Grades, Progression, Exams
Juries and Exams
Final exams for fall‑term courses will be given in December. Caution: Do not book travel for Christmas until you know when your exams will be. The schedule is posted in October. Final exams for two‑term and winter‑term courses will be held in April.
At the end of the school year, all students must complete a performance examination. You should get the information and repertoire sheets from the Dean's Administrative Manager in Room A514 and ask your teacher about the requirements for your specific program and instrument. The grade for the course is determined by a combination of the year's progress and achievement (as recommended by the instructor) and a final jury (performance examination) in April. Students must complete a final jury as a requirement of all studio courses. No credit will be granted for applied courses if the student does not complete a final jury.
Juries and other final examinations may, with the permission of the Music Faculty Petitions Committee, be deferred until later in the spring or the following September in case of illness or a death in the family.
Aegrotat Standing Policy
In exceptional circumstances, a student may be eligible for aegrotat standing, in which case s/he may be exempted from a final exam. In most circumstances, legitimate requests for re‑scheduling an exam can be accommodated either within the exam period or in the subsequent exam period (see Deferred Exam Policy). Exceptional circumstances are those where the writing of the final exam involves an unreasonable burden or demonstrable injustice to the student.
1. A student (or delegate) applies to the Faculty of Music Petitions Committee (via the Dean’s Office) requesting aegrotat standing in the course, giving reasons why writing the final exam, even if re‑scheduled, would involve an unreasonable burden or demonstrable injustice to the student. This application should be done before the scheduled exam if possible.
2. The Faculty of Music Petitions Committee will review the request and supporting information in light of (a) Faculty regulations (see Policy below) and (b) the student’s academic record in the course, and communicate its decision to the student.
3. If the recommendation is negative, the student (or delegate) can appeal the decision to the Office of the Dean of Music.
4. If the recommendation from the Dean’s office is negative, the student (or delegate) can appeal the decision to the Senate Student Appeals Committee via the usual petitions process.
1. Studio courses (instrumental, vocal, and composition) and all musical skills courses are not eligible for aegrotat standing.
2. In all other cases, the granting of aegrotat standing is at the discretion of the Faculty of Music Petitions Committee in consultation with the appropriate instructor, subject to regulations 3 and 4 below.
3. Courses in which the final exam is worth 25% or more are not eligible for aegrotat standing.
4. All term work for the course must be complete with a passing average in order to be eligible for aegrotat consideration.
Deferred Exam Policy
(Revised January 7, 2011)
Final examinations for any course cannot be deferred more than twice. Students may receive a maximum of five exam deferrals during the completion of their degree. If for reasons of illness or an unavoidable conflict a student cannot write a final exam as scheduled, the following options are available:
- With the instructor’s permission, the student may apply to the Associate Dean to be allowed to write the exam at an alternative time during the regularly scheduled examination period. There is no charge for this application. The Faculty of Music shall offer two special examination times, one near the beginning of the exam period, and one near the end of the exam period, to be used to accommodate such approved accommodations. If unable to attend one of the alternate times, the student may write the exam during the next regularly scheduled final exam period.
- The student may apply to the instructor for aegrotat standing (refer to policy section on Aegrotat Standing above). There is no charge for this application.
- If neither of these options is granted, the student may appeal to the petitions committee in the academic unit in which the course is offered (not the one in which the student is registered); the petitions committee may grant aegrotat status or, time permitting, an in-house alternative exam as per the second note above; if the petition is granted too late to permit such an in-house alternative, the student must write the exam during the next* regularly scheduled final exam period. In the latter case, the standard, non-refundable deferred examination fee will apply. Refer to the Petitions section later in this chapter.
Fall term examination – written in winter term exam period*
Winter term examination – written in intersession exam period*
Intersession examination – written in Spring term exam period*
Spring term examination – written in Summer session exam period*
Summer session examination – written in fall term exam period*
If the student does not write the examination, an examination grade of "0" will be assigned. The student may petition the final grade to the petitions committee in the academic unit in which the course is offered (not the one in which the student is registered); the petitions committee may grant aegrotat status or the opportunity to write the exam during the next regularly scheduled final exam period (refer to the schedule given above). In the latter case, the standard, non-refundable deferred examination fee will apply.
