Music 400 (Senior Reflective Tutorial) and Music 491 (Senior Seminar):
The Senior Learning Community in Music is offered every year and is normally taken by senior Music majors. In keeping with the Wagner College plan, it consists of three parts: (1) a capstone course in the form of a seminar for which students do independent research and writing; (2) an experiential component; and (3) a reflective tutorial or RFT that encompasses the experiential component. Unlike other Senior LCs, the one in Music is divided over the year, with the capstone course taught in the fall and the experiential component and RFT taking place in the spring.
The seminar, MU 491, introduces students to research and writing on music. The course content is that of the course formerly taught as MU 307: Music of the Classic and Romantic Traditions (Western Music 1750 to 1900). See a syllabus for MU 307 for an idea of what the course covers.
The RFT, MU 400, taken in the spring, includes an experiential component which for most students is a senior recital. Students giving a senior recital prepare for it through practice, rehearsal, and studio lessons with their major teacher. In addition, students meet as a group in the RFT to discuss all aspects of their recital, including selection of repertory, issues relating to practice and rehearsal, and practical matters such as scheduling of halls and preparation of printed programs (including program notes, as well as texts and translations for vocal works). In the RFT, students also perform selections from their recitals, receiving coaching from the instructor and comments from the group as a whole. Because the integration of the recital into the RFT is a crucial element of the Senior Learning Community, the scheduling of the recital must be approved by the instructor of the RFT. It cannot take place before spring break.
Students who do not wish to perform a senior recital have other options, depending on their talents and interests. They might write and perform a substantial original composition; carry out a program of research and analysis in the field of music history or music theory; or undertake a self-designed project involving music-related work in the community or the music business. Students who do not perform a recital are expected to participate in the RFT alongside other students, reporting and discussing their experiences.
The RFT also includes preparation for the Comprehensive Examination in music, which is a graduation requirement for Music majors. The examination is a test of mastery of knowledge and skills in music theory, history, and research skills. The course includes a review of these topics. Students take the examination during the semester, repeating any portions which they fail to pass.
Grading in the seminar is based on class attendance and participation (10%); three papers, one of which is a research paper (40%); a midterm and a final examination (40%); and a presentation based on the research paper (10%).
Grading in the RFT is based on attendance and participation (20%), a written document which may be a research paper or the printed recital program incorporating extensive program notes (50%), an aural presentation based on the written document (20%), and a senior abstract and webpage (10%). Students must also pass all parts of the comprehensive examination; if any portion is not successfully completed before the end of the semester, they receive an Incomplete grade. The experiential activity itself, whether a recital or some other project, is not graded as such, although students will receive a grade as usual for studio lessons, and this grade should reflect the quality of the recital.