Conservatory Writing Requirement
All entering Conservatory and Double-Degree students must complete a writing assessment, administered by the Conservatory Writing Committee. Generally, this assessment takes place during Orientation week. Students who enter the Conservatory midway through the academic year must complete this assessment by the end of the second week of classes of the Spring semester.
This assessment is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. Students who receive a passing grade on this initial assessment will have satisfied the Writing Requirement. Students who receive a No Pass on this initial assessment must successfully complete a second writing assessment by the end of their second year. For this second assessment, students must compile and submit to the Conservatory Writing Committee a portfolio comprising two pieces of persuasive writing and one reflective piece. Types of writing that might be submitted include (but are not limited to) essays submitted for Oberlin courses (College or Conservatory), artistic statements, program notes, personal statements, and grant proposals. The Conservatory Writing Committee will award each portfolio a grade of Pass or No Pass. Students who receive a Passing grade will have successfully completed the Writing Requirement. Students who receive a No Pass on this second assessment may revise and resubmit their portfolio one more time. Students must receive a Pass upon resubmission in order to satisfy the Writing Requirement.
Students are expected to complete the Conservatory Writing Requirement by the end of their second year of study at Oberlin. Students may not schedule their Junior Recitals until they have completed the Writing Requirement. Conservatory students enrolled in degree programs that do not require Junior Recitals will not be permitted to enroll in upper-division courses (taken during the Junior year or later, according to the advising grids) until they have successfully completed the Writing Requirement.
Numerous campus resources are available to help students develop their writing skills and fulfill the Conservatory Writing Requirement. These include Oberlin’s Writing Center and writing-oriented courses offered through the College of Arts & Sciences. Additionally, it is expected that Conservatory students develop as writers as they progress through the first years of the Conservatory curriculum, in particular their musicology and music theory coursework. To this end, students are encouraged to work closely with their Conservatory teachers (during office hours and the like) to hone their writing skills as they progress through these courses. Students enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) sequence will prepare to fulfill the Conservatory Writing Requirement as part of their ESOL coursework.