)
Opera Theatre can be used as an option toward fulfillment of both the Worship Studies major and the various Bachelor of Arts degrees. Opera Theatre presents a fully-staged opera, rather than opera scenes. It is designed to give students opportunities to assume major roles in an opera production. Students are required to have participated in both Opera Workshop and Musical Theatre productions before they are considered for participation in Opera Theatre. It is open to all students regardless of major, but auditions are required for participation. The repertoire performed is varied and carefully selected to allow advanced vocal students to discover their full potential as a singing actor.
Symphonic Band (MUSI 1130)
The Symphonic Band is the primary performance ensemble of the instrumental program. It performs a wide variety of wind band literature and serves as a public relations arm for the School of Communication and Performing Arts. The Band performs periodically during the academic year and tours in the spring of every other year. While the director's consent is required for all band members, participation is open to all students with previous band experience. Formal attire is required. Music laboratory credits may be earned in this course.
Marching Band (MUSI 1133)
The ETBU Marching Band is an organization open to all students who have band experience prior to coming to ETBU. The Band performs at ETBU football games and other related athletic events and provides a variety of opportunities for students to accept roles of leadership and responsibility. The Band is designed to provide an enjoyable performance experience and a musically educational experience for all participants. In addition, the Band serves as a working lab for music education students preparing for vocations in public school band programs. Music laboratory credits may be earned in this course.
Handbell Choir (MUSI 1120)
Handbell Choir is open to anyone in the University community, including students, faculty and staff. Members should be able to read music. The ensemble serves as a lab for music majors, especially those interested in church music as a primary or secondary vocation. The Handbell Choir performs on-campus concerts and for church and community events throughout the East Texas area. The course may be repeated for credit.
Jazz Band (MUSI 1137)
The Jazz Band provides an opportunity for students to learn to play various jazz styles that will prepare them for careers in teaching or performance. In addition to traditional big band jazz, the band provides opportunities to improve and other forms such as Blues, Latin, Jazz-Rock Fusion, and Funk. The Jazz Band presents two concerts annually and performs at numerous sites in Marshall and in surrounding communities through tours to high schools and churches. The Jazz Band is an auditioned ensemble, open to performers on saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. Auditions are open to all students regardless of major.
Each semester the ETBU Instrumental Program offers students the opportunity to participate in any number of chamber ensembles including flute choir, woodwind choir, saxophone quartet, brass choir, percussion ensemble, piano ensemble, and guitar ensemble. These groups are invited to perform throughout the semester in on-campus concerts and for various university and community events.
- Academic Policies
Music Major Auditions & Placement Exams
All incoming freshman and transfer music students are required to audition for admission to the Department of Music. Those students who successfully complete the audition will be assigned to either class or applied instruction in their primary and secondary performance areas. Students may seek a one-semester provisional admission to the Department in order to better prepare for their official audition. In such cases, the end-of-semester jury will serve as the student's audition. Application and audition procedures for these programs are outlined in detail in the music student handbook.
Each single credit hour of applied music lessons equates to one twenty-five minute lesson. Music majors typically register for two credit hours of lessons, which equates to one fifty minute lesson. Each music major program indicates how many total credit hours are required for completion of the degree and how many credit hours of lessons are necessary each semester of study.
Applied lessons are designated as "elective credit" or "for a music degree." Elective lessons are provided for students to continue study in their performance areas after degree requirements are met and to allow students to develop performance skills in other performance areas not required on their specific major or degree. The instructor of the elective lessons will set the performance assessment standards for each enrolled student as appropriate for each. Jury requirements, studio class participation, GSR performance requirements, and repertoire requirements will be determined by the instructor. Elective lessons will not count towards completion of the secondary performance study requirement on music major programs, and they will not count towards completion of music minor study requirements.
Primary and Secondary Performance Instruments
All music degrees, regardless of major, require students to have a primary and a secondary performance instrument. In order to be officially accepted to the School of Communication and Performing Arts and the Music Department, each student must pass an audition on their primary performance instrument - voice, piano, organ, wind or percussion instrument. Students should review the performance requirements for their specific major as the amount of study and the performance requirements will vary for each major.
Students must also pursue a secondary performance area. Each music major on the BA and BM degree requires three credit hours (1 credit hour for three semesters) of study in the secondary area. All students whose primary performance instrument is not piano, must declare piano as their secondary performance area. Pianists may select another performance area to fulfill this requirement, and they should discuss these choices with their advisor.
The Sophomore Assessment is taken by all music majors at the end of four semesters of full-time music study. Students in the appropriate rotation of music courses will have completed MUSI 2309 Music Theory IV, MUSI 2129 Aural Skills IV, MUSI 2181 Class Piano III, and four semesters of applied study (not counting elective credit lessons). Students who are not in the suggested sequence will be notified by the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office during the semester they are to undergo this assessment procedure. The Sophomore Assessment is intended to ensure that all ETBU music students demonstrate sufficient understanding and ability in the competencies addressed in the basic musicianship courses. The faculty will assess aspects of all the student's work in music including music theory, aural skills, performance study, technology, keyboard skills, improvisation skills, and secondary performance area. Students will be asked to submit evidence of their academic work. Further, they will write and submit a 500-word essay which addresses their career goals and academic progress to date, and provide a self-assessment of their academic and musical strengths and weaknesses. The essay is to be submitted to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office on or before the Monday two weeks prior to the start of final exams. Finally, each student will present an end-of-semester jury during which the faculty will require the student to perform literature, etudes, and other materials representing the student's current semester of applied study. After the jury, the music faculty will conduct an interview with the student to discuss all aspects of the student's essay, academic work, and performance progress.
The faculty will then reach one of the following conclusions:
Pass: The student continues to upper level study. In some cases, the music faculty may require a student to address weaknesses. The faculty will address specific concerns in any area or areas of the student's performance or academic work, and the student will be expected to comply with any recommendations of the faculty, which may include retaking sophomore level applied study, delaying an upper-level course in a specific area, or any similar recommendation.
Fail: The student is not allowed to continue to upper-level study in music. The faculty will either identify and require a specific course of study to address the student's weaknesses or require the student to change majors.
Each student must take the Music Department Capstone Exam during the final semester of study or in the semester prior to student teaching. This exam is designed to evaluate each student's skills in all aspects of the music discipline. In the performance domain, the student's ability and progress is evaluated by the recordings on the electronic portfolio. Other domains include theory and analysis, aural skills, music history and literature and other areas appropriate to the major (Sacred Music, Music Education).The practice TExES exam functions as the department exam for music education majors. Music education majors must pass all domains of the practice TExES exam before they will be allowed to register for the actual exam. Domains include listening, music history, theory, classroom performance, and music education (visit the TExES page on the ETBU Music Education website for more information). According to the ETBU Teacher Education Program, all education majors (including music education) are required to attempt the teacher-certification exam before they will be cleared to graduate. Music Education majors who do not take and pass all domains of the practice exam will not be allowed to attempt the TExES exam for teacher certification.
- Music Education Division Policies
Music Education Faculty
Dr. Justin Hodges, Director of Choral Activities
Dr. Douglas Lockard, Coordinator of Instrumental Activities
Anthony Robinson, Percussion
The Music Education program is designed to prepare students for service in public or private schools. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be qualified to apply for Texas teacher certification in music all-level (PK-12). See the ETBU Academic Catalog for track options.
Practice Teacher Certification (TExES) Exam
In accordance with the policy outlined by the ETBU Teacher Education Department, all students enrolled in EDUC 4335 or EDUC 4336 (Student Teaching) must attempt the Texas Teacher Certification Exam (The TExES Exam) while enrolled in student teaching. All music education majors must pass all domains of the Practice TExES Exam (Music) with a score of 80% or higher in each domain before they will be permitted to register for the TExES Exam. The Practice TExES Exam is administered by the ETBU Music Education Department on an as-needed basis, based on the number of students that need to take the exam in a given semester. Only Music Education Majors who are either currently enrolled in an upper-level music education course, or have already completed all upper-level music education courses are permitted to take the Practice TExES Exam as many times as needed. Students may take the Practice TExES Exam as many times as needed. The practice TExES exam functions as the department exam for music education majors.
Music Student Teachers (Clinical Teaching)
According to the ETBU Academic Catalog, students must have completed all course requirements before being approved for clinical teaching. Music students may not perform in any ETBU-sponsored ensemble whether for credit or on a volunteer basis during the clinical teaching semester. Music clinical teachers may maintain active membership in music student organizations (NAfME Collegiate, KKY or TBS) but may not hold office.
All other policies and procedures concerning the music education program, including observation, internship, and clinical teaching and teacher certification are aligned with the ETBU Teacher Education Program. See the Academic Catalog for more information.
- Vocal Division Policies
Dr. Candice Aipperspach, Coordinator
All non-elective applied lesson students in the vocal division will attend the studio class offered by their instructor. Studio classes meet once per week on Fridays from 2:00pm-3:30pm. When GSR is presented during that time, studio will meet after GSR. Each student will present formal and informal performances as assigned by the instructor. Students enrolled in elective applied lessons will participate in studio classes only as assigned by the instructor.
A jury examination is a brief performance venue in which a student performs before a panel of music faculty. Each student taking non-elective applied lessons is required to perform a jury at the end of each semester of applied study. Students performing successful recital hearings before mid-term will not be required to perform a jury, regardless of when the public recital occurs. Students performing successful recital hearings after midterm will be required to perform a jury. Elective students are also expected to perform a jury, but exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the instructor. For these students, an instructor may choose to utilize a different evaluation procedure in lieu of a jury.
Jury panels consist of a minimum of three faculty members. The student's instructor must be present for the jury, and will count as one of the three faculty evaluators. The semester grade, or course grade, will be assigned by the student's instructor. The jury grade will count a minimum of twenty percent of the student's final grade.
Students will provide repertoire sheets that provide a comprehensive list of the repertoire studied that semester. The jury panel will randomly select literature to be performed after the singer performs a piece of their choosing. Repertoire sheets must be computer-generated from the online template.
Vocal Area Concentration Performance Levels
The performance leveling system is put in place in the vocal area to ensure that the student is aware of the overall vocal progression required for music degree completion and recital hearing success. The initial level of incoming students will be Level 1. Movement to the next level will be decided by an end-of-semester leveling jury AVERAGE of 90% or above at their current level. The completion of a successful Level 2 “Leveling” jury denotes the student’s readiness to move into upper-level applied voice lessons. The student must be ready for Level 3 work by their sophomore assessment and, preferably, at Level 4 in their recital semester. The student will understand that the end-of-semester jury average is separate from the student’s assigned semester grade for the class given by their private instructor.
Each student enrolled in non-elective voice applied lessons will be assigned an accompanist by their private lesson instructor, based on literature demands. Generally, the accompanist is expected to attend half of the private lesson and meet with the student the same amount of time outside of the lesson each week. In addition, the accompanist will play for studio classes, GSR performances, and one jury each semester. Some repertoire demands more time in the lesson without the need of an accompanist. Each private instructor should monitor the activities of the student and accompanist to ensure a fair arrangement which allows for the successful completion of all assigned works. The accompanist is paid for these services by the University with fees assessed the voice or instrumental student at the time of registration. The voice or instrumental student is expected to pay the accompanist directly for any additional work desired, including competitions and recording needs outside of lessons and coaching. Accompanist changes after the first week of classes are strongly discouraged and require the Dean's approval. Accompanists must be secured by the end of the first week of school, and each applied lesson teacher is responsible for reporting the accompanist assignments to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office by that time.
However, both the students and accompanists are encouraged to confirm that the Music Office has the correct assignment recorded. Students and accompanists should report any problems to the applied instructor who is responsible for either resolving the matter or reporting it to the Dean.
