Notes for Per Course Instructors

The School of Music is pleased to welcome you and to add your expertise to the teaching force within our dynamic community. The following notes are intended to assist you in meeting your responsibilities in preparing and offering your courses during the coming semester. Most of these notes are compiled from sources available in the University Calendar or on the School’s internal "fac Web": There’s an awful lot of information in both of those sources and we’ve tried to anticipate that which will be most relevant to you and distill it into a more concise, usable form. Of course, there may be things you need to know that aren’t here or are difficult to find. To help with those, we’ve added a list of people who can help to the end of this document. Feel free to contact any of us at any time.

1. Getting started: designing your course – The starting point for any teaching assignment is the creation of a course syllabus. We will provide you with copies of recent syllabi for the course(s) you have been assigned and you can feel free to use this as a model. You can also feel free to adapt it in some ways as long as the course maintains fidelity to the content and learning objectives and outcomes identified for it in the University calendar. For all applied studies courses (“40 cycle courses), as well as the six-semester aural skills course sequence, there is a generic course syllabus available through the office. Individual instructors are encouraged to supplement this syllabus with a studio-specific addendum. The syllabus is a contract between you (representing the University) and the student. Thus it needs to cover the basics and be clear. At a minimum the syllabus should include

  • Your name and full contact information (MUN e-mail address, MUN phone extension and office number);
  • Your office hours for the semester (a minimum of one office hour per week per 3-credit course);
  • The time and place that the class meets throughout the semester;
  • The official University Calendar description for the course, including pre-requisites;
  • The required, recommended and supplemental text materials with indications as to how they are to be acquired (if not through the University bookstore);
  • Details regarding the evaluation measures which will be employed in the course, including dates and weights (percentage of the total final mark) of all evaluative measures (i.e., research papers, seminars, exams, etc.);
  • And any additional information which you think will be helpful to students. This may include a class-by-class or week-by-week schedule for how the course content will be covered. It might include a citation of the University’s formal requirements on academic honesty. It might include indications about your expectations for healthy participation in the course activity.

The course syllabus must be distributed in hard copy to all students in the course during the first full week of the semester. A copy of the syllabus should be deposited with the Office by the end of the first week of the semester. Copies of tests and examinations, major assignments, listening lists and handouts for each course should be placed on file at the end of the semester.

A few academic regulations that have direct bearing on course planning are

  • General Regulation 4.5 forbids requiring attendance at classes without Senate approval. An attendance requirement "will be allowed only in cases where the academic unit has demonstrated that attendance is necessary for safety reasons, for teaching practical skills, or for other clearly specified objectives. The courses where such an attendance regulation is to be enforced must have the statement 'attendance required' included in the Calendar description as approved by Senate." This exemption has been obtained for all ensemble courses.
  • However, class participation may be required and evaluated. If a student misses a class where his/her work was being evaluated (e.g. a test, class discussion, seminar presentation), s/he will of course lose the marks assigned to the work being evaluated. Please note that requiring "class participation" as a screen for required attendance would not be in keeping with the spirit of this regulation.
  • There are strict regulations governing the administration of exams in the final two weeks of classes. Please see Calendar, General Regulation 4.7.1 for details. The general principle here is designed to keep students from being swamped during the end-of-semester period while they are preparing for exams and to restrict the administration of final exams to the formal exam period. Courses in which the pedagogy is reliant on frequent progress tests and assignments (notably theory, aural skills, techniques, and other skill acquisition courses) can be exempt from the letter, though not the spirit, of this regulation. The rule to observe here is that any evaluation exercise which is administered during the final two weeks of the semester must be announced in the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester and no examination, test, or combination of evaluative exercises totaling more than 20% of the course mark may be administered in the final two weeks of the semester. The School of Music annually approves a list of courses which may invoke this exemption. If you have any concerns or questions on this, check with the office.
  • Professors are not permitted to exclude handwritten submission of assignments. Legibility, on the other hand, is a reasonable expectation. Faculty may recommend the submission of assignments in specified electronic formats, but should provide for alternate forms of submission to students who do not have a mastery or access to the recommended platforms.
  • All "one-hour" class sessions actually last for 50 minutes. There is a 10-minute break between classes so that students can get to their next class, and faculty can get the classroom set up. Similarly, "1½-hour" class sessions are actually 75 minutes in length. Rehearsals also need to end at least ten minutes before the next activity scheduled in the room.

2. Evaluation, Grading, and Reporting Grades – Memorial’s marking grid differs somewhat from some other Canadian universities – and very decidedly from most American universities. Be sure to check you own assumptions against MUN’s standard before any evaluation exercise.

At Memorial
A = 80 – 100 (Above 90 is an A+, a mark reserved for the rarest of exceptional achievements)
B = 65 – 79
C = 55 – 64
D = 50 – 54
F = 49 and below

Useful descriptors for the meaning of letter grades at MUN are provided under University General Regulation 4.8 ( A normal class average for a first- or second-year class is in the range of 60% to 65%. Class averages may tend to be higher in smaller classes or in advanced elective courses that are likely to be taken only by students who have a high aptitude for the subject.

If you post mid-term or progress grades for a course, do not list students' names with their grades. Use the last five digits of their student numbers, ideally in an alphabetically scrambled listing. Final marks should not be posted until after they have been approved, usually within 48 hours of the semester deadline for marks submission.

In linked courses (for example Music 140A/B), the A-semester grade is in effect a mid-term grade and is not used in calculating a student's cumulative academic average. The B-semester grade is weighted double in calculating cumulative averages. However, the A-semester grade is used to calculate the semester average (which determines status at the end of the semester, e.g., clear, probation, or required withdrawal) and to calculate the academic-year average (which determines eligibility for scholarships and the Director's List).

