Senior Integrated Project (SIP)

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General Senior Integrated Project (SIP) Information

For general information about Senior Integrated Project (SIP) please see the Academic Catalog.

SIPs in the Music Department

Majors and minors are not required to complete their SIP in the Department. However, students who plan advanced music studies in graduate school or who aspire to professional careers are advised to plan a senior recital, internship, or research project in close consultation with Department faculty. The Department does not usually consider a student for honors in the major unless a SIP has been completed in the Department (see below for exceptions and details). Majors or non-majors considering a SIP in the Department must have SIP proposals approved by the faculty prior to beginning work. Approval is based upon feasibility of the project in light of the student’s previous college level training in music. After securing a SIP advisor who will oversee the project, a formal SIP proposal must be submitted to the Department SIP Coordinator, Dr. Evans (269.337.7414 or via tevans@kzoo.edu) by the end of 8th week of the student’s junior spring.

SIPs are given grades of either honors, credit, or no credit.  SIP faculty advisors who feel their student advisee has done exceptional work may nominate him or her for honors, which must then be confirmed by a majority of the full-time music faculty.  

Guidelines for Senior Integrated Projects in Music

In addition to the Music Department SIP Guidelines outlined below, you must also be in compliance with the College SIP Regulations, found in the Academic Catalog.

General Instructions for Registering a Music SIP

  1. Design a project by selecting one of the SIP Categories
  2. Secure the appropriate advisor in the department
  3. Submit a Proposal to the Departmental SIP coordinator, Tom Evans, by the end of 8th week of your Junior-year spring term
  4. Pending approval of your advisor and the Department, officially register your SIP at the Registrar’s Office using the form found in their office and website, following their deadlines.

Categories and Requirements of Music SIPs

Recital-Based Performance SIP
  1. Prerequisite: must have studied a minimum of .8 units (generally four quarters of .2 units) with the appropriate applied faculty (instrumental/vocal instructor) before registering for the SIP
  2. Secure approval of that applied faculty member to serve as your advisor
  3. Determine, in consultation with your advisor, whether you will pursue a one- or two-unit SIP (see Crediting of SIPs below), as well as in which quarter you will present your SIP
  4. Enroll to take hour-long lessons for applied instruction throughout your senior year until your recital has been presented (e.g., if you want to present a SIP Recital in the winter quarter, you must enroll for fall and winter quarters); if this presents a financial obstacle to you, please contact the Department Chair (Andrew Koehler) to ask about scholarship aid
  5. Sign up for a pre-recital progress hearing which must take place on Monday during exam week of the winter term for those doing fall-winter-spring SIPs, and the fall term for those doing fall-winter SIPs; students doing fall-only SIPs must schedule their own progress hearing individually at least three weeks before the final presentation date, and must secure the presence of 3 faculty members, one of which will be their SIP advisor; in all cases, students must be prepared to present their entire program at that time
  6. Reserve a performance space for your recital six months prior to your recital date with the Facilities Reservation Manager (Sarah Gillig)
    1. Note: All music SIPS must be completed by the end of 5th week spring quarter
  7. If applicable, secure the services of a faculty-approved accompanist
    1. If this is not a staff accompanist, you must submit the name of your proposed accompanist to the music faculty for their approval at least six months prior to your recital date
    2. You must submit all of your recital program music to your accompanist at least ten weeks prior to your recital date
  8. Submit your program with written program notes to the Music Coordinator (Susan Lawrence) at least four weeks prior to your recital. Visit the program notes page for more details and resources.
  9. Present your program off campus at least once prior to your on-campus SIP performance
Production/Composition SIP (including recorded albums)
  1. Prerequisites:
    1. must have completed Theory I or demonstrate an equivalent knowledge of that material;
    2. must have studied a minimum of .8 units (generally 4 quarters of .2 units) with the appropriate applied faculty (either the composition instructor, the music production instructor, or some combination of the two) before registering for the SIP; to seek advice about which combination of lessons may be most appropriate for your project, please consult Professor Adam Schumaker.
  2. Secure approval of that applied faculty member to serve as your advisor
    1. Determine, in consultation with your advisor, whether you will pursue a one- or two-unit SIP (see Crediting of SIPs below), as well as in which quarter you will present your SIP
    2. Enroll to take hour-long lessons for applied instruction throughout your senior year until your recital has been presented (e.g., if you want to present a SIP Recital in the winter quarter, you must enroll for fall and winter quarters); consult with your advisor to determine whether double lessons should be in composition, music production, or a combination of single lessons in both; if this presents a financial obstacle to you, please contact the Department Chair (Andrew Koehler) to ask about scholarship aid.
    3. If applicable, secure the permission of the ensemble director if you wish to use an ensemble for the performance of your composition on the Proposal Form (due by the end of 8th week of junior spring). Any other musical collaborators must be secured at least six months prior to your concert date
    4. Progress during the SIP year (composition/production) A successful SIP in Composition or Production/Recording requires meeting the following benchmarks.
      1. Present pieces from your SIP (or segments of you larger multi-movement work) for feedback at the Composition/Jazz Area classes in both the fall and winter quarters.
      2. Reserve a space for your final performance/album presentation at least 4 months prior to your recital date: this is, you must reserve space during the fall quarter for a Spring SIP presentation. Bear in mind that all composition/production SIPs and SIP presentation must be completed by the end of 5th week, Spring Quarter.
      3. Complete any work intended for live performance, and distribute to performers, at least twelve weeks prior to the concert date.
      4. Hearings – Sign up for a pre-recital/presentation progress hearing which must take place on Monday during exam week of the winter term for those doing fall-winter-spring SIPs, and the fall term for those doing fall-winter SIPs. Students doing fall-only SIPs must schedule their own progress hearing individually at least three weeks before the final presentation date, and must secure the presence of 3 faculty members, one of which will be their SIP advisor. In all cases, students must be prepared to present roughly 80% of their finished product at that time. (* In cases when several students are presenting original albums during the same year, the Department may elect to have those individuals present a shared, symposium-styled album presentation featuring only select portions from each presenter.)
      5. Each student is responsible for writing and designing individual liner notes for their public presentation, and submitting them to the Music Coordinator (Susan Lawrence) at least four weeks prior to your recital for review. Visit the liner notes page for more details and resources.
  3. All production/composition SIPs and SIP presentations must be completed by the end of 5th week, Spring Quarter.
Research-Based SIP (e.g. dissertations in the areas of musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and analysis, etc.)
  1. Select an appropriate advisor and secure their permission to proceed; his/her permission will be contingent on your having completed, in his/her estimation, sufficient course work in the appropriate area. For research SIPs with Dr. Bothwell, this generally means the prior successful completion of an upper-level course culminating in a research paper, in music or a related discipline.
  2. Determine, in consultation with your advisor, whether you will pursue a one- or two-unit SIP (see Crediting of SIPs below), as well as in which quarter you will present your SIP
  3. Follow the appropriate deadlines set by your advisor and by the general SIP guidelines of the college (see Catalog)
SIP projects outside those mentioned (e.g., building an instrument, writing a music software program, or working as an arts management intern):
  1. Demonstrate or document your aptitude for the field in which you would like to pursue your SIP in your Proposal
  2. Select an appropriate advisor and secure his/her permission to proceed
  3. Determine, in consultation with your advisor, whether you will pursue a one- or two-unit SIP based on your proposed thesis and research plan and in which quarter(s) you will register
  4. Follow the appropriate deadlines set by your advisor and by the general SIP guidelines of the college (see Catalog)

