Department of Strings

String Department Upper Divisional Requirements

  • The purpose of the exams is for the faculty of the department to hear each student and certify that s/he is ready to start preparing the recital(s) appropriate to the student’s degree or concentration program.  The exam is usually taken at the end of the second year (but these can be held at end of the first semester upon approval of special request).  It can be postponed for reasons of health/injury or serious personal/family problems, but not normally for the reason of simply having more time to get ready.
  • Students who wish to switch from concentration to degree (or vice versa) can declare this intention at the upper divisional, and would be evaluated according to their proposed program.
  • The strings are divided into upper and lower strings, and students play for the combined faculty of their group.
  • Each faculty member present assigns a grade for the exam, and the student’s teacher assigns an additional grade for the semester’s work.  All these grades are then averaged to determine the exam grade for the student, which also serves as the semester grade.

In addition to a grade,  each faculty member indicates one of several choices for the student’s readiness to continue in their program:

  • a) Approved for BM
  • b) Approved for BM with a note that it may well take longer than normal to complete the program.
  • c) Approved for concentration
  • d) Approved for concentration with a note that it may well take longer than normal to complete the program.
  • e) Student should repeat the exam again in __ months (usually 6 months, but can also be 12 months).
  • f) BM (or concentration) denied

All String Upper Divisionals:  Students should prepare at least two contrasting works, and these works should be chosen so as to provide a good representation of their progress and level.  Playing from memory is expected, except for Sonatas with piano, or except for the very rare case of a really contemporary work.  The exams have a required minimum total of at least 15 minutes of music.