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Undergraduate Handbook

Latest update: August 19, 2022.

Table of Contents





Juries and Recitals

Student Life





Please read all BCCM Communication email. These emails contain announcements and other important information.

If you are not receiving the BCCM Communication email:

  • Check your spam folder and update your email on BeachBoard/Canvas
  • Please email the BCCM Director with your name and ID number so they can manually add you


All official communication, including emails from the University, the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music office, faculty, and staff, will be sent to your CSULB email address.

Please ensure that you check your CSULB email regularly.


Other conservatory announcements come through BeachBoard/Canvas, our online Learning Management System.

Phone/Text Messages

Do not call or text faculty unless you have explicit permission. Instead, leave a message on faculty office phone if they have one.

Faculty Response

Do not expect an immediate response, especially on the weekends. If you have an emergency, make that clear in the subject line of your email.

Troubleshooting Email

  • Contact the Technology Help Desk
  • Google "CSULB Technology Help Desk"
  • Call 562-985-4959
  • Visit the Horn Center

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Finding Answers

Online Search

Google "CSULB" or "BCCM" and a few keywords; this is always quicker than searching through the CSULB website.

BCCM Website

Check the Bob Cole Conservatory Website for faculty names and contact information, audition and repertoire information, performance calendar, recital program templates, recital syllabus, campus maps, and area information.

Courses and Grading

Visit BeachBoard/Canvas.

Secondary Sources of Information

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Area Coordinators

Area Coordinators are your primary contact/mentor for your studies at CSULB. Please keep consistent and frequent lines of communication open with them. They are an invaluable resource for you should you have any issues with your collegiate career or just need friendly advice.

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Important Meetings

Fall Opening Meeting: the first Monday of class at 3:00pm.
Location/Mode of meeting will be emailed prior to meeting.

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Undergraduate Advisors

Proper counseling for each music major and minor is an important commitment of the Bob Cole Conservatory. All undergraduate advising is handled by the Bob Cole Conservatory advisors:

Undergraduate Advisor

Kirsten Sumpter

Office: Dance Complex DCF-105
Phone: 562-985-8434

Visit Kirsten Sumpter’s Staff Webpage

Music Education Credential Advisor

Tamara Thies

Office: UMC-C209

Visit Tamara Thies’ Faculty Webpage

Each student is required to consult with an advisor or mentor at least once each semester. Decisions concerning a degree option, proper class load, even distribution of courses, and educational goals are made with the advisor’s assistance. You can also talk with your advisor, or Area Director about other issues; they will help you or point you toward someone who can. Regular advising and following all directives from your advisor are crucial to your success at CSULB.

Further information is available on the Academic Advising page.

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State-Paid Lessons


To receive SPL you must:

  • Be in good academic standing
  • Show satisfactory progress toward your degree *
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above (3.0 for Cole and some other scholarship students)
  • Earn a passing grade for private lessons.
  • Not exceed 8 semesters of SPL for First-time First-year students or 6 semesters for transfers
  • Enroll and participate in the Major Performing Ensemble(s) to which you are assigned
    • You may petition the Director for an exemption to the Major Performing Ensemble
    • Petitions are available by contacting the undergraduate advisor

Registering for SPL

  • Students may not pre-register online for applied lessons
  • Lesson codes for registration are emailed during the second week of classes
  • You must enroll by the posted deadline or you will not receive State-Paid Lessons, no exceptions

Suspension of SPL

To lose SPL means:

  • You are not demonstrating satisfactory progress* toward your degree
  • You have a GPA below 2.5 (3.0 for Cole and some other scholarship students)

Resuming SPL after suspension

  • After one semester off, you will be allowed one re-audition attempt

* Satisfactory progress toward your degree means that you have followed all directives from your advisor, are enrolled in and passing appropriate music and GE classes, and performing in groups as assigned. It is expected that by the end of your first year in residence as a music major, you will have passed MUS 141A, MUS 142A, MUS 191A, and two semesters of MUS 129/229 with a C or better, or have placed out of those courses.

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Breaking Enrollment

If you leave the Music Major for one semester or longer, you will be required to re-audition unless you have been on an official Leave of Absence (available for one or two semesters).

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Returning to CSULB

CSULB students wishing to return to complete an unfinished music degree must:

  1. Be reinstated to the University
  2. Re-audition with the Area Director to determine competency in upper division courses taken more than 10 years ago
  3. Take the music theory placement exam to determine if their theory courses will be re-validated

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Class Syllabi

It is important that you read and understand the syllabus for each class. If you have questions about any aspect of the syllabus, see your instructor as soon as possible. The syllabus will contain information about goals and objectives, class assignments and grading scales, required materials, deadlines, and examinations.

You are responsible for all information in the syllabus.

