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Music | Information

Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts, MusicGeneral Information


In addition to the general admission requirements for IU South Bend, prospective music students must take the following steps:

  • Students must audition on their major instrument. A later change of major instrument requires an additional audition. For information about audition dates and repertoire, contact the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts office.
  • All entering first-time students must complete an assessment process to determine their placement in music theory and music history classes. There is no charge for this examination which is administered the week before classes start each semester.

Once the above steps are complete, the student may be certified as a music major. However, up to the time when 45 credit hours are successfully complete, the student may transfer to another academic degree program, either at the student’s request or on the recommendation of the music faculty.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must audition in a major performing area for admission to a particular curriculum. Applicants with cumulative grade point averages below the requirement may petition for admission on probationary status on the basis of musical talent demonstrated by an audition before music faculty members.

Transfer students who have completed college coursework in a music degree program must take placement examinations in music theory, aural skills, music history, and keyboard proficiency. These examinations are administered the week before classes start each semester.

All credit hours in music and world languages from an institution other than Indiana University are subject to placement and evaluation in the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts and must be validated upon entrance by examination or audition.

Transfer students, especially those transferring for their junior or senior years, must be aware of the possibility that not all credit hours in the above areas are accepted or counted toward degree requirements in the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts. These students may have to spend a longer time to complete their bachelor’s degrees.Transfer students may take a music examination to demonstrate their comprehension when they have passed an equivalent course at another institution. (See Credit by Examination within Academic Regulations and Policies of the university in this publication for more information.)

Credit for Professional Experience

Students seeking credit for equivalent professional experience are evaluated as follows:

  • In academic courses, on the recommendation of the area coordinator, the student may gain Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts credit by examination.
  • In applied music, advanced placement in a medium is achieved only through parallel music performance and literature examinations which evaluate the composite level of experience.
  • To acquire music course credit by examination, the test must be conducted by the music faculty at IU South Bend.

Ensemble Requirement

All undergraduate music students in the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts must enroll in a major ensemble and earn a passing grade each semester of registration regardless of admission status. Attendance at public performances of the major ensemble is required.

To preserve necessary performance balances, no withdrawals from music ensembles are permitted after the second week of the semester. Appeals must be directed to the music faculty. Students should note that absence from a public performance, for any reason other than emergency illness, is regarded with the utmost seriousness, and is grounds for failure in ensemble.

Commencement activities and similar ceremonies may require performances by university ensembles after semester classes are over. The music faculty issues grades in such cases pending satisfactory participation by all performers and reserves the right to revise those grades after original issuance where necessary.

Voice Majors |

The ensemble requirement for the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science in Music, Bachelor of Arts in music, and the Performance minor, all with the specialty in voice (voice majors) is a minimum of four semesters of large ensemble (required), plus an additional four semesters of either large ensemble or chamber choir, MUS-X 420  Small Ensembles, subject to acceptance by audition to the small vocal ensemble.

Piano Majors |

The ensemble requirement for the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science in Music, Bachelor of Arts in music, and the Performance minor, all with the specialty in piano (piano majors) is two semesters of MUS-X 70 University Choral Ensembles. This is required as part of the large ensemble requirement.


Students who do not return equipment, music, instruments, keys, locks, etc., to the music office or other designated area by the designated date are placed on a checklist. A student on the checklist may neither register in the following semester nor receive honorable dismissal to enter another institution. If the item cannot be returned, the student is charged for its replacement value, plus necessary fines to cover the clerical operation. Keys that are lost or not returned require a complete lock change, and this cost is charged to the student.

Applied Music Procedures

The assignment of students to teachers for applied music lessons is the responsibility of the music area coordinator, and is made on the basis of student request and availability of the preferred teacher. At the time of enrollment, students may indicate their first, second, and third choice of teachers. (It is recommended that major and concentration-level students contact their preferred teacher(s) before enrollment.)

No one may withdraw from an applied music course once the formal assignment list is posted except by appeal to the music faculty. Because a major portion of a faculty member’s time is allocated by the enrollment process to a single student, assignment in these courses must be final. A jury is the assessment method in applied music equivalent to the final exam. Juries are held at the end of each semester for students taking applied music in the enrolled instrument.

A student who cannot come for a scheduled lesson is required to notify the teacher at least 24 hours before the beginning of the lesson; otherwise, except for illness immediately prior to a lesson, the student will forfeit the right to a make-up lesson. Students absent without excuse from more than three lessons in any one applied music course during a semester will be failed in that subject, but their lessons will not be discontinued. Lessons missed by the teacher will be made up at the mutual convenience of the pupil and the teacher.

The number of lessons in a semester depends upon the number of lesson hours falling upon regular school days, once applied-music assignments are complete, not including University holidays.
Students must register for applied music courses at least one week prior to the start of classes each semester. If a student misses this deadline, they forfeit their spot in the studio, which may be assigned to another student. Students who miss the deadline may fill out an Appeal for Late Registration in Applied Lessons, which will be reviewed by the faculty.

Performer's Certificate

The IU South Bend Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts faculty established the Performer’s Certificate to honor those students who exhibit exceptional abilities in music performance. While all applied music students are eligible, the certificate is rarely awarded to those below senior standing. No regular schedule of awards is established nor shall any student receive the certificate twice.

A student is nominated for the Performer’s Certificate by the student’s applied music instructor. If the nomination is agreed to by two-thirds of the full-time music faculty, all full-time music faculty members are thereby obligated to attend the public recital itself, following which a final ballot is taken from a minimum of six full-time faculty members. The certificate is awarded unless two or more negative ballots are cast by those present and voting.

Composer's Certificate

The faculty also established the Composer’s Certificate to honor those composition majors who exhibit exceptional abilities in composition while at IU South Bend. Composition majors are normally considered for this award in conjunction with their senior recital in composition.

The criteria for this award are not only the quality of the student’s compositions, but also the degree of professionalism exhibited in the preparation of the compositions for public performance. No regular schedule of awards is established. A student who is awarded the Composer’s Certificate shall not thereby be prevented from also receiving the Performer’s Certificate, and vice versa. The procedures by which a student is nominated for and elected are identical to those established for the Performer’s Certificate.

Events Attendance

All music students (undergraduates, minors*, graduates, and diploma students) must enroll in MUS-I 100 Cultural Events Attendance, (a pass-fail zero-credit-hour course) every semester at IU South Bend. Students submit ticket stubs and programs to an instructor who uses OnCourse to maintain student records. Students must enroll in and pass this course every semester in residence to receive their degree. Students need to attend eight events every semester. A list of the events available will be published by the Production Office.


In addition to cultural events attendance, students enrolled in MUS-I 100 Cultural Events Attendance are required to meet once a week for every week of the semester in a Convocation/Recital Hour, where post-upper-division undergraduates, and graduate students will perform, as well as freshman and sophomore students by nomination.

Performance Lab

All undergraduate students and minors** must also enroll in MUS-U 310, Performance Laboratory, prior to passing the upper