Junior Standing

Music majors are given consideration for junior standing as part of the applied jury exam(s) at the end of the fourth semester. Students must score an average of “C” or better in their fourth semester jury for junior standing consideration. Junior standing is granted following careful review of specific requirements including: cumulative GPA, proficiency exams, student and professional organization membership, concert attendance, comparative repertoire studied and performed, ensemble participation, ability, and growth as a musician. A minimum of 4 semesters remain in a student’s course of study once they have received junior standing. Attainment of junior standing is a prerequisite to performing a junior or senior recital. 

Transfer students are given consideration for junior standing as part of their entrance interview into the Music Department. 

Music Proficiency Exams

All students in a music degree program (B.A. in Music; B. Mus., Mus. Ed.; B.F.A. in Musical Theatre; and B. Mus. Performance) are expected to pass proficiency exams in piano and sight-singing. The passing of these proficiency examinations is a prerequisite to junior standing, student teaching, and graduation. The music faculty expects all students to pass their proficiencies by the completion of their 4thsemester. See your advisor for details regarding scheduling and format.

Piano Proficiency Requirements

This examination is designed to assess a variety of piano skills. Music majors who have not passed the piano proficiency are expected to enroll in class piano or private piano, until every item of this examination is passed.

Improvisation– Given two examples in varied styles, where the first two measures are provided, the student will improvise the remainder of the melody in an appropriate style consistent with the harmonies.

Harmonization- Harmonization requires improvising accompaniments and completing variations through three harmonizations: one-handed, two-handed, and keyboard style.

Vocal Warm-up– Vocal Warm-up includes leading the singers by playing the exercise, demonstrating the vocal technique while looking and singing with the chorus. Ex. Chromatic Penta-Scales & Chromatic Arpeggios.

Accompaniment- Prepare accompaniment parts to early level solos, one instrumental and one vocal.

Prepared Piece- The Prepared Piece is performed with music accurately and up to tempo. It is a keyboard solo at the level of a classical sonatina. For ex. A Clementi Sonatina or Kabalevski Taccatani 

Scales, Chord Progressions and Arpeggios- Scales and Arpeggios are played over two octave range with hands together including major, three forms of minor, and the following arpeggios; major triad, minor triad, dominant-seventh chord and fully-diminished chord. Chord progressions use primary triads, secondary triads and chromatic harmony in same key as scales and arpeggios.

Sight-Reading– Sight-Reading includes three pieces: the accompaniment of a choral work; a piece that requires both treble and bass clefs being played together; and two lines from an instrumental work with one line transposed at sight.

Piano Proficiency Scoring Rubric

5. Exemplary. Student demonstrates extraordinary skills in accuracy, continuity, and fluency while maintaining confidence throughout the performance.

4. Above Standard. Student demonstrates accuracy with few errors, continuity, and fluency throughout the performance.

3. Meets Standard. Student plays with sufficient accuracy, continuity, fluency and confidence to accompany (lead) general music, a chorus, and/or an instrumental group in a classroom setting. 

2. Below Standard. Student is developing the accuracy, fluency, and continuity to accompany.

1. Unsatisfactory. Student does not consistently play accurately and/or fluently to accompany and appears ill-prepared.


The following marks will appear on the student’s transcript when all sections are passed.

Not Met           =          student earned an average score of       0 – 2.9

C - Low Pass    =          student earned an average score of       3.0 – 3.5

B - Pass            =          student earned an average score of       3.5 – 4.5

A - High Pass   =          student earned an average score of       4.5 – 5.0


Sight-Singing Proficiency Requirements

This examination is designed to assess a variety of vocal and sight-reading skills. Any portion may be retaken until the items are all passed. Skills to pass this exam are learned in the aural skills class and various ensembles.

Students must pass each of five different areas to complete the proficiency requirement:

  1. Sing a Major Scale                                                 
  2. Sing Minor Scales (natural, harmonic, melodic)
  3. Chromatic Scale encompassing a perfect 5th
  4. Major Melodic Exercise 
  5. Minor Melodic Exercise
  6. Singing with Piano Accompaniment


Each area is graded on a five point rubric as follows:


5          Exemplary:Student demonstrates a high level of proficiency, with no errors or very minor errors.

4          Above Standard:  Student demonstrates a satisfactory level of proficiency with good functional use of skill.

3          Meets Standard:Student demonstrates a low level of proficiency with a minimum acceptable functional use of skill.

2          Below Standard:  Student sings the exercise with some stumbles, but is close to demonstrating functional use of skill.

1          Unsatisfactory:Student has trouble singing the exercise with fluency; appears ill-prepared.


No Pass            average score of 0-2.4

Low Pass          average score of 2.5-3.4

Pass                  average score of 3.5-4.4

High Pass         average score of 4.5-5.0



Admission to Education program – Music Education Majors

Students seeking admission to the teacher education program must first demonstrate their readiness by completion of the following requirements:


•      PSYC112 - General Psychology with grade of C or better.

•      MUED 224 – Psychology of Music Learning with grade C or better.

•      MUED 215 – Foundations in Music Education/Teaching with a grade of C or better.

•      Sophomore standing with a GPA of at least 2.5.

•      Demonstration of communication skills by completion of ENG 110 College Writing 1, ENG 120 College Writing 2, and COMM 102 Elements of Oral Communication with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in the three courses.

•      Successful completion of Praxis with scores that meet or exceed the state requirements in the Reading, Math, and Writing sections.

•      EDUC150 Introduction to Education with grade C or better.

•      Submit formal application to Education Committee.

•      Peer Jury Interview

•      Math 215: Intro to Statistics

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