The Department of Music offers courses in music history and theory, both Western and non-Western, and provides students with the opportunity to perform in various ensembles and pursue private instruction in voice and many instruments. Each area of study, whether it results in a student's own performance or a heightened perception of others' performances, is designed to increase the student's sense of the richness and importance of music in the human experience.

Music Theory: Ted Buehrer, Ross Feller, Benjamin Locke
Musicology and Ethnomusicology: Dane Heuchemer, Maria Mendonça, Reginald Sanders (sabbatical), Bess Liu
Music Technology: Ross Feller

MUSC 101 (Basic Musicianship), MUSC 102, 105, and 107 (Introductory Music history) are considered especially appropriate introductory courses for first-year students or upperclass students new to the department. As the foundation on which the other course work in the department is built, these courses are required for students considering a major in music. To facilitate proper placement of entering students, the Department administers a music theory placement exam during Orientation; students who do well on this exam may be granted permission to enroll in MUSC 121Y-122Y (First-Year Theory and Ear-Training).

Students not contemplating a major in music but who have prior experience should also take the placement exam. If the exam is not taken, the student will begin with MUSC 101 or 102, 105, or 107. Those who wish to develop basic skills should take MUSC 101, which covers the rudiments of music theory and the aural skills needed by practicing musicians. MUSC 102, 105 or 107 are designed to provide both an overview of the subject and the requisite skills needed for active, informed listening. All other music courses follow logically from MUSC 101 and 102, 105 or 107. Students interested in Ethnomusicology may enroll in MUSC 206 (Seminar in Ethnomusicology) once its prerequisites are met (MUSC 102, 105, or 107 or ANTH 113). Students with AP credit should consult the Department Chair.

For additional courses particularly appropriate for first-year students or upperclass students new to the music department curriculum, look for the diamond symbol in the Course Catalog.

Applied Music Program

Administrative Assistant and Applied Music Program Coordinator: Jessica Landon
Choral and Orchestral Director: Benjamin Locke
Symphonic Wind Ensemble Director: Dane Heuchemer
Jazz Ensemble Director: Ted Buehrer
Opera and Music Theater Workshop: Jennifer Marcellana
Asian Music Ensemble: Maria Mendonça
Guitar Coordinator: Matthew Paetsch
Piano Coordinator: John Reitz
Voice Coordinator: Jennifer Marcellana

NOTICE: All students in the applied music program are subject to the rules contained herein.

Back to top.

See the Course Catalog for detailed descriptions. Courses may be repeated unless otherwise specified. Ensembles normally earn .25 unit of credit per semester, but certain situations arise in which students may only be permitted to register for .13 unit of credit. Be certain to verify your status with the instructor of the course when enrolling. There is no additional fee for ensemble participation. Ensembles must have a minimum of four enrolled students.

Auditions, Hearings and Placements

Chamber Singers (MUSC 473) and Community Choir (MUSC 471)

Auditions will take place August 22-25. You do not need a prepared piece. Signup sheets will be outside Storer 30. Contact Professor "Doc" Locke with questions at *Auditions closed for Spring Semester.*

Symphonic Wind Ensemble (MUSC 479)

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble (.25 credit) The Symphonic Winds works on improving musical abilities while also developing leadership skills, all within a supportive, collaborative learning environment. Chairs are rotated so that all players have opportunities to lead and follow.  

No auditions are required — our first scheduled rehearsal, noon-1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, will be “open” to anybody interested (or curious), Waite Rehearsal Hall in Storer Hall. SWE also meets on Thursdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m..

The Symphonic Winds has proudly maintained a tradition of accepting any player interested in participating. If you want to play, please join us!  Any questions: email the director, Professor Dane "H" Heuchemer at

Knox County Symphony (MUSC 472)

Storer 30 auditions: brass and woodwinds, Friday, September 1, 2 - 6 p.m. Audition excerpts available on request. Signup sheet will be outside Storer 30.  *Please contact Professor Locke ( to schedule a private audition for Spring Semester.*

Brandi Recital Hall auditions: All other instruments, Saturday, September 2, all day. Signup sheet will be outside Storer 30.

