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Music Education Policies

Music Education majors are expected to abide by all university and departmental policies outlined in the current APSU Student Handbook, and Department of Music Student Handbook. The following policies apply solely to music education majors.

Piano Proficiency

The Piano Proficiency should ideally be completed by the end of the sophomore year. For music education majors, the piano proficiency MUST be completed before the Residency 2 semester.

Residency I Policy on Ensemble Participation

Music courses/ensembles during the Residency I semester should be limited to: MUS 1060 (Recital Attendance), MUS 3XX0 (Individual Instruction) MUS 3XX0 (Instrumental/Vocal Ensemble), MUS 4500 (Music Curriculum and Assessment),  and MUS 4390 (Senior Recital). Residency I students must communicate with ensemble directors, private lessons instructors, and Mentor Teachers to coordinate rehearsal/lesson attendance with Residency I observations and teaching, such that excessive absences or tardies are not accumulated in either commitment. Students should not enroll in additional chamber ensembles or elective lessons unless rehearsal and lesson times coincide with Residency I commitments.   

Clinical Teaching Policy

In compliance of state policy, The APSU Clinical Teacher Handbook states, “No other coursework may be taken during the clinical teaching semester. Approval to enroll in an additional course must be obtained in writing from the Dean of the College of Education… [and]…Outside employment is strongly discouraged during the clinical semester. Teacher candidates may not be excused from clinical teaching responsibilities or seminars because of employment. A statement of intent to engage in paid employment during the clinical semester must accompany the application process” (p. 13).


Music Department Addendum

  • For music students, additional coursework includes private lessons and performing in APSU-sponsored large or small ensembles, either for credit or on a voluntary basis. Music students may be permitted to perform their senior recital in the Residency II Semester provided that the hearing was approved in the Residency 1 Semester.
  • Outside employment includes paid performance in ensembles that have a regular rehearsal schedule, and teaching private lessons for the Community School of the Arts, other professional organization, or on an individual basis.
  • Outside employment does not include seasonal performance opportunities (gigs) that occur on an infrequent or irregular basis.



  • Time commitment: The purpose of clinical teaching is to immerse students into all duties and responsibilities of professional educators including before and after school planning, faculty and committee meetings, bus duty, tutoring, and other responsibilities. Music students may also be expected to lead after-hours sectionals and rehearsals, attend concerts, or accompany ensembles to contests and festivals. When combined with planning and preparation for direct instruction, these expectations present a considerable time commitment for clinical teachers. Generally, clinical teachers are unable to adequately fulfill all of their clinical teaching responsibilities and still have sufficient practice time for lessons, rehearsals and performances.
  • Presentation and Perception: Clinical Teachers need to present themselves as professional educators more so than as students. In addition, underclassmen need to understand the significance of the clinical teaching semester, and of the responsibilities and expectations of this process. The effectiveness of this expectation is minimized or negated when clinical teachers continue participating in ensembles. 
  • Growth and Development: Clinical teachers who continue to participate in ensembles may indirectly impede the musical, personal, and professional growth of lower-division students. When clinical teachers step out of the way, they provide opportunities for other students to step-in to leadership roles in ensembles, studios, and student organizations.

The official state policy may be retrieved from the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Licensure Standard and Introduction Guidelines, page 48-1.



Additional Requirement

Music educators are typically responsible for more after-school activities than regular classroom teachers (e.g. sectionals, contests, festivals, parades, concerts, etc…). At the beginning of the Residency 2 semester, music student teachers are expected to communicate with the mentor teachers for both placements to inquire about performance calendars and other after-hours and weekend events, and to attend any and all events that occur during the respective placement. Music clinical teachers may not participate in activities that conflict with after-hours student teacher responsibilities (including but not limited to after school rehearsals, concert dates, contests, festivals, and competitions). Exceptions may be made only in emergency or extreme circumstances under the discretion of the university supervisor, mentor teacher, and coordinator of music education, and if notice is provided by the student at the beginning of the semester, or as early as possible. Failure to comply may result in a failing grade for clinical teaching.