Comps Crazy

DSCF2550It’s that time of the year when the library gets packed with crazed graduate students attempting to cram for their comprehensive exams. In order to receive a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, all graduate students need to pass a theory and a history examination based on a personal recital program. The exams are offered twice a year at the end of the semester and the majority of students put them off until their final month here at CIM. Basically, the students spend two hours analyzing and providing historical commentary on chosen works from their submitted programs. Professors choose the exact works and students won’t know which ones until they get there, so they need to be prepared to write extemporaneously on all of them.

Lots of preparation goes into this exam. An annotated bibliography is required in advance of the exams which helps the students learn more about their recital programs. Two required courses are provided over the student’s time here which focus on the theory portion and navigating the library and the web to find the resources needed.

DSCF2551“As long as you know how to research, I think comps are completely manageable,” says Ryan Finefrock, MM 2014 Bassoon Performance.

So think good thoughts for our masters students this Friday afternoon, April 4.


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