Contact Professor "Doc" Locke with questions at

Jazz Ensemble (MUSC 480)

*Auditions closed for Spring Semester.* Thursday, August 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m., meet and greet (just show up), Waite Rehearsal Hall in Storer Hall.

Auditions will take place Monday, August 28, 1:00-4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 29, 1:00-4:00 p.m., Waite Rehearsal Hall in Storer Hall. Sign up sheets will be on Professor Buehrer's door, Storer 24.

Asian Music Ensemble (MUSC 485)

Contact Professor Mendonça at if you are interested in participating in the Asian Music Ensemble.

Placements for Piano, Voice and Guitar Lessons

Students who have not taken piano, voice or guitar lessons at Kenyon are required to attend a placement. The placement is not an audition. It is an opportunity for the coordinator to determine which of our teachers would be a good fit with the student. Once a teacher has been assigned the student may follow the procedure to sign up for lessons. The placement schedule for Spring 2024 is as follows:

  • Piano Placements: Tuesday (1/16) 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday (1/17)
    11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Guitar Placements: Tuesday (1/16) 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday (1/17) 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (a guitar is not necessary for the placement, however a guitar is necessary for lessons)
  • Voice Placements: Wednesday (1/17) 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and Thursday (1/18) 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

If you have a class conflict during the set placement times, please contact and the appropriate coordinator will make an effort to establish a different placement time for you.

Signup sheets for the above placements can be found on the bulletin board in the student lounge in Storer Hall. Watch for STUDENT-INFO announcements.


**Sign-up Sheets, Student Lounge, Storer Hall**
Flute Choir (MUSC 475) Jennifer Packard, director
Chamber String Ensemble (MUSC 477) Luis Biava, director
Guitar Ensemble (MUSC 478) Adam Keeler, director
Percussion Ensemble (MUSC 482) Cary Dachtyl, director
Harp Ensemble (MUSC 486) Janet Thompson, director
Bluegrass Ensemble (MUSC 489), Mark Gonzalez, director
Opera and Music Theater Workshop (MUSC 483) Jennifer Marcellana, director

Back to top.

  1. Types of Instruction: The Kenyon College Department of Music offers private lessons in the following areas: piano, jazz piano, harpsichord, organ, harp, voice, violin, viola, fiddle, cello, double bass (classical and jazz), flute, oboe, bassoon, recorder, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro, classical and bass guitar, trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium, French horn, baritone and percussion.
    Students wishing to take piano, voice and/or guitar lessons must first have a placement session in order to be assigned a teacher (see above for placement information).
  2. Levels of Instruction: There are four levels of instruction (Level I-IV). All students beginning instruction at Kenyon must enroll for Level I, regardless of prior background and proficiency.
  3. Length of Lessons: Students at Levels I, II and III may take 25 or 50-minute lessons (.13 or .25 credit). Students in Level IV must take 50-minute lessons (.25 credit). Additional time and credit may be taken at Level IV by petitioning the Music Department.
  4. Registering for Lessons: All students enroll for music lessons and ensembles via an add/drop form. All add/drop forms must be signed by Jessica Landon, Room 20, Storer Hall. The Registrar will not accept the form without her and your advisor's signature. The Registrar provides one additional week beyond the College's add/drop deadline for adding music lessons and ensembles. Lessons cannot be taken as Pass/Fail.
  5. Scheduling of Lessons: Students planning to take music lessons must turn in their Class Schedules to the Music Department office no later than 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 30 and Wednesday, January 17. Class Schedule forms are available in Jessica Landon's office in Storer Hall, Room 20. You will not be scheduled for a lesson time if you do not turn in a schedule by the deadline. 
  6. Posting of Adjunct Teaching Times: Lesson schedules for the adjunct faculty will be posted on the bulletin board in Storer Hall. Students should check this board to determine when and where their lessons will be held. Your teacher will send an email or text with his/her teaching schedule.
  7. Music Lessons Schedule: Music lessons begin on Thursday, August 31 (fall semester) and Monday, January 22 (spring semester).
  8. Fees: For 13 weeks of lessons per semester, the fees are as follows:
    25 minutes per week (.13 credit) = $300/semester
    50 minutes per week (.25 credit) = $600/semester
    100 minutes per week (.50 credit) = $1,200/semester (only by permission of the Music Department)
    *A separate bill for lessons will be sent out a few weeks after lessons begin.*
  9. Billing Policy: If a student drops private instruction after one lesson, a charge for one lesson will be made. If a student takes two lessons and drops instruction, a charge for half the total fee will be made. If a student takes more than two lessons and subsequently decides to drop instruction, a charge for the entire semester's fee will be made. Missed lessons will be charged the same as actual lessons until the student officially informs the instructor and/or Mrs. Landon of his/her intention to drop the class.
  10. Fee Waivers for Majors/Minors
    a. Private Lessons: Fees for private lessons are waived for declared majors and minors for their primary instrument to the extent that such study applies to their graduation requirements. (You must be a declared major or minor by the date of billing.) Above and beyond the requirement for applied study, fees are also waived for senior music majors who have chosen to perform a recital or recital/lecture. The fee waiver beyond the requirement for applied study may be extended for other majors and minors by petition to the Department. Fee waivers are not available to first-year students. All music majors and minors who advance to Level II must be a sophomore or higher to receive the waiver. Second-instrument lessons are paid by the student, except for Piano Proficiency (see below). Declared music majors and minors will be responsible for all charges should they drop lessons at any time. Excessive absence (three or more) will result in the loss of the fee waiver.

