Academic Policies

General policies & regulations

FSPA Statement of Principles and Values
The Fountain School of Performing Arts (FSPA) is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment at all times. This statement is intended to suport the specific values of the FSPA while also respecting and conforming to university codes, policies, rules, and regulations. Read the full statement here.

Methods of Assessment

University regulations require each professor to provide the class syllabus on or before the first meeting of the class (or at the first lesson for applied study).  If students do not receive a method of assessment on or before the first class or lesson, please notify the FSPA Office immediatelyAny clarification, query, or objection must be settled at the first class or lesson.  Subsequently all students and the professor are bound by the content of the assessment scheme, unless altered by the mutual consent of the professor and at least 2/3 of the enrolled students.  (see University Calendar, Academic Regulation 16.1).  Faculty members must submit a copy of their course outlines to the FSPA Director prior to the first day of classes for review.

University grade scale

All FSPA classes will use the official Dalhousie University Grade Scale.

Plagiarism and Self Plagiarism

Dalhousie University expects all students to be responsible learners, which means that you will complete assignments yourself and acknowledge sources of information and ideas when they are not your own, among other things. Dalhousie defines plagiarism as "the submission or presentation of the work of another as if it were one's own." Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. A finding of plagiarism may result in a failing grade of an assignment or course or, if very serious, suspension or expulsion from the university. In fact, if plagiarism is discovered after a student has completed his or her studies, and the penalty results in that student no longer meeting the requirements of a degree that has been awarded, the university may rescind that degree.

Each class you take, exam you write, and assignment you complete will have different rules depending on the instructor. Students who are in any doubt about the proper forms of citation and attribution of authorities and sources should discuss the matter in advance with the faculty members for whom they are preparing assignments. For more information please read Dalhousie’s Academic Integrity policies at

Plagiarism in the Fountain School of Performing Arts

The Fountain School of Performing Arts has the following policy on plagiarism in Music classes.

  • Students enrolled in senior classes involving creative work (including MUSC 3211/3212, 3661, 4170, 4211/4212, 4280) are referred to the University Regulations on Intellectual Honesty, Examples of Academic Offences, C. Other Irregularities.  No composition or arrangement submitted to one of the above classes for credit may be submitted to another of these classes for credit.
  • Written permission of the Instructor for whose class the composition or arrangement was originally submitted for credit must be obtained by the student before inclusion of the work in his or her Half-Recital (MUSC 3199) or Graduation Recital (MUSC 4199, 4299, 4599).

Academic Accommodation

Accommodation is introduced when a protected characteristic (as defined by provincial human rights legislation) may place you at a disadvantage compared to other students who are not affected by a protected characteristic: e.g. (dis)ability. Accommodation recognizes difference. Accommodation does not provide an unfair advantage over other students as you are still expected to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes set for the course. Students who require academic accommodation for either classroom participation or the writing of tests, quizzes, and exams should submit a Request for Accommodation to the Student Accessibility Centre. Accommodations are not renewed automatically. You must complete the form for every academic year you would like your accommodation plan implemented. Please contact or call 494-2836.


Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI)

All class evaluations are done online. Students may complete these evaluations any time in the last two weeks of classes once access to the online site is provided. Students may be asked by the instructor to complete the forms in class, or they may access the site at any time during the access period to complete the forms on their own time. An email will be sent through the Dalhousie email system containing a link to the system on the first date of access. After the initial invitation, up to 3 reminders will be sent. All responses are confidential. Only signed comments may be used for hiring, tenure, or promotion purposes. Unsigned comments are provided to the instructor only.

Information for Music students

Ensemble policies

All students in Music major programs enrolled in an applied study class (instrument or voice) are required to participate in ensembles, normally in a minumum of two per year.

See the ensembles page for more information on registration and policies.

Noon Hour Recitals

Noon hour recitals are coordinated by individual Instructors who provide program information to FSPA Staff. Program information must be received one week before the event.

