Music Advising

All incoming Music majors, minors, and participants are advised by the director of instrumental music and the director of choral music. Due to the complexity of the Music Field of Study degree and the needs of proper placement in any music ensemble or course for any student, there is a need to meet individually with any student wishing to enroll in any music course. Music advisors can then access student records, monitor class availability and register students for appropriate courses in both the Music major track, Music core and academic core courses, and place them appropriately in performing ensembles.

The Field of Study degree in Music is unique in that Music majors must be placed in the correct courses during their first semester in order to stay on track to complete the curriculum in two to three years. Misadvised Music majors can potentially lose an entire year if placed on the incorrect level of Music major requirements. Every effort is made to assess the level of musical competency during the initial advising session with the music advisor. This is a difficult task, even for seasoned music professionals, and cannot be accomplished by general advisors. Standardized testing and auditions are used for placement in Music Theory, Class Piano, Applied Private Lessons and Performing Ensembles.

As each student moves through the Music major curriculum, they meet with their advisor prior to pre-registration for the next semester. During this session, the faculty member assesses student progress in the current semester, addresses any problems and plans the appropriate courses for the upcoming term. This in turn leads to seamless transfers to area four-year institutions and establishes a model that increases music department enrollments.

Music Program Top Advising Goals

  • Goal One: Inform all Richland students, incoming and returning, about Richland Music program opportunities.
  • Goal Two: Advise all declared and soon-to-be declared Music majors of the proper sequence and pacing of coursework for successful transfer.
  • Goal Three: Prevent students from being misinformed about collegiate music opportunities to enhance any degree experience and/or fulfill music degree requirements.
  • Goal Four: Complete “follow-through” advising with all Music majors and minors throughout their work at Richland that sustains proper progress for student goal completion within degrees and skills.
  • Goal Five: Present students with the Richland Music program experience as being the complete first two years of a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Music.
  • Goal Six: Teach students that the Music degree is about developing skills over years within the coursework, and not about checking off courses on a list by simply completing them.

Interested Students Sent to the Music Program for Advising

  • Procedure One: All students declaring themselves to be Music majors or interested in being Music majors would be sent to the Music program for all advising.
  • Procedure Two: Any student interested in any music course(s) would be sent to the Music Program for advising on that course, its co-requisites or pre-requisites and its relationship to other companion courses.

Student Needs and Music Degree Issues

  • Music Core: Music Majors need to begin the standard Music Core sequence of courses, along with the Academic Core sequence of courses, in order to be on pace with any students starting out as freshman at four-year universities. Defining the five areas of the Music Core for students is essential (Music Theory, Piano, Applied Lessons, Ensembles, Recital Attendance).
  • Skill Minimum: Music Majors need to complete a Music Degree Skill Minimum along with a Dallas College​ Music Degree Minimum, which are currently not equivalent.
  • Music Course Level Placement: Placing students in the proper levels of Music Theory, Piano and Applied Lessons needs to be done through student testing and interviewing as the schedule is built.
  • Music Faculty Review of Standards: Richland Music faculty are constantly reviewing and staying current with collegiate music standards for music courses and degree programs across the United States to help advise students for successful transfers to four-year colleges and universities.