School of Performing Arts: Music Admission Requirements

Entrance Audition

All prospective undergradate students who desire to become music majors or minors must be accepted by the Music Department through a three-step entrance audition.

  • Please complete our online audition application form apply
  • We will then send a request to the person you specify in the application form (either an applied instrument/voice teacher or large ensemble director) for a letter of recommendation.

  • If you have any questions, please contact Linda England at (208) 282-3636 or email

1. Performance Audition. The purpose of the performance audition is to determine the student's level of accomplishment on his or her major instrument or voice. The student should be prepared to perform the following:

  • Vocal.
    1. Two vocal selections from the standard literature (more than one language, if possible).
    2. Sight reading.
  • Instrumental.
    1. Major, minor and chromatic scales, and major and minor arpeggios.
    2. Two musical selections - a solo and an etude/exercise from the standard instrumental literature.
    3. Sight reading.
  • Percussion.
    1. For mallet instruments: major, minor and chromatic scales, and major and minor arpeggios, and for non mallet instruments: standard rudiments.
    2. Two musical selections - a solo and an etude/exercise from the standard percussion literature.
    3. Sight reading.

2. Personal Interview. The interview is used to determine whether a student has the necessary qualifications and interest to develop a career in music.

3. Placement Examinations in Music Theory and Piano. There are two placement exams: music theory placement and piano placement. These are used to determine the initial level of study in music theory and class piano. Students with no prior piano study will be placed in Class Piano I. Previous study of music fundamentals is highly encouraged prior to taking the music theory placement exam, in order to enter freshman music theory classes.

Transfer Students. Students planning to major in music at ISU are strongly advised to enter the university as freshmen. Students desiring to transfer credits from other accredited institutions or change their major at ISU to music must also complete an entrance audition. Transferred music credits must be evaluated by the department chairperson in order to determine compatibility with ISU courses. Transferred general education credits are evaluated by the transfer clerk in the Admissions Office. Transfer students may be required to repeat courses taken at other institutions when those courses are deemed incompatible with required ISU courses.

Major Status

There are three levels of major status for ISU undergraduate students: Pre-major, Intent to major, and Admitted to major:

  • Pre-major. An incoming freshmen student may declare as a pre-major in any field. Incoming music students are strongly encouraged to move to intented major status immediately by successfully completing the entrance audition.
  • Intent to major. A music student who successfully completes the entrance audition will have the status of intented major and will be eligible to enroll in applied music courses.
  • Admitted to major. To become an admitted major a student must pass the Junior Standing Exam. An admitted music major is eligible to enroll in upper division applied music courses. Transfer students who complete the requirements for the Junior Standing Exam as part of their entrance audition will be classified as admitted majors.

Graduate admission.

The Master of Education degree in Music Education is offered through the College of Education. Information can be found in the ISU Graduate Catalog. An on-line graduate application form is available.

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