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2023-24 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.

  • Student Responsibilities
    • Music students are responsible for meeting the requirements of the curriculum. When having difficulties, the student should seek prompt advice from sources such as professors, advisors, the Academic Center for Excellence, etc.
    • Students should be equipped for placement in the various ensembles. Brass players are required to have the following mutes: straight, cup, Harmon, and bucket (Jo-Ral preferred). Trumpet players should have flugelhorns. Saxophone players should have a flute and clarinet. Students must consult with applied teachers for various instrument and equipment requirements. If required by the instructor, students should possess a metronome and tuner.
    • Rehearsal/performance facilities are for the exclusive use of sanctioned UNF ensembles and faculty. Students are responsible for our music facilities and our equipment. Students should not permit others to be abusive, neither carelessly nor deliberately, or to produce needless or excessive wear and tear on facilities or equipment.
    • Students are encouraged to report any items in need of attention (e.g., faulty equipment, light bulbs, ventilation problems, vandalism, etc.) to the music office at (904) 620-2961.
    • Students who lease UNF instruments will be required to pay a rental fee of $50 per semester for each instrument.
    • The University of North Florida is not responsible for its students' possessions.
    • Students are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct at all times. It is imperative that students act in a respectful manner in all situations reflecting the image of the School of Music and the University of North Florida. The Student Code of Conduct extends to compliance with professional standards of conduct or ethics to which students must adhere as part of their studies, such as internships, placements, clinicals, or Transformational Learning Opportunities (including but not limited to study abroad, domestic travel, and any kind of study outside of UNF campus).
    • Students who are members of performing ensembles will give first priority to performances and rehearsals. It is expected that personal scheduling is secondary to ensemble responsibilities. Performances and extra rehearsals will be announced in advance.
    • For special events, off-campus performances and excursions, responsibilities may be assigned and UNF policies must be adhered to. In the case of student hotel accommodations, any additional charges will be the responsibility of the individual student.
    • Additional attendance, tardiness, and procedural regulations may be required by individual professors and will be included in course syllabi.


    Without exception, all music students are required to enroll in a major ensemble for every semester in residence. Placement in each ensemble is determined by competitive audition and occurs at the beginning of each semester during the first few days of classes. Students on scholarship may be required to enroll in other ensembles as well as their required ensemble.

    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.

    Major Ensembles

    1. Guitar, Piano and Harp: Chorale, Orchestra or Wind Symphony
    2. Jazz Studies: Jazz Ensemble I, II or III
    3. Strings: Orchestra
    4. Winds and Percussion: Wind Symphony
    5. Voice: UNF Chorale
    • Major ensembles are open to all enrolled UNF students. Personnel are selected by audition. Placement in ensembles may be determined by the School Director or designated representative according to the needs of the school. Ensemble auditions occur during the first few days of the fall semester; however, subsequent semesters may require a challenge or re-audition. Being awarded a music scholarship and/or admitted to the school does not guarantee a position in a particular ensemble.
    • Criteria for placement in major ensembles include:
    1. Individual/ensemble skills (accuracy, tone, articulation, blend, etc.)
    2. Sight-reading skills
    3. Improvisational skills (when applicable)
    4. Prior semester ensemble evaluation (when applicable)
    5. Compatibility factors such as morale, attitude, and ability to work as a team player
    • Members assigned to the various ensembles must adhere to the ensemble’s specific rules and guidelines. Noncompliance is not tolerated, and individuals may be removed from an ensemble if their presence is counterproductive to the ensemble musically, professionally, or personally. More specific information on the various School of Music ensembles is available on our website as well as through the respective ensemble directors.

    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.

    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 who have not passed 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.

    Attendance Policy

    • Students are expected to attend all 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.”


    • 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).
  • Auditions

    Any student who has fulfilled university admission requirements may register as a music major providing that he or she has passed an audition. To be considered for entry, all applicants must:

    1. Complete the University of North Florida Application.
    2. Complete the UNF School of Music Supplemental Application located in your application portal. The Supplemental Application will allow you to select your desired audition date. Applicants will receive their audition time approximately two-three weeks before their selected date.*
    3. Complete your audition. Audition requirements are listed below.**

    *If you have an extenuating circumstance and need to schedule an alternate audition date or request to submit an audition video, please reach out to the auditions coordinator via email at

    **Voice auditions will be for fall '25 entry only. Voice applicants must attend their audition in person. No video submissions will be accepted, so please plan accordingly.  