Change of Instructor
Music majors with a concentration in Voice have the right to request a change of applied music teacher; however, no changes will be considered until one semester has been completed with the initial teacher. No changes will be made during a given semester. All changes will begin at the beginning of a new semester. The procedure outlined below must be followed exactly. A student is not to contact a proposed new teacher unless asked to do so by the Vocal Coordinator.
1. The student must meet with the Vocal Coordinator to discuss the issue. If the Vocal Coordinator is their instructor, they will meet with the Dean.
2. If reasons for the change are validated, the Dean and the Vocal Coordinator will approve or disapprove continuing the process, and, if in agreement, will determine availability of the requested teacher or suggest an alternate.
3. If the process continues, the Vocal Coordinator and the student will discuss the reasons for the change with the current teacher and request a release.
4. If the release is granted, the Vocal Coordinator will request acceptance of the student by the proposed new teacher.
5. If permission is not granted in 3. or 4., the student may appeal to the Dean who may hold additional consultations before making the final decision.
Each instructor is responsible for meeting current NASM guidelines for vocal instruction and assigning literature that meets the Vocal Area Concentration Performance Leveling standard for the student's assigned level. The recommendations are listed below.
Repertoire Recommendations for each Semester:
Level 1-10 minutes or 4 songs memorized minimum
1-2 musical theatre/CCM/jazz, etc. pieces
1-2 art songs or hymn arrangements in English
1 Italian art song from the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias book
Level 2-12:30 minutes or 5-6 songs memorized minimum
1 musical theatre/CCM/ jazz, etc. piece (2-3 in contrasting style if musical theatre major)
1-2 art songs or hymn arrangements in English
1-2 Italian art songs/ arias
1-2 German Lieder (if in or have had diction)
1-2 French melodies (if in or have had diction)
Optional: 1 easier aria from an opera/oratorio, 1 Latin piece, or 1 Spanish art song
Level 3-15 minutes or 6-7 songs memorized minimum
1-2 musical theatre/CCM/ jazz, etc. piece (3-4 in contrasting style if musical theatre major)
1-2 art songs or hymn arrangements in English
1-2 Italian art songs/ arias
1-2 Latin pieces (if Worship major)
1-2 German Lieder (if have had diction)
1-2 French melodies (if have had diction)
Optional: 1 aria from an opera/oratorio in a language other than Italian or 1 Spanish art song
Non-recital semesters-15 minutes or 7-8 songs memorized minimum
1-2 musical theatre/CCM/ jazz, etc. piece (4-5 in contrasting style if musical theatre major)
1-2 art songs or hymn arrangements in English
1-2 Italian art songs/ arias
1-2 Latin pieces (if Worship major)
1-2 German Lieder (if have had diction)
1-2 French melodies (if have had diction)
Optional: 1 aria from an opera/oratorio in a language other than Italian or 1 Spanish art song
Sophomore Levelling (2-3) Jury Requirements for Musical Theatre Majors ONLY (15 minutes):
Repertoire Percentages for BA and BM Musical Theatre Majors:
50% musical theatre pieces of contrasting style and era
50% standard classical repertoire of contrasting style, language, and era
Junior Recital semester-25 minutes memorized minimum
Repertoire Percentages for BA and BME recitals:
25% in Italian, Latin, or Spanish
25% in German/French (can each be 1/4 if no or little MT/CCM/jazz)
25% in English
25% musical theatre/CCM/ jazz, etc. (optional)
Repertoire Percentages for BM in Worship recitals (at least one oratorio piece must be present):
25% in Latin
25% in Italian or Spanish
25% in English
25% musical theatre/CCM/ jazz, etc. (required)
Repertoire Percentages for BA in Musical Theatre recitals:
25% standard classical repertoire of contrasting style, language, and era
75% musical theatre pieces-must represent the three main style periods: late 19th and early 20th century, the Golden Era (1940-1967), and modern (1968-present). This section must include one song and dance number, one ballad, one duet, and one acting scene.
Repertoire Percentages for BM in Musical Theatre recitals:
50% standard classical repertoire of contrasting style, language, and era
50% musical theatre pieces-must represent the three main style periods: late 19th and early 20th century, the Golden Era (1940-1967), and modern (1968-present).
Senior Recital semester-50 minutes memorized minimum
Repertoire Percentages for BA in Musical Theatre recitals:
25% standard classical repertoire of contrasting style, language, and era
75% musical theatre pieces-must represent the three main style periods: late 19th and early 20th century, the Golden Era (1940-1967), and modern (1968-present). This section must include one song and dance number, one ballad, one duet, and one acting scene.
-At least ten minutes, but not more than 15 minutes, should be monologue and scene work without music.
Repertoire Percentages for BM in Musical Theatre recitals:
50% standard classical repertoire of contrasting style, language, and era
50% musical theatre pieces-must represent the three main style periods: late 19th and early 20th century, the Golden Era (1940-1967), and modern (1968-present). This section must include one song and dance number, one ballad, and one duet.
- Keyboard Division Policies
All applied lesson students in the keyboard division will attend the studio class offered by their instructor. These studio classes will be offered on Fridays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the JGMB Recital Hall.
General Student Recitals
See the Recitals and Concerts section of the Music Student Handbook.
A jury examination is a brief performance venue in which a student performs before a panel of music faculty. All students enrolled in applied piano will perform a jury at the end of each semester of study, except for the semester(s) in which they present a recital.
The jury panel consists of the keyboard faculty. The student's instructor must be present for the jury. The semester grade will be assigned by the student's instructor, but that grade may not be more than one grade above or below the jury panel average grade.
Students will provide repertoire sheets that provide a comprehensive description of the materials studied that semester. The jury panel will select at random the literature to be performed. Repertoire sheets must be computer-generated from the online template.
Appropriate repertoire, encompassing different styles and genres and reflecting increasingly difficult demands on musicality and technique, will be assigned by the instructor. For a representative list of graded repertoire, piano majors are referred to their applied syllabus.
Secondary Performance Area
Each music major on the BA and BM degree requires three credit hours (one credit hour for three semester) of study in the secondary area. Piano majors should discuss their choice with their advisor. All non-keyboard majors are required to take Class Piano I, II, and III.
Piano Proficiency Exam
Following the third semester of Class Piano, each non-keyboard major will be required to take a Piano Proficiency Exam. The proficiency exam will be given during final exams. Students must pass each section of the proficiency exam, with an overall score of 80 or above. Any student who does not pass the proficiency exam will repeat the exam the following semester. Students who do not pass the second exam will be required to repeat Class Piano III for credit. In addition to performing two contrasting compositions, students will be required to play a hymn, major and minor scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions, to harmonize a melody or play from a lead sheet, and to sight-read a short excerpt.
- Instrumental Division Policies
Dr. Doug Lockard, Coordinator
All non-elective applied lesson students in the instrumental division will attend the studio class offered by the instrumental applied faculty. These studio classes will be offered on Friday afternoons from 1:00-1:50 in the Redwine Band Room and afford the students the opportunity to perform before peers and instructors for feedback and suggestions for musical improvement. Each student should be prepared to perform in the weekly studio class as assigned by the instructor. If a student has to miss studio class he/she must seek approval from his/her instructor prior to the absence. Students enrolled in elective applied lessons will participate in studio classes only as assigned by the instructor.
A jury examination is a brief performance venue in which a student performs for the instrumental music faculty. Each student taking non-elective applied lessons is required to perform a jury at the end of each semester of applied study. Students performing recitals before mid-term may not be required to perform a jury at the discretion of the instructor. Students performing recitals after midterm are not required to perform a jury. Elective students are also expected to perform a jury, but exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the instructor.
Each jury member will record comments and a grade for each performer. The semester grade will be assigned by the student's instructor, but that grade may not be more than one grade above or below the jury panel average grade. Final grades will be based on weekly lessons (40%), studio class/GSR performance (5%), the scale jury (15%), reading summary (5%) and the final jury performance (35%).
Students will prepare repertoire sheets that provide a comprehensive list of the repertoire studied that semester. Repertoire sheets must be computer-generated from the online template and four copies should be brought to the jury.
All students enrolled in non-elective private lessons will be required to perform a scale jury at mid-semester during the weekly private lesson according to the following guidelines:
Freshmen (first semester) | 12 Major Scales, 12 Natural Minor Scales
Freshmen (second semester) | 12 Major Scales, 12 Natural Minor Scales, 12 Melodic Minor Scales
Sophomore, Junior, Senior | 12 Major Scales, 12 Natural Minor Scales, 12 Melodic Minor Scales, 12 Harmonic Minor Scales
Additionally, the chromatic scale (with ranges assigned by the instructor), arpeggios, modes, and any other scales may be required by the student's instructor.
Each student enrolled in non-elective instrumental applied lessons will be assigned an accompanist. The accompanist will attend three lessons during the semester as scheduled by the private instructor. The student is responsible for scheduling three additional rehearsals with the accompanist that will take place outside the lesson time to prepare for performance in studio classes, GSR performances, and one jury each semester. Each private instructor should monitor the activities of the student and accompanist to ensure a fair arrangement which allows for the successful completion of all assigned works. The accompanist is paid for these services by the University with fees assessed the voice or instrumental student at the time of registration. The voice or instrumental student is expected to pay the accompanist directly for any additional work desired. Accompanist changes after the first week of classes are strongly discouraged and require the Dean's approval. However, both the students and accompanists are encouraged to confirm that the Fine Arts Office has the correct assignment recorded. Students and accompanists should report any problems to the applied instructor who is responsible for either resolving the matter or reporting it to the Dean.
Students enrolled in elective private lessons are not allowed to have accompanists. They are also not charged an accompanist fee at the time of registration.
Repertoire Requirements 1 Credit Hour 2 Credit Hours Freshman 3 selections 4 selections Sophomore 4 selections 5 selections Junior 5 selections 6 selections Senior 5 selections 6 selections
Extended works and more difficult works may be counted as multiple works at the discretion of the instructor. Also, technical studies may count towards the repertoire requirements at the instructor's discretion. This practice is discouraged once a student reaches Junior-Level study.
Secondary Performance Area
The secondary applied music study requirement for instrumental principals is fulfilled by completing Class Piano I, II, and III.
The music major with an instrumental secondary applied area will be required to meet the following requirements on the secondary instrument by the end of the third semester of study:
- Scales 12 Major, and 12 Natural Minor; rhythm: quarter notes; quarter note=120 m.m.
- Repertoire Successfully perform at least one solo of appropriate difficulty each semester in the instrumental studio class; the solo should be representative of freshman and sophomore-level repertoire.
- Sight-Reading The student will demonstrate the ability to perform music at sight on the secondary instrument by the end of the third semester of study.
- Worship Studies Policies
Worship Studies Faculty
Mr. Chris Smith, Coordinator of Worship Studies
Andrew Pressley, Adjunct Instructor (Associate Pastor, Music – First Baptist Church, Lindale)
The world and work of church music is diverse and rapidly changing, and we strive to provide students the opportunity to broaden their experiences in preparation for this field. For those interested in serving the church through music-related ministry, the Worship Studies major equips students both musically and spiritually in areas such as technology, performance, leadership, and in understanding biblical principles of worship.
The curriculum provides a biblical foundation of church music, and helps the student develop philosophical approaches to ministry and worship practices. In addition to basic musicianship skills common to all music majors, Worship Studies students are challenged to (1) develop skills in directing musical ensembles of all ages and types found in most churches, (2) understand and respond to God's call to ministry in their personal lives, and (3) gain experience working in worship leadership positions during, and as a part of, their course of study at ETBU. Since many young students responding to God's call to ministry are unsure how that call will materialize into long-term vocational plans, students are assigned faculty advisors as mentors who can inform them of the professional opportunities that are available, and guide them through this decision-making process.