Academic misconduct is a serious offence at Memorial. Academic misconduct comprises cheating on examinations or other tests, impersonating another student, plagiarism, theft or the use of stolen materials and the submission of the same work for more than one course. Details regarding academic misconduct regulations and the procedures for dealing with suspected incidences of academic misconduct are outlined in the University Calendar under General Regulation 4.11 ( It is important to report any suspected incidences of academic misconduct immediately to the Director of the School. Serious as these offences may be, they do frequently arise through a misunderstanding of what comprises plagiarism or some other aspect of academic misconduct. Most instances can be resolved through informal procedures. But the best measure is the preventative one. Faculty are encouraged to caution students against academic misconduct at the beginning of the semester.

3. Exams – General Regulation 4.7 ( in the Calendar provides information regarding final examinations. The final examination schedule is developed by the Registrar’s Office in consultation with the Senior Secretary in the School of Music. Juries and chamber music exams are scheduled in the School of Music. For ensemble courses the semester performance constitutes a final exam. If your course is scheduled to administer a final exam, you will be informed of the date of the exam schedule just past the halfway point in the semester.

There are legitimate reasons for granting exemptions and deferrals for final exams ("I’ve already booked my flight" is not one of them). The grounds for deferral and the procedures are outlined in the in 4.7.3 of the University Calendar. For all but final examinations you can make a determination yourself whether or not to grant the deferral (although you can always consult with the Director if you want advice or back up). Requests for deferrals for final examinations must be dealt with formally. The student needs to file a request for deferral form and the Director’s signature will be required.

Final semester marks are submitted to Maria or Bernadette in the Office of the School of Music. You will be provided with an official marks sheet near the end of the semester. Please also submit the details calculations of your marks with the marks sheet. Final marks may not be communicated to students personally. Marks are released by the Registrar’s Office a few hours after the final deadline for mark submission each semester.

4. Student Records/Academic Files – Academic files on current B.Mus. students are housed in the School of Music office. Ask Maria or Bernadette if you need help finding information in a student file.

All student records are confidential. Transcripts, grade reports, audition results, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses or other academic or personal information regarding a student must not be released to people outside the university, including parents and private teachers. The official university policy allows for release of information to parents of students who are not over 19, but it would be safest to assume that all students are over 19, and to check with the director before releasing any information to parents. For detailed information on the University’s privacy policies, please contact Keith in the Office.

5. Copy codes, Keys, Stationary, and Phone Usage – The School provides materials and services which can support your teaching. If your needs are not covered by the information below, please ask Bernadette or Maria for assistance.

  • The telephone in your office is for use related to university business. Long distance logs are not normally kept, but excessive long distance charges will be red-flagged by the billing system. Please do not make personal long distance calls from your office phone.
  • MU2030 houses a document centre which provides print and photocopy services for faculty, graduate students and teaching assistants. Access is by code and semester to semester limits are established by category of user. You will be assigned an auditron code and a default number of copies. Special permission will be required if you exceed that number. For further information, please see Bernadette at the main office.
  • Office supplies are available in the storage cupboard in MU 2030 or from Bernadette and Maria. They can also give you inter-office envelopes for internal university mail, and library order forms to use if you want to request materials for the library or Music Resource Centre (MRC).
  • For a demonstration on the use of “smart classroom” technologies, please contact Richard Blenkinsopp.
  • The following equipment is available in MU2030 to be borrowed by faculty:
    • a VCR / DVD playback and monitor dolly
    • an overhead projector
    • a boom box.
  • Sign-out sheets are in the room. Please sign out everything you borrow, and sign it back in when you return it.
  • A set of the next-to-most-recent New Groves Dictionary is available for faculty use in MU2030. If you take a volume out of the room, please sign it out.
  • For a university computing account (for e-mail, etc.), see Keith.
  • University letterhead paper should be used only for university-related correspondence. A supply of letterhead is available from the Office.

"Who can help me with what?"

A quick Who’s Who for the School of Music:

Ellen Waterman, Director (ext. 7486)
"Buck-stops-here" kind of stuff; teaching assignments; academic regulations; student issues (including academic dishonesty); projects and initiatives; "big picture" plans...

Michelle Cheramy, Assoc Director (ext. 7477)

Any matters relating to graduate programs or graduate students; assistance with research support planning.

Keith Matthews, Manager (ext. 7480)
Administrative policy; timetable; textbooks; finance; instrument maintenance; how to navigate the institutional bureaucracy.

Maria Noseworthy, Senior Secretary (ext 7486)
Student files; marks submissions; jury and exam schedules; institutional history (Maria has been with the School since it opened its doors).

Bernadette Tibbo, Secretary (ext 7486)
Internal communications; xeroxing; recital programs. Bernadette and Maria share a lot of responsibilities. If Maria’s not available, ask Bernadette... and vice-versa.

Jackie Costello, Senior Clerk (ext. 7444)
Travel claims, PDTER reimbursements, support for Maria and Bernadette at overflow times.

Laura Taylor, Secretary (ext.2058)
Support for graduate programs (and students!) and the MMaP Research Centre

Nikki Janes, Concerts and Facilities Coordinator (ext. 4700)
All room bookings throughout the facility, including for classes, rehearsals, concerts, external functions; student assistant schedules and pay; external communications.

Rich Blenkinsopp, Music Technologist (ext. 6748)
All things computer and technological, including technological equipment in offices and classrooms; video-conferencing; recording and editing; web-site management.

Danny Hayward, Development Officer (ext. 7539)
Fund development; scholarship endowments; alumni communications.

Mike Kelly, Building Maintenance (ext. 7486)
Office and classroom maintenance.


School of Music -- Faculty

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000