If a petition to the faculty petitions committee is denied, the student may petition the Senate Student Appeals Committee. If the petition is granted, the student must write the exam during the next regularly scheduled final exam period (refer to the schedule given above). The standard, non-refundable deferred examination fee will apply.
Temporary Withdrawal Policy
Students who withdraw from the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Music Therapy, or the Diploma in Performance program and at a subsequent time wish to re-enter the program must successfully complete an audition.
Studio Progression Policy (Progression from Half‑Hour Lessons to Full‑Hour Lessons; Progression to MU490B)
1. Any student (unclassified studies or Honours Music) who wishes to progress from MU296 to MU390A* must perform a jury that satisfies the jury requirements for MU290A* (which is the prerequisite for MU390A); those wishing to progress from MU396 to MU490A* must perform a jury that satisfies the jury requirements for MU390A* (which is the prerequisite for MU490A*). These juries must take place in the winter term exam period, as part of their jury for MU296 or MU396.
2. To facilitate this, all MU296 and MU396 jury repertoire sheets should indicate students’ intentions to satisfy the jury requirements for MU290A* on their MU296 jury or the jury requirements for MU390A* on their MU396 jury.
3. Students in programs other than Performance, may proceed from MU296 to MU290A*, MU396 to MU390A*, or MU496 to MU490A* only with permission of the dean, in consultation with the studio instructor, and with the understanding that they may register for a maximum of 4.0 credits of practical studies on their principal instrument or voice over the course of their degree, unless the dean approves an exception to this policy.
Notification of Acceptance to Performance
Students auditioning for performance will be notified of the decision by the Office of the Dean after all juries are completed and final marks are submitted at the end of winter term
Continuation in Performance
Students may not proceed to 290B/D, 390B/D and 490 B/D without a positive recommendation from the jury panel. Academic standing will also be considered in progression decisions.
The Honours BMus student participates in choir, orchestra, and/or other ensembles, depending on the requirements of the particular program. Among the possibilities are the WLU Choir, the Laurier Singers, the Chapel Choir, Jazz Choir; operatic ensembles; WLU Orchestra and WLU Wind Orchestra; Baroque, Jazz, Chamber Ensembles and Improvisation Concerts Ensemble (ICE). Auditions are required for participation in any ensemble.
All wind, brass, string and percussion students registered in Performance must pass an ensemble placement audition on their major instrument before the end of the second week of fall term in order to continue in the Performance program. Ensemble auditions will normally take place during Orientation Week and will be graded pass/fail.
The university reserves the right to assign students to ensembles. Consideration will include both the needs of the student and the requirements of the ensemble program.
Students in programs that require MU381 and MU481 are expected to be registered in a course that gives them experience in ensemble playing in both Year 3 and Year 4. During one of these years, piano students in programs other than music education may substitute a 0.5 credit in accompanying (MU393) or a 0.5 credit in chamber music (MU383 or MU483) for the 0.5 credit in ensemble (MU381 or MU481) that year, provided they have the prerequisite, MU253.
Under special circumstances, students in the Honours Bachelor of Music program or Diploma in Performance program my enrol for a second major ensemble with permission of the studio instructor, ensemble director, and dean. Students may not enrol for a second ensemble for credit if they are enrolled in MU116 (remedial theory) or any of the piano facility workshops.
The Faculty of Music recognizes that performing engagements outside the university, particularly those of a professional nature, are important in the development of careers in music. However, students must consider the rehearsal and performance schedules of the university ensembles their first priority. Other engagements must be arranged around those schedules.
All music students are expected to give the dean of the Faculty of Music advance written notice of all musical activity they intend to undertake outside of the faculty during the academic year. In some cases, students may be advised to curtail such activity.
