Senior Project

Senior Project takes many forms from research papers to internships, compositions, outreach activities, and structured “real world” experiences. The keys to a successful project lie in close student mentoring, ongoing faculty/student dialogue, and careful review to insure the project is appropriate, completed within the framework of the semester, and properly evaluated.

Proposals must be submitted to the Undergraduate Chair in the semester prior to commencing the project. Failure to do this will delay the student’s graduation. Students who do not appear for regular semester advising are putting themselves at risk.

The proposal is not a vague or loosely formulated statement. It is subject to NASM review and should reflect the very highest standards of quality. Multiple drafts may be necessary, and students should work with their advisors to insure a strong, clear, error-free and well-crafted proposal. It should include:

  • Project description. A detailed description of the project and clear statement of the student’s intended responsibilities.
  • Culminating experience. A statement of how this will draw upon the student’s musical training. What does the student bring to the project and how does this serve as a culminating experience? How has the student’s music coursework prepared him/her to learn from this experience?
  • Faculty advisor and project mentor/supervisor. A statement of who will serve as faculty advisor plus indication of who will mentor the project and exactly what the mentor’s involvement will be. For off-campus supervisors, students must provide the person’s title. Organization name, contact phone numbers, and a memo indicating a willingness to work with the student on the described project.
  • Project timeline. A detailed timeline for completion of the project and a date for the submission of the student’s research paper or narrative report.
  • Evaluation. A statement of what kinds of documentary evidence the student will submit to the advisor to allow for proper evaluation of the project.

View the fillable Senior Project Proposal Form.

Students who do a formal research paper will submit their work by the date indicated by the advisor. Those who choose a project that does not involve a research paper are required to submit a narrative report plus any supporting materials that are appropriate to evaluating the student’s work (CD or DVD documentation of performed compositions or performances, letters of commendation/thanks, supervisor’s reports, etc.). The narrative report should be 3-5 pages in length and demonstrate that the student has carefully thought about the experience and reflected on its strengths and weaknesses. What insights has the project brought the student? Has learning taken place?
  • Proposal: Proposal due to Undergraduate Chair by the last class day of the semester prior to the project’s start.
  • Narrative report/Research/ paper: All project reports/research papers/evaluations must be submitted to the faculty advisor by the last day of instruction in order to receive credit for that semester.
  • Evaluation form: The project faculty advisor will get an evaluation form from the Undergraduate Secretary and complete it. The signed form and any accompanying materials (student paper, CDs, etc.) should be submitted to the Undergraduate Secretary by the first day of the examination period. Timely submission of these items will insure that the Music Department Chair and Undergraduate Chair have adequate time to review all projects, confer with the advisor on whether the projects are accepted, and submit grades by the semester grade deadline.
Projects to date have included activities such as: an internship at the Honolulu Symphony, an internship and performance as part of an international exhibit at Mission Houses Museum, composition of a sonata with performance at the Young Composers’ Symposium, and an internship at a recording studio with the added experience of recording the student’s song.