Etudes Homework

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q: When can I log into my online/hybrid courses? / Why can't I log into Etudes?

A: In most cases you cannot log into your course until the first day of the semester or on the course start date. To confirm the start date of your online course, visit the "Schedules" web page. If you recently received an email confirmation that you were added to an online/hybrid course remember that it can take up to 2 business days before you are able to log into Etudes and view the course. If it has been longer than that, the problem may be with your username and/or password, so read the answers below or contact us via the Help Desk.

2. Q: How do I add an online/hybrid course that is full or after the semester starts?

A:  If you would like to try to add an online/hybrid course that is full or closed, you must email the instructor for permission. Instructor email addresses are listed on our web site under the "Schedules" link.

Be sure to include the following in all email communications:
  • Course name and section number in the subject line of your email
  • Your full name, email address, STUDENT ID NUMBER, and a phone number
Once you have received permission from an online instructor, forward the email to online@wlac.eduunless the instructor has already done so.

Once we have processed your enrollment, we will send you an email confirmation. Check your Bulk/Junk/Spam folders, in case our email gets routed there instead of your inbox.
  • Add requests are processed Monday through Friday. You can view your active schedule using the District's Student Information System to confirm that the course has been added.
  • If the course does not appear on your active schedule or in your Etudes account within 2 business days after the first day of class, please forward the instructor's permission to as we may not have received a copy.
  • If we have any difficulty processing your add request, we will contact you.
IMPORTANT: We will only be able to process your add request if you use the email account that is listed for you in the Student Information System.

NOTE: West has phased out the use of any student email address other than the student’s account. Email that West sends to students includes important notices regarding your financial aid awards, registration appointments, class changes updates, services information and more. For more info on how to login to your student email account click here

3. Q: What is my Etudes User ID and Password?

A: Your Etudes User ID is your Student ID Number (not your SS#)

For example: Jose Garcia has the following Student ID: 880123456.

Based on this example, Jose's ETUDES User ID would be 880123456

Your (first time login) Etudes Password is created by using your birthday. 

For example: If your birthday is April 22, 1991 (04/22/91), then your Password = 0422. The Month+Day value is always 4-digits (mmdd) where a single digit day or month starts with a zero.

When you log in for the first time Etudes will ask you to change your password.

NOTE: This is a permanent account that you will use for all ETUDES courses for this term and all subsequent terms. Your login information does not get reset from term to term. When you change your password, the change will apply to all of your current and future courses. Please save your login information for future reference.

If you need more help to figure out your Etudes User ID, visit the "Course Login Info" web page.

4. Q: I can log into Etudes but why can't I see my course tab?

A: If you have recently added or dropped a course it can take 24-48 hours for you to be able to view the changes inside Etudes.

A: Sometimes the course is not "published" until mid-day or later in the day on the first day of classes. Be patient, and if you still cannot see your course inside Etudes by the end of the day than please contact your instructor via email.

A: If you have asked to add a class, but you are not yet officially enrolled in the Registrar's Office, you will NOT see a tab for your online course until the morning after you are officially enrolled.

A: If you have been dropped from the course or if the semester is over, you will sometimes no longer have a course tab.

5. Q: I've been able to log in before, so why am I unable to log in NOW?

A: There could be a number of reasons why. Please visit our "Course Login Info" web page to ensure that you are using the proper formula for your Etudes User ID and password. The most common fix for this problem is resetting your password (see below).

6. Q: What should I do if I forgot my password?

A: You can reset your password here.

7. Q: Why am I having problems logging into my online/hybrid Etudes course?

A: Make sure you have the correct Etudes User ID and correct password. (Read the answer to question #3 above)

8. Q: Where can I view more information about the courses available online?

A: Visit our "Schedules" web page.

9. Q: What should I do if I get an error message when I request my password to be reset?

A: You will get an error message if the email address that you entered to "Reset Password" doesn't match the email address that Etudes has on record for you. If you get a message saying that your email address could not be found or that there is more than one user with the same email address, you can submit a request to have your Etudes account updated with your correct email address, so that you can then reset your password, after Etudes updates your account and notifies you. Update Etudes Account Request

10. Q: I need to email an instructor for permission to add an online/hybrid course. Where can I find instructor email addresses?