    b. Piano Proficiency: For majors whose primary instrument is not piano, fees are waived for two semesters of thirteen 25-minute lessons (.13 credit). To meet the requirements for the major, a minimum grade of B+ is required. Additional semesters, if necessary, are at the expense of the student. (Students with piano background may audition for exemption from Piano Proficiency. See the Chair of the Department.)
  11. Make-Up Lessons: If a student has a legitimate reason for missing a lesson and/or appears on the Dean's List of Excused Absences, they are entitled to a make-up lesson. When possible, the student should notify the instructor 24 hours in advance of his/her lesson, using the instructor's preferred form of communication (check syllabus for instructor's preference). The methods used include texting, telephoning the instructor's Kenyon voice mailbox, or e-mailing the instructor. If these procedures are not followed, missed lessons may or may not be rescheduled, at the discretion of the instructor. If an instructor misses a lesson, said lesson will be made up as soon as possible, and before the last day of classes.
  12. Grading: The department has instituted the following policy: The grade of "A" should represent that a student at any level of instruction has worked consistently and made significant progress in light of his/her innate ability.

Absences or disability due to prolonged illness/injury during the semester must be brought to the attention of the Department Chair as soon as possible in order to make equitable accommodations for the situation. Failure to do so may result in a loss of recompense for the student academically and financially.

Early in the semester each student will be provided with a syllabus outlining their academic responsibilities for the semester. The syllabus will explain which factors (attendance, assignments, etc.) contribute to the determination of the final grade.

Back to top.

I. Purpose of the Applied Program Jury System

Mission Statement: The experience of creating or re-creating music through musical performance is central to understanding the discipline of music. To this end, the applied music program at Kenyon College is structured so as to allow any student at any level of experience to engage in this type of study. Inherent in this approach is the assumption that an increase in proficiency and skill should be both measurable and continuous. End-of-semester juries and timely advancement to higher skill levels are two of the primary systems by which the Kenyon College Department of Music seeks to evaluate the progress of individual students, to enable students to present concrete evidence of their improved musical understanding, to maintain standards of skill levels and performance, and to assess the efficacy of the entire applied program in our curriculum.

II. Definition of Levels

A. Level I: This level is the starting point for all students engaging in applied study in the
Department of Music, regardless of the prior experience of the individual student. No
jury is required at Level I until the semester in which the student acquires .5 unit at this

B. Level II: To reach or maintain Level II standing, the student should have a basic
understanding of the technique associated with performance on his/her instrument. In
addition, the student should be able to perform selections from the introductory
repertory with fluency while maintaining proper intonation, articulation, phrasing,
style, tone, tempo, and stage deportment. The student should also exhibit the capacity
for memorization, where appropriate.

