Additional Questions & Answers Regarding Music At MIT by mitblogs
If you've pursued music in high school and wish to continue doing so in college, you may be surprised by the wide range and high quality of opportunities at MIT.
[by Clarise Snyder – Director, Concerts Office, MIT Music and Theater Arts]
If you’ve pursued music in high school and wish to continue doing so in college, you may be surprised by the wide range and high quality of opportunities at MIT. MyMIT bloggers have written about many student-led music groups over the past year, but we also get lots of questions from students who are interested in MIT’s faculty-led ensembles such as the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Festival Jazz Ensemble, Concert Choir, Chamber Chorus, Chamber Music Society, Rambax, Gamelan Galak-tika, as well as scholarship opportunities to take private lessons in voice or an instrument.
1. Do you have to be a music major to perform in MIT’s ensembles?
No. We do have performers who choose to study music as their HASS concentration, and some who choose to declare a music minor or major – but the majority of the students who participate in MIT’s ensembles are not music majors. There are no pre-requisites for membership in our ensembles, other than the audition.
2. Are the ensembles competitive?
The Music and Theater Arts Section’s ensemble directors try to select the strongest singers and instrumentalists whenever possible. Incoming students tend to have had strong musical experiences in high school, and in many cases, private instruction. But all students with a serious interest in music performance should audition to find out if there are any opportunities available to them in a given ensemble for the upcoming semester. The faculty will make every effort to include as many students as possible.
3. How does one audition?
All audition information and requirements are posted on our website. Instrumentalists are generally asked to perform any short piece that best demonstrates their ability. Auditions may also include some sight-reading.
4. When are auditions held?
For incoming students, auditions start at the end of August and during the first week of classes. Some auditions are by appointment (for Emerson Fellowships/Scholarships, the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Symphony.) Chamber Music Society auditions are held each semester on Registration Day. Other auditions, such as those for Concert and Chamber choirs, take place on the first scheduled class meeting for the group.
If you miss the auditions and wish to audition for a performing group after the semester has begun, please come to the Concerts Office (in 4-243) or send an email query to [email protected] to see if it is still possible.
5. Are the ensembles available for credit?
MIT Music Section ensembles are co-curricular, which means that academic credit will be granted if students register for them. Rehearsal and performance expectations are the same regardless of whether or not one is participating in an ensemble for credit. If one is participating in MITSO, Wind Ensemble, or the Festival Jazz Ensemble and taking the ensemble for credit, it is necessary to pass a short playing exam on the literature at the end of each semester.
6. How many concerts do the ensembles perform at MIT?
MITSO, FJE and MITWE usually perform twice per semester; Chamber Chorus, Concert Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Rambax, Gamelan Galak-Tika and Chamber Music Society usually perform once per semester.
7. Is it possible to take private lessons at MIT?
Yes, via the Emerson program you may take private lessons with one of the excellent master teachers in the Boston area. The deadline for application is August 15. For Emerson program application details, email us at [email protected].
8. What instruments, storage and practice facilities are available at MIT?
Instruments: We strongly encourage students to bring their own instruments to MIT. However, a small collection of MIT-owned wind, brass, and percussion instruments is available for rent to students in our performing ensembles.
Instrument lockers: Lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis to students in our music performance ensembles. The instruments and lockers are maintained by the Concerts Office. Call (617) 253-2826 to schedule an appointment or just stop by 4-243.
Practice rooms: There is a suite of eight individual practice rooms located on the second floor of Building 4; they are available on a 24-hour basis to all students participating in music performance subjects, as well as to music majors. In addition, there are six music department classrooms located in the basement and on the first and third floors of Building 4. Piano scholarship students and students in Chamber Music Society are granted access to these rooms for practice when not in use for classes. All of the classrooms have grand pianos; one classroom also has a harpsichord.
9. Other than performance, what music subjects are offered?
Here is a partial list of subjects: Fundamentals of Music, Introduction to Western Music, Introduction to World Music, Folk Music of the British Isles, Early Music, Vivaldi, Bach and Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Schubert to Debussy, Modern Music, Music Since 1960, Opera, Symphony and Concerto, Musicals of Stage and Screen, Film Music, Music of India, Music of Africa, Harmony and Counterpoint, Writing in Tonal Forms, Music Analysis, Jazz Harmony and Arranging, Jazz Composition, Music Composition, Composing with Computers.
10. What if I have further questions?
If they are general questions, please post them in this thread so that all may benefit from the answer. If your questions are of a personal or very specific nature, please write to us at [email protected] or call the Music and Theater Arts Office at (617) 253-3210.