Develop the habit of practicing 1.5 to 2 hours every day.
Sightread every day.
Work diligently on your instrument-specific technique.
Learn a large variety of repertoire at your level, trying to master the performance practices of the various musical eras (avoid the pitfall of learning ONLY one to two difficult selections each year).
Perform every opportunity you can.
Perform a senior recital consisting of a memorized piece from each musical era.
Learn your theory. Work through the theory book Tonal Harmony, 6th Ed., (Kostka and Payne) and demonstrate mastery of chapters 1-8.
Listen to a variety of music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century eras.
Prospective piano degree students with a weak classical background should study the following pieces: Baroque – Bach Inventions; Classical – Early Mozart and Haydn Sonatas; Romantic – Short Romantic pieces; 20th Century – Bartok Mikrokomsos Series Volume 4 or higher (read the music course descriptions for a more detailed listing of recommended literature levels).
Prospective voice degree students need to work on the following: (1) Know basic music reading skills such as counting and note reading (in other words, take piano lessons). You should be able to “plunk out” melodies on the piano. (2) Learn basic classical vocal literature and simple Italian, German, and French songs.
Secondary Proficiency Preparation (Majors Only)
Secondary Proficiency Preparation (Majors Only):
If piano is not your primary instrument, take piano lessons!! A basic knowledge of the piano is absolutely essential for all music majors, minors, and concentrations.
If piano is your primary instrument, take lessons in a secondary instrument.
Make sure you are very computer literate. Know how to effectively use Microsoft Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
Learn how to make a schedule, and be in the habit of following a schedule. When in college, plan to include the following in your schedule: daily time in Bible reading and prayer, regular exercise times, your required practice time, least 1.5 hours of study time for every academic hour in classes, meals, and time to socialize.