Student Character and Professional Expectations
All Worship Studies majors are expected to articulate their faith and call to ministry. They are to demonstrate their commitment to Christ and the call through living a life consistent with the Christian values found in the scriptures. Students are expected to demonstrate good moral character and honesty, and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Christian mission of ETBU.
Worship Leadership and Practicum Experiences (Projects and Performances)
Students majoring in Worship Studies are encouraged to develop and utilize their musical gifts and talents within the local church. Part-time and volunteer positions are always needed in local congregations; students will gain tremendous experience by accepting these opportunities as they are able. Many churches also have internships that allow students to work with an experienced and trained church musician. Students should seek out these positions with the assistance of the music faculty and advisors.
During the final year of study, each student is required to assume a ministry position for his/her practicum. This is invaluable as the student gains insight into the “real world” of ministry. In addition to this practical experience, the student will also prepare and present a full worship service within the congregation in which they are serving. This project is the culminating event for all Worship Studies students, and is the summation of all that they have learned and developed while studying at ETBU.
- Recital and Concerts
General Student Recitals (GSR) are those collective student performances which occur on designated Fridays. Students enrolled in non-elective applied study are expected to perform at least one time each semester, but additional performances are encouraged if the applied instructor supports such performances and time slots are available. Students are required to dress appropriately for these public performances. Refer to the ETBU Student Handbook "Dress/Attire" and "Recital and Concert Attire" sections of this Handbook.
Students should refer to the course syllabus for MUSI 1000.01 for a schedule of all GSR dates for each semester. To perform on a GSR program, students must complete and submit electronically a GSR Performance Request sheet available online. It is imperative that the student include "GSR" and the anticipated performance date in the subject line of the emailed request. That form is submitted directly to the applied instructor who checks the information for accuracy and then electronically forwards that form to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office. The School of Communication and Performing Arts Office must receive the form on or before the Wednesday prior to the performance date. GSR programs will be limited to 50 minutes in length, and students are encouraged to submit their forms early in case a particular program becomes full.
Student recitals are required on all music major curricula. The ETBU Catalog provides detailed information regarding the requirements for each academic major. Student recitals are categorized according to level (sophomore, junior, or senior) and length (half or full). Any student may present a recital in any semester after his or her freshman year provided they (1) enroll in the appropriate course, and (2) successfully complete the preliminary hearing..
Level The level of the recital is determined by the student's level of applied study. Students who are enrolled in 2000-level, 3000-level, and 4000-level applied lessons may register for a sophomore recital, junior recital and senior recital respectively. No recital level is a prerequisite for any other recital level. Students must register for the appropriate level and appropriate performance division (Voice, Keyboard, Instrumental). Instrumentalists should enroll in the appropriate course number as determined by the need or lack thereof for an accompanist. See the Catalog for additional information.
Length Half recitals require a minimum of 25 minutes of music, and full recitals require a minimum of 50 minutes of music. All sophomore recitals are classified as half recitals, but junior and senior recitals may be either half or full recitals. However, students must present a half recital before they are allowed to present a full recital. Students may present multiple half recitals if they so choose.
Hearings All students presenting recitals are required to pass a hearing 1-2 weeks prior to the scheduled recital. For all hearings, students are required to present their recital program in its entirety and in appropriate recital attire. The evaluating panel will consist of the applied lesson teacher and at least two additional members of the music faculty, and will be scheduled with the cooperation of the private lesson teacher.
The student is instructed to complete the Recital Preliminary Hearing Form and submit it to the applied instructor at least one week prior to the date of the hearing. The applied instructor will approve the form as submitted by the student and print one copy for each member of the evaluating panel. The student is also required to provide a rough copy of the program and program notes for each member of the jury panel. The applied instructor will collect the hearing forms and submit them to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office to be added to the student's file.
The hearing is recorded and added to the student’s portfolio. The faculty will determine whether the hearing will be approved for a public or a jury recital. If approved for public performance, the recital is publicized and all programs and notes are prepared for final printing (see below). If approved as a jury recital, the student has fulfilled his/her recital requirement. If a student does not pass the hearing for public or jury recitals, the recital will be canceled and may not be rescheduled during the current semester. Special circumstances will be considered.
Recital Printed Materials If the recital is approved for public performance, the student must then submit the program and/or notes electronically to the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office using the Recital Program Request form. The Music Department will format and print the programs for the recital. The program should contain the following information:
• Performers' names with instruments/voice parts
• All titles in the order of performance
• All composers/arrangers for each piece
• Dates of each composer
• Performance date, time and location
• Elective or Required recital, and if required, what degree
Students may request specific dates to present their public recital immediately after they register for the appropriate recital course. Using the form available on the Music Student Resources page of the Music Department website, student will submit written requests to the Music Department Chair identifying three recital dates in order of preference. Student may request any Sunday afternoon or any weeknight other than Wednesday evenings. The Music Department Chair will not approve any date that conflicts with any other official Music Department activity (class, rehearsal, concert, recital, etc.), and multiple half recitals will be scheduled on the same afternoon or evening to condense the event calendar.
Receptions are allowed after any half or full recital with the consent of the applied instructor. All arrangements for refreshments, decorations and room reservations are the sole responsibility of the student(s) giving the recital(s).
Students planning a reception should:
• plan all details far in advance. Receptions are the student's responsibility. This means that all food, all utensils, napkins, cups, etc. are to be provided by the student. You will not be allowed to use items from the faculty or student lounges.
• schedule the desired space with the School of Communication and Performing Arts Secretary.
• have someone be responsible for all details of the reception (The soloist should never have to be involved with reception details on the day of the recital!).
• provide their own servers. Members of KKY and TBS may be willing to offer assistance, but they must be contacted in advance.
• ensure that the room is returned to its usual rehearsal/classroom configuration and that all residue of the reception be cleaned up before leaving.
Individual Performance Attire
Performers should dress in a professional manner. Nice casual clothes are NOT considered appropriate for public performances during the day or evening. For afternoon events, men are required to wear a dress shirt, tie, and dress slacks and dress shoes. For evening performances, men are to wear a suit; sports coat, tie and slacks ensemble; or tuxedo. Ladies should wear a modest dress or skirt of mid-knee length or longer or a semi-formal slacks outfit. Appropriate attire will be determined by the area performance coordinators.
Students attending daytime recitals may wear their regular school attire. Consult the current ETBU Student Handbook for these guidelines. Head coverings should be removed before entering the performance facility. Dress for attendance at evening programs should be more formal. Shorts, jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, and ripped or torn clothing are inappropriate for any evening performance. Students who do not adhere to this dress code will not receive credit for attending the recital.
In addition to the recital performance requirements indicated above, recital attendance is also required. Per NASM regulation, "All students must be exposed to a large and varied body of music through study and attendance at recitals, concerts, opera and musical theatre productions, and other performances." ETBU accomplishes this by requiring students to attend recitals and concerts each semester in which they are registered for their primary applied music study. It is for this purpose that MUSI 1000 Recital is required during the semesters of private study. Students should refer to the MUSI 1000 course syllabus for specific information regarding Recital attendance requirements.
- Music Student Awards
Annual Department Awards
Outstanding New Student Award
Outstanding Service to the Music Department
Outstanding Concert Choir Student
Outstanding University Singers Student
Outstanding Men’s Choir Student
Outstanding Women’s Choir Student
Outstanding Band Student
Outstanding Jazz Band Student
Outstanding Performer (Instrumental)
Outstanding Performer (Vocal)
Outstanding Performer (Piano)
Outstanding Music Ministry Student
Outstanding Music Education Student
Outstanding Music Minor Student
Outstanding Music Student Award
Endowed Scholarship Awards
Dexter Lee Riddle Award: given to an outstanding sophomore, junior or senior music major.
Elizabeth Brice Bethea Memorial Scholarship: given to an outstanding and promising junior or senior music student.
Joy Allen and James C. Quinn Endowed Piano Scholarship: given to an outstanding piano student.
Janice Walker Wrotenbery Scholarship: given to an outstanding voice student.
Sharon Faulkner Memorial Scholarship: given to a music major who is conscientious in achieving high grades and uses their talent in servanthood.
Clara Dona Stoker Music Scholarship: given to a male music student.
Jack and Gladee McClain Music Scholarship: given to a "church-related" music major.
Ware Endowed Music Scholarship: given to a music major student.
- Organizational Relationships
ETBU's chapter of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME, formerly MENC) is also affiliated with Collegiate Texas Music Educators and Texas Music Educators Conference (the state chapter of NAfME). It exists for the purpose of:
- Making available to members opportunities for professional development;
- Acquainting students with the privileges and responsibilities of the music education profession;
- Providing all members with the opportunity to become acquainted with leaders in the music education profession through participation in programs, demonstrations, discussions, workshops, and performances planned by this chapter, the state music educators association, and the National Association for Music Education;
- Assisting the school in various projects throughout the year; and providing the opportunity to have contact with collegiate members from other schools.
Membership is open to any ETBU student interested in music teaching and learning.
TAU BETA SIGMA / KAPPA KAPPA PSI
Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi are honorary service organizations whose sole purpose is to serve the college or university band programs through service projects, fundraisers, social events and other projects as needed. Tau Beta Sigma operates primarily as a student service and leadership recognition society whose chief aim is to assist the directors in developing the leadership and enthusiasm that they require of their band. Our goals are not only to provide the band with organized and concentrated service activities, but to give our membership valid and wholesome experiences in organization, leadership, and social contacts. The honorary nature of membership is based on our premise that "it is an honor to be selected to serve" this band, its department of music, its sponsoring institution, and the cause of band music in the nation’s colleges and universities. On the local level, chapter responsibilities include concentrated service activities as well as providing the intangible items of morale, spirit, enthusiasm, atmosphere, and attitude within the band. As noted in the Preamble of our Constitution and as charged in much of our Ritual, the cultivation and maintenance of an agreeable and enthusiastic attitude is mandatory for all of our members, and this serves to foster the wholesome and cooperative spirit that each director wants for his/her band. For more information, visit the KKY/TBS website at www.kkytbs.org.
Below is a list of professional organizations that music students may consider joining. These organizations provide educational journals and periodicals and regional, state, national, and international conferences that are most beneficial to any musician. Students are encouraged to seek more information about these through library holdings and Internet websites.