Criteria for Approval of Music SIP Proposals

  1. Have all of the prerequisites been fulfilled?
  2. Does the SIP proposal fall within the scope of the music department?
  3. Does the candidate have the ability/training to successfully complete the chosen SIP?
  4. Are there sufficient resources available for the student to fulfill the chosen SIP?
  5. Does the SIP proposal have clear criteria/rubric for assessment/evaluation?

The Music Department will respond to SIP proposals by the end of the student’s junior spring term.

Crediting of Music Department SIPs

Research-Based SIPs and non research-based, recital-based, or production/composition SIPs follow the standard credit and timing patterns used throughout the College; see Catalog for details.

Recital-Based performance SIPs and original production/composition SIPs can be scheduled, and resultant credit divided, in the following ways noted below. The vast majority of performance SIPs are one unit.

One unit: Recital performance of at least 45 minutes of music, or a composition (or album) of equivalent substance.

Quarter of PerformanceFall CreditWinter CreditSpring Credit
Fall Quarter Performance1.0
Winter Quarter Performance0.30.7
Spring Quarter Performance0.250.250.5

Two units: Recital performance of at least 45 minutes of music, or a composition/album of equivalent substance PLUS rigorous original research related to the music performed or recorded that culminates in a paper and lecture-demonstration.

Quarter of PerformanceFall CreditWinter CreditSpring Credit
Fall Quarter Performance2.0
Winter Quarter Performance0.61.4
Spring Quarter Performance0.50.51.00

No student may overload (take more than 3.9 units) in the final quarter in which he/she is completing SIP work; e.g. in a three-term SIP, overloading is possible in the fall and winter, but not in the spring, but in a one-term SIP, no overloading is possible.

SIP Proposal Form

Complete the electronic SIP Proposal Form to submit your SIP proposal to your advisor and the music department.

Additional Information