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Accompanying Guidelines and Policies

Section I

The School of Music's accompanying policies are in place to provide pianistic support for ensembles, classes and to alleviate the financial burden on students by providing a limited number of hours of accompanying services during semesters for which those students are eligible. 


The School of Music will make an effort to provide an accompanist to the following applied music students:

Master of Music with Instrumental or Vocal Performance Concentrations 

  • Instrumentalists:  4 semesters (Junior/Senior) with 7 hours/semester
  • Vocalists:  4 semesters (Junior/Senior) with 14 hours/semester

Bachelor of Music with Instrumental or Vocal (inc. Sacred Music) Performance

  • Instrumentalists:  4 semesters (Junior/Senior) with 7 hours/semester
  • Vocalists:  4 semesters (Junior/Senior) with 14 hours/semester

Bachelor of Music Education with Instrumental or Vocal Emphasis

  • Instrumentalists:  2 semesters with 7 hours/semester
  • Vocalists:  2 semesters with 14 hours/semester

Priorities for Assigning Accompanists

There are a limited number of "free" accompanist hours available, so prioritization is as follows:

  1. Recitals Required for Degree (Priority given to students giving a required recital during the 2022-2023 academic year)
  2. Ensembles and Classes requiring and eligible for an assigned pianist:
    • Women's Chorale
    • Wind Ensemble
    • Opera Theatre
    • Vocal Performance Techniques
    • Vocal Lit Seminar
  3. Eligible student hours detailed above in years that do NOT include a required degree recital.

Section II: Criteria for Assigning Pianists

Every effort will be made to match pianists to the demands of the repertoire that needs to be performed.  Studio teachers are asked to assist in this process by completing the accompanist request forms in as much detail as possible.  Any repertoire that is known or anticipated, along with an assessment of difficulty level, will be very helpful in making an appropriate accompanist assignment.  The pianists available are drawn from an accompanist pool of Four quarter-time Graduate Assistants, and staff-accompanist.  These staff accompanists have a limited number of hours available that, when combined with the hours of the graduate assistants, are assigned according to the priorities outlined in Section I after all Accompanying Request Forms have been received.

Section III: Allocation of Hours

While a student is entitled up to 7 or 14 hours per semester (see Eligibility in Section I), accompanists should not be called upon more than ONE hour per week.  The hours are not cumulative. 

The intention of assigned accompanist hours is to help ensure sufficient preparation time for student recitals by offsetting a significant portion of the costs of hiring a pianist.  However, payment for dress rehearsals and the performance of a recital is still the obligation of the student. The student is required to contract and pay for any services requested beyond these hours, including competitions, recitals, juries, master classes, etc.  These arrangements need to be discussed with the accompanist, studio teacher, and Director of Collaborative Piano prior to the date of service.  If services require an out-of-town trip, arrangements for travel, lodging, and food must be agreed upon as well.

All remaining applied music students are required to contract and pay for their own accompanists.  A list of professional and student accompanists will be provided.  These arrangements are considered private and professional.  The Director of Collaborative and Studio Teachers should be available for consultation, but they are NOT responsible for these assignments, agreements or disputes.

Section IV: Deadlines

Request for Accompanist

The deadline for submitting Request for Accompanist forms is Friday, September 9, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.  Please complete this form as fully as possible.  This form should be used for any and all requests for the 2022-2023 academic year.  Even if your student has not settled on the repertoire for the entire program, as much information as possible should be included.

A UT provided accompanist cannot be guaranteed if this deadline is not met.

Scores and Scheduling

Scores for recitals must be provided to accompanists at least 8 weeks before the scheduled date of the recital. 


Since most accompanists are responsible for playing multiple recitals and events in any given semester, it is recommended that students make contact with their assigned accompanists as early as possible to discuss scheduling and a rehearsal timeline.  This will help to ensure the smooth and efficient preparation of music, and assist the pianist in planning his/her own preparations of scores in a timely and efficient manner.

Section V: Responsibilities

Of the Studio Teacher

  • Ensure that the student understands the Accompanying Guidelines and submits the Request for Accompanist form by the deadline indicated in Section IV. Requests should ONLY be submitted from those students who meet the eligibility requirements stated in Section I.
  • Help monitor the professional and musical relationship between their students and accompanists.  Any concerns regarding the collaborations should be reported to the Director of Collaborative Piano.

Of the Applied Music Student

  • The student is responsible for handling the collaborative relationship in a professional manner.  Prompt, consistent communication of lesson times, rehearsal schedules, and performance dates is essential.  A calendar of date book is an invaluable tool in coordinating the often-busy schedules of music students.
  • Provide all music necessary for lessons and performances, and prepare the scores according to the specifications of the pianist (eg. original copy, placed in a binder, one vs. two sided copy, etc..)  Under NO circumstances should the accompanist be expected to perform with less than 2 weeks notice of specific repertoire requirements
  • Notify the accompanist of all foreseeable cancellations or adjustments to the rehearsal schedule.  Should the student fail to notify the pianist of changes or does not show up to a rehearsal/lesson on more than TWO occasions, the student forfeits their right to free accompanist services.  Any accompanist being hired on a free-lance basis has the right to refuse services if payment from the student has not been received.
  • Submit the Request for Accompanist form by the deadline indicated in Section IV.

Of the Accompanist

  • Handle the collaborative relationship in a professional manner.  Prompt, consistent communication about lesson times, rehearsal schedules and performance dates is essential.
  • Prepare well and consistently for all collaborative engagements (lessons, rehearsals as well as performances).  Irresponsibility in attendance or preparation will result in the forfeiture of rights to be paid or receive academic credit.  Any student hiring an accompanist on a free-lance basis has the right to terminate their services should any irresponsibility occur.
  • Keep track of the amount of hours used in rehearsals and lessons.  The student and accompanist should agree on a timely and fair amount of payment for hours used in excess of those allotted in Section I.  Maintaining a log for each student is effective in keeping track of hours, money and music.

Section VI: Suggested Fees

UTK provides accompanist hours for rehearsals and lessons.  These hours do NOT include the performance of the recitals themselves.  The fees covering the hearing, dress rehearsals and performance are to be paid by the student directly to the accompanist BEFORE the performance date.  The following are suggestions and are not regulated by the Director of Collaborative Piano.  The students/accompanists may negotiate their own fees according to their requirements, amount/complexity of repertoire, etc..  Professionalism is expected in this regard as it is concerning all items covered in this document.

Junior Recital  $100-$150
Senior Recital  $125-$200
Graduate Recital  $125- 250

Concerto Competition

(Including one hour rehearsal AND performance)


(One hour rehearsal and the jury performance)

*IF the accompanist is needed for a jury for one of their weekly assigned students (eg. a singer for whom they play in lessons/coaching each week) covering repertoire they have been covering during the semester, a maximum of $20 may be charged for that jury.  However, if new repertoire is introduced for the jury, or they are asked to play by someone to whom they are not assigned the above $30-$40 suggestion may be followed.

A list of accompanists available for hire is maintained by the Collaborative Piano Department.  Beyond those hours assigned according to the conditions outlined in thisdocument, any additional accompanying services are considered free-lance.  Pianists are free to establish their own fee structures and assert their own requirements, but the following is provided as a suggestion:

Professional (non-student):  $40-60/hour
Graduate Students: $25-35/hour
Undergraduate Students: $20-30/hour

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