FAQs for Non-Majors

Frequently Asked Questions by Non-Music Majors
and Direct Links to Answers

(Complete information about music at St. Olaf College can be found at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/department-of-music/ and http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/student-resources/.)


Admission to the music major

Q: Can I major in music?
A: Yes, but you must first apply for and be admitted to the music major. Check out http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/music-major-entrance-and-continuance-information/.
Then check out the FAQs for Music Majors at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/faqs-for-music-majors/ or pick up a copy from the information table next to Christiansen Hall 104.


Music Lessons, Recital Attendance, and Juries

Q: I want to take music lessons. What do I do? 
A: Complete information about performance studies (lessons) at St. Olaf can be found at

Q: Can I take lessons on more than one instrument?
A: Yes, but consider the cost and the time commitment first. Check out

Q: I am taking music lessons and my teacher says I must practice every day. How do I get a practice room?
A: Practice is an important part of studying a musical instrument. Practice room sign up information can be found at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/practice-rooms/.

Q: I am taking music lessons and I heard there is a recital attendance requirement. What is this? How do I know how many recitals to attend? How do I know which recitals count towards the recital attendance requirement?
A: If you are registered for performance studies, there is a recital attendance requirement. Answers to all three questions can be found at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/recital-attendance-requirements/.

Q: I am taking music lessons and I heard I must perform an end-of-semester jury. What is this and how do I know what type of jury I should perform?
A: An end-of-semester jury is required of all students registered for performance studies. Answers to both questions can be found at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/juries/.



Q: Can I perform in a recital? Do I have to be taking music lessons?
A. Yes, you may perform in a recital. You must be registered for performance studies in the semester you wish to perform. Read about Student Recitals, Junior and Senior Recitals, Chamber Ensemble, Composition, Advanced Conducting Recitals and Informal Recitals at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/recital-guidelines/.



Q: How do I find a pianist to accompany my jury or recital?
A: There are three types of collaborative pianists at St. Olaf: student pianists, staff pianists, and other professional pianists. Read about deadlines for securing a pianist and who can play for your jury at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/collaborative-pianists/.

Q: How does my collaborative pianist get paid?
A: Complete details and instructions can be found at
You should also check out The Soloist’s Guide at

Q: I’m a pianist and I’d like to accompany juries and recitals. Can I, and if so, what is the procedure?
A: Yes, student pianists are an important part of collaborative piano at St. Olaf. Check out http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/collaborative-pianists/.
You should also check out The Pianist’s Guide at


Music Library, Keys, and Work Study

Q: Where is the music library and what is its hours?
A: The Halvorsen Music Library is located on the first floor of Christiansen Hall of Music. Regular hours (non-holiday or break hours) can be found at:http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/music-library-hours/.

Q: I have heard that a student can get a key to rooms in CHM, HOM or Skifter. Is this true?
A: Yes, but only under certain circumstances. For details see http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/keys/ or see Cheryl Bristol in HOM 245.

Q: What do I do if I am on work study and would like to work in the music department?
A: Go to http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/student-work-opportunities/.



Q: What do I do if I have a concern or comment about music at St. Olaf?
A: The Music Department Student Committee serves as liaisons between students and music faculty. Find out who they are and how to contact them at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/student-work-opportunities/

Q: What types of music ensembles does St. Olaf offer and who are the directors? When do ensembles rehearse?
A: A list of all ensembles and directors can be found at http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/music-ensembles-and-directors/. A list of rehearsal times for ensembles can be found on the information table next to CHM 104.

Q: I heard some seniors get to perform with the St. Olaf Orchestra at a spring concert. Is this true and where do I find information about this?
A: Some seniors are selected to perform with the orchestra on the Senior Soloists Concert held each May. Consult your performance studies teacher and check out http://wp.stolaf.edu/music/senior-soloists/.