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 in the College Catalog and at Current Students at the Music Department homepage.)

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. Discuss this with your performance studies teacher and check out the entrance requirements and procedures in the Music Handbook.

Music Lessons, Recital Attendance, and Juries

Q: I want to take music lessons. What do I do?
A: Students register for Performance Studies (music lessons) by completing a registration form in HOM 245, not SIS Web registration.

Q: Can I take lessons on more than one instrument?
A: Yes, but consider the cost and the time commitment. Read about Performance Studies (music lessons) first.

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 takes place in September for fall semester and February for spring semester.

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: There is a recital attendance requirement if you are registered for performance studies. Music majors must attend 10 official music department events each semester and non-majors must attend 4 official music department events each semester.

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. Read about jury requirements here.


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 on the instrument/voice in the semester you wish to perform. Read about Student Recitals, Junior and Senior Recitals, Chamber Ensemble, Composition, Advanced Conducting Recitals and Informal Recitals here.


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. This link provides additional details about payment, deadlines, etc.

Q: How does my collaborative pianist get paid?
A: Check out collaborative pianists for details on payment.

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 important part of collaborative piano at St. Olaf. Consult your piano or organ teacher and check out collaborative pianists.


Q: What music ensembles does St. Olaf offer and who are the directors? When do ensembles rehearse?
A: A complete list of ensembles and directors can be found in the Music Handbook. A list of rehearsal times for all ensembles can be found on the information table next to CHM 104.

Q: Where is the music library and what are its hours?
A: The Halvorson Music Library is located on the first floor of Christiansen Hall of Music. Hours of operation can be found at the library Website.

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. Consult the Music Handbook or see Cheryl Bristol in HOM 245.

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 a liaison between students and music faculty. Find out who they are and how to contact them in the Music Handbook.

Q: What do I do if I am on work study and would like to work in the music department or a music-related field?
A: Find out about work opportunities at Employment Opportunities.

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 the Music Handbook.