School of Music


School of Music 
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Phone: (502) 852-6907
Social: Facebook, YouTube

About the School of Music

The University of Louisville School of Music offers the serious student of music an opportunity to study with distinguished faculty and to participate in a wide range of musical activities, both within the School and the community. Historically and philosophically, the School has had a profound impact on the cultural life of Louisville; its faculty and administration have provided much of the leadership and talent for such groups as the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera Association, the Louisville Bach Society, and the Chamber Music Society.

The goals of the School of Music are to train students for careers in music and to enhance the quality of life for the University and larger public through performances, compositions, research, and instruction. While pursuing their studies, students are exposed to a full schedule of concerts and recitals by world-renowned artists and performers.

The School of Music, founded in 1932, has been located on the Belknap Campus since 1980 in a building which was designed and built specifically for music. It contains two recital halls, a 15,000 square-foot music library, 44 teaching studios, 76 practice rooms, and three dance studios.

Music Administration

The complete and up-to-date list of Music leadership is located on the School of Music website.

Faculty & Departmental Information

The complete and up-to-date lists of departments and faculty also are located on the School of Music website.

Advising Services

All School of Music students are advised by the Academic Counselor who assists with registration, monitors progress in courses required for their major, and reviews progress made toward completion of Upper Division course prerequisites.

Advising is required for all music students until they have completed all prerequisites for Upper Division courses (see the Upper Division Assessment on the following section of this document; the Upper Division Assessment can also be found in each degree plan in the degree section of the catalog). Students will be blocked from registration for classes until the advising requirement has been satisfied. Students on Academic Warning or Probation music be advised.

About the Program

A complete listing of all policies and procedures specific to the School of Music in support of the music degree requirements may be found in the School of Music Undergraduate Student Handbook.

The officials and instructors of the School of Music do not assume the responsibility of notifying students concerning the regulations of the School of Music or their particular status in regard to credits, requirements, or quality points. They are more than willing to inform them at any time they request the information. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves in regard to grades, credits, requirements, quality points, and the regulations applying to students in the School of Music. The schedules, fees, and regulations specified are subject to change without notice. Any email communication with students will be on their university email only. Students must be responsible and check their university email on a daily basis.


In order to take music courses, students must be enrolled in the School of Music or have permission of the instructor.

Official Notices

Students must respond to official notices issued by administrative boards or sent by individual letters. Failure to comply may lead to suspension from the school. During the semester, an instructor will notify each student whose work is below the grade of C and will report his/her name to the Dean.

Music Fees

All School of Music majors are charged a Student Music Fee each semester, pro-rated for part-time students. This fee helps to offset expenditures exclusively related to music majors including, but not limited to accompanists, technology and infrastructure, student activities, and student tickets to concerts. In direct support of the students’ success in the program, the fee provides free access to four one-hour services each semester with a staff piano accompanist, the option of free half-hour secondary instrument applied music lessons for up to four semesters dependent on space available/permission of secondary and major teachers, and free tickets provided to Louisville Ballet, Chamber Music Society, Kentucky Opera, Speed Concert Series, and Louisville Orchestra Classics events. Music minors and non-music majors approved to take applied lessons within the School of Music will be charged a Non-Music Major Applied Lesson Fee.

Music Requirements

Applied Music Lesson Credit

All full-time students pursuing a professional degree in music (with the exception of Music Therapy and Composition majors) will receive a one-hour private lesson per week in their major applied music subject, regardless of the number of credit hours allowed for the course.  Music Therapy majors are required to take 8 credits of study on their principal instrument. This can be done in 4 semesters of 1 hour lessons at 2 credits each or 8 semesters of ½-hour lessons at 1 credit each, or a combination of the two. Composition majors take 4 semesters of 2-credit lessons and 4 semesters of 1-credit lessons. Students enrolled in the BA degree program will receive a minimum of a half hour lesson per week in applied music for four semesters. In general, applied music courses require one hour of daily practice for each hour of credit.

Applied Music Teacher Assignment
Each entering student will be assigned to an applied music instructor. If the student prefers to choose his/her own teacher, every effort will be made to accommodate those students who wish to choose their own teachers.  If, for any reason, a student desires to change applied music teachers, the student’s request will be considered by the Concentration Coordinator in consultation with the Department Chair. In the event that the Concentration Coordinator is the student’s current applied teacher, the Department Chair will appoint another faculty member from the Concentration to consider the request.

Applied Music Grade Requirements
A student pursuing a degree in music who does not receive a grade of C-minus or above on their instrument or voice at the end of any semester must repeat that level. If a grade of C-minus or above is not received at the end of the next semester’s study, the student will not be allowed to continue study in the School of Music. Exceptions to this rule must be by written notice of faculty action.

Student Performance Requirement
Students taking applied lessons for 2 or 4 credit hours must perform at least once per semester in a public forum after receiving credit for their first semester of applied study.

Applied Music Jury Examinations
Students requesting credit for applied music study, with the exception of Functional Study, shall be examined by a committee of the faculty at the end of each grading period. The means of assessment for Functional Study will be determined by the applied faculty member and clearly indicated in the syllabus. Students registered for MUS 202, MUS 204, MUS 206, MUS 212, or MUS 214 take the Sophomore Evaluation Applied Examination. Faculty may grade their own students on all applied exams, including the sophomore evaluation applied examination.  

Advanced-Standing Credit
Advanced-standing credit in any applied music subject (piano, voice, organ, guitar, band, or orchestral instruments) or in music theory will be granted only by examination, and then only after the student has satisfactorily pursued advanced work in that subject for one semester.