    Audition Requirements by Degree 

  • Scholarships

    All applicants to UNF School of Music are automatically considered for a scholarship based primarily on ability as demonstrated at the audition/interview. Scholarships are awarded each year to students who show maturity and promise in various areas. 

    Music Scholarships

    Although the amount of money available each year may vary, these awards are made to students who contribute or show the potential to contribute to the total success of the program into which they are enrolled. Additional information regarding non-music scholarships can be found at

    Applicants for need-based financial aid must apply to the UNF Student Financial Aid Office. All students are encouraged to apply for FAFSA funding in addition to all local and national scholarship opportunities specific to his/her particular situation. Please note carefully the deadlines for all scholarship and financial aid applications.

    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 below:

    1. Musical Aptitude/Skills
      • Both performance skills and musicianship are very important criteria in scholarship decisions.
    2. Large Ensembles 
      • Students receiving scholarship assistance are required to participate in large ensembles each semester. Failure to audition and participate in one large ensemble per semester will result in scholarship denial.
    3. Small Ensembles 
      • Scholarship students may be required to audition for and participate in one or more small ensembles.
    4. Grades
      •  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 academic probation and will be required to repeat the course.
      • A grade of “D” in non-music courses will be viewed negatively. After being on probation for one subsequent semester, each grade infraction will reduce your scholarship by 20% per grade infraction.
      • After a third subsequent semester on probation, all merit- based scholarship funding will be removed and the student may be expelled from the program.
    5. Attendance
      •  Excessive absences will negatively impact scholarship awards. (See Attendance Policy)
    6. Musical Growth
      •  Growth is expected through exposure to the musical environment at UNF. It is an item the music faculty takes very seriously when determining scholarship awards.
    7. Attitude
      •  Students are expected to maintain a positive attitude and represent the school well.
    8. School Need
      • Needs of the school are considered when awarding scholarships.
  • Instrument Rentals
    • Visit and pay the $50 rental fee.
    • Upon completion, students must inform the appropriate faculty member who will verify payment with the music office's budget coordinator.
    • After payment is confirmed, the appropriate faculty member must complete an online property check out form in MyWings that coincides with the instrument the student is renting. This will create a record in MyWings and a financial record in Banner.
  • 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. Procedures are as follows:

    1. A jury panel will consist of at least three faculty members.
    2. The student must provide each jury panelist with a thoroughly completed jury form.
    3. Each jury panelist will evaluate the student’s performance and calculate a grade. These grades will be given to the student’s professor who will average jury grades before calculating the final grade.
    4. Each juror’s sheet is to be reviewed with the student by the applied professor.
    5. Original jury sheets will be filed in the music office. Copies are distributed to the applied professor.
    6. Semi-formal attire is required.

    Please visit your UNF School of Music Student Canvas page for updated jury forms towards the end of the semester.

    Sophomore Review

    The Sophomore Review consists of a more comprehensive jury in which the student must successfully respond to historical, theoretical and pedagogical questions regarding the instrument and repertoire, and concludes with a sight reading excerpt. Students will be granted one of the following upon completing the review: Pass, Probation or Fail.

    Transfer students may be asked to participate in the Sophomore Review after one semester of study as a contingency to remain enrolled as a music major. Students must pass this review in order to enroll in upper level applied courses. See the website and consult your applied teacher for updates regarding the Sophomore Review. 

  • 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. Guidelines for the Music Technology and Production Senior.

    Under advisement of the applied professor, the student will schedule the recital well in advance (i.e. five months) of the performance date. The music office will provide a standard typed program for all senior recitals. Voice students are required to provide and print their own program notes and text translations when applicable and must be submitted with their recital program for filing. These must be carefully researched and prepared by the student and approved by the applied professor. The student assumes all other expenses related to the recital.

