Want an A? Play an Instrument? Take This Class

For the past six semesters, Sue Y. Chi '01 has taken the same course for credit.

Sound like an error the Registrar's Office hasn't spotted? Chi is actually one of dozens taking advantage of the option to take chamber music classes Music 91r or Music 93r multiple times.

Music 91r is open only to students who perform with a campus musical group under the regular instruction of a faculty member. Only members of Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) can take Music 93r.


"[93r] is a great outlet for people who don't have many groups to play in. I'm a flutist and, for wind players, [93r] is the only place besides HRO where we can play and perform," Chi says.

Part of the classes' requirements is that students remain in "good standing" with HRO or the group that granted the student eligibility for the chamber music class.

Students must also attend practices with at least one smaller group--groups like quartets and quintets--which receive regular coaching from a faculty member and perform at semester's end. Students in 91r must also write a final paper.

Unusual in that part of students' grades stems from their involvement in an extracurricular activity, the existence of the classes has, from time to time, elicited grumbles from envious students.

The disproportionately high number of As awarded in the class doesn't help. One instructor estimates that 75 percent of course participants get As in the class and no one gets lower than a B.

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