Music B.A. and B.M. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music provides education in the history, performance, theory, and pedagogy of music. Its mission is to help students acquire the skills and knowledge to enable them to successfully contribute as performers, scholars, and educators. At the same time, the Department stands committed to supporting the creative endeavors of its faculty, and to fostering a close relationship with the greater Northern Nevada community.
To this end, and following the mission of the University as a whole, the Department of Music resolves to:

  • provide high quality, accredited, undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music performance, education, and research.
  • offer music courses, ensembles, and concerts that reflect the diversity and richness of the world's cultures.
  • maintain a learning environment where student performers and scholars may regularly interact with professional teacher/mentors.
  • encourage faculty to produce outstanding creative work in performance, composition, and scholarship.
  • serve the University's College of Arts and Sciences by providing Core Curriculum courses and contributing to College committees.
  • promote the musical life of the Northern Nevada community at large by participating in or sponsoring a broad array of concerts, workshops,course offerings, and performance institutions.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to to perform on an instrument or voice at a minimum semi-professional level.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Junior Recital
  • Jury exam performances every semester
  • Upper Division Performance Barriers
  • Senior Recital
Assessment Method
  • All Bachelor of Music Majors must satisfactorily complete a junior recital performance juried by a music faculty committee of three.
  • Faculty committees grade and advise all music majors in performance at the end of each semester
  • All Bachelor of Music majors must pass a barrier exam in performance in order to gain upper division standing in applied lessons
  • All Bachelor of Music Majors must satisfactorily complete a senior recital performance juried by a music faculty committee of three.

2. Students will be able to master basic musicianship skills (piano, rhythm, pitch discrimination).

Student Performance Indicators
  • Pitch recognition, melodic, and harmonic aural skills
  • Rhythmic acuity
  • Upper division vocal barrier. Vocal performance and education majors only
  • Piano Proficiency
  • Upper division continuation examinations.
Assessment Method
  • All music majors must pass a series of "Music Lab" tests that measure a student's ability to hear melodies and chords as part of our Sight-Singing and Dictation course sequence. They must also pass a 30 minute rhythmic, singing and listening final examination with one of the sight-singing faculty upon completion of Music 212.
  • All Bachelor of Music majors must pass a series of "Tap" rhythm tests as part of our Sight-Singing and Dictation course sequence. They must also read and count various examples from the Robert Starer "Rhythmic Training" textbook.
  • The vocal upper division barrier exam includes the performance of works in English, French, German and Italian. Additional requirements include preparation of an assigned work over a 24 hour period with no faculty coaching and singing/reading various intervals, scales, chords and melodies.
  • All Bachelor of Music majors must pass a comprehensive piano proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate.
  • All Bachelor of Music students must pass an extensive written theory examination and a 30 minute sight-singing examination. Both must be passed as a prerequisite for most 300 level music courses. These examinations are routinely scheduled after completion of Music 302 Music Theory IV and Music 312 Sight-singing and Dictation. All transfer students must take the examinations.

3. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic musical arranging/composing concepts.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Orchestration and/or Jazz Arranging
  • Counterpoint
Assessment Method
  • All Bachelor of Music majors are evaluated on their ability to write for various musical instruments as part of the requirements for either Orchestration or Jazz Arranging. These courses both include a barrier exam involving a "live" performance of their own arrangement.
  • All Bachelor of Music majors are evaluated on their ability to write multiple musical lines in counterpoint as part of the 4-semester Music Theory sequence.