Music Program Entry Requirements

In addition to the standard college admissions process, students who desire to pursue a major or minor in music should complete a Performance Assessment Packet. This five-step process detailed below is to help our music faculty determine the student’s level and musical background and give advice to the student prior to arrival.

Students who complete the scholarship application requirements and submit their performance assessment packet by the priority deadline of March 1 are eligible to be awarded scholarships.

Step One: Repertoire List

Compile a list of repertoire you have studied organized by the composer/arranger’s last name and attach to the Music Degree Application (see Step 4).

Step Two: Letters of Recommendation

Ask your private lesson teacher to email a letter of recommendation to Dr. David Ledgerwood. A letter of recommendation from your band or choir director would also be valued.

Step Three: Performance Recordings

Make a performance recording for professional assessment by the MBU music faculty following the guidelines below:

  • Majors: record 3 selections.
  • Minors: record 2 selections.
  • Selections should be contrasting in style, tempo, and musical era and should be of sufficient difficulty to show your musical and technical capabilities in each style.
  • Please take care of the quality of the video you submit. Tips: the camera placement should give a good angel of hand position. There should not be distractions or interruptions during your recording.
  • Memorization is encouraged, but not required for this assessment.
  • Submit your recordings online by opening a Vimeo or YouTube account and uploading your recordings. Copy and paste the video link(s) into the Music Degree Application. To be sure you are submitting the correct links on your Music Degree Application, please log out of Vimeo/Youtube and check the links. If the links do not work, you need to click “share” on the video to obtain a shareable link. (If your files are large, you may want to compress your videos by downloading the free  online program “Handbrake.”) 

Step Four: Submit your Performance Assessment Packet

  • Complete the Music Degree Application. Be sure your repertoire list is ready to attach and recording links are ready to copy and paste before starting the application.
  • Choose your submission date from one of the dates below. The sooner you complete this process, the sooner our music faculty can advise you. To be considered for the Music Department Scholarship, your packet must be submitted by March 1.
  • Fall Semester Start:
    • Submit packet by April 15—receive feedback by May 15
    • Submit packet by July 15—receive feedback by August 15
  • Spring Semester Start:
    • Submit packet by November 15—receive feedback by December 15

Step Five: Complete the Music Theory Placement Test

  • The online Music Theory Placement Test is required for ALL music majors and minors. The score on this test determines whether students need to take Music Theory Fundamentals their first semester, wait until second semester for Harmony I, or advance to Harmony II their first semester. Students will be enrolled in Music Theory Fundamentals by default.
  • In May, a link to the test will be sent to all applicants who have been accepted to the University and indicated their interest in a music major or minor. If you do not receive an e-mail to locate this test by July, please e-mail finearts@mbu.edu.
  • Test content includes questions about the very basics of music theory such as clefs, note names, intervals, key signatures, major/minor scales and chords.
  • All new music students must take this test by August 1 or be automatically registered for the Music Theory Fundamentals course.
  • Students will be notified of their test results via email.

Step Six: Read the Music Department Handbook

  • Familiarize yourself with our policies and mentally prepare for expectations for exams, juries, and recitals.
  • Determine if you should prepare to test out of any music courses (see test-out requirement pages in the Music Department Handbook). We encourage academically and musically gifted students to test out of as many courses as possible. Music majors who test out of courses may add a minor or take other enriching music courses not required in their program. Music education majors may reduce program length by several credits.

Step Seven: Get Ahead

  • Decide if you should take CLEP tests (see the General Information - CLEP requirements in the catalog), and consider taking online courses at Maranatha.
  • Write finearts@mbu.edu to sign up for band, orchestra, and/or choir auditions which take place Jumpstart weekend. Read how to prepare for performing group auditions.
  • By August, you will be registered for classes. Make sure Repertoire Class, Introductory Music Seminar, Basic Music Literature, Aural Skills Foundations, and private lessons for your primary and secondary instrument  are on your class roster. To graduate on time, carefully follow the course sequencing in the catalog.
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