Applied Music Study Guidelines

Guidelines for Applied Music Study at BH-BL High School

The State of New York offers high school students who take private lessons the opportunity to receive one half credit each year. Before a student can apply for this credit they must have at least one year of study without credit. Applied music credit may not be used to meet the requirement for one year of art/music. Applied music may not be used as part of a sequence but as general elective credit only. If you wish to be considered for this credit please read the following information and regulations and return the application form to the Fine Arts office. At the end of each marking period the private teacher must fill out the enclosed quarterly progress report with a numerical grade. The State of New York leaves the decision to issue credit up to the local school based on student achievement as indicated by the private teacher, and the performance of a final playing exam. All Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students must play a final exam/NYSSMA solo and follow these guidelines to receive private music study credit.

Please share this information with your private teacher.

  1. Take at least one half hour lesson each week for a minimum of 36 weeks each year.
  2. Practice five hours or more each week.
  3. Perform a NYSSMA solo at the NYSSMA solo festival in April or perform a NYSSMA solo scales and sight reading for a member of the High School music staff in May. Performance at NYSSMA Solo Festival is the suggested evaluation path.
  4. Turn in all quarterly reports at the end of each marking period.
  5. Follow a course of study that includes a variety of solo literature, technique development, scale study, and general musical knowledge.

Final Evaluation Requirements

Ninth and Tenth Grade Students
Perform a complete NYSSMA level four or higher solo at NYSSMA solo festival or for a member of the music staff. Play the following scales full range of instrument from memory – G, D, A, F, Bb, Eb, C and two octave chromatic. There will also be a short sight reading example at the level of performance. Students should be able to discuss basic music theory such as key signatures, notation, scale construction, descriptive terms, etc.

Eleven and Twelfth Grade Students
Perform a complete NYSSMA level five or higher solo at NYSSMA solo festival or for a member of the music staff. Play all major scales and chromatic scale full range of instrument from memory. There will also be a short sight reading example at the level of performance. Students should be able to discuss basic music theory concepts as outlined above.

At the end of each quarter students may be asked to perform representative materials from a recent lesson if there are questions regarding student progress or course of study.

Any questions regarding private music study should be directed to Mr. Giroux at 518.399.9141, ext. 83183.

State Education Department: Private Music Study

Private music study has been recognized as a legitimate phase of secondary education in the schools of New York State since the early 1920s. Pupils have been allowed to earn credits toward the Regents high school diploma by taking private music lessons from qualified teachers who are not necessarily connected with the faculty of a given district.

The present plan requires one final examination or audition and gives the local administration the prerogative of selecting one competent adjudicator to serve as examiner. The responsibility for approving the private music instruction and for the results of the examination at the end of the year rests with local school authorities.

Excusing Pupils for Private Music Study

Law pamphlet number 12, “Compulsory Education, Including School Census: published by the Law Division of the State Education Department, provides the following regulation:

Music Lessons. Approved instruction in music may be considered a legitimate part of a pupil’s education and he may be excused from school therefore by school authorities. The permission of school authorities for absence for music must be secured in advance and may not be for more than one-half day each week. It is the responsibility of those in charge of schools to arrange such permission as to entail the least possible school loss while meeting so far as is reasonable the needs of the child.

Regulations Governing Applied Music Credit

On the basis of the following regulations, a pupil may earn one-half unit credit per year:

  1. Candidates for credit must be regularly registered as high school students.
  2. Before being admitted for credit, the pupil must have completed at least one year’s study in the branch of applied music in which he desires credit.
  3. Application for credit must be made to the local school. An application form should be filled out during the first month of the school year and should be retained in the official files of the school for at least one year following the completion of the year’s study. September 30 is the last day for accepting applications.
  4. The pupil must take at least one music lesson a week, not less than 30 minutes in length, for a minimum of 36 weeks during the school year.
  5. The pupil must practice a minimum of five hours a week.
  6. Materials, including method books and solos, should be of a difficulty commensurate with the ability of the student, and of acceptable musical merit.
  7. At the close of each grading period, the teacher of applied music will give the Fine Arts Director the pupil’s grade on a grade report form.
  8. The pupil must pass an examination before credit may be allowed. NYSSMA Solo participation is thedesired exam but school evaluation may be scheduled. The examiner must report the result of the examination to the Fine Arts Director. The Fine Arts Director will insert the proper grade on the pupil’s report card and permanent record cards.
  9. The approval of the applied music instruction and the selection of the examiner is the responsibility of the high school authorities. No fee should be charged the individual pupil for examination expenses.
  10. Forms should be kept in the school files for at least one year following the completion for the year’s study and are subject to call and review by the Bureau of Music Education.

Applied Music Study 10-week due dates

First marking period reports due by Nov. 5, 2018
Second marking period reports due by Jan. 24, 2019
Third marking period reports due by March 25, 2019
Fourth marking period reports due by June 12, 2019

These dates reflect the latest date that sheets may be turned in for credit to be issued. Students who do not turn in reports by these dates will be dropped from the applied music program. Please plan ahead so that you have your last lesson of the marking period prior to the end date of that quarter. Forms may be turned in at the Fine Arts Office, put in the mailbox of Mr. Giroux, sent via email as an attachment to Mr. Giroux at, or faxed to the high school at 518.399.4341. If a fax is used please send it to the attention of Mr. Giroux. Anecdotal email reports from private teachers will not be accepted. This form must be filled out by the private teacher for a grade to be issue