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Information for Music Students

Student Grievances

Students who feel they have legitimate grievances concerning policies or persons connected with the music department should follow this line of action:

  1. Talk with your advisor. The advisor will pursue the matter with others in the department.
  2. Talk with the division coordinator. (Dr. Chambers, instrumental; Mr. Lee, keyboard; Dr. Farris vocal/choral.)
  3. If none of the above avenues prove helpful, then bring your complaint to the Chair of the department. Please do not go to sources outside of the Department of Music without the consent of the Chair. Any university administrator will insist that you visit with the department chair first.

Advisement and Counseling

Music majors are assigned an academic advisor within the Department of Music. In most cases, that advisor is the student’s applied lesson teacher if the faculty member is full-time and not in his or her first year of teaching at SWOSU. Music therapy majors are assigned to Dr. Sophia Lee. Otherwise, students will be assigned to their Division Coordinator, or the Chair of the Department. It is the individual student’s responsibility to seek out advice on class enrollment, major area, and career goals from his or her advisor. The Chair or one of the Division Coordinators are also willing to assist in advisement, career counseling, or general advice. Students needing specific advisement for Music Education, should speak with Dr. Daniel Farris for Vocal Music Education or Mr. Marc Mueller for Instrumental Music Education.

Student Record Keeping

Students are encouraged to keep a record of all their academic and musical achievements. However, much of each student’s academic records will be kept with the student’s academic advisor within the Department of Music or in the main music office. A copy of concert programs, Departmental Recital programs, or other official Department of Music performance programs will be kept in each student’s file within the music office for each student’s reference. Applied lesson enrollment, proficiencies passed, and university travel forms will also be kept in each student’s file within the music office.

Department of Music Student Advisory Council

In the fall of 2013, the music faculty voted to begin the Music Department Student Advisory Council. Faculty nominated students from each degree program and level of study. The membership was appointed by the Chair. This group provides a formal structure for student feedback and will meet with the Chair at the beginning and ending of each fall and spring semesters. Any student wanting to make an official response to the Department, should contact either the Chair of the Department or a student representative of the Student Advisory Council.

Graduate Students’ Documentation

Documentation concerning graduate student requirements are kept with the Department of Music Graduate Coordinator or in the Graduate School office. Documentation will be kept for the duration of a student’s enrollment in the graduate program and up to 7 years after a graduate degree is awarded.

Transfer Students

SWOSU Department of Music encourages students to explore transferring to SWOSU. Before being considered for a performance scholarship, every transfer student will need a letter stating that they are released from all scholarship commitments at another college or university before a formal scholarship offer from SWOSU can be extended.

Transfer students or students who have an undergraduate degree in a music related field who are pursuing a music related degree at SWOSU must be assessed in his or her major area at the beginning of enrollment at SWOSU. Proficiency and senior recital requirements are not automatically waived if a student has an undergraduate degree from another institution. Transfer students and students already holding an undergraduate degree in a music related field must pass an assessment from the appropriate applied area before any proficiency, number of applied lesson in the major area, or senior recital requirements are waived.

Instrument-Equipment Rental Policy

In order to maintain proper usability of instruments and equipment that are owned by SWOSU, students need to pay a fee each semester a SWOSU-owned instrument or an item of equipment is checked out. This fee will assist in offsetting routine repair costs of the instrument or equipment and increase the amount of usable time the instrument or equipment can be utilized. The fee is not designed to build up funds to replace instruments or equipment, but to maintain current instruments or equipment.


  • This fee will be charged each semester for each student who checks out a SWOSU-owned instrument on which he or she takes applied lessons in his or her principle area.
  • This fee will be charged each semester and covers percussion instruments for students taking applied percussion lessons.


  • his fee will be charged each semester for student who checks out a SWOSU-owned instrument on which he or she plays in a SWOSU ensemble or takes secondary applied lessons.
  • his fee will be charged for SWOSU-owned marching instruments if the student does not use the same instrument in a principle applied lesson.
  • his fee will be charged once each semester for students taking any semi-private lesson classes (Brass Class, String Class, Percussion Class, or Woodwind Class) and covers all instruments used for that class.


  • A maximum amount of $30.00 is to be charged for any individual student per semester regardless on how many instruments are checked out.
  • he primary instrument fee of $20.00 will be charged only once for the fall semester to include sousaphone and concert tuba use for students who play sousaphone and take applied tuba lessons using a SWOSU-owned tuba. If a student owns his or her own concert tuba, then a $10.00 fee will apply for rental of a sousaphone during marching season. The same $10.00 fee will apply for sousaphone players not playing a SWOSU-owned tuba after marching season during the fall semester.
  • A faculty member may waive the rental fee if the instrument or equipment is only to be used for a brief period of time or for only one piece during a concert. Regardless if the fee is charged or not, an Instrument-Equipment Check Out form is still required.
  • Mouthpieces, ligatures, mutes, or any other piece of equipment that is necessary for the checked out instrument to function properly will not be charged an additional rental fee.
  • SWOSU-owned mouthpieces and mutes used on a student’s personal instrument may incur a $5.00 fee per semester as deemed suitable by a faculty member.