A: You can find instructor email addresses on the "Schedules" web page.

More ETUDES Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. Is there a spell check feature for students?

    Yes, if you use a PC and Internet Explorer as your browser. This is not available for the Mac.

    You can download ieSpell that comes with the FCK Editor used in most tools. It is a limited spell-checker, however. You can download ieSpell - A Spell Checker for Internet Explorer at the following site:

    We recommend that you get into the habit of typing your work into a word processing program, like MS Word, saving it, and then cutting and pasting your text into ETUDES. This way, whether you are submitting an assignment, a discussion post, or an answer to an exam question, you will be able to spell check your work first and you will have a backup copy on your hard drive should you lose connectivity.

  2. What types of files can I upload as attachments in the discussion forums?

    This is a list of allowable file types in the Discussions & Private Messages forum. Your files must include the proper suffix in order to upload as an attachment.

    • Image/Photo: .jpg, .gif, .png
    • Media: .midi, .mov,.wav, .mp3
    • Document: .doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt, .pps, .htm/.html
    • Utilities: .gz, .tar, .zip, .sit/.sitx

  3. What is the maximum file size for uploads?
  4. Is there a limit to the number of files I can attach to an assignment?

    No, there is no limit to the number of files students can attach to an assignment. You can attach as many as required/asked for by the instructor. The same 20 MB file size limit applies per file.

  5. Is there a limit to the number of attachments allowed in the discussion forums?

    In the discussion tool, we have set the limit to 3 attachments max per post.

  6. What's wrong with my essay? Some of the punctuation marks are altered by the Website.

    If you want to retain the formatting of your essays, you should submit them as attachments (when possible). Pasting them into the editor may alter some characters and/or formatting, depending on the version of software and hardware students are using.

  7. My teacher says that she has sent some announcements to us using email, but I didn't get them. Why not?

    There are two issues here:

    1. The email account you use might not be the same one that ETUDES is sending to. You can check this following these steps:

    - Click on the Update Details button at the bottom of the page. Now email will be sent to the updated email address.

    - After you log into your ETUDES account, you'll be in MyWorkspace. Click on the Account link in the left nav menu.

    - Click on the Modify Details button at the bottom of the window.

    - On the Account Details page that appears, put your correct email address into the correct box. (Notice that you can also change your name and password here, too. But remember that this only affects your ETUDES account. You'll need to contact Admissions & Records to make changes school-wide.

    2. It could be that you're receiving the emails, but your email program is automatically sorting the messages into your bulk/junk folder. This is particularly true if you're using hotmail or yahoo as your email account. You can try adding your ETUDES class email address to your address book so that it will be recognized as not junk, or just get into the habit of looking in your bulk/junk folder for class emails.

  8. Sometimes a module page does not open completely, but just show the titles. Why does this happen?

    You may need to disable your pop-up blocker. This is explained on the Etudes Gateway page, but it's easy to miss.

    Click on the link: Computer (PC and Mac) and Connectivity Requirements for details. Setting up cache, turning off pop-up blocker, and enabling cookies are three standards things that users should do. Allowing pop-ups impacts opening documents in separate browser windows, opening the widgets and other parts of the software where help is provided to users in the form of pop-up windows.

    Depending on how paranoid users are with regard to security, other things may have to be changed (i.e. allow downloads). It is too hard to know everyone's local configurations... The more restrictions people put on their browsers, the more problems they will have.

  9. How do I get rid of the course tabs leftover from past terms?

    Instructions for removing/reordering course tabs in ETUDES:

    1. Log in and go to "My Workspace".
    2. Click Preferences from the lefthand menu.
    3. Click "Customize Tabs"" from the list at the top of the page.
    4. Follow instructions to reorder or archive tabs.
    5. When you are done, click Update Preferences at the bottom.
    6. Refresh your browser window so that the changes now appear.