C. Level III: To reach or maintain Level III standing, the student should begin to
demonstrate a mastery of the techniques associated with performance on his/her
instrument and a basic level of artistry. Performance of selections from a more
advanced repertory should exhibit not only fluency, but also a command of intonation,
articulation, phrasing, style, tone, tempo, stage deportment, and, especially,
interpretation. The student should also be aware of technical problems and have the
ability to adjust midperformance.

D. Level IV: To reach or maintain Level IV standing, the student should exhibit
performance skills that show substantial command of both technique and artistry.
More defining characteristics of Level IV are musical independence and creativity,
specifically the skill of "making the performance one's own." This level must be
achieved for any student giving a recital sponsored by the Music Department.

III. Area-specific Guidelines

Given the definitions above, it is understood that a certain variety of expectations is necessary within the areas of applied study at Kenyon (voice, piano, guitar, etc.). However, whatever guidelines are established for the applied areas must attend to the definitions above, and expectations regarding technique and repertoire should show an appropriate and reasonable gradation. Each area shall establish non-exclusive repertoire lists for each level to serve as a guide to colleagues and to students.

IV. The Jury System

A. Juries are required of all students at Levels II-IV. No jury is required at Level I until  the semester during which the student accumulates .5 unit at this level. Advancement from one level to another is determined at end-of-semester juries.

B. Limitations on Levels and Credit:
    1. Level I: up to .5 units of credit may be earned, although an additional .25 unit may be earned upon the recommendation of the applied instructor and consent of the tenured or tenure-track faculty attending the relevant jury.
    2. Level II: generally up to .5 units of credit may be earned, although an additional .25 unit may be earned upon the recommendation of the applied instructor and consent of the tenured or tenure-track faculty attending the relevant jury.
    3. Level III: no limitation
    4. Level IV: no limitation
The above limitations apply whether or not the lessons are contiguous.

C. Length of jury performances: Jury performances should be no more than five-minutes duration. If students are performing works that are longer than five minutes, the works may either be "edited" for the jury, or the evaluators will simply interrupt at an appropriate moment. (Students need to be aware that an interruption of this sort is not to be taken negatively.)

D. Jurors:
1. At least two tenured, tenure-track, or visiting  faculty, and
2. Applied teacher(s) of the students performing on juries

V. Adjudication, Advancement and Grading

A. Adjudication: The quality of the jury performance itself will determine the success or failure of individual students as they attempt to progress through the applied-study program. The regular classroom faculty will confer with the applied faculty when making decisions regarding advancement.

B. Advancing to Higher Levels: Students may be advanced to a higher level of study only by undergoing a Jury for Advancement. If the private instructor approves, this may be done before the student has accumulated the maximum number of  credits at a given level.

C. Consequences of Failing a Jury Performance: In the event of a failure ("no pass"), the student's grade in the course will drop a full letter. If the student fails the jury in the subsequent semester (whether contiguous or not), the same grade penalty is applied AND the student will be dropped one level. This means that students may have to continue lessons for AUDIT credit only (as per the limitations on credit mentioned above), cancel recitals, and/or suffer any other consequences inherent in said reassignments.

D. Consequences of Missing a Jury: If a student fails to appear for a scheduled jury without an acceptable excuse (determined by the Department), the student's grade in the course will drop a full letter AND the student will be dropped one level.

E. Progress Within the Level: Once a student has reached a level with no limitation (III or IV), steady improvement of skills is still expected. Jury sheets from previous semesters will be consulted to monitor this progress. Failure to sustain a steady upward trajectory may result in a failed jury even if the basic requirements of the level are being met overall.

F. Dress Code: For appropriate dress see Performances, Recital Dress Code

G. Jury Results: The student and the instructor will be notified of the jury results, and a written critique of the performance will be available to both the student and the instructor. The critique sheets will be kept in the Music Office.

