Sophomore Review

The Sophomore Review allows the music faculty to evaluate whether students are on track for successful completion of the major in their proposed area of concentration.

The review will commence with a short performance in the student’s primary area of studio instruction. This performance is mandatory regardless of whether or not the student plans to focus on performance.

Following this performance, the student and faculty will discuss the student’s progress toward fulfilling the requirements of the music major. Proficiency in the major is measured in the areas of music performance, music theory, music history, and the ability to think and write critically about music.

The faculty will then ask about the student’s plans for completing the core requirements and will help each student construct a plan to fulfill upper-division degree requirements and complete the senior project. If the faculty has concerns about a student’s ability to meet the standards of the proposed area of focus for the senior project, alternatives will be discussed. 


Consultations with music faculty prior to the review:

All students preparing for the Sophomore Review must consult with their private applied instrumental/vocal instructor as to the specific performance requirements involved in their review. This consultation should happen as soon as possible. In this consultation, instructor and student will work together in selecting two contrasting pieces to perform. The total duration should be no less than 5 minutes. The private instructor may require that a portion or even all of the music on the review be memorized.

It is mandatory that students planning to focus on areas other than performance arrange an additional meeting with the director of the area in question as soon as possible and well in advance of the review.

Securing an accompanist: All students requiring a piano accompanist must make such arrangements by contacting Stephanie Thompson ( at least three weeks in advance of the review.

Attire for the Review: Students should dress in a manner appropriate to a job interview.

Additional requirements by potential senior project focus: 

Performance: Students wishing to work toward a performance-based senior project should prepare two contrasting works with a total duration of no less than five minutes. Vocalists should be prepared to perform two contrasting songs, at least one of which must be in a foreign language.

Composition: One week before the date of the review, students wishing to work toward a composition-based senior project should provide the following: 1) at least one original score and 2) a brief essay about their experience, background and interests as a composer.  All of the above should be provided to Michael Johanson ( 

Musicology: Students wishing to work toward a musicology senior thesis should also provide a writing sample to Aaron Beck. 

Ethnomusicology: Students wishing to work toward an ethnomusicology senior thesis should also provide a writing sample to Kaley Mason. 


The faculty will approve the music major for those students who have demonstrated good progress toward fulfilling the major requirements and high-level work in the proposed area of concentration. Should a student not be approved for the major, he/she may be given the option of undergoing a second review in the following semester.

Faculty advisors will contact students within a week following the review to inform them of the results of the review and to arrange follow-up discussions as needed.