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Cheating and Plagiarism

The University Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism from the University website: Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own, without giving credit to the source. Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means.

The Bob Cole Conservatory upholds university standards. If you cheat or plagiarize, you may receive a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade in the class, or be expelled from the university. You may also lose State-Paid lessons and scholarships for failing to make satisfactory progress toward your degree.

The complete CSULB policy on cheating and plagiarism can be found on the university website.

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All BCCM students are eligible for scholarships. To ensure your eligibility you must apply through BeachScholarships. Students who do not apply will not be eligible for any BCCM scholarship.

Students on scholarship are obligated to maintain certain criteria. All scholarship students must make satisfactory progress toward their degrees, perform in ensembles as assigned, and maintain a minimum GPA. GPA requirements vary by scholarship awarded, see your award letter for details. Students should submit an updated FAFSA each year by the federal deadlines. Please monitor your account to ensure your scholarship is posted. Most scholarships will post by one week before classes begin.

All scholarships are credited directly to your university account to offset any remaining in-state university tuition and mandatory fees not already covered by previously awarded State University Grants, Cal Grants, or loans up to but not over and above full in-state tuition.

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Practice Room Policies

  • You are responsible for ensuring that the room and its contents are properly maintained at all times.
  • All furniture and equipment located in a practice room are issued as a part of that room and are not to be removed at any time.
  • Never lend your key to anyone and never leave the door ajar. If door will not close report to Music Office immediately.
  • Music stands are not furnished.
  • You may not take a school music stand into a practice room.
  • Practice room must be kept clean.
  • No eating or drinking in the practice rooms.
  • Never place a drink or food on a piano.
  • Never store anything in a practice room.
  • School-owned instruments may never be left in a practice room.
  • No appliances may be used in the practice rooms including refrigerators or microwaves.
  • Additional equipment may be brought into the practice room for temporary use but should be removed immediately thereafter.
  • The University is not responsible for damaged or lost instruments or other personal belongings left in practice rooms.

It is university policy that no one may sleep overnight in a practice room, classroom, office, or anywhere else on campus.

Violation of any of these rules is sufficient cause to deny further use of a practice room for the duration of your career at CSULB.

For assistance, please come to the Music Office. For any problems with the piano or bench, please fill out the Piano Service Request Form at the bottom of the Tech Window Services page.

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The mission of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music is to educate and inspire musicians and to help them succeed in their careers. BCCM students are treated as pre-professionals in the music world (e.g., performance, music education). It is important for pre-professional musicians to understand the aspects of the professional world that they are soon to enter. Part of this pre-professional training involves attire that is considered appropriate for various settings. For example, many BCCM performing ensembles have required concert attire. BCCM students are encouraged to seek advice from their professors about what professional attire means for a specific setting (e.g., a studio recording or a classroom observation in a local K-12 school). The goal of pre-professional training is to help students to know what to expect when they leave CSULB. For this reason, professors may suggest guidelines for attire in specific situations within a given course.

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Major Performing Ensembles

All undergraduate music majors must perform in a Major Performance Organization each semester in residence. A list of MPO’s (MUS 100/300) can be found in the catalog.

If you must miss a rehearsal, check for specific requirements in the course syllabus. If there are none listed, then the policy is that you notify the director and find a substitute at least 24 hours in advance, unless otherwise instructed by your director. It is your responsibility to see that the substitute has the music for the rehearsal.

Ensure that you have the appropriate concert attire clean and with you for all events.

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Ensemble Auditions

All music majors are required to audition for large ensembles and must enroll in the ensemble to which they are placed.

See the Ensemble Placement Auditions page for detailed information.

BCCM students may not enroll in a non-audition based ensemble unless that is the ensemble assigned to them by the ensemble director.

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If your Area Director requires you to attend a concert which conflicts with a class, the priority is:

  1. If you are performing in the concert, you are excused from class
  2. if you are performing and it is the only dress rehearsal, you are excused from class
  3. if you are performing and there is more than one dress rehearsal or if you are attending as an audience member, you may ask your instructor to be excused from class, but the instructor is under no obligation to release you.

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Juries and Recitals

Jury Examinations

All music majors enrolled in applied lessons are required to take a jury examination before a committee of the faculty at the end of each semester. This jury committee will complete evaluation forms which become part of the student’s permanent record. Copies of the evaluations are given to the student. Juries are normally held at the end of each semester, on the last two days of class before final exams. A student wishing to be admitted to the performance option uses the jury examination as the audition.


The following ratings are assigned in jury evaluation:

  • A Performed at the highest level
  • B Performed at a satisfactory level
  • C Performed at an average level
  • D Performed at substandard level
  • F Unacceptable at any level. Student removed from SPL and Music Major status. One re-audition may be granted and may take place no earlier than the subsequent jury time.