Upper Division Assessment

All students enrolled in a music degree program will be reviewed at the approximate midpoint of the selected program in order for students to achieve Upper Division status.  Students must meet the standards of this review to register for 400-level courses in music.  Both the elements and standards of the review are established by the faculty and include credit for Theory IV (MUS 242) or Analysis (MUS 347 for BA General; MUS 349 for BA Jazz Studies; MUS 350 for BA Music and New Media;) MUS 361-01 Music Literature; 4 semesters of Applied Instrument at the course numbers required for the degree; Piano Proficiency Examination; MUS 97 Recital Attendance, with “S” for 4 semesters; Ensemble Participation; cumulative 2.5 GPA (good standing); minimum of 48 credit hours completed; pass ENGL 101 or ENGL 105 and 3 additional General Education/Cardinal Core courses.

Specific degree requirements are determined by the concentration and area faculties and are outlined in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Participation in Ensembles

The following are the guidelines by which undergraduate music students participate in ensembles:

  1. All full-time undergraduate music majors are required to participate each semester in the principal ensemble designated for their primary instrument:
    1. Strings: Symphony Orchestra
    2. Woodwind, brass, or percussion: Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Marching Band *
    3. Voice: Collegiate Chorale, University Chorus *
    4. Keyboard/Guitar: Any of the above dependent upon qualifications and/or interests. *
    5. Jazz: Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab, Jazz Repertory Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble*

      * Specific ensemble assignment is solely dependent on the result of the ensemble audition.

      Note: The principal ensemble is the only ensemble that can fulfill the ensemble requirement for each degree program.

      Full-time students who fail to enroll for a major ensemble each semester will be in violation of the catalog and subject to academic action. A student who fails to register for the appropriate ensemble during a semester will be placed on immediate Academic Warning. If the student has failed to resolve the ensemble registration by the end of the semester, the student will be placed on Academic Probation. A student who fails to register for the appropriate ensemble in a second consecutive semester will, if the ensemble has not been added by the end of the first week of classes, be placed on immediate Academic Suspension.
  2. For all part-time students, participation in a principal ensemble must keep pace with the number of hours accumulated. For each 15 hours completed, at least one credit hour must be in ensemble.
  3. Full-time non-degree (special) students must participate in an appropriate principal ensemble. Part-time non-degree students are not required to do so.
  4. Music Therapy equivalency students holding a degree in music (or with a bachelor’s degree in a different field, but whose transcripts indicate that they have taken eight ensembles), are not required to take an ensemble.
  5. Under no circumstances will participation in amateur, semiprofessional, or professional organizations outside the University be substituted for the University requirement.
  6. After achieving Upper Division status, the student may petition to have a different major ensemble substituted for the designated principal ensemble. The petition must be made prior to the ensemble auditions for the semester during which the substitution will take place.  Petitions for Fall semester substitutions will be due by April 21st of the preceding semester. Petitions for Spring semester substitutions will be due by October 21st of the preceding semester. The petition will be considered by the Ensemble Directors’ Committee, and the student will be notified of the committee’s decision prior to ensemble auditions. The committee will consider the following criteria, among others:
    1. Student’s degree program
    2. Needs of the ensembles

      Note: Substitution for principal ensembles is considered an exception to the guidelines for ensemble participation. Petitions must be submitted for each semester of substitution.
  7. Wind/brass/percussion principals enrolled in the Bachelor of Music (Pre-Certification-Instrumental) or Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree programs are required to fulfill two years of ensemble performance in the Marching Band. Entering students will be expected to fulfill this requirement during the freshman and sophomore years. Transfer students will be required to fulfill a minimum of one year. A second year may be required based upon evaluation of the transcript. Woodwind, brass and percussion principals are also recommended to complete one semester of a major jazz ensemble.

Recital Attendance Requirements

All undergraduate music students must enroll in and complete six semesters of MUS 97 Recital Attendance. To receive the grade of S/Satisfactory for this required non-credit course, each undergraduate student must attend a minimum of twelve (12) convocations or recitals for each of the six enrollments in MUS 97

The grade will be determined as follows:

  • Attend 12 or more = S (Satisfactory)
  • Attend 9-11 = I (Incomplete)
  • Attend less than 9 = U (Unsatisfactory)

The grade of I (Incomplete) must be made up the following semester by attending double the number of recitals/concerts missed to attain the grade of S (Satisfactory). If the Incomplete is not made up the following semester, the Incomplete will lapse to the grade of U (Unsatisfactory) and the entire semester of Recital Attendance must be repeated to earn the required credit. No petitions will be considered.

Students may not receive recital attendance credit for convocations or other performances in which they participate as a performer.

Public Recitals

School of Music students may schedule recitals any day when the recital halls are free and the building is open, provided they have the approval of their instructor and the necessary signatures of appropriate faculty for grading when applicable. Please see the Undergraduate Student Handbook for recital guidelines. Additionally, students may refer to the Recital Guidelines Packets available in the Dean’s Office or at the School of Music website for recital-related procedures including date/hall reservations, deadlines, hearing and recital committee personnel, and recital fees.

Academic Bankruptcy & Forgiveness & Fresh Start

Academic Bankruptcy and Forgiveness policies allow students who are returning to college after an absence of two or more years to request the adjustment of their records for one or more entire semesters of previous college work, provided certain criteria are met.  View information on Academic Bankruptcy and Forgiveness and the new Fresh Start policy.