Elementary / Early Childhood
Organization of American Kodály Educators (www.oake.org)
American Orff-Schulwerk Association (www.aosa.org)
Dalcroze Society of America (www.dalcrozeusa.org)
Gordon Institute for Music Learning (www.giml.org)
Suzuki Association of the Americas (www.suzukiassociation.org)
Early Childhood Music & Movement Association (www.ecmma.org)
General / Education
National Association for Music Education NAfME (www.nafme.org)
Texas Music Educators Association (www.tmea.org)
Texas Music Educators Conference (www.tmec.org)
Texas Association of Music Schools (www.txams.org)
The Jazz Education Network (www.jazzednet.org)
National Association of Schools of Music (www.nasm.arts-accredit.org)
Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org)
TI:ME Technology Institute for Music Educators (www.ti-me.org)
Vocal / Choral
National Association of Teachers of Singing (www.nats.org)
American Choral Directors Association (www.acdaonline.org)
Texas Choral Directors Association (www.tcda.net)
Choristers Guild (www.choristersguild.org)
Texas Bandmasters Association (www.texasbandmasters.org)
The National Band Association (www.nationalbandassociation.org)
Association of Texas Small School Bands (www.atssb.org)
American Guild of Organists (www.agohq.org)
Piano Technicians Guild (www.ptg.org)
The National Guild of Piano Teachers (www.pianoguild.com)
American String Teachers Association (www.astaweb.com)
Violin Society of America (www.vsa.to)
American Viola Society (www.americanviolasociety.org)
International Society of Bassists (www.isbworldoffice.com)
The National Flute Association (www.nfaonline.org)
International Double Reed Society (www.idrs.org)
International Clarinet Association (www.clarinet.org)
NASA Saxophone.org (www.saxophone.org)
Conductors Guild (www.conductorsguild.org)
International Trumpet Guild (www.trumpetguild.org)
International Horn Society (www.hornsociety.org)
International Trombone Association (www.trombone.net)
International Tuba Euphonium Association (www.iteaonline.org)
Percussive Arts Society (www.pas.org/index.aspx)
Guitar Foundation of America (www.guitarfoundation.org)
Theory / Composition
Society for Music Theory (www.societymusictheory.org)
American Composers Forum (www.composersforum.org)
Broadcast Music International (www.bmi.com)
International Computer Music Association (www.computermusic.org)
Society of Composers, Inc. (www.societyofcomposers.org)
The Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers (www.cfamc.org)
BGCT Center for Music and Worship (www.texasbaptists.org/education-discipleship/music-worship)
Worship and Church Music (www.worshipandchurchmusic.com)
Center for Church Music - Songs and Hymns (www.songsandhymns.org)
Service Music: Music for Church Worship (www.servicemusic.org.uk)
Worship Resource Center (www.praise.net)
College / University
College Music Society (www.music.org)
National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (www.nacwpi.org)
College Band Directors National Association (www.cbdna.org)
Industry / Advocacy
National Association of Music Merchants (www.namm.org)
American Music Therapy Association (www.musictherapy.org)
- Health and Safety
Music Department Offerings:
Onsite Hearing Tests: Provided periodically by local health professionals. Students may request this service by contacting the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office
Ear Plugs:available in the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office
Injury Prevention Educational Resources: Jarrett Learning Center and Music Student Handbook. Additionally, the Department of Music will provide information through GSR programs.
Ice Packs: available in the School of Communication and Performing Arts Office
Protect Your Hearing Every Day
National Association of Schools of Music and Performing Arts Medicine Association from Protect Your Hearing Every Day: Information and Recommendations for Student Musicians NASM/PAMA: November 2011 IV-2
In working toward a degree in music, you are joining a profession with a long and honored history. Part of the role of any professional is to remain in the best condition to practice the profession.
For all of you, as aspiring musicians, this involves safeguarding your hearing health. Whatever your plans after graduation – whether they involve playing, teaching, engineering, or simply enjoying music – you owe it to yourself and your fellow musicians to do all you can to protect your hearing.
As you may know, certain behaviors and your exposure to certain sounds can, over time, damage your hearing. You may be young now, but you’re never too young for the onset of hearing loss. In fact, in most cases, noise-related hearing loss doesn’t develop overnight. (Well, some does, but we’ll address that issue later in this document.) But the majority of noise-induced hearing loss happens gradually.
So the next time you find yourself blasting music through those tiny earbuds of your iPod or turning up the volume on your amp, ask yourself―Am I going to regret this someday? You never know; you just might. And as a musician, you cannot afford to risk it.
The bottom line is this: If you’re serious about pursuing a career in music, you need to protect your hearing. The way you hear music, the way you recognize and differentiate pitch, the way you play music; all are directly connected to your hearing. Do yourself a favor: protect it. You won’t regret it.
The information in this document is generic and advisory in nature. It is not a substitute for professional, medical judgments. It should not be used as a basis for medical treatment. If you are concerned about your hearing or think you may have suffered hearing loss, consult a licensed medical professional.
Purpose of this Resource Document
The purpose of this document is to share with you some information on hearing health and hearing loss and let you know about the precautionary measures that all of us should practice daily.
Music and Noise
This document addresses what is termed―noise-induced hearing loss. You may be wondering why we’re referring to music—this beautiful form of art and self-expression—as “noise.” Here’s why: What we know about hearing health comes from medical research and practice. Both are based in science where “noise” is a general term for sound. Music is simply one kind of sound.
Obviously, there are thousands of others. In science-based work, all types of sound, including music, are regularly categorized as different types of noise.
Terminology aside, it’s important to remember this fundamental point: A sound that it too loud, or too loud for too long, is dangerous to hearing health, no matter what kind of sound it is or whether we call it noise, music, or something else. Music itself is not the issue. Loudness and its duration are the issues. Music plays an important part in hearing health, but hearing health is far larger than music.
All of us, as musicians, are responsible for our art. We need to cultivate a positive relationship between music and our hearing health. Balance, as in so many things, is an important part of this relationship.
Noise-Induced Permanent Hearing Loss
Let’s first turn to what specialists refer to as noise-induced permanent hearing loss. The ear is made up of three sections: the outer, middle, and inner ear. Sounds must pass through all three sections before signals are sent to the brain.
Here’s the simple explanation of how we experience sound:
Sound, in the form of sound waves, enters the outer ear. These waves travel through the bones of the middle ear. When they arrive in the inner ear, they are converted into electrical signals that travel via neural passages to the brain. It is then that you experience hearing the sound.
Now, when a loud noise enters the ear, it poses a risk to the ear’s inner workings. For instance, a very loud sound, an explosion, for example, or a shotgun going off at close range, can actually dislodge the tiny bones in the middle ear, causing conductive hearing loss, which involves a reduction in the sound level experienced by the listener and a reduction in the listener’s ability to hear faint sounds. In many cases, this damage can be repaired with surgery. But loud noises like this are also likely to send excessive sound levels into the inner ear, where permanent hearing damage occurs.
The inner ear, also known as the cochlea, is where most hearing-loss-related ear damage tends to occur. Inside the cochlea are tiny hair cells that are responsible for transmitting sound waves to the brain. When a loud noise enters the inner ear, it can damage the hair cells, thus impairing their ability to send neural impulses to the brain. The severity of a person’s noise-induced hearing loss depends on the severity of the damage to these hair cells. The extent of the damage to these cells is normally related to the length and frequency of a person’s exposure to loud sounds over long periods of time.
Because noise-induced hearing loss is painless, you may not realize that it’s happening at first. Then suddenly one day you will realize that you’re having more and more trouble hearing high frequency sounds – the ones that are the most high-pitched. If you don’t start to take precautions then, your hearing loss may eventually also affect your ability to perceive both speech sounds and music.
It is very important to understand that these hair cells in your inner ear cannot regenerate. Any damage done to them is permanent. At this time, there is simply no way to repair or undo the damage.
FACT: According to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 36 million Americans have hearing loss. One in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise.
Noise-Induced Temporary Hearing Loss
Now it’s also important to note that not all noise-induced hearing loss is necessarily permanent. Sometimes, after continuous, prolonged exposure to a loud noise, we may experience what’s called “noise-induced temporary hearing loss.”
During temporary hearing loss, known as Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS), hearing ability is reduced. Outside noises may sound fuzzy or muted. Normally, this lasts no more than 16 to 18 hours, at which point your hearing levels will return to normal.
Often during this TTS, people will experience tinnitus, a medical condition characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or roaring in the ears. Tinnitus may last only a few minutes, but it can also span several hours, or, in extreme instances, last indefinitely.
Also, if you experience a series of temporary hearing losses, you may be well on the way to permanent damage sometime in the future.
Noise Levels and Risk
Now, how do you know when a noise or sound is too loud—when it’s a threat to your hearing health? Most experts agree that prolonged exposure to any noise or sound over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. You may have seen decibels abbreviated “dB.” They are the units we use to measure the intensity of a sound.
Two important things to remember:
1. The longer you are exposed to a loud noise, the greater the potential for hearing loss.
2. The closer you are to the source of a loud noise, the greater the risk that you’ll experience some damage to your hearing mechanisms.
At this point, it helps to have some frame of reference. How loud are certain noises? Consider these common sounds, their corresponding decibel levels, and the recommended maximum exposure times established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Sound Intensity (dB) Maximum Recommended Exposure (approx.)*
A Whisper Safe 30 Db, No Maximum
Rainfall (moderate)Safe 50 Db, No Maximum
Conversation (average)Safe 60 Db, No Maximum
Freeway Traffic Safe 70 Db, No Maximum
Alarm Clock Safe 80 Db, No Maximum
85 Potential Damage Threshold
Blender, Blow-dryer Potential Damage 90 Db, 2 Hours
MP3 player (full volume)Potential Damage 100 Db, 15 minutes
Rock Concerts, Power ToolsPotential Damage 110 Db, 2 minutes
Jet Plane at TakeoffImmediate Risk 120 Db, Unsafe
Sirens, Jackhammers Immediate Risk 130 Db, Unsafe
Gunshots, Fireworks (close range) Immediate Risk 140 Db, Unsafe
*NIOSH-recommended exposure limits
You can listen to sounds under 85dB for as long as you like. There is no risk involved, well, except for the risk of annoyance. But seriously, for sounds in this lower decibel range, listening to them for hours on end does not pose any real risk to your hearing health.
85dB is the magic number. Sounds above the 85dB threshold pose a potential threat to your hearing when you exceed the maximum recommended exposure time.
MP3 players at full volume, lawnmowers, and snowblowers come in at 100dB. The recommended maximum exposure time for these items is 15 minutes.
Now, before you get too worried and give up mowing the lawn, remember, there are ways to reduce your exposure. For instance, turn down the volume on your MP3 player. Did you know that normally, MP3 players generate about 85dB at one-third of their maximum volume, 94dB at half volume, and 100dB or more at full volume? Translated into daily exposure time, according to NIOSH standards, 85dB equals 8 hours, 94dB equals 1 hour, and 100dB equals 15 minutes. Do yourself a favor, and be mindful of your volume.
Also, remember to wear a pair of earplugs or earmuffs when you mow the lawn or when you use a snowblower. When you’re dealing with sounds that produce between 120 and 140dB, you’re putting yourself at risk for almost immediate damage. At these levels, it is imperative that you utilize protective ear-coverings. Better yet, if it’s appropriate, avoid your exposure to these sounds altogether.
FACT: More than 30 million Americans expose themselves to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis.
Musicians and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Nowadays, more and more is being written about the sound levels of certain musical groups. It’s no secret that many rock concerts expose performers and audiences to dangerously high levels of noise. The ringing in your ears after a blaring rock concert can tell you that. But now professional and college music ensembles are under similar scrutiny. It’s true that musicians are exposed to elevated levels of sound when they rehearse and perform music. But that doesn’t equal automatic risk for hearing loss.
Take, for instance, a typical practice session on the piano. When taken at close range to the instrument over a limited period of time, a sound level meter fluctuates between a reading of 60 and 70 decibels. That’s similar in intensity to your average conversation (60dB). There will, of course, be moments when the music peaks and this level rises. But these moments are not sustained over several hours. At least not under normal practice conditions.
While the same is true for most instruments, it is important to understand that certain instrumental sections tend to produce higher sound levels. Sometimes these levels relate to the piece of music being performed and to notational requirements (pianissimo, fortissimo); other times, these levels are what naturally resonate from the instrument. For example, string sections tend to produce decibel levels on the lower end of the spectrum, while brass, percussion, and woodwind sections generally produce decibel levels at the higher end of the spectrum.
What’s important is that you are mindful of the overall volume of your instrument and of those around you. If you’re concerned about volume levels, share your concerns with your instructor.
FACT: Approximately 50% of musicians have experienced some degree of hearing loss.
Now, let’s talk about how you can be proactive when it comes to music and hearing loss. It’s important to think about the impact noise can have on your hearing health when you:
• Attend concerts
• Play your instrument
• Adjust the volume of your car stereo
• Listen to your radio, CD player, and MP3 player
Here are some simple ways to test if the music is too loud:
It’s too loud (and too dangerous) when:
• You have to raise your voice to be heard
• You can’t hear someone who’s 3 feet away from you
• The speech around you sounds muffled or dull after you leave a noisy area
• You experience tinnitus (pain, ringing, buzzing, or roaring in your ears) after you leave a noisy area
Evaluating Your Risk for Hearing Loss
When evaluating your risk for hearing loss, ask yourself the following questions:
• How frequently am I exposed to noises and sounds above 85 decibels?
