Academic FAQ

Q: I’ve been admitted to the university and would like to major in music but have not yet auditioned. Can I still major in music?

A: You can still audition for the music major once you arrive on campus. If you are interested in auditioning, please contact Eric Charnofsky, Coordinator of Undergraduate Enrollment in Music, at or 216.368.0624.

Q: I’ve been admitted to the music major. Is there anything I should do over the summer to prepare for my first semester at Case Western Reserve University?

A: You should prepare for the Music Theory Placement Exam, which will be given during orientation and will determine which theory course you take in your first semester. Learn more about the exam and how to prepare for it.

Q: Whom should I contact if I have academic advising questions over the summer?

A: Please contact Eric Charnofsky, Coordinator of Undergraduate Enrollment in Music, at or 216.368.0624. Mr. Charnofsky advises all incoming students through the end of drop/add period in their first semester.

Q: How do I make the most out of my first-year experience?

A: Please be sure to visit CWRU | First Year for additional resources, to get involved, and to discover why you’ll love it here!

Q: How do I register for ensembles?

A: The Department of Music is pleased to offer a wide variety of Ensembles that are open to all CWRU ( faculty, staff, students, alumni, and University Circle community members ) affiliated individuals.

For those of you who are interested in performing in a Vocal Ensemble please see the webpage for the group that you are interested in joining and you will find the information that you need to join. If you require further information the ensemble director’s information is provided for direct communication.

In order to provide a high quality instrumental ensemble experience we want to place students in the group that best matches their musical level, interests, availability, as well as balance the number of performers to the repertoire. Therefore, ALL instrumental ensembles require an audition for placement. Please see the webpage for the group that you are interested in for more specific information.

Q: Do ensembles require an audition?

A: Yes.  All ensembles require a placement audition and permission from the director.  Auditions take place in the fall during orientation or the first week of class. The Ensembles webpage will give more specific information.  Interested students should contact the ensemble director by email with any questions.

Q: Who teaches lessons?

A: Incoming music majors are assigned and auto-enrolled in a primary studio by CIM based on availability and assessment of needed skill development. Music majors can also take secondary lessons at no additional cost.  Approval must be given to incoming Freshman by the first-year advisor (Eric Charnofsky) and scheduled through the Department of Music (Jennifer Wright). Returning music majors will be asked to hold regular applied lessons registration appointments.

Q: How do I register for lessons?

A: Incoming music majors are assigned and auto-enrolled in a primary studio.  Music majors interested in studying a secondary instrument should contact the Department of Music (Haydn Hall, 201) Learn more about registering as a non major.

Q: Is there a cost for lessons?

A: CWRU pays CIM for teaching lessons to all of our music majors. This includes lessons beyond the requirement for the various concentrations, and also secondary lessons where applicable. All non-majors, including music minors, pay an “Applied Music Fee,” which is added to the term bill each semester. This fee is in addition to the credit unit tuition charged by the university and differs between instructors.

Q: What are the solo performance requirements for music majors?

A: Music majors are required to participate in Recital Class each semester they are enrolled in primary applied music lessons. They are to attend class every Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. in the Harkness Chapel and perform once within the academic year. The department does not require music majors to perform full-length solo recitals, but students are welcome to do so with the approval of their applied instructor.

Q: What are jury examinations?

A: Jury examinations are final exams for primary applied lessons. Each music major is required to perform jury exams specific to their degree. Students are evaluated by their applied instructor and several department faculty members. These jury exams allow the department to track a student’s progress in the applied lesson sequence. These are scheduled during Reading Days of each semester.

Q: How many music students attend CWRU Music?

A: The number of undergraduate majors varies from about 80 to about 100, and the number of graduate students is usually about 50. In addition, we teach required courses to students at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), with which we have a Joint Music Program.