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May 23, 2018
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Fine Arts: Applied Music Study Guidelines

separating rule

Guidelines for Applied Music Study at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 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 399-9141, extension 83183.


Private music study has been recognized as a legitimate phase of secondary education in the schools of New
York State since the early 1920’s. 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.

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 the
desired 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.