• What can I do to limit my exposure to such loud noises and sounds?
• What personal behaviors and practices increase my risk of hearing loss?
• How can I be proactive in protecting my hearing and the hearing of those around me?
Basic Protection for Musicians
As musicians, it’s vital that you protect your hearing whenever possible.
Here are some simple ways to reduce your risk of hearing loss:
• When possible, avoid situations that put your hearing health at risk.
• Refrain from behaviors which could compromise your hearing health and the health of others.
• If you’re planning to be in a noisy environment for any significant amount of time, try to maintain a reasonable distance from the source of the sound or noise. In other words, there’s no harm in enjoying a fireworks display, so long as you’re far away from the launch point.
• When attending loud concerts, be mindful of the location of your seats. Try to avoid sitting or standing too close to the stage or to the speakers, and use earplugs.
• Keep the volume of your music and your listening devices at a safe level.
• Remember to take breaks during a rehearsal. Your ears will appreciate this quiet time.
• Use earplugs or other protective devices in noisy environments and when using noisy equipment.
Now that you’ve learned about the basics of hearing health and hearing loss prevention, we encourage you to keep learning. Do your own research. Browse through the links provided at the end of this document. There’s a wealth of information out there, and it’s yours to discover.
We hope this resource document has made you think more carefully about your own hearing health. Just remember that all the knowledge in the world is no match for personal responsibility. We’ve given you the knowledge and the tools; now it’s your turn. You are responsible for your exposure to all sorts of sounds, including music. Your day-to-day decisions have a great impact on your hearing health, both now and years from now.
Do yourself a favor. Be smart. Protect your precious commodity. Protect your hearing ability.
Resources – Information and Research
Hearing Health Project Partners
National Association of School of Music (NASM) (http://nasm.arts-accredit.org/)
Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) (http://www.artsmed.org/index.html)
PAMA Bibliography (search tool) (http://www.artsmed.org/bibliography.html)
General Information on Acoustics
Acoustical Society of America (http://acousticalsociety.org/)
Acoustics for Performance, Rehearsal, and Practice Facilities
Available through the NASM Web site
Health and Safety Standards Organizations
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) (http://www.ansi.org/)
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (http://www.osha.gov/)
Medical Organizations Focused on Hearing Health
American Academy of Audiology (http://www.audiology.org/Pages/default.aspx)
American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org/index.cfm)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (http://www.asha.org/)
Athletes and the Arts (http://athletesandthearts.com/)
House Research Institute – Hearing Health (http://www.hei.org/education/health/health.htm)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders – Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/noise.html)
The following links provide helpful information that affect the health and/or safety of music students.
The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique (http://www.alexandertechnique.com)
Andover Educators (body mapping) (http://bodymap.org)
Dalcroze Society of America (http://www.dalcrozeusa.org)
The Feldenkrais Method (http://www.feldenkrais.com)
Performing Arts Medical Association (http://www.artsmed.org)
Hearing Protection (http://etymotic.com)
Many musicians (student, professional, and everywhere in between) experience performance-related injuries at some point in their careers.
A recently published study of incoming freshman instrumentalists at Northwestern University found that 79% of students reported “a history of playing-related pain.”
Approximately 85% of string, woodwind, brass, and keyboard students reported experience with performance injuries, as did 61% of voice students and 100% of percussion students.*
This phenomenon isn’t just a by-product of Conservatory culture. It’s also an acknowledged aspect of professional life.
A 1987 survey of international orchestral professionals** found that, at the time, 76% of orchestral musicians experienced at least one performance-related injury of a serious nature.
And it’s not just music students and orchestral professionals. Even a study of amateur musicians rated overuse injuries at 72%.***
The moral of the story: music is a rigorous field of study and a demanding line of work. The vast majority of musicians experience pain at some point in their lives. Therefore: educate yourself, develop healthy habits, and know that if you do start hurting, you are not alone!
*Brandfonbrener, Alice G. "History of Playing-related Pain in 330 University Freshman Music Students." Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Vol. 24, No. 1, Mar. 2009: 30-36.
**Fishbein, Martin and Susan E. Middlestadt, et al. "Medical problems among ICSOM musicians: overview of a national survey." Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Vol. 3, No. 1, Mar. 1988: 1-8.
***Newmark, Jonathan and Richard J. Lederman. "Practice doesn't necessarily make perfect: Incidence of overuse syndromes in amateur instrumentalists." Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Vol. 2, No. 4, Dec. 1987: 142-144.
Janet Horvath's Do's and Don'ts for Injury Prevention****
10 Do’s for Injury Prevention
DO WARM-UP: Warmed muscles are more efficient, strong and resilient. Muscles that are overused, fatigued and under-conditioned are more tense and require more work for a demanding task. Start with a walk, then several stretches away from the instrument and do them slowly and smoothly. At the instrument, start slowly and easily.
DO TAKE BREAKS:Ten minutes per hour minimum is a good guide. It is helpful to let your arms down and hang them loosely at your sides for a few seconds after a difficult passage. After tremolo or fortissimo passages or after long stretches of sustained playing, move your thumbs in circles or stretch them out gently to release any tension. Reed makers, this applies to you, too.
DO SIT WITH GOOD POSTURE. KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN AND YOUR BACK STRAIGHT.:Keep your weight forward and on your feet. Do not slouch. Don’t cross your legs when you play, or curl your feet around the chair. Keep your head upright, in a neutral position. Lifting shoulders, turning or twisting your torso, and leaning to the left or right contribute to muscle strain and may lead to injury.
DO INCREASE YOUR PRACTICE LOAD GRADUALLY AND VARY YOUR REPERTOIRE.
DO SOME STRESS-REDUCING RELAXATION ACTIVITIY AND GET EXERCISE: Yoga, stretching, swimming, Alexander Technique and massage are all good preventative activities. These can help to keep tension from building up. Muscles that are tight, weak and untoned are more injury-prone than strong, flexible and resilient muscles.
DO TAKE ONE DAY OFF A WEEK.
DO BE EASIER ON YOURSELF WHEN YOU ARE UNDER DURESS OR WHEN YOU ARE OVERTIRED: Your body will be more tense and at risk for injury when you are under duress. These are times to be careful about intense, long hours of playing. When you’re stressed or overtired, take more breaks, take more time to warm-up, do stretches more often, and practice more mindfully.
DO MOVE: Sitting very still builds up tension. During long hours of playing, take time to wiggle and stretch. Try to avoid being static or “freezing” in any one position.
DO BREATHE DEEPLY: When we’re nervous we tend to breathe very shallow breaths, or even hold our breath. Our muscles then may not get the oxygen they need. In fact, we may shake. During rests in music, concentrate on taking several deep breaths.
DO PRACTICE AWAY FROM THE INSTRUMENT: This is especially helpful for memorization and performance anxiety. Listen to music and study the scores or piano parts of your repertoire. It’s just as important to practice mental preparation as it is to achieve physical mastery of your music. Visualize performing well. Silence that doubting, chattering voice inside you by giving yourself positive suggestions. Tell yourself: “I am calm,” and “I sound wonderful.” rather than “What if I miss this shift?” or “I’m sure to have a memory slip.” Your subconscious believes whatever you tell it.
10 Don’ts for Injury Prevention
DON’T IGNORE PAIN: Pain is an indicator. Your body is trying to tell you something. Stop playing, ice the area, take some time off and try to analyze what may have caused the problem. Listen to your body.
DON’T BE MACHO: Don’t try to practice for hours and hours. Consistency is more important than duration. Don’t practice everything fortissimo and up to tempo. Pace yourself by practicing at slower tempo and lesser dynamics.
DON’T PRACTICE MINDLESSLY: Use a tape recorder to practice with a critical ear. Isolate problems in your repertoire and analyze rather than going over and over a passage. Have a realistic plan that you’d like to accomplish before you start practicing. Don’t play through pieces all the time. Alternate your repertoire. Don’t try to get through everything every day.
DON’T IGNORE CHEWED UP FINGERS OR LIP PAIN: Either your bridges is too high or you’re pressing your fingers too hard, or both. It doesn’t take hammering to press strings or keys down. Don’t hold your fingers down. Release all non-playing fingers. Don’t overwork your lips.
DON’T JUMP INTO PLAYING A FULL SCHEDULE AFTER A VACATION, ILLNESS OR INJURY: Take time to get back into shape. It’s better to play short periods more often throughout the day, rather than long chunks. Start with ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Increase the number of ten-minute practice periods per day before increasing the length of time.
DON’T SAY “YES” TO EVERYTHING: Especially at summer music festivals or in a particularly stimulating environment, it’s easy to get in over your head. Be realistic about how many chamber groups you can be in or how many performances you can do. Don’t schedule so tightly that you arrive breathless for a rehearsal with no time to warm-up.
DON’T CRAM, OR SHOW UP UNPREPARED FOR A REHEARSALS: Sightreading does not allow you to anticipate motions. Sudden quick motions can lead to injury. Try to look ahead in the music and focus on relaxed flowing motions. Try to allow yourself enough time to prepare your auditions or recitals. When this is impossible, try to program wisely. Don’t program several works that are new to you.
DON’T PLAY ON AN INSTRUMENT THAT IS OUT OF ADJUSTMENT: Make sure your instrument is properly repaired so it responds easily. Lower your strings. Wind players, get regular instrument check-ups to avoid leaks and bent keys. Oboists and bassoonists, killing yourself on hard reeds does not a hero make.
DON’T IGNORE CONDITIONS AROUND YOU: Don’t play if you have no room and you are cramped. Don’t position your stand in such a way that you have to crane your neck to see it and the conductor. Avoid playing in cold places or where there is a draft. Try to adjust to the conditions around you so that you can be as comfortable as possible. Don’t wear tight clothing, as this will tend to cramp you physically. Don’t forget to wear hearing protection.
DON’T PANIC IF SOMETHING HURTS: Some aches and pains are inevitable. Take a day off and don’t worry about it. Usually a short rest takes care of most minor aches. Learn your limitations and the danger signals. If you are worried, seek help.
****Horvath, Janet. Playing Less Hurt: An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians. Hal Leonard Books, Milwaukee, 2010: 207-208
- See more about injury prevention from Janet Horvath
Glossary of Injuries
Injury Prevention - Glossary of Injuries and Conditions
Acid Reflux: Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid. With gravity's help, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, keeps stomach acid in the stomach. The LES is located where the esophagus meets the stomach -- below the rib cage and slightly left of center. Normally it opens to allow food into the stomach or to permit belching; then it closes again. But if the LES opens too often or does not close tight enough, stomach acid can reflux, or seep, into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation. Acid reflux can damage vocal chords.
Arthritis: There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The word "arthritis" means joint inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body's natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain, and stiffness. Inflammation that lasts for a very long time or recurs, as in arthritis, can lead to tissue damage.
Bell's Palsy: Bell's palsy is a type of paralysis (or weakness) of the muscles in the face, thought to be due to inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve, also known as the facial nerve. Bell's palsy tends to come on very suddenly. Most people start to recover within a couple of weeks and are completely recovered within three months. Some people who develop Bell's palsy have a longer recovery period or have some permanent symptoms of the condition.
Bursitis: Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues, such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skin, that decreases rubbing, friction, and irritation. This condition is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the area, or from a sudden, more serious injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand from pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The tingling, numbness, and pain of carpal tunnel syndrome usually develop gradually. Symptoms often get worse if you do not stop or change an activity that is helping to cause the condition. Most mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome get better with treatment. Usually there is no permanent damage to the median nerve. Risk factors for carpal tunnel include activities that require repeated motions, especially in awkward positions.
