Applied Instrumental Study

Course Details

Course Number
AMUS 1541
Section Number
AMUS 1541
Spring 2015
Fain Instrumental Music Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Lesson times based on student schedules.

Dr. Matthew David Luttrell (view Profile)

Course Objectives



Applied Study Study and Lessons is a performance-based study, which takes the individual student’s needs and abilities into consideration in developing a musical, theoretical, and emotional approach to the basics and fundamentals of successful performance skills on a given instrument. The primary focus is on (but not limited to) tone production, increased range and technique, various styles, and enhanced reading skills, all in an environment of increased musical awareness. All students are taught as “performers in training”, regardless of degree plan. Students should be aware that applied study is intended to be progressive and contiguous.


  • The student will demonstrate increased performance skills and greater musical awareness in the areas including, but not limited to:
    • Tone production
    • Intonation
    • Rhythmic accuracy
    • Instrumental technique
    • Musical expression
    • Other components as evaluated by the faculty in an end-of-semester jury.
  • To realize maximum musical potential.

Grading Standards



All students must own copies of assigned materials. Students should also have a notebook for assignments and to keep important notes regarding lessons. It is imperative that all students purchase assigned materials as quickly as possible. A student’s grade will be reduced for not having proper materials.


One studio recital lab will be scheduled each semester. Every student except first semester freshmen will be required to perform on one recital lab. Additionally, studio performance classes may be scheduled throughout the semester. All students will be required to attend and/or perform on the performance classes.


Due to the recital attendance and jury requirements, all students must secure the services of an accompanist. Accompanists must be available for all recitals, master classes and juries in which the student is involved. Additionally, the accompanist must be able to attend at least two lessons or extra rehearsals with the instructor present. When contacting an accompanist, be certain they are capable of performing the required music. (I call this the Hindemith clause)


All students will be required to play scales at the beginning of each lesson. This is in preparation of the scale exams at the end of every semester. Emphasis for scales should be on excellence of tone and intonation at all times, as well as articulative clarity. There should be no stopping or missed notes. Preferred style is notes of equal duration, either slurred or tongued. An option is to pay a note of double length at each tonic. If necessary, a quick rhythmic interruption for a breath is acceptable. Chromatic scales may be asked at typical diatonic scales speed any semester. Material to be covered in the scale exam is as follows:


First Semester:                   1A                   

Second Semester:             2A       

Third Semester:                  3A

Fourth Semester:               4A

Fifth Semester:                   5B

Sixth Semester:                 6B

Seventh Semester*:          excerpts

Eighth Semester*:             excerpts


A - Two octaves as range permits.

B – Two octaves, regardless or range.

1 - All major scales in a steady tempo.

2 – Natural minor scales in quarter notes.

3 – All major and minor scales in eighth notes (quarter note = 96)

4 – All major and minor scales in eighth notes (quarter note = 120)

5 – All modal variations in major keys and minor scales in eighth notes (quarter note = 120)

6 – All major arpeggios in triplets, all modal variations in major keys and minor scales in eighth notes     (quarter note = 120)



Success on an instrument will be achieved through careful and consistent practice of the concepts learned in lessons. A minimum of one hour (or more - J) of practice per day outside of ensemble rehearsal and preparation is required. Remember, this is the minimum practice time. More practice will yield faster and greater results.



Grading Scale: Refer to University Code regarding + and – grading scale.


A = 90 – 100      B = 80 – 89       C = 70 – 79       D = 60 – 69       F = 0 – 59


Your grade is determined by a combination of your attendance, professionalism, music preparation and performance. The final grade will reflect the student’s improvement, quality of recital performance (if applicable, consistent practice, attendance, preparation of assigned materials, scale exams and jury performance. Students are encouraged to monitor weekly grades. Please consider the following when preparing for your weekly lesson:


A lesson will be given the grade of ‘A’ if:

Evidence of excellent preparation. All assigned materials are played at a high musical, technical, and considerate level.

A lesson will be given the grade of ‘B’ if:

The assigned material has been well prepared but displays musical and technical flaws. Not at true performance level.

A lesson will be given the grade of ‘C’ if:

Some preparation is evident. Many technical and musical flaws exist. Cannot get through assigned materials without several attempts.

A lesson will be given the grade of ‘D’ if:

Little evident preparation.

A lesson will be given the grade of ‘F’ if:

Failure to show up. No evidence of preparation.

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements



Regular and punctual attendance is expected of all students and is essential for consistent improvement. Absences will be considered excused only if: (1) the instructor is notified of the absence by 7:30 AM the day of the absence and (2) the absence is due to a  legitimate, unavoidable emergency. (illness or a legitimate family emergency). One week notice is required for University related trips and performances. Absences for medical appointments, work conflicts, university appointments will be unexcused. Make-up lessons for excused absences will be granted at the instructor’s discretion. Unexcused absences will not be made up. Similarly, the instructor will inform the student in advance of lesson absences and a make-up lesson will be arranged. Students may inform the instructor of an anticipated absence by telephone or email. Students and instructors will wait Ten MINUTES after the appointed lesson time before assuming the other is absent. EACH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF “0” FOR THAT LESSON. Students with more than three unexcused absences will be asked to drop lessons or will receive an “F” for the semester.

Other Policies



Experience the musical flow with every moment. Don’t wait until you are in the hall to turn on musical concentration. Musical discoveries can be retained and enhanced in subsequent performance. Work with as much diligence during practice time as in a concert and listening/adjusting will be tremendously enhanced. Some players don’t realize that passages are out of tune, for instance, until playing with someone else. That is, obviously, too late.

   Good performances are constructed, little by little, through progress in good rehearsals, practice sessions, and preparation.


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at