  10. How do I add an attachment to an assignment or discussion post in ETUDES?

    Learn more about using attachments in ETUDES by viewing our "Adding Attachments" PDF document.

General Tips and Practice Techniques

Start Now! 
Don't wait until summer is over and school is taking up all of your time. You will feel overwhelmed by the études, combined with all of the music for school, music for your private teacher, as well as homework, and will not learn the études to your best ability.

Don't "Practice" By Playing From Beginning to End
This is not considered practicing.  When you learn a new piece you must first secure it in short-term muscle memory and then slowly transfer it to long-term muscle memory.  Playing a piece from beginning to end does nothing for securing short-term memory because once you get to the end of the piece your muscles have already forgotten how to play the beginning. Instead, work in small sections.
Once you have conquered all of the difficult spots you can do a run-through once or twice a day. 

Make a "Practice Item" List 

Write out a list of things to focus on while practicing your sections and work on one at a time. 
For example:
  Bowing (placement, bow hold)
  Left Hand Position (wrist, finger placement)
  Sound Quality 

Practice the Études in Sections

Divide each etude into at least 8 different sections. Use your "Practice Item" list as a guide and check off each "Item" as you complete it. It is also a good idea to identify the particularly difficult spots and mark them in your music (no larger than 8 bar phrases). Take 10-15 minutes to slowly work on each spot with a  tuner or metronome. 

Practice SLOWLY

Only practice at a tempo you can maintain for the entire étude. Otherwise you are teaching yourself to change tempos and play incorrect rhythms. Try gradually increasing your tempo with a metronome. 

The Metronome is Your Best Friend! Use it! 

The continuous repetition that comes with metronome practice solidifies muscle memory, and is the optimal way to build up tempo and play with accurate rhythm. It is also a good way to motivate yourself to continue practicing by setting a goal tempo and trying to beat it each day. 
For super comfort of playing, try working your etudes up to a tempo that is faster than your ultimate goal.  Then when you play at your goal tempo, it will seem much easier!

Memorize the Études
Even if you are not playing from memory in the audition, memorizing your music is the best way to ensure that you are prepared. After you have memorized an étude, practice it both with and without music. 

Practice From the End to the Beginning
The end of any étude is often the most neglected because students usually practice starting from the beginning. Try practicing the last line of the étude and, after mastering it, back up a line and work from there to the end. Do this all the way to the beginning of the piece.

Practice Using the Rhythm Technique
If you do not know what the Rhythm Technique is, click here (under construction, check back soon!)  Combine the Rhythm Technique with a metronome for super fast fingers!

Use the Penny Method
Take 10 pennies and put them in a pile on a table next to you. Section off a measure or 2 that you are having difficulty with. Every time you play the section perfectly (fast or slow) move a penny to a new pile on the other side of the table. If you make a mistake, move all of the pennies back to the original pile. Try to get all 10 pennies to the new pile! 

Measure Your Shifts
Practice big shifts by measuring the distance with your hand/fingers.  You do this by gliding very slowly up (or down) to the note until you lock into the center of the pitch. Make sure you don't overshoot! Repeat until you can make the shift perfectly 10 times in a row. 

Count Out Loud
Practice counting out loud while playing. If you can do this you're unstoppable!

Remember How the Judges Think
Their job is to cut down thousands of violinists in the state of Texas to about a hundred violinists for 3 different orchestras.  This means they are looking for any reason to cut someone out of the running.  You cannot earn any points for extra creativity or musicality. Think of it as starting out with a score of 100 and they are trying to chip as many points away as possible. You want to keep ALL of your points! This means you must stick to playing the music as perfectly and accurately as it is written on the paper (intonation, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, cleanliness etc.).

Still Not Working?
If all else fails, and you are still having trouble with something, ask your teacher!!  They are there to help you and want you to succeed! If they are not available to ask in person, send them an email or give them a call. Teachers love hearing from their students -  it means they are practicing! :)

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