Dental Hygiene: Dental hygiene is extremely important for everyone, but especially for wind and brass players. Wind and brass players should brush their teeth every time after eating before playing. Nobody wants cafeteria food in their instrument. Also, if your teeth fall out, it'll be pretty hard to play your instrument.
Emphysema: Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lung that primarily causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the lung tissues necessary to support the physical shape and function of the lung are destroyed. Cigarette smoking is by far the most dangerous reason that people develop emphysema, and it is also the most preventable cause.
ENT: See Otolaryngologist
Focal Dystonia: Focal Dystonia is involuntary sustained muscle contractions which can lead to abnormal movements. Genetic as well as non-genetic factors contribute to all forms of dystonia. The most characteristic finding associated with dystonia is twisting, repetitive movements that affect the neck, torso, limbs, eyes, face, vocal chords, and/or a combination of these muscle groups.
Herniated Disk: The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small, spongy disks. When these disks are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disk is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disk. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disk.
Instrument Adjustments: If you have a chronic condition that causes pain when you play, adjusting your instrument is not a bad way to go. For cellists, bent endpins (change the angle of the instrument to facilitate ease in thumb position) and posture pegs (pegs that don't have the knobs sticking out that poke you in the neck) are good choices. Bent endpins are also available for bassists. Violinists and violists can experiment with different heights and styles of chin and shoulder rests. Wind and brass players that play extremely large instruments, like bari sax and tuba, might want to consider a stand for the instrument so you aren't holding it yourself. Neck straps and harnesses are also helpful for wind and brass players who want to relieve the pressure the instrument exerts on the hands and wrists. Be sure to discuss all these options with your private lessons teacher before purchasing. These products are expensive and require thoughtful consideration before purchase.
Laryngitis: Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse. Laryngitis can be caused by: colds or flu, the most common cause, acid reflux, also known as gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), overuse of your voice, such as cheering at a sports event, and irritation, such as from allergies or smoke.
Ménière's Disease: Ménière's (say "men-YEERS") disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance. It causes sudden attacks of vertigo (a spinning sensation), tinnitus (a loud ringing in the ears), and a loss of hearing that may become permanent.
Musician's Chair: A musician's chair is a special chair specifically designed for musicians to facilitate good posture while playing. These chairs are very comfortable and reduce the amount of back pain after a 2-3 hour rehearsal. Lawrence has Wanger Musicians Chairs in the Chapel for large ensemble rehearsals and is planning on purchasing enough for the entire conservatory as soon as funds are available.
Numbness/Tingling: Numbness and tingling in your hand or arm is often a symptom of a more serious condition, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can feel like "pins-and-needles" or that the body part has fallen asleep. If you experience numbness or tingling often, especially during or after playing, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Otolaryngologist: Sometimes referred to as otorhinolaryngologists or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors, are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Otolaryngologists can prescribe medication and perform surgery for sinus problems, sleep apnea, or to remove tonsils or cancerous growths, for example.
Repetitive Motion Injuries: Repetitive motion injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. Simple everyday actions, such as throwing a ball, scrubbing a floor, or jogging, can lead to this condition. The most common types of repetitive motion injuries are tendonitis and bursitis. These 2 disorders are difficult to differentiate and many times may coexist.
Rotator Cuff Disorders: The rotator cuff is a group of strong, ropelike fibers (tendons) and muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff disorders occur when tissues in the shoulder get irritated or damaged. Tendonitis and bursitis are rotator cuff disorders. Both normal wear and tear and overuse can lead to impingement, when a tendon rubs against bone. This damages and irritates the tendon, which causes bleeding and inflammation. Over time, scar tissue replaces healthy tissue, and the tendons become stiff, stringy, and more easily injured.
Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a lateral (toward the side) curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. The normal spine curves gently backward in the upper back and gently inward in the lower back. When viewed from the side, the spine should show a mild roundness in the upper back and shows a degree of swayback (inward curvature) in the lower back. When a person with a normal spine is viewed from the front or back, the spine appears to be straight. When a person with scoliosis is viewed from the front or back, the spine appears to be curved.
Spasmodic Dysphonia: Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder resulting from involuntary movements (or spasms) of the voice box muscles. These spasms interrupt normal voice (dysphonia) in "abrupt spurts" with a strained, strangled voice, with breathy, soundless voice, or with a mixture of both. SD is a type of dystonia, a disorder of the central nervous system that causes involuntary movement of the vocal folds during voice production. It involves either the vocal folds coming together at the wrong time during speech (adductor SD), moving apart at the wrong time during speech (abductor SD), or both (mixed SD). There is no known cure, but treatment can and does improve symptoms.
Tendonitis: Tendonitis is an inflammation or irritation of the tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle. Tendonitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury. Incorrect posture at work or home or poor stretching or conditioning before exercise or playing sports increases a person's risk.
Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow is a condition in which tendon damage causes pain or soreness around the outside part of the elbow known as the lateral epicondyle. Symptoms are especially noticeable when the palm is turned up. The muscles of the forearm, wrist, and hand attach at the elbow to the upper arm bone (humerus). Damage to the tendons around these muscles makes it painful to rotate the forearm and flex the wrist and fingers backwards. Tennis elbow is usually caused by overuse from repeated hand and wrist movements.
Tension: Like many things in life, tension can be both good and bad. Too much of it causes pain, but not enough of it and we wouldn't be able to walk or really do anything. When you experience pain during or after playing, notice if you are holding too much tension any part of your body. These areas could be anywhere on the body, but good places to check are your shoulders, back, face, mouth, neck, feet, or hands.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: TOS is an umbrella term that encompasses three related syndromes that cause pain in the arm, shoulder, and neck: neurogenic TOS, vascular TOS, and nonspecific or disputed TOS. Most doctors agree that TOS is caused by compression of the brachial plexus or subclavian vessels as they pass through narrow passageways leading from the base of the neck to the armpit and arm, but there is considerable disagreement about its diagnosis and treatment. Making the diagnosis of TOS even more difficult is that a number of disorders feature symptoms similar to those of TOS, including rotator cuff injuries, cervical disc disorders, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, complex regional pain syndrome, and tumors of the syrinx or spinal cord. Symptoms of TOS vary depending on the type.
Tinnitis: Tinnitis, or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. It is often worse when background noise is low, so you may be most aware of it at night when you're trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. In rare cases, the sound beats in sync with your heart.
TMJ: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.
Vocal Hemmorages: In the vocal fold, hemorrhage refers to bleeding into the superficial lamina propria, the layer that guarantees the pliability of the vocal fold for vibration. Because this layer is made up of a network of loosely-arranged of fibers, blood spreads throughout it quickly and affects it so that the vocal fold does not vibrate as well. It does not take a lot of blood to cause a vocal fold hemorrhage, so this kind of bleeding is in no way a risk to a person’s overall health or life. Hemorrhage is the result of phonotrauma, the physical stresses caused by voicing, upon the tiny blood vessels of the vocal fold. These may rupture and bleed after loud voicing, after sustained voicing, or when they are more fragile than normal, as when they are swollen during laryngitis.
Vocal Fold Granuloma: Vocal fold granulomas are non-cancerous growths on the two vocal folds comprised of cells and substances often found in sites of inflammation (inflammatory tissue) and reflect a response to irritation or injury. The granulomas are usually found near the back portion of the vocal folds over the vocal process of the arytenoid cartilages at the site of contact during vocal fold closure. The common causes of vocal fold granuloma include: irritation from a breathing tube (endotracheal intubation trauma), irritation from excessive vocal fold contact with improper or excessive voice use, backflow of acidic stomach fluids to the voice box (laryngopharyngeal reflux).
Vocal Fold Scars: Vocal fold scarring is abnormal scar tissue in the vibrating layer of the vocal fold. Vocal fold scarring causes a number of voice disorders that are problematic to patients and is very challenging to diagnose and treat. A vocal fold scar is disorganized tissue in the vibrating layer of the vocal fold that forms as a response to injury or stress (as would occur in the rest of the body). The scar tissue alters the pliability (viscoelasticity) of the vocal fold, thus decreasing its ability to vibrate during speaking or singing. The scar tissue can range from mild to severe and can occur in one spot or along the full length of the vocal fold, resulting in varying degrees of loss of ability to vibrate. Voice therapy and/or singing voice therapy can provide satisfactory voice improvement with better technique, as well as help prevent continued scar formation.
As musicians, we haven’t been quick to recognize the athleticism of our art. Our warm-up exercises tend to focus on the parts of our bodies that are most directly associated with making music–lips, vocal chords, finger dexterity– all the things that are needed to create beautiful tone and technical facility. These exercises are critically important to our art. What we typically overlook, however, are the rest of the muscles in our body–the core muscles which support us and make everything else we do as musicians possible.
If you have ever doubted the sheer physicality of being a musician, heft a ten pound trombone up to your shoulder again and again for four to five hours a day; support a violin or viola, arm outstretched, for hours on end; hook a saxophone to a neck-strap and feel the strain on your shoulder muscles; stand with perfect posture and sing, or sit with perfect posture and play the piano from dawn until dusk. The muscle required for these activities are the same core muscles that dancers and athletes spend endless hours stretching, developing and strengthening. Sadly, we musicians typically spend little time away from our instruments building this critical foundation of strength. For most of us, full body stretches, or core strengthening exercises are something one does in the gym not in a practice room. Often, the first time we really start to pay attention to the rest of our body is when we start to experience pain.
Even then, musicians are just as likely to “play through” the injury rather than actively seek assistance. The good news is that attitudes are changing. More and more attention is being paid to the whole musician instead of just the parts directly associated with music-making.
Musicians and Weight Training
by Dr. Timothy Jameson
I recently received e-mail from a guitarist asking about the safety of weight training. He was told by many of his instructors and friends that weight training, especially wrist curls, would lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. This particular person loved his three time per week exercise routine and was really hesitant about stopping, but at the same time did not want to risk injury to his hands nor face giving up playing guitar because of injuries.
This e-mail brought up some very interesting questions about exercising and playing music. This column will help focus on some common misconceptions and explain the facts about the importance of exercise routines and injury prevention. First off, musicians are no different than any other human being when it comes to exercise programs. In fact, if there’s any group of people who need to learn more about exercise, it is the musician population. The task of learning musical pieces hour after hour takes a toll on the musculoskeletal system. Exercise is critical to restore vitality and blood flow to the overworked muscles and organs.
If performed correctly, exercise becomes a vital component to the musician’s wellness program. The key here is performing weight training “correctly.” Improper training techniques can wind up in injuries that can hinder performances and gigs. I recommend that if a musician is considering a weight training and/or aerobic training program that they consult with a personal trainer first to develop a program tailored for their particular needs.
To obtain the best results from exercise routines, you must first make a commitment to at least three days per week of exercise. Anything less than this will give you less than optimum results. On the other hand, during the initial three to six months I would recommend no more than 4 days per week of exercise for someone who is deconditioned, overweight, or has not exercised in a year or more. The body needs a rest day in between routines to heal itself.
A musician should begin an exercise program that involves both weight training and aerobic training. Weight training comes in many forms; dumbbells, free-weights, nautilus, cybex, universal, etc. For beginners, I often recommend the weight machines like universal and nautilus since they are easier to learn and maneuver. Aerobic exercise comes in many forms as well. When most people think of aerobic exercise, they envision men and women jumping and dancing around an aerobics room.
This is only one form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise means to maintain your heart rate at an elevated level for at least 20 minutes so the body enters into the aerobic energy cycle which reduces body fat and strengthens the heart. This can be done in a number of ways, such as via a bicycle, treadmill, stair machine, swimming, “step” classes, and traditional aerobics classes. Some sports activities also bring your body into the aerobic range. These including jogging, tennis, racquetball, squash, and cross-country skiing to name a few.
