Capstone Course Project: Designing Your Ideal Concert Experience

Capstone Course Project: Designing Your Ideal Concert Experience

Welcome to your final capstone project, everyone! This is where you get to synthesize all of the information that you’ve learned over the semester into project that is reflective of what you would like to get out of your classical music experience.



The “ask” for this project is to design a full-length classical music experience that you would personally enjoy attending. To do this you will need to complete a number of small tasks in order to compile the larger project.


Project Tasks:


Task One: Pick a Venue


The first thing you will need to do is to pick a venue for your concert. You can have your concert anywhere that you can set up the size of ensemble that you choose. For instance, having an orchestra concert at a coffee shop is probably not realistic, but having a string quartet concert at one could definitely be managed. By the same token, you may not want to have a piano trio concert in an amphitheater given the size of audience that you might expect-you get the gist. It can be extremely creative but it needs to be practical in the sense that you could set this concert up if you really wanted to. Money is not necessarily an object, since we are designing a “dream”.


Task Two: Pick an Ensemble


Pick the type ensemble that you would like to perform at your classical music concert. It can be any of the ensemble configurations that we studied this semester. Your choices include chamber ensembles of different configurations, the orchestra, smaller vocal ensembles, mixed vocal and instrumental ensembles, or an opera company. I suggest choosing an ensemble that you have enjoyed listening to the most, because you will be the most motivated to complete task three well if you enjoy what you’re looking into.


Task Three: Pick Your Concert Repertoire


You will need to pick out one hour worth of repertoire for your particular ensemble, made up of different pieces than we studied in the class.


What does this mean? It means that you will research pieces to program on your concert. I suggest starting with composers in pieces that we’ve studied in this class and researching further. For instance, if you liked the Haydn string quartet, you may want to research other Haydn string quartets, or other Classical string quartets like those by Mozart or Beethoven. If you like Schubert and you wanted to program a concert of lieder, perhaps look into his other song cycles, or look into other Romantic composers that composed lieder as well.


You can generally tell the length of the piece either by checking its timing on Spotify, or sometimes this is included on the work itself. I will provide a sample program that you can use as a template for your concert. Remember, one hour of music total-one piece or multiple pieces.


You will also want to figure out what order you want these pieces to go in. Are you using all one composer? Or are you using a variety of composers? What is the theme of your concert? For example, Romantic string quartet music could be a concert theme. You would then program string quartet music from different composers of the Romantic period like Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, etc. With a little bit of research it is not difficult to find contemporaries of the composers that we studied in this class.


Also, composers that we studied in this class don’t just write in the genre that we studied them for. For instance, we studied Schubert for lieder, but Schubert also composed symphonies, chamber music, and even a few interesting attempts at opera. There’s only one rule when it comes to this part of the concert, and that’s that you cannot use any of the pieces that we studied in this class. They must be different pieces.


Task Four: Create a Spotify Playlist and Program


You will create a Spotify Playlist of your concert repertoire and attach the link to your submission. Make sure that you check it before submission.


You will also make a program using the format below. This should include all of the pieces for your concert:


The “Peanut-Free Zone” Collective (Ensemble Name)



Music is…: An Interactive Journey Through Living Compositions (Your Program Title)


(Titles of Pieces & their Timings)                           (Composer’s Name)


4’33” (4’33”)                                                              John Cage


Selections from Tree of Life (4’)                               John Cage

Arr. by TPFZC for four performers


Living Room Music  (2’)                                             John Cage

  1. “To Begin” for Percussion Quartet


Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (4’)                                John Cage

Arr. by TPFZC for 12 iPads/iPhones


TBD* (4’)


Task Five: Venue Diagram


Create a diagram showing your concert set up to go along with your program. If your string quartet is in the coffee house, make a little diagram showing where the coffee bar is, where the tables will be, and where the “stage“ stage will be. You can hand draw this diagram and scan it into your submission, but please make it neat if you choose to do this. It is also relatively easy to draw informal diagrams in Microsoft Word and if you do you happen to use design software, this is of course also very useful.


Task Six: Concert Explanation


Write a short explanation as to why you chose all of the different elements of your concert. Why did you pick this ensemble, venue, program, etc.? Describe what period your pieces are from and why you chose that time period. Please make this no more than one page long with the parameters provided below. I want to hear from you, in a couple of paragraphs, why you created this concert and why it is meaningful to you.


Paper Parameters:


1) Your full name and ID number in the upper right hand corner of the paper

2) A centered title

3) Three complete paragraphs, with an optional intro and conclusion paragraph.

4) A 1.5 spacing format (not double-spaced), have 11 or 12pt text in either Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial Font.




Please upload your completed document (.Docx or PDF files only) in the assignment folder for “Capstone Course Project” Once this folder is closed, no late submissions will be accepted for the assignment.  Your folder should contain”


1) Your Program & Playlist Link

2) Your Venue Diagram

3) Your Paper


3 Pages total-no more than this, please.




General Grading Rubric for Unit Projects (Written by Prof. Michael Walsh, adjusted by Prof. Aun)

An adjusted or more detailed rubric may be provided depending on the assignment content.


Criteria Excellent Good Average Poor
Student demonstrates knowledge and understanding gained from assigned reading of the textbook, viewing of the supplemental videos, and other materials provided in preparation for the submission Submission demonstrates complete understanding of course content and mastery of musical vocabulary Submission demonstrates good understanding of course content and incorporates standard musical vocabulary into responses Submission is brief and has a questionable relationship to assigned readings, supplemental videos, or provided content Submission provides no clear evidence that readings or supplemental materials were completed, understood, or incorporated into the discussion
Student shows critical thinking and imagination in submission All guidelines are followed from the assignment description. Submission has depth and clarity Guidelines were followed but lack depth or elucidation of their subjective point of view Guidelines were followed but severely lack depth or elucidation of their subjective point of view Guidelines were not followed, lack depth, and do not elucidate their subjective point of view
Student response utilizes proper spelling and grammar Response has no major mistakes in grammar, syntax, or spelling Response has a few mistakes in grammar, syntax, or spelling Response has several mistakes in grammar, syntax, or spelling Response has many mistakes in grammar, syntax, or spelling
Points 90-100 80-89 70-79 69 or fewer
  • Verbiage – Is the entry grammatically correct and appropriate? (Yes, I do look at this, because I believe that articulation is important in scholarly discussions.)
  • Clarity – Is the entry concise and understandable?
  • Detail – Is the entry specific and sufficiently explained? Does the author make reference to the readings and/or provide other sources?
  • Logic – Does the entry draw legitimate connections, inferences and conclusions?