The Catholic University of America

Studio X: Policies and Schedule, Spring 2017

Studio X, a weekly gathering of all undergraduate music students, provides a fourm in which students in all majors can gather and enjoy a wide spectrum of musical experiences. Through exposure to many facets of the musical world and life as a twenty-first-century musician, Studio X aims to broaden the students' horizons beyond their specific major. Presentations include (but are not limited to) lectures, demonstrations, panel discussions, and performances by faculty, current students and alumni, and outside guests. 

Attendance Policy

Behavior during Class Policy

Studio Class 

Current Schedule



Registration and attendance at Studio X is mandatory for every semester an undergraduate music student is in residence at the Benjamin T Rome School of Music. Studio X is graded on a pass/fail basis determined solely by your attendance record.  You are permitted one unexcused absence; after that, any additional unexcused absences will result in failure of the course.  Excuses must be submitted to your academic adviser in the School of Music, who has sole discretion in excusing absences (not your private teacher or Division Head).  Please contact your adviser as soon as you know you must miss class, or as soon as you can after the missed meeting; excuses submitted long after the fact are more likely not to be granted than those submitted promptly. Click here for additinal information on the Studio X attendance policy.

Please arrive promptly to every class meeting.  If you arrive more than 5 minutes after the posted start time, a tardy will be noted on your attendance record; 3 tardies is equivalent to one unexcused absence.  If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the posted start time, an unexcused absence will be recorded on your attendance record.  If you feel you have a valid reason for being tardy, submit an excuse to your academic adviser, who has the discretion to overturn an unexcused absence created by tardiness.

Attendance is tracked in the following manner:  Upon entering the classroom, please pick up a “Studio X Attendance and Comment Form.”  The forms will be placed by the classroom doors, but at 3:45 they will be removed, at which point you must obtain the form from Irina Leslie, who will mark it as tardy.  At the conclusion of the session, please fill out the form and return it to the designated spot as you leave.  The form asks you to describe something you learned, something you liked, or something that you would have improved about the session.  You must provide at least one specific detail about the session; comments such as “it was fun” or “it was boring” are insufficient, and turning in a form with insufficient detail will result in an unexcused absence for that session.  This form is your opportunity to provide feedback and improve future Studio X sessions, so please be detailed and honest!  Any comments that are forwarded to the presenters will be strictly anonymous.  If you arrive more than 15 minutes late but plan on submitting an excuse to your adviser, you must still complete the form.

Any students caught falsifying an Attendance and Comment Form, or colluding in the falsification of a form, will receive an automatic failure for the course.  This includes forms written and/or turned in by someone other than yourself, as well as forms that contain the same comments, word-for-word.

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability (for example, it is difficult to get to class on time for documented reasons) should contact Irina Leslie privately to discuss specific needs.  Please contact Disability Support Services to coordinate reasonable accommodations for documented disabilities.

Students who have a course conflict will be excused from attending the Studio X sessions. They must fill out the Studio X Course Conflict Form (available in the main office) and submit it to their academic advisor at the beginning of the semester. The course in conflict must be a course required by one’s curriculum and one that can only be taken at Studio X time.

Behavior during Class

Students behaving in a disrespectful manner during any class meeting will be given a verbal warning by a faculty member in attendance.  If the disrespectful behavior persists, the students will be asked to leave, and an unexcused absence will be recorded on their attendance record for that class meeting.  If the same student is given a verbal warning two class meetings in a row, the second class meeting will be marked as an unexcused absence.  Disrespectful behavior includes (but is not limited to) talking to people sitting near you, texting or otherwise using your cell phone, reading, doing homework for another class, and leaving the room repeatedly.  You should always behave the way you want the audience to behave when you are performing or giving a lecture. 

Studio Class

One Studio X meeting a month is set aside as a “Studio Class,” during which you will meet as smaller groups depending on your major or principal instrument.  Many Studio Class meetings will consist of master classes, though they may also include discussions and presentations specific to your discipline.  If you are interested in performing during a Studio Class master class, please talk to your private teacher and/or contact the coordinator listed below.

There are five studios, listed below together with the room in which each studio meets: 

  • Musical Theatre (coordinated by Prof. Tom Pedersen), room 210 (Old Chorus Room)
  • Piano (coordinated by Dr. Ivo Kaltchev), room 119 (Dr. Fitenko’s Studio)
  • Strings (coordinated by Prof. Michael Mermagen), room 22 (Mr. Mermagen’s Studio)
  • Vocal Performance (coordinated by Prof. Sharon Christman), room 220 (John Paul Hall)
  • Winds/Brass/Percussion (coordinated by Dr. Richard Roberts), room 221

Music Education majors, Composition majors, and B.A. students will attend the Studio Class that corresponds to their principal instrument; if you are unsure which Studio Class to attend, please talk to your academic adviser.  Organ majors can choose to attend either the Piano or Vocal Performance Studio Class (or an instrumental one if they are proficient in another instrument).  Guitarists and harp players will attend the String Studio Class.

Please report directly to the above-listed rooms on the days designated as Studio Class; attendance will be tracked in that room just as it is in John Paul Hall for the other class meetings.

Spring 2017 schedule

Unless noted otherwise, all meetings take place in John Paul Hall from 3:40 to 4:55, and all students are required to attend.

Monday, January 9

Studio X will not meet this day

Monday, January 16

Studio X will not meet this day, due to Martin Luther King, Jr. day  

Monday, January 23

Presentation by the Office of Career Services – 3:40 to 4:15
Presentation by the Department of Drama on The Irish Summer Institute – 4:15 to 4:55

Monday, January 30

Presentation by CUA faculty member Dr. Nikita Fitenko, Associate Professor of Piano
On Tchaikovsky and his piano music

Monday, February 6

Studio Class
Please report directly to the room listed on p. 2

Monday, February 13

Guest presentation by Dr. Doug Lindsey, trumpet and Mrs. Judy Cole, piano
Music and Creativity (

Monday, February 20

Guest presentation by Dr. Paula Fan, Regents' Professor Emerita, Senior Fellow, Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, The University of Arizona
Note: there will be no Studio X meeting on Tuesday 2/21, the Administrative Monday

Monday, February 27

Studio X Celebrates Black History Month
Hosted by CUA faculty members and guests

Monday, March 6

Studio X will not meet this day, due to the Spring Recess

Monday, March 13

Fred Salancy and Aaron Mackisey Q&A

Center Stage presents Children of Eden excerpts

Monday, March 20

Guest presentation by The Navy Commodores

Monday, March 27

Presentation by Maestro Murry Sidlin and Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin – Part I

Monday, April 3

Presentation by Maestro Murry Sidlin and Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin – Part II

Monday, April 10

Guest presentation by Dr. Paulo Steinberg, James Madison University
Lecture recital on Brazilian piano music 

Monday, April 17

Studio X will not meet this day, due to the Easter holiday

Monday, April 24

Student Performances
This is your opportunity to perform for a friendly audience of your peers.  It can be a fantastic way to practice performing the repertoire for your jury!  If you would like to perform, please contact Dr. Fleming ( by Monday, April 17th.