Ensemble Grading Policy
Grades for all vocal and instrumental ensembles will be based on the following criteria:
Attendance: Grade points will be deducted for rehearsals missed according to the following schedule:
1 missed rehearsal: 1 grade point (e.g., A becomes A‑)
2 missed rehearsals: 2 grade points
3 missed rehearsals: 4 grade points
4 missed rehearsals: 6 grade points (e.g., B becomes D)
More than 4 missed: Failure
Absence will be excused only in exceptional circumstances. A written explanation will be required. Absences for illness, or when there is a death in the family, may be excused; the director may require documentation. The Faculty of Music recognizes that performing engagements outside the university, particularly those of a professional nature, are important in the development of careers in music. However, students must consider the rehearsal and performance schedules of the University ensembles their first priority. Other engagements must be arranged around those schedules.
Punctuality: Students are required to be ready to begin rehearsal on time. While a single tardiness will not normally be penalized, each additional occasion on which a student is late for rehearsal may result in deduction of half a grade point.
Performance Attendance: A student who is late or absent for a performance will receive a failure, unless the student successfully petitions to the Faculty of Music Petitions Committee that because of circumstances (illness, death in the family) the tardiness or absence should be excused. Any foreseeable absence should be discussed with the instructor of the ensemble in advance.
Performance Quality: This will include preparation of assigned music, tests, etc. at the discretion of the director.
Music: If a student has either not paid for or not returned music used in an ensemble by the last day of the winter term, the Registrar will be advised to withhold the mark for that course.
Policy on Credit for Outside Ensemble
In order to accommodate instrumentalists in the Faculty of Music, students may be allowed to play in the K-W Youth Orchestra (KWYO) for university ensemble credit. Students who are taking WLUSO or Wind Orchestra for credit may NOT play in the KWYO for university ensemble credit (though they may play in that ensemble as an extra-curricular activitiy).
In addition, the following regulations concerning performance in an outside ensemble for university ensemble credit apply:
Students must audition for placement in the ensemble.
Students may enroll for credit in the KWYO only when there are no instrumental positions available in the WLUSO or Wind Orchestra.
The experience must be comparable to performing with the WLUSO or Wind Orchestra (in terms of rehearsal time, number of concerts and level of repertoire performed).
Only that portion of the concert year of the KWYO will count towards their WLU ensemble credit; if the ensemble performs beyond the university term, students will not be marked on performances during that time-frame beyond the end of term.
Any outside ensemble that is offered for credit must be directed by a full-time faculty member of the Faculty of Music.
Students who are paying for a credit course at the university will not be asked to pay fees to be a member of the KWYO.
Mock auditions - a routine part of Laurier ensembles - will also occur in the KWYO and will form part of the students' grades.
The attendance and grading policies for students taking KWYO for credit are the same as those for Laurier ensembles, as specified in the Music Student Handbook.Academic Probation Policy
1. Students whose cumulative music GPA is below the level for progression (6.0 to go into second year and 7.0 to go into third and fourth years and to graduate) by no more than 2.0 grade points will be placed on Academic Probation.
2. Students may be registered on Academic Probation one time only for a maximum of one year.
3. Students on Academic Probation who received a minimum grade of B‑ in their previous year’s practical studies course will be entitled to full‑hour lessons; students whose previous year’s studio grade is a minimum of C but less than a B‑ will receive half‑hour lessons.
4. Students on Academic Probation have one intramural year (fall and winter) to raise their cumulative music GPA to 7.0 for progression in the Honours BMus program.
5. Students who fail to meet the progression requirements for the Honours BMus program by the end of the Winter term of their year on Academic probation must withdraw from the music program (refer to regulation 8 below).
6. Students on Academic Probation will receive a letter from the dean, outlining which music performance and academic courses are available to them and the conditions by which they may be taken. It is not the case that students on Academic Probation may take any and all music courses intended primarily for Honours BMus students for which they have the prerequisites; these allowances will be made at the discretion of the dean, in part on the basis of availability of space in the courses in question.
7. Students whose music GPA is below the level for progression (6.0 to go into second year and 7.0 to go into third and fourth years and to graduate) by more than 2.0 grade points must withdraw from the program.
8. Students who have been required to withdraw may not re‑audition for at least one year (that is, students who have been required to withdraw at the end of winter term may not re‑audition that fall). With a successful re‑audition, specific academic conditions will be determined and communicated to the student; these conditions may require a year of academic work before any studio lessons commence. Students who have been required to withdraw from the program may re‑audition only once.