Applied Piano Syllabus         Dr. Michael Rushing

MUS 121, 122, 321, 322, 6521, 6522

Fall 2015        925-3230

Course Description, Objectives, and Rationale

Applied piano is a course designed to further the student’s ability in the art of playing the piano,understanding that keyboard skills are a necessity in all music-related careers. It includes broad-based coverage of all aspects of proficiency, including keyboard theory and technique, a variety of style in repertoire, and preparation for the Mississippi College exam in piano proficiency. Each student is required to practice daily and diligently to instill a regular process of improvement from any previous level of development, whether elementary or advanced. Each student may be required to accompany voice students as assigned by the instructor and the coordinator of accompanying.


  1. Grades will be determined by occasional playing exams that take place throughout the semester and the quality of the student’s final jury examination:
  1. 6-week exam:                         20%
  2. 12-week exam:                        20%
  3. Attendance/general progress:        20%
  4. Jury:                                40%
  1. All music will be memorized unless otherwise specified by the instructor.
  2. Scales and practical piano skills should be included in every practice session in addition to repertoire study.
  3. A practice journal and up-to-date repertoire list must be maintained throughout the semester.

Grading Scale:

        A        90-100

        B        80-89

        C        70-79

        D        60-69

        F        <59

Attendance Policy:

  1. The student is expected to attend every class meeting with the exception of excused absences for sickness or emergency. A doctor’s excuse is required for an excused absence due to illness. It will be left to the discretion of the instructor to excuse absences due to emergencies that cannot be verified with a doctor’s excuse.
  2. The student is allowed TWO unexcused absences from applied lessons per semester.  Every unexcused absence after that will result in the lowering of the student’s final grade by one letter.
  3. Attendance at piano studio class is required. Each unexcused absence will result in the lowering of the student’s grade by one letter.
  4. Every three tardies will result in one unexcused absence.
  5. Make-up lessons will not be scheduled except in unavoidable circumstances such as illness family emergency.

Last Day to Drop a Class:

October 30, 2015

Early Alert System:

Mississippi College has adopted the practice of finding students early in the semester who may be exhibiting behaviors that could ultimately have a negative impact on their academic progress.  These behaviors are often called “red flag” behaviors and include, but are not limited to, excessive absences, poor test grades, and lack of class participation or evidence of non-engagement.  Identifying these behaviors early gives the instructor the opportunity to raise the “red flag” on behalf of a particular student so that the student can take the appropriate action to redirect his/her progress.  The system alerts the student, the student’s advisor, and the Office of Student Success.


These messages are intended to help a student recognize an area of concern and to encourage him/her to make some choices to improve the situation.  When a student receives an Early Alert message, the student should quickly make an appointment to talk with his/her professor about the situation.  Also, students can make full use of the Office of Student Success to set academic goals and connect to campus resources.

Disabilities Accommodations: 

In order for a student to receive disability accommodations under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, he or she must schedule an individual meeting with the Director of Student Counseling Services immediately upon recognition of their disability (if their disability is known they must come in before the semester begins or make an appointment immediately upon receipt of their syllabi for the new semester). The student must bring with them written documentation from a medical physician and/or licensed clinician that verifies their disability. If the student has received prior accommodations, they must bring written documentation of those accommodations (example Individualized Education Plan from the school system).  Documentation must be current (within 3 years).