See Area Director for Jury sign-up information two weeks prior to the last week of classes.

See the Jury Form Instructions page for Jury forms and additional information.

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Upper Division Screening Examination in Applied Music

The Bob Cole Conservatory requires each student to pass the Upper Division Screening Exam (UDSE) in applied music before upper division (MUS 329 or 429) lessons may be taken. This exam is administered at a regular jury. It must be attempted at the end of the fourth semester of study for those beginning as First-year students. Transfer students must attempt it no later than the end of the second semester of study.

Specific requirements vary by area. Please talk with your Area Director well in advance of your UDSE attempt. Failure to pass the exam will result in the loss of all music departmental scholarships including state paid lessons, and status as a music major.

See the Jury Form Instructions page for Jury forms with UDSE.

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Junior and Senior Recitals

The Recital Information page has the most current recital requirements.

For specific recital questions contact your Area Director.

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Collaborative Artists

The conservatory does not furnish collaborative artists for lessons, juries, or recitals. The Conservatory Office maintains a collaborative artist list; cost is usually based on an hourly rate. It is important that each student understand this ongoing financial responsibility.

All Bob Cole Conservatory students are responsible for arranging for their own collaborative artists. There are several options:

  1. Pianists enrolled in Directed Accompanying MUS 200U/400U/600U are available without charge. Students must commit to rehearsing regularly throughout the semester with the assigned pianist. Directed Accompanying students are presently required to average a minimum of 2 hours/week contact time throughout the semester. They are allowed to charge for any accompanying beyond the quota. Contact the Area Director of Piano, Dr. Chou, as soon as possible to secure a collaborative artist through Directed Accompanying.
  2. Hire a student pianist. If you are not assigned to a pianist through Directed Accompanying, you should plan to pay your collaborative artist. The cost for student collaborative artists is approximately $30-$40/hour. A list of student collaborative artists is available from Dr. Chou.
  3. Hire a professional pianist. The cost might be as much as double a student pianist’s fee, or more. The Main Office maintains a list of professional collaborative artists.

The longer you wait to secure a pianist and give them all of your music, the more expensive it will be. Many collaborative artists require a .pdf copy of your music. Make sure the scan is straight and has as few markings as possible. Student pianists require more time to learn the music than professionals who may have already performed the work. You should schedule your rehearsals at least two weeks prior to the first rehearsal.

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You may post only on the cork boards outside each practice room or, with permission, on a specific area’s board. Never post anything to a painted surface.

If you feel you need to post directions to your recital, please tape signs to the concrete and remember to throw them away following your recital. Be sure to never tape anything to the Bob Cole Sign or the wall by the Glass Pavilion.

You must REMOVE all posters and signs after recitals.

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Student Life

Student Organizations

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)

The American Choral Directors Association, Student Chapter of California State University Long Beach, was first organized in 1977. It is the on-campus choral music organization welcoming students, staff and faculty as members. To join, one needs only to have the desire to sing. The main thrust of the club is work in the areas of choral techniques and conducting. The activities of the club include a speaker series, practical sight-reading and conducting workshops, and organization of group excursions with ticket discounts to Los Angeles area concerts. Choral Studies majors are urged to join the ACDA.

For more detailed information one should check the ACDA bulletin board adjacent to room UMC-A501.

National Association For Music Education (NAfME)

The CSULB Student Chapter of the NAfME was organized to give professional experiences in music education to college students by means of lectures, clinics, and conferences. All students interested in music education are encouraged to join regardless of class standing. Student members of NAfME are automatically members of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), and receive both the Music Educators Journal and the CMEA News. Student members are admitted without payment of admission to regional conferences and are admitted at nominal cost to all CMEA and NAfME conferences as non-voting participants.

For more detailed information one should check the NAfME bulletin board adjacent to room UMC-C205.

Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI)

Sigma Alpha Iota is a national professional fraternity for women in music. The Gamma Pi Chapter at CSULB was founded in 1959. The professional fraternity offers opportunities to meet and perform with other women in the same field. Nationally, SAI promotes the Braille Music Project and the International Music Fund. The fraternity is open by audition to all female majors and minors who have reached a high degree of performance achievement and possess a 2.75 grade point average in music and a 2.25 overall grade point average.

For more information one should check the SAI bulletin board adjacent to room UMC-C402.

Phi Mu Alpha (PMI)

Phi Mu Alpha is a national professional fraternity for men in music. The Kappa Omicron chapter at CSULB was re-established in 2006 after a thirteen-year hiatus. Phi Mu Alpha is the largest music fraternity in the world, with more than 150,000 initiates, and chapters on over 200 college and university campuses across the nation. One of their main projects is the annual Sinfonia Helps Music benefit concert to raise money for Franklin Classical Middle School’s music program.