While weight training, musicians should concentrate on high repetition, low to medium weight exercises. Each set of exercises should consist of 15 repetitions. If you feel that you cannot attain 15 “reps” then you are working with too much weight. Different musicians will need different exercise regimens due to specific needs. Drummers need a great deal of arm and leg strength, while cello players need overall upper body strength. So your routine should be tailored to the type of instrument you play.
I often recommend an overall exercise program that develops the major muscle groups of the hands, forearms, arms, chest, back, legs, calves, and abdominals. For example, I recently gave this exercise program to a saxophonist. For forearm strength, I prescribed wrist extension and flexion exercises. To develop arm strength to hold the instrument I recommended bicep and triceps exercises. For shoulder strength, I recommended shoulder “flys” to develop the deltoids. For chest strength, he began “benching” exercises on the universal equipment and to balance the pectoralis development, “seated rows” were implemented to strengthen the upper back muscles. “Latissimus pulldowns” were recommended for back support as were four different abdominal muscle exercises. Leg press and squat exercises were recommended to develop lower body strength.
Many of these terms may sound like a foreign language to you, but don’t worry: they will be learned quickly once you become aware of the equipment and become knowledgeable about some muscle names.
Revisiting Our Guitarist
Getting back to the guitarist who e-mailed me about the exercise program. I told him that there is nothing wrong with exercise programs as long as the exercises are performed correctly. I mentioned that he should avoid hyperflexing his wrist while performing the wrist curls. Too much strain on the wrist flexors can cause inflammation. But if wrist curls are performed correctly, they are great at developing the forearm muscles, which are very important for overall hand strength and finger strength. Very importantly though, is that he has to balance the wrist curls with exercises that will strengthen the opposing muscle groups, such as the finger extensors and wrist extensors.
Balance is very important in weight training. I advised him to disregard his friends’ advice regarding avoiding exercise. The body needs exercise to increase its function and health. It sounds like his instructors and friends needed some guidance in this aspect. Hopefully they will read this article and begin learning more about the importance of exercise for the musician.
The “Musician Athlete”
Did you realize that as a musician you are a professional athlete? Consider how much muscle activity goes into practicing and performing your music. How many hours per day do you use your arms and hands to play music? You must train your body to achieve this high level of activity just as if you were training for the Olympic Games. If you are serious about your profession, then become serious about your body. You can only play as well as your body is able. Many musicians develop painful repetitive strain injuries simply because their bodies were not conditioned enough to put in the many hours of strenuous muscular activity. Begin your exercise program today. You will not only see a change in your health, but also your attitude, your vitality, your happiness, and your music playing.
by Dr. Timothy Jameson
Doctor of Chiropractic
Castro Valley, CA
The Impact of Exercise and Physical Fitness on Performance under Pressure
by Dr. Noa Kageyama
Freshman year, one of my roommates was the starting center on the basketball team and went to the gym every day to work out. Intrigued, I began tagging along and started learning how to work out properly.
I found that I rather enjoyed it. I liked that there was a direct relationship between the effort I put in and the results I got. Unlike the practice room, where the effort I was putting in didn’t seem to translate into results as predictably as I would have liked. However, I didn’t see as many conservatory students at the gym as I would have expected (though there were some notable exceptions which I’ll share in a moment).
Indeed, working out takes time, energy, and effort. When there are excerpts and endless repertoire to learn and perfect, rehearsals and coachings to prepare for, and an endless list of technical issues to fix, tweak, and master, taking a couple hours out of the day to work out, shower, and get dressed can sometimes feel like a luxury we can’t afford. But does being physically fit provide musicians with a meaningful advantage? Especially when it comes to performing optimally under pressure?
Anxiety about anxiety
Feeling a bit of anxiety is a normal response in pressure situations. Our heart rate goes up, our breathing quickens, we feel more alert, and so on. But if a few butterflies are the extent of it, we usually handle ourselves just fine.
The problem of course, is that it often doesn’t end there. We start dwelling on the unwelcome physical changes and worry about what it all means. Are we going to crack or miss notes? Have uncontrollable bow shakes? Produce an audible tremor in our sound? Have a memory slip, embarrass ourselves, ruin our reputation, get black-listed, be unable to pay rent, get evicted, and end up living in a box under a tree in the park?
Of course, none of these thoughts are especially calming or comforting. So as our thoughts snowball towards worst-case scenarios and other negative consequences, our body responds accordingly, in a misery-inducing feedback loop.
Our heart pounds even faster. We start sweating. Our breathing feels constricted. We tighten up, and can’t release tension. All of which makes the threat of negative evaluation by our audience (or audition panel) seem even more likely, leading us to worry and freak out even more – which then kicks our fight-or-flight response up a notch or two, and on and on it goes…
This fear of the consequences of anxiety-related physical sensations has been termed “anxiety sensitivity” (think of it as anxiety about anxiety) and seems to be a predictor of the degree to which we might experience anxiety in a number of settings.
For instance, a study of US Air Force Academy cadets found that those who were high in anxiety sensitivity were three times more likely than those low in anxiety sensitivity to experience panic attacks during their highly stressful 5-week basic military training.
Another study found that of the six personality factors they looked at, anxiety sensitivity was the best predictor of the kind of anxiety one might experience before giving a public speech or performance.
So is anxiety sensitivity something we’re born with? Or is it something that can be changed?
Exercise and anxiety sensitivity
The wide-ranging benefits of exercise are well-documented, from decreasing our risk of dying from various diseases and health conditions, to improving our mood, boosting our energy, and improving our sleep.
Exercise also has pretty significant “anxiolytic,” or anti-anxiety effects, and is often recommended by psychologists as a way to manage anxiety (click here for a recent study that makes a compelling case).
A number of studies (here’s a particularly interesting one) have also found that aerobic exercise appears to reduce not just generalized anxiety that we might experience on a day to day basis, but anxiety sensitivity too.
Meaning, exercise could potentially help us be less reactive to those physiological changes under pressure, and help us keep them from spiraling out of control.
Admittedly, this hasn’t been studied much in the context of performance anxiety and elite performance (to my knowledge), so I may be stretching things a bit. However, a recent British study of conservatory-level musicians did find that the fitter musicians in the study appeared to perceive less anxiety after a stressful performance.
So, while the evidence connecting exercise and fitness to better performing under pressure may not be conclusive, it is rather suggestive, especially if every little advantage counts.
Remember those conservatory students I mentioned earlier whom I often saw working out at the gym?
These examples prove nothing of course, but if nothing else, it’s always nice to come across examples that go against the stereotype of the unathletic musician…
The intramural soccer team which won the intramural championship my freshman year was composed (ha! pun!) primarily of music students. One of the team’s captains and best players is now the second violinist of a prominent Grammy Award-winning string quartet.
Another conservatory student I often saw lifting weights at the gym is now the first violinist of yet another renowned award-winning string quartet. The cellist in the ensemble played on the varsity tennis team in college.
Yet another regular at the gym has since run the Chicago, St. Louis, and New York City marathons, and is now a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
How to start exercising is beyond the scope of this post, but regardless, the first step in making exercise a habit is to decide whether you think exercise and physical fitness is worth making time for in one’s life. What do you think – should exercise be an important part of a musician’s training?
(Incidentally, I’m particularly curious about those who lift weights. Historically, I think musicians have avoided resistance training, but I sense that this is changing, much like the old myth of how basketball players shouldn’t lift weights because they would get stiff and lose their shooting touch. If you do engage in resistance training, have you run into any music or performance-related problems or issues because of it?)
Stress and Time Management
Lawrence is a vibrant community, a place of tremendous vitality and richness that offers abundant opportunities for meaningful work and play. This abundance brings with it the challenge of maintaining a healthy, balanced life – a life characterized by productive tension among such competing needs as work and play, sleep and wakefulness, solitude and sociability. All of us in the School of Communication and Performing Arts – students, staff, and faculty – have the responsibility to promote balance in their lives by making thoughtful choices.
We have reached a point in our society where success is equated with busyness. We are living with the false notion that the more we can cram into our day, the more successful we are. It was only twenty years ago that the wonders of desktop computing, email, cell phones, and the internet began creeping into our lives. The promise of these marvelous technologies increasing efficiency and giving us more time did indeed come to pass, but our decisions of how to use that extra time took us down a very slippery slope. Instead of using our extra time to relax, read, reflect, listen to great music, or interact with friends, we used the extra time to do even more work. Instead of stepping off the hamster wheel to enjoy the feel of the wood shavings between our toes, we had extra hamster wheels installed so we could step off of one and climb right into another. Then we figured out ways to keep all the wheels spinning at once. Employers spoke reverentially of this skill and hired employees who were good at it. It was dubbed “multitasking.” It referred to computers or people handling multiple tasks at the same time, but according to recent research, a more accurate definition would be: “the ability for a single person to simultaneously perform multiple tasks less efficiently than if that person performed each individually.”
Since I arrived at Lawrence, one of the most common complaints from both faculty and students was that their stress levels were too high and they were having trouble just keeping up. This sounded remarkably similar to what I used to hear at my former employer — hard-driving, fast-paced, tightly-wound, Microsoft. I must say I was slightly surprised to see these same symptoms inside the ivory walls of academia. Part of the issue is societal. We have come to worship the hamster wheel, doing more, because we can do more, is valued. The other part of the issue is that the students and professors at Lawrence are deeply passionate about what they are doing and want to take advantage of every opportunity available to them. This a good thing. It is a great thing. It is also a bad thing. Cramming a whole bunch of classes and activities into a term, even if one passionately loves them all, can lead to less than memorable results.
So, I am personally challenging our students and faculty to actually schedule time for reflection, contemplation, interaction, and decompression. One of the most important aspects of learning is reflection–the process of really absorbing what one has learned that day. Sadly, it is usually the first thing that goes as we climb from one hamster wheel to the next. If a schedule has no oasis for reflection, then the schedule is too full. We need to follow the lessons of the environmental movement and preserve open spaces on our schedules! It won’t be easy. We see time as empty space to be filled rather than a critical component to our education. This mindset needs to change. There will always be a tempting class to conveniently fill the open slot, but we must resist. Our goal at Lawrence is to think critically and learn deeply. Time is vital to that process. It isn’t enough to skim through a required reading at three in the morning because that is all the time you can give to that particular hamster wheel. An education deserves a more thoughtful approach. The London Underground tells us to “mind the gap.” I’m telling you to not only mind the gaps, but to honor the gaps, cherish the gaps, increase the gaps, bask in the gaps!
Actively focusing on doing less is the surest path to learning more deeply, thinking more expansively, absorbing more thoroughly, and retaining more effectively. So get out there and do less!
What You Can Do
Be as proactive in carving out time to do nothing as you are in signing up to do yet another activity. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to ponder. Yes, ponder. Let your mind wander. Give yourself time to absorb and synthesize all of the information you learned that day. You may like to do this in your room, on a walk, in a coffee shop, or in the shower. This simple daily act can be a huge help in relieving stress, promoting creativity, and fostering well-being.
Spread out your activities across your time at Lawrence. You may want to dive into 10 different courses, ensembles, teams, and clubs, but you don't have to do it all in one term. Doing fewer things more deeply each term is much better than doing many things frantically.
You are not alone! If you are overwhelmed there are all sorts of support services to help you out. Visit the Counseling Care Center.
Stage Fright (Performance Anxiety)
If you dread the thought of getting up in front of a group of people and performing, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, commonly called "stage fright." In fact, most people would rather get the flu than perform. Athletes, musicians, actors, and public speakers often get performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing what you enjoy and can affect your career. Worst of all, performance anxiety can negatively affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. Although it may be impossible to totally overcome performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your emotions and reduce anxiety.
