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2022-2023 Student Handbook


This handbook of departmental policies, regulations, and requirements is designed for students majoring in music at the University of North Florida. It is not intended to supersede information contained in the University catalogue but to consolidate and supplement that information.

Mission Statement

The University of North Florida (UNF) School of Music brings a focused commitment to excellence and the artistic and intellectual preparation of students for the diverse and challenging world in which we live. It aims to provide a high level of professional musical training as well as a sense of relevance regarding the value of music to our society through an active, pluralistic musical environment encompassing western European traditional art music through contemporary music including world music and jazz. The UNF School of Music faculty, excellent instructors evidenced by their innovative pedagogy, scholarship, and research in their respective fields, serve as artist-teachers working with students in large and small performing ensembles as well as through individual applied instruction. Our comprehensive program is complemented by the Ira M. Koger Eminent Scholar Chair in American Music that provides an additional focus on jazz. Our school continues to achieve national and international recognition as a distinguished comprehensive center for the study, creation, and research in music, with emphasis on the contemporary.


The School of Music provides music majors and non-music majors alike the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding, and ability in all aspects of music at a level relevant and appropriate to their needs and interests, and to prepare music majors for careers as performers, teachers, composers, arrangers, and professionals in the music industry and its supporting fields. It is our hope to provide transformational learning opportunities within the scope of engaged self-reflection via practice and performance. The primary focus of our mission is the artistic enrichment of the lives of all UNF students and faculty, while promoting the University and greater Jacksonville area as ambassadors throughout the region, the nation, and the global community.

Scholarship Criteria

While the faculty recognizes that each student is an individual with unique talents and achievements, there is no guarantee that scholarship awards will be renewed at the same level each semester. Scholarship awards are based on the audition process and the belief that there is a strong potential for musical growth and contribution. Future awards may be adjusted up or down depending on the factors listed here.

Student Responsibilities

The online Student Handbook provides all enrolled and prospective students with information regarding their rights and responsibilities as members of the UNF School of Music community. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and to adhere to all academic and University policies, procedures and deadlines included in the Student Handbook and other sources including, but not limited to, the University catalog. A list of additional student responsibilities is available here. 

Applied Music

Applied music instruction is open to music majors and non-music majors that have earned admission into and are participating in a major ensemble by performing on the primary instrument studied in applied lessons. All assignments to applied music teachers are made through the School Director or designated representative. If a second applied area is requested, it will be assigned only after all other assignment priorities have been met. Music majors must earn a letter grade of “B” or above to receive applied lesson credit and to progress to the next level of study. Students who do not meet this requirement may be terminated from the music program as a major.

Ensemble Participation

All students taking applied lessons, regardless of major, are required to perform in ensembles as assigned by faculty. There are zero credit options that exist to ease any financial burden of said assignments. If a student is taking applied lessons in two different areas, they may be required to perform in two or more ensembles.

Performance Laboratory and Concert Attendance Requirements

Performance Laboratory is a weekly forum in which students perform for their peers and colleagues as well as UNF faculty and administration. All music majors must enroll and successfully complete eight semesters of performance laboratory, and no official credit is received beyond the transcript notification. Each applied studio has specific performing requirements for each semester. Students must sign up in advance to perform in performance lab by turning in the appropriate form to the designated professor. In addition, each student has a Concert Attendance requirement of eight approved concerts per semester. This is verified by the applied teacher then submitted by the student to the designated faculty member by the last day of classes each semester.

Piano Proficiency

All music students will achieve a proficiency level on the piano equal to four semesters of Class Piano. Those not passing the Piano Proficiency Exam must enroll in the appropriate level of Class Piano until successfully passing Class Piano IV. Students with no prior keyboard training should enroll in Class Piano I. The Piano Proficiency Exam will only be administered during the first week of the Fall Semester. Contact Dr. Bennett for further details about exam contents and scheduling. Exam contents may include technique (scales, arpeggios, cadences), repertoire, harmonization, sight-reading, transposition and score reading.

Theory Placement

New music majors must arrange to take a theory placement test to advance to higher levels of written and/or aural theory. Transfer students must arrange to take a theory placement examination to determine the appropriate theory course in which to enroll. This includes students who have completed four levels of music theory at another institution or who have equivalency credit from advanced high school courses (i.e. AP Music Theory). Placement tests are given during the first theory classes of the semester.

Juried Examinations (Juries)

Music majors must perform a juried examination at the end of each semester on their primary instrument. The material performed on the jury will reflect the student’s work during the semester as determined by the applied professor. Juries for non-majors and majors on non-primary instruments will be at the discretion of the applied teacher. More information about this procedure.

Senior Recitals

Music majors are required to present a senior recital during the last semester of applied study. Candidates for graduation must perform a pre-recital screening for select faculty members to assure that the student is ready to proceed with the senior recital. This may take place in conjunction with the juried examination prior to the semester of the senior recital. More information about this procedure.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all of their scheduled university classes to satisfy all academic objectives as outlined by the instructor. The instructor, who reserves the right to deal with individual cases of non-attendance, determines the effect of absences upon grades. No absences are allowed for quizzes or exams. Absences from ensemble rehearsals, sectional rehearsals or performances will result in a failing grade and/or expulsion from that ensemble.


Incompletes will be given only after consultation with the professor and only in the case of emergencies such as illness or death in the student’s immediate family. Outside employment is not acceptable as justification for an incomplete. In order for an “I” to be assigned, the student must have completed a majority of the course with a passing grade. The time limit for removing the “I” is set by the instructor of the course; however, this time limit may not exceed one calendar year or graduation, whichever comes first. If no final grade is issued, the “I” will change to an “F.”


Probation music students are expected to maintain at least a “B” in applied lessons and a “C” in all other music courses. Failure to meet these standards will result in being placed on probation and the student will be required to repeat the course. A grade of “D” in non-music courses will be viewed negatively. All failed music courses can only be repeated once. Should a student not make satisfactory progress following a semester on academic probation, the student may be expelled from the program. Inappropriate conduct is also grounds for immediate probation and dismissal. After being placed on probation, each student has one subsequent semester to improve in the default area(s).

Student Awards

Each year the School of Music faculty recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and musicianship. Awards are presented each spring during the University’s Annual Honors Convention. 

  1. The Outstanding Scholarship Award is presented to the graduating senior that holds the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA) in the school. 
  2. An Outstanding Musicianship Award is presented to one student at each academic level who has made significant contributions to the UNF School of Music. 
  3. An Outstanding Service Award is presented to one student who has made significant contributions and positively represents the school as a whole. 

Hearing, Musculoskeletal and Vocal Health

Health and safety depend in large part on the personal decisions of informed individuals. Institutions have health and safety responsibilities, but fulfillment of these responsibilities can and will not ensure any specific individual’s health and safety. Too many factors beyond any institution’s control are involved. Individuals have a critically important role and each is personally responsible for avoiding risk and preventing injuries to themselves before, during and after study or employment at any institution. This set of advisory information on hearing health and institutional actions taken under their influence or independently do not alter or cancel any individual’s personal responsibility, or in any way shift personal responsibility for the results of any individual’s personal decisions in any instance or over time to any institution, or to NASM, or to PAMA.