For more information one should check the Phi Mu Alpha bulletin board adjacent to room UMC-C402.

Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society

Pi Kappa Lambda was founded in 1918 at Northwestern University; Epsilon XI Chapter was chartered at California State University, Long Beach in May 1983. The Society was established as an organization dedicated to academic excellence and high performance standards in music. This objective is achieved through selection and recognition of those juniors, seniors and graduate students who have demonstrated superior achievement in their programs of instruction.

Membership is determined by the faculty during the spring semester of each year and is by invitation only.

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Bob Cole Roommate Finder

A student-run Facebook page, the Bob Cole Roommate Finder, is a good way to find rooms for rent with other music students. It is a closed group. You will need to search for the page by name and request to be added by the admin.

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Professional Opportunities

As a student at the Bob Cole Conservatory, your first priority is to meet university obligations. You are welcome to accept professional opportunities (gigs) which do not conflict with university classes, rehearsals, or concerts.

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Tech Window

The Tech Window handles all items related to instrument checkout, Practice room Keys, and Lockers.

For specific information visit the Tech Window Services page.

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Facilities Fee

There is a $25 fee per semester (and for summer, if applicable) which all students must pay. The fee grants you access to practice rooms, room reservations for rehearsals, recitals, the Music Resource Center and Computer/Piano lab, and free admission to Bob Cole concerts in the Daniel Recital Hall.

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Instrument Checkout Fee

There is a $25 fee per semester for students checking out instruments. This fee goes directly to the maintenance of our instruments.

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Pianos, Harpsichords, and Celeste

Pianos, harpsichords, and the celeste may never be taken off-campus, even for music events. The harpsichords must be stored in the harpsichord room. The only other location where a harpsichord may stay overnight is in DRH, however this must be arranged with the Piano Technician. A special crew must be organized to move it and an approved supervisor must be present.

The only piano which may be played inside or prepared is the Yamaha grand in room UMC-C402. If you need an instrument for extended techniques, please arrange it with the Piano Technician. A crew must be assembled to move it and an approved supervisor must be present for the move. You will also need to place an upright in UMC-C402 while the grand is on stage.

The grand pianos on stage in DRH are for rehearsal and concert use only. No individual practicing is allowed.

The Piano Service Request Form is at the bottom of the Tech Window Services page.

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Percussion Equipment

Percussion equipment may only be moved by percussion majors and approved faculty. It may not be taken off campus without permission of the Percussion Area Director. Permission is approved only in rare circumstances. Only percussion majors may play BCCM equipment unless permission is received in advance from the Percussion Area Director.

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Chamber Rehearsals

Student groups who have paid their facilities fee may check with the Administrative Assistant in the Main Office for availability of rehearsal rooms. When you reserve a room outside of regular office hours, you will be issued a permission slip.

It is your responsibility to return the furniture, piano, and music stands to the teaching configuration at the end of your rehearsal and return any stands you may have moved to their original rooms. At the beginning of each day, each classroom must have at least two stands and furniture returned to its teaching configuration.

Music Stands

Music stands may never be taken from the following rooms: DRH, A301, A307, A311, and C205.

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Music Resource Center

The primary purpose of the Music Resource Center (MRC) is to function as a library/resource facility.

The Bob Cole Conservatory Music Resource Center and computer/piano lab are maintained as teaching resources for faculty and student use. It houses a collection of classical recordings and related scores and performance parts. Materials in the Music Resource Center are generally for in-house use, but may be loaned to students under exceptional circumstances with faculty approval. The lab also doubles as a classroom for Class Piano and courses taught using computers, and as an open lab for student use.

Please respect the needs of students studying in the MRC: no phone calls, turn off phone and computer sounds, and if your quiet interaction develops into a conversation while others are using the lab, take it outside.

The Music Resource Center is normally open Mon–Fri from 8:00am-5:00pm, and sometimes closed from 12:00pm-1:00pm. Additional hours will be posted.

The Music Resource Center supervisor is available to assist with locating references including digital archives of performances, public-domain sheet music, and streaming audio.

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Lost and Found

The official Lost and Found is at Shipping and Receiving near Key Issue. Occasionally, items are turned into the Music Office. If you have lost something, check at the Music Office first and then try the Police Station. If you find something left behind in a classroom or practice room, please turn it into the Music Office.

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  • BCCM: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
  • CPCE: College of Professional & Continuing Education
  • COTA: College of the Arts
  • CPAC: Carpenter Performing Arts Center
  • DRH: Daniel Recital Hall
  • EDSS: Single Subject Credential Program
  • GWAR: Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
  • MRC: Music Resource Center
  • SPL: State-Paid Lessons
  • UDSE: Upper-Division Screening Exam
  • UMC: University Music Center

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  • 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd.
  • Long Beach, CA 90840-7101
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