    1. The recital will be juried by at least three faculty members. The student is responsible for making jury arrangements and notifying the Chair of all final grades and decisions.
    2. A grade of “pass” or “fail” will be given by the jury. Student must receive a “pass” to graduate.
    3. The program should be between 45 and 60 minutes long.
    4. UNF faculty may assist on only one selection of the recital.
    5. Senior recitals are generally scheduled on campus. Any exceptions must be approved by the School of Music office. 
    6. Dedications from the stage are inappropriate, but may be included in the printed program.
    7. Students must arrange for the recital to be recorded professionally at their own expense.
    8. The candidate is responsible to insure that every performing member is professionally attired.
    9. Recital material must be arranged thoughtfully and artistically.

    Specific to Bachelor of Music Performance in Jazz Studies students:

    The recital should include at least three jazz standards. Originals and other jazz vehicles can comprise the remainder of the recital. The majority of the program must be from the jazz genre. Other styles are acceptable if they constitute a small percentage of the program and are performed artistically correct.

    The student should be the featured soloist and choruses by sidemen must be kept to a minimum. All material performed by the candidate must be memorized.

    Specific to Bachelor of Music Performance and Bachelor of Music Education students:

    Candidates in piano and voice must memorize all material.

    Senior Recital Checklist

    1. Confirm readiness for recital with applied teacher.
    2. Book on-campus space as early as possible after consulting your applied teacher and accompanist regarding dates and times. 
    3. Print the Student Recital Reservation form located on your student Canvas home page. Recital dates are not confirmed until the first page has been submitted to the School of Music office with required signatures.
    4. Schedule your recital screening at least one month in advance of your recital with all faculty who will be on the jury (at least 3)
    5. After passing your screening, submit an electronic copy to your applied teacher to have flyers and programs approved that will then be submitted to the School of Music. Do not post promotional materials prior to successfully completing the recital screening.
      • If you fail your screening, you must confer with your applied teacher in regards to further action.
    6. Submit a draft of your recital program to the School of Music office for filing and printing. A draft template can be found in the Guide to Recital Hall Reservations booklet located on your student Canvas homepage. 
    7. Successfully perform recital with three invited jurors (faculty) in attendance. Your grade will be listed as either Pass or Fail.
  • Sophomore Barrier: Jazz Studies
    • Students seeking a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance must pass the Sophomore Barrier exam. Students who do not pass will not matriculate to the junior level and will not be allowed to enroll in upper level jazz courses.

    Transfer Students

    • Transfer students entering the Jazz Studies program as a sophomore with an Associates Degree, are required to pass the Sophomore Barrier in the spring of their first year at UNF.
    • Transfer students entering the Jazz Studies program as a junior with an Associates Degree are required to play the Sophomore Barrier tunes as part of their audition.
    • Incoming transfers students will be required to complete the Sophomore Barrier after auditions during UNF exam week, in the spring prior to beginning their study at UNF.

    Sophomore Barrier Requirements (Jazz Studies)

    Students must be able to demonstrate the following before entering their junior year:

    • Melodies performed by memory
    • Solo over changes
    • Fundamental command of the jazz language and possess a swing feel typical of jazz performance practice

    Additional requirements for bassists and drummers are listed below:

    • Walk bassline, solo
    • Learn melodies and memorize for all tunes
    • Memorize changes
    • Solo over changes
    • Demonstrate appropriate scales over changes
    • Able to outline chord changes
    • Note form of each song (AABA, etc), the number of measures in each section, etc., memorize melody
    • Able to sing melody of each song and play time while singing
    • Able to play melody of song on the drums
    • Able to solo around the melody.

    Sophomore Barrier Tunes

    • Tenor Madness
    • Billie's Bounce
    • Impressions
    • Summertime
    • Solar
    • Blue Bossa
    • Satin Doll
    • Softly as in a Morning Sunrise
    • Autumn Leaves
    • All the Things You Are
    • There will Never Be Another You
    • Girl from Ipanema
    • Misty
    • Someday My Prince Will Come
    • Take the A- Train
    • Oleo
    • Stella By Starlight
    • Body and Soul
    • Alone Together
    • Ornithology