Third Year and Graduation Recitals

Students will be permitted to give third and fourth year juried recitals ONLY when it is an option available within their degree requirement. All students must audition for approval to give public recitals. Please note the following procedures and deadlines relating to recitals:

  1. All solo works of music must be performed from memory. Requests for exceptions must be made in writing by the Instructor to the FSPA Director by March 15 prior to April recitals.
  2. Repertoire requirements are generally idiom-specific and at the discretion of the Instructor.
  3. MUSC 3199,4599: This half-recital repertoire should consist of 30-45 minutes of music and must be approved in writing by the instructor.
  4. MUSC 4199: This full-recital repertoire should consist of 55-75 minutes of music and must be approved in writing by the instructor.
  5. Students must provide their full program information, as approved by their Instructor, to the Academic Program Assistant by March 15 (prior to an April recital), who will provide the program information to the Director for final approval. Programs must include full details on pieces, including timings and movements, composers (including dates), and setup requirements. There is no longer an Acknowledgements section in the program. Students wishing to thank family, teachers, or others should do so from the stage, normally just prior to the final piece or at the end of the recital.
  6. FSPA will provide a piano accompanist for recitals as necessary. FSPA will not incur any additional expenses for extra players (beyond standard piano accompaniment) or for technical fees related to extra setup time for third year or graduation reciatls.
  7. All recital programs are prepared by the FSPA Office. Programs will be available for proofing approximately 1 week prior to the recital.
  8. Program translations (if desired) are to be provided to the Academic Program Assistant no later than 1 week prior to recital date. These must be camera-ready (ie. typed and formatted) and can be printed on 8.5 x 11 size paper. Students should consult with their teachers as to whether or not translations are necessary.
  9. Programs will be sent to the printer 1 week prior to recital date. We will print 50 copies. If you anticipate a large audience (ie. your entire hometown and/or extended family), please let us know so we can arrange for extra copies.
  10. Students should consult with the Administrative Officer ( to schedule and confirm dress rehearsal times and equipment/setup needs. Dress rehearsal times are limited to 1.5 hours for half-recitals, and 2 hours for full recitals.
  11. Audio recordings: Unfortunately FSPA is no longer able to provide audio recordings. Students may opt to hire an independent audio technician at their own expense.
  12. Video: FSPA does not provide video taping of recitals, although students may borrow the School camera via their applied instructor who must take responsibility for the equipment. Students may opt to hire an independent videographer at their own expense. 
  13. Students are welcome to design and print their own posters. Please provide one copy to the FSPA Office.
  14. Students planning to hold post-concert receptions in Arts Centre 401 must contact Emily Fraser,, in the Arts Centre office to enquire about availability and rental policies.

Non-Required Productions

Students who wish to participate in productions outside of your FSPA program requirements must first consult with your professors to ensure that such participation will not adversely affect your studies.

Tickets for Fountain School Events

Students enrolled in FSPA Degree programs and Applied Study Electives receive free admission to most School events. Mandatory attendance may be required at some events - please check with your instructor. For most stage productions, there is a student preview night with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.  For music concerts, students must visit the FSPA Office to obtain a complimentary ticket. Students will be advised via the building notice boards and e-mail notices regarding other free events, special price events, or workshops offered by FSPA or by community organizations.


Policy for the Study of Two Instruments

The study of two instruments is considered exceptional and is available only to students in the BMus program by audition and special permission of the FSPA Student Affairs Committee. Should permission be granted, applied study credits may NOT substitute for required courses (eg. Arts and Social Sciences or Science, Theory, History requirements).  Students must hold a minimum GPA of 3.7 in their first year to be considered for this exceptional circumstance, and must maintain a 3.7 GPA each year in order to continue studying a second instrument.  

Procedure for approval

  1. Student meets with the Associate Director, Music, to determine whether there is room in their schedule to take applied study on a second instrument in place of music electives.  
  2. Student submits a written plan of their four-year program outlining their courses for each year with a letter of application to the Student Affairs Committee by 15 March.
  3. Student auditions in April in conjunction with auditions for the performance stream.  
  4. The outcome will be communicated in writing by end of May.
  5. Associate Director, Music, will review the student’s academic standing each year, should they wish to study a second instrument for multiple years. Should the student’s GPA drop below 3.7 this exceptional privilege will be revoked.
  6. Principal applied teacher will consult with the Ensemble Coordinator re selection of ensembles.