Performance Anxiety Symptoms
Being the center of attention and having all eyes on you can be stressful. Your body reacts to this situation in much the same way as it would if you were being attacked. Your body's "fight-or-flight" mechanism kicks in, which is why symptoms of stage fright are similar to symptoms that occur when you are in real danger.
Performance anxiety symptoms may include:
• Racing pulse and rapid breathing
• Dry mouth and tight throat
• Trembling hands, knees, lips, and voice
• Sweaty and cold hands
• Nausea and an uneasy feeling in your stomach
• Vision changes
Performance Anxiety Causes
Simply put, stress and anxiety about performing in front of people causes performance anxiety. Confronting your fears and vulnerabilities, accepting yourself for who you are, and not feeling like you have to prove yourself to others, is the first step toward overcoming performance anxiety. Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, nobody expects you to be perfect, and it is OK to make mistakes.
The second step is learning how to redirect your negative thoughts, beliefs, images, and predictions about performing in public. Doing this is not as difficult as you might think.
Performance Anxiety Treatments
Here are 10 tips to help you overcome your fears and shine on stage, on the field, or at the podium:
• Be prepared: practice, practice, practice.
• Limit caffeine and sugar intake the day of the performance. Eat a sensible meal a few hours before you are to perform so that you have energy and don't get hungry. A low-fat meal including complex carbohydrates -- whole-grain pasta, pizza, or a bean and rice burrito -- is a good choice.
• Shift the focus off of yourself and your fear to the enjoyment you are providing to the spectators. Close your eyes and imagine the audience laughing and cheering, and you feeling good.
• Don't focus on what could go wrong. Instead focus on the positive. Visualize your success.
• Avoid thoughts that produce self-doubt.
• Practice controlled breathing, meditation, biofeedback, and other strategies to help you relax and redirect your thoughts when they turn negative. It is best to practice some type of relaxation technique every day, regardless of whether you have a performance, so that the skill is there for you when you need it.
• Take a walk, jump up and down, shake out your muscles, or do whatever feels right to ease your anxious feelings before the performance.
• Connect with your audience -- smile, make eye contact, and think of them as friends.
• Act natural and be yourself.
• Exercise, eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and live a healthy lifestyle.
Keep in mind that stage fright is usually worse before the performance and often goes away once you get started.
What You May Not Know About Performance Anxiety
Dr. Noa Kageyama
Perform Better Under Stress by Tweaking this One Belief
by Dr. Noa Kageyama
Safety Guidelines and Procedures
Purpose: The study of Theatre Arts includes hands-on work constructing sets, creating and modifying costumes, and other such work. Students will be engaged in all manner of workshop and performance activities in accordance with the purposes and mission of the ETBU Theatre Arts Department and its programs. Safety is to be a top priority for all students, instructors, and supervisors. To help ensure a safe work environment for everyone, the following list of guidelines and procedures has been developed. These are to be followed at all times. In addition to these general rules, specific guidelines and instructions will be provided by the instructor and/or supervisor for each activity.
Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times
Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure, ask the instructor and/or appropriate supervisor before proceeding.
Perform only those responsibilities assigned and authorized by the instructor or supervisor.
Horseplay, practical jokes, and pranks are dangerous and prohibited.
Observe good housekeeping practices. Inasmuch as possible, work areas should be kept clean and tidy.
Know the locations and operating procedures of all safety equipment including the first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.
Be alert and proceed with caution at all times in the work and performance areas. Notify the instructor or supervisor immediately of any unsafe conditions you observe.
Use caution when using sharp objects and tools. Always carry them away from your body. Never try to catch falling sharp instruments.
Students who do not obey the safety guidelines and procedures will be required to leave the working area, and their course grade will be affected according to policies outlined in specific course syllabi.
No actor will be required to do anything that they feel is dangerous or unhealthy. If an actor feels that the task is dangerous, he/she must bring it to the attention of the stage manager, technical director, and director. After consultation with the Director (or faculty supervisor), a decision will be reached as to whether or not the task will be performed.
Under no circumstances will pressure be placed on a person to perform if he/she feels unable. If ill or injured, the decision regarding rehearsing or performing is the actor’s.
Accidents and Injuries:
Report any accident (spills, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) to the instructor or supervisor immediately, no matter how trivial it may appear.
Clothing and Related Matters: Contact Lenses: Contact lenses may be worn in labs; however, dust and debris may get cause irritation.
Appropriate Dress: Dress properly while working in the workshop, black box, storage area, or any other designated area. Do not wear loose or floppy clothing that can catch on cables or equipment. Short sleeved shirts and shorts are generally acceptable, although long sleeved shirts and trousers are required when engaged in special work such as pyrotechnics. Skirts and bare feet are never allowed in any work area.
Shoes: Closed toe shoes or boots with insulating rubber and traction soles must be worn. Sandals, flip-flops, and high-heeled shoes are never allowed in any work area.
Hair: Individuals with long hair must tie it back when in a work area. Caps to tuck in hair do not satisfy this requirement.
Jewelry: Dangling jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets are not permitted in a work area. Even rings and earrings could present a hazard. It is best to leave all jewelry at home as the work areas do not provide storage for valuables.
Consequences: It should be understood that the clothing worn in the work place is the first level of safety for the individual. It is the worker's responsibility to wear clothing that will be safe in the work place. Anyone arriving at the work place dressed inappropriately will be sent away to dress correctly and will not be logged in until so dressed. Appropriate dress will be determined by the lighting instructor/supervisor.
Goggles or safety glasses must be worn when using any power equipment. Goggles should be worn when the work produces sawdust, sparks, or flying debris. You will receive one warning for failing to comply. Failure to use appropriate protective equipment after a warning will result in dismissal from session. Other safety wear includes gloves and hard hats, which are required in specialized work tasks and will be indicated in the instruction of those tasks. Heat insulating gloves should be worn when focusing lights. The department provides all personal protective equipment for lighting and stage craft.
Instruction will be given on the proper use of any hand tool that a student must use. All tools are designed to facilitate specific tasks, and the appropriate tool should be used in each instance. Generally, hand tools are not considered hazardous when used properly. No tool should be used for any but its intended purpose(s). Tools are not toys and should never be thrown or handled in an inappropriate way. Failure to handle tools appropriately will result in dismissal from the lab/workshop session.
Power Tools and Equipment:
No person may operate any power tool or equipment until they have:
a) received instruction in the use of that tool/equipment
b) passed the safety check-out on the same item
c) been signed off by the supervisor confirming the satisfactory completion of
instruction and check-out, and
d) agreed in writing that they have been satisfactorily instructed and are willing to
use that tool/equipment.
The appropriate safety wear must always be used with power tools/equipment as per instruction. Students enrolled in classes having technical laboratories are required to complete the instruction and checkout procedure on specified power tools and equipment. After that, the student may elect not to use that tool/equipment again without any consequence to their grade. Anyone deliberately misusing power tools/equipment (in ways or for purposes other than instructed) will immediately be dismissed from the lab.
The misuse of power tools/equipment endangers the user and others. Power tools/equipment found to be defective or not working property may not be used and must be reported to the appropriate supervisor immediately. Such tools/equipment will be removed from service until they are properly repaired.
Electricity follows the path of least resistance. A “short” may result in severe shock to anyone coming in contact with an unprotected channel of electrical flow. Use insulated tools with plastic or rubber handles; wear shoes with rubber soles. Electrical fires are often caused by arcing or short circuits. Maintain appropriate connections and strain relief on all cables and connectors. Locate electrical fire extinguishers in the work area. Never bypass fuses or breakers. Fiberglass ladders are best for electrical work; use metal ladders only with insulating rubber feet. Beware of water ¾ it’s a good electrical conductor. Green is ground; in wiring connectors, take particular care to attach the ground wire to the proper pin of the connector.
The deliberate misuse of lighting tools/equipment endangers the user and others. Anyone deliberately misusing lighting tools/equipment (in ways or for purposes other than instructed) will be dismissed from the lab/workshop session. Lighting tools/equipment found to be defective or not working properly may not be used and must be reported to the lighting supervisor immediately. Such tools/equipment will be removed from service until they are properly repaired.
Precautions for Light Hang:
When working above others, carry a minimum of tools and always tie them off. Take special precautions to avoid falling gel frames, pens, pencils, gobo holders, lamps, or other accessories. All lighting equipment mounted overhead must be secured to the pipe with a safety cable in addition to the C-clamp. The safety cable should ideally be attached to the instrument itself rather than the yoke.
Precautions for Changing Lamps:
Always disconnect power from the instrument before checking or changing a lamp. DO NOT TOUCH the lamp with your bare hands; the oil from your skin will cause the lamp to explode or otherwise be destroyed. Be sure you know the correct method of changing that particular lamp in that particular instrument. Connect power to the instrument only after lamp replacement is completed and the instrument is fully closed.
Safety for Pyrotechnics:
No student may operate a pyrotechnic device until you have received formal instruction in its use. All pyrotechnic devices are extremely dangerous. Use only commercially manufactured flash-pot systems and always follow instructions carefully. Never fire flash pots close to flammable materials or to people.
Black Box Grid:
No student is allowed to access or work in the attic space above the Black Box Theatre for any reason at any time. Only professional staff and faculty of ETBU are permitted to work in this space.
Use ladders with care near electrical circuits. Refrain from ladder usage if you are not in good physical condition; the weight limit is 300 lbs. total for all people and equipment, unless labeled otherwise. Only one person on a ladder at a time. Do not use a ladder in front of unlocked doors. Place all ladder feet on firm level ground. Never walk, bounce, or move the ladder while on it. Do not use equipment in a way that makes you feel unsafe. Do not overreach. Use caution when pushing or pulling anything from you as you may lose your balance. Never use a chair or stool as a ladder. Never use a closed ladder as a straight ladder or a platform, plank, or brace. Face the ladder and maintain a firm grip while on the ladder. Do not leave anything on top of a ladder. Inspect ladders for damage before each use. Open the ladder up and lock the spreaders open. Come down from the ladder before moving it. Close the ladder and put it away when finished. Do not try to repair ladders. Normally, do not place anything under or attached to the ladder to increase height or adjust for uneven surfaces — get permission from the supervisor before leveling and climbing such a ladder.
Precautions for Genie Lift:
No student may operate the Genie Lift until you have received formal instruction in its use. Inspect the machine completely before use. Lower the platform entry gate before operating. Do not exceed the rated platform load capacity; maximum occupancy is one person. Do not raise the platform unless the base is level, all four outriggers are properly installed and the leveling jacks firmly contact the floor. Do not adjust or remove the outriggers while the platform is occupied or raised. Do not move the machine while the platform is raised. Do not push off or pull toward any object outside the platform. Do not raise the platform unless the machine is on a firm, level surface. Do not alter or disable machine components. Do not use the machine to lift more than one lighting instrument at a time, in addition to the operator. Do not sit, stand, or climb on the platform guard rails. Do not exit the platform while raised.
Disabilities, Permanent or Temporary:
The work areas of the theatre abide by the Federal Disabilities Act for equal access and opportunity. However, some disabilities may cause the disabled individual or others to be endangered in some activities. It shall be the determination of the supervisor whether such disabilities could result in endangerment. If it is determined that endangerment exists, alternative work for the disabled individual will be provided by the supervisor. Any student is expected to fulfill all the class requirements to successfully complete the course.
Students with documented disabilities should meet with the instructor/supervisor at the beginning of the class/crew assignment to determine effective assessment of those disabilities in regard to required tasks and activities.
Persons taking medications should notify the supervisor. Those taking medications which may affect balance, motor skills, depth perception, or mental functions may not operate power tools, lighting equipment, climb, or do any activities where those affected functions are involved.
Anyone in the work place under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol will be dismissed immediately and will be reported to the proper authorities. The work areas of the theatre always pose potential hazards. Every student should behave responsibly and should report anyone not doing so.