UPDATE: As of 2020, I learned that we are actually only being paid at a .5 variance, instead of the .6 I was told when I was hired! So we have to teach 6 hours to get 3 hours of credit. That’s even more sad than the 5 hours I expected from my hiring details. I don’t know how it was changed, but sometime between our first department admin and the current one, who was taught to pay us at .5.
Melodie Dickerson, head of the music program, asked me to research music faculty load hours at NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) colleges. Specifically we want to know how load hours for private lessons are calculated.
The NASM does not make this information readily available, however I did find one of the colleges, Kentucky State, stating it followed “NASM guidelines”.
Since I could not find the information directly from NASM I just started researching colleges that made this information readily available. This information is contained in the Google spreadsheet embedded below.
I also specifically searched for Florida colleges, but this information was not readily available via the internet. Perhaps this information can be obtained by more personal contact with program directors at these schools.
An interesting research article by the College Music Symposium was found with much more extensive research into music faculty loads at many more institutions. However, this report was from 1978, and while extensive, did not list Applied Lessons as one of the research points.
The conclusions that can be drawn from this research at this point:
- NASM recommends that music faculty have 12 contact hours for lecture classes and 18 for private lessons per semester. This implies a 2/3 variance for private lessons.
- While almost all researched schools use 18 contact hours for private lessons, lecture classes vary from 12 to 15 contact hours per semester.
- For private lessons, the average variance from lecture classes is 64%. That means private lessons provide .64 credits for every credit earned in lecture classes for the same amount of contact time.
- Many schools provide credit for administrative duties, advising duties, research, preparation for performances or writing, or developing new programs or technologies.
- Many schools provide credit for lecture classes that require prep time and/or grading time. Most schools also provide extra load credits for large classes.
- Lab or Skills classes (IE, Aural Theory) are consistently given 1.5 credits for every 2 hours of contact time.
Comparisons with SCF
Private Lessons: SCF is at a .6 variance while the average is .67.
UPDATE: .5 variance!
Lecture Classes: Most schools allot more credit for lecture classes, often citing Theory and History specifically. Even at a minimum, colleges allow credit for prep and grading time.
Skills/Lab Classes: Only 3 out of 12 colleges in the research (including SCF) separated out these classes as requiring different loads than other courses. In all 3 cases, the variance was 1.5 credits for 2 hours contact time, or .75.
Administrative and other Duties: Only 6 out of 12 of the colleges listed these categories, though an additional college listed research/performance/writing specifically as a requirement. Of these 6, only SCF does not offer credit for advising or other administrative duties besides the head of the department.