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Audition General Requirements

Trumpet player in window

The audition process for all prospective Music majors and Music minors consists of the following:

  • Demonstrate sufficient proficiency in an instrument, voice, or composition
  • Earn a score of 70 percent or higher on the Theory Placement Entrance Exam
  • Prepare and play a Piano Proficiency Entrance Exam. (Please see details below—not required for INFA/Music Theater track or Music minors)

Theory Placement Entrance Exam

The Theory Placement Exam is designed to ensure that incoming students are proficient in the rudiments of music theory. It covers: pitch notation, including treble and bass clef; basic rhythm, including dots and ties; common meters; major and minor scales, keys, and key signatures; intervals, including interval quality; and triads, including triad quality. Students must earn a score of 70 percent or better in order to register for Theory I during the fall. Those who fail to do so after two attempts must complete MUSC 110 Fundamentals of Theory, which is offered online during the second summer session. Note that while the exam is part of the audition process, it is not a significant criterion for admission.

The textbook used in core undergraduate theory courses is Steven Laitz’s The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening. Practice websites can be found at Music Theory and teoria.

Piano Proficiency Entrance Exam

All IUP Music majors are required to take at least two semesters of piano (exceptions noted below). Based on their piano ability and the results of this placement exam, students who successfully audition and enroll at IUP will be placed in either Applied Piano (private instruction) or Class Piano (group setting).

Students who do not pass the exam or do not choose to take the exam will automatically be placed in Class Piano I. Prospective students who indicate on their audition application that they have at least one year of piano background are strongly encouraged to prepare for and take the piano proficiency exam on the day of their audition.

Please note: Piano proficiency exams will not be administered except on audition dates.

Vocal Majors

All prospective voice majors (excluding INFA) with more than one year of piano background should prepare for and take the piano proficiency exam at their audition. If students are placed into Class Piano, they will have to complete two semesters of class piano and a jury before they will be allowed to begin their applied piano (private instruction) requirements. The BSEd in voice requires four semesters of Applied Piano, and the BA and BFA require two semesters of Applied Piano.

Suggested Audition Materials


Requirements for voice applicants for the BA/BFA in music performance and BSEd music education degree programs  


Etude or solo required for these instruments, plus sight reading expected on snare and mallets  


Suggested audition material for the BSEd, BA, or BFA. Composition degrees, and for the BFA in Music Performance  


A prospective violin, viola, cello, double bass, or guitar student should be prepared to play from the listed repertoire.  


Requirements for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (Bb only), Bassoon, and Saxophone  


Requirements for Trumpet/Cornet, French horn, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba  


Applicants should submit a portfolio of compositions for review on the day of their audition. The portfolio should include at least three scores. Recordings, even if MIDI, are strongly encouraged.  

  • Music Department
  • Cogswell Hall, Room 103
    422 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1071
  • Phone: 724-357-2390
  • Fax: 724-357-1324
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.