VI. Ensemble Substitution

Solo work done in conjunction with Music Department ensembles may qualify a student for advancement if the following conditions are met:

1) the student notifies the Music Jury Coordinator (Jessica Landon) two weeks in
advance of the performance date; 2) *at least two classroom faculty and one adjunct
instructor are present at the performance; and 3) the private teacher agrees that said
performance is representative of the student's progress in the lessons. *It is the student's responsibility to arrange for two classroom faculty to attend their substitute performance.

Back to top.


1. Recitals

a. Angela Waite Student Recital Series: Performance on this Recital Series is an honor. Invitations will be extended to those students who have given outstanding performances on their music juries. (The Music Department will subsidize all accompanists' fees related to this recital.)

b. Senior/Full Recital: The student has the responsibility for up to an hour of programming. Students who plan to give a senior/full recital should have achieved Level IV status at least one full semester prior to the semester of the recital date.

c. Junior/Partial Recital: The student has the responsibility of approximately one-half hour of programming (often sharing the recital with another partial-recital student). Students who plan to give a partial recital should have achieved Level IV status for the semester in which the recital occurs.

d. Music Department Sponsorship: For music majors, the Music Department will fund one half recital in the junior year in accordance with the established guidelines, provided the student has reached level IV, has taken (or is taking contemporaneously with the recital) MUSC 102 and MUSC 121Y-122Y, and his/her program has been approved by the department. The department will also fund a full recital in the senior year as part of the senior capstone.

For music minors, the Music Department will fund one recital (half or full) in the junior or senior year in accordance with the established guidelines, provided the student has reached level IV, has taken (or is taking contemporaneously with the recital) MUSC 102 or 107 and MUSC 121Y-122Y, and his/her program has been approved by the department. Every effort should be made to combine two half recitals into a single event, in which case the complete program may consist of two separate half recitals, or the artists may collaborate. Music minors may petition the department for funding to support a second recital.

Students who are neither music majors nor music minors may petition the department for recital funding if they have reached level IV, have taken (or are taking contemporaneously with the recital) MUSC 102 or 107, and their program has been approved by the department.

Submission of Proposed Program (IMPORTANT): Any student giving a recital (other than the senior recital) must submit a program approved by his/her teacher not less than three academic months prior to the proposed recital date. (Note that academic months include only those months when school is in session.) The content of the program must be approved by a majority vote of the classroom faculty. Any omissions from the expected content of a selection (verses, variations, movement, etc.) must be listed at this time with the reasons for omission. Memorization of materials for most solo works is mandatory. Check with the Department Chair for clarification. For senior recitals, see Senior Capstone for the Major.

e. Preliminary Hearings: The student must be prepared to perform the entire recital for a panel composed of the teacher and one or two classroom faculty at least two weeks prior to the recital date. It is imperative for the student to treat the recital hearing as a full-fledged performance, even though it is not open to the public. All music is to be presented as it will be in the final recital. Any pieces not considered to be at performance level by majority vote of the faculty will be automatically cut from the program. If insufficient material remains to make a complete program of reasonable length, the recital will be postponed or cancelled. In case of postponement, another preliminary hearing must be held with the same requirements as the first. For senior recitals, see Senior Capstone for the Major.

f. Recital Dress Code: The Department regards its recitals as formal events, a window through which the public views the work of its students and faculty. As such, students performing in recitals are expected to dress with a degree of sophistication and decorum. Men and women should plan to wear attire that can (at the least) be considered "semi-formal." Attire will be discussed at the time of the recital hearing.

g. Performance Etiquette: The Department has certain expectations regarding public presentation. These expectations include, but are not limited to, entering and exiting the hall with dignity and ease, acknowledging accompanists and/or assisting performers, acknowledging applause, bowing, addressing the audience with proper formality, etc. If a student has questions or concerns s/he should consult his/her applied teacher and/or Faculty Advisor.

2. Accompanist

a. Accompanists for music juries and payment: Students who need accompanists are encouraged to ask other students for this support. Professional accompanists are also available. The current rehearsal rate is $3.00/5 minutes. Jury accompanists are paid by the Department. Music jury rehearsals are the responsibility of the student. Students will be billed for all accompanist fees.

b. Accompanists for department-sponsored recitals: The Department will fund eight hours of rehearsal time with the accompanist for full recitals and four hours for half recitals. Fees in excess of those covered by the Department will be billed to the student.

Back to top.

  1. Lockers: The Music Department has lockers available in lower Rosse Hall and Storer Hall for the storing of instruments, music, etc. Only those students participating in ensembles and/or private lessons will be issued a locker. Students should see Mrs. Landon to acquire a locker. Lockers are made available for the entire year, only if the student is participating in ensembles and/or private lessons.
  2. Practice Rooms: Only students participating in ensembles and/or private lessons may have access to our practice rooms. At the beginning of each semester students may sign up for a practice time in a practice room. That becomes your designated practice time and room for the semester. Pianists enrolled at Level III or IV may use a practice room two hours a day. All other students may sign up for one hour. 
  3. Musical Instruments owned by the Department: The Department has a limited number of musical instruments which may be borrowed by students taking lessons and/or participating in ensembles. The student and/or applied faculty member should see Mrs. Landon to sign out instruments. Instruments may not leave campus without written permission. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the instrument be returned to Mrs. Landon after the last lesson or ensemble rehearsal/performance. Failure to do so will result in the student being billed for the replacement value of the instrument.

Back to top.


Each year the Department determines the recipients of the following awards:

The Kathleen "Kay" Locke Community Service Prize in Music Award established in 2015 in honor of Kay Locke, wife of Benjamin R. Locke, Professor of Music; is a cash award given annually to the student or students who have provided outstanding service to the Kenyon community through their musical activities.

The Gabriel A. Ben-Meir Senior Award in Music established in 2015 by the department in memory of Gabriel A. Ben-Meir, Class of 2003; is a cash award given annually to a senior Music Major; recognizing outstanding academic achievement during four years in the Kenyon Music Department.

The Thomas B. and Mary M. Greenslade Award in Music Performance is given annually to the student or students who have given the most outstanding solo performance or series of performances during the current academic year. In order to be considered for this prize for the 2023-24 academic year, aspirants must have given a performance by March 1, 2024. Performances after this date will be eligible in the 2024-2025 academic year.

Back to top.

The Music Department views concert ushering as a very important duty, and as a result urges students to accept it as a serious responsibility. The usher is the Department's initial contact with the broader community and as such provides an opportunity to establish a positive concert atmosphere prior to the beginning of a performance. Poor ushering often results in a confused audience and may also anger the performers. When a person neglects his/her ushering responsibility, the audience is left without a readily available source of information and the Department appears unprofessional.

Here are some basic guidelines for effective ushering:

  • Do not forget which events you have signed up for. Mark them on your calendar. Not showing up will be treated as a serious offense.
  • Show up early, at least thirty minutes BEFORE the scheduled start of the performance. Showing up late makes the Department appear unprofessional, and such things are noticed by visitors.
  • Show up knowing where the relevant programs are stored. Also, know when and where a post-concert reception will be.
  • Look nice! Wear something "smart," as you are going to be seen by the public and are acting as a representative of the Department and the College.
  • Treat everyone with respect, even if they do not/are not doing the same with you. Smile and be friendly! Do not "lose your cool" or get angry at people, even if they are not treating you very well and/or are being rude.
  • Ensure that everyone receives a program before they enter the hall.
  • Try, to the best of your ability, to maintain the rules of concert etiquette:
  • Do not let people into the hall while performers are "active" on stage. Ask them to wait.
  • Allow late-comers into the hall only at points of applause.
  • Try to keep late-comers quiet as they wait to enter the hall.
  • Answer any questions posed, and seek out a faculty member, should a question arise that you cannot answer and that you think is important.
  • Do not physically restrain anybody: if they force themselves in, let them go. Notify a faculty member or Safety should a safety problem arise.
  • Do not leave your ushering post unless a problem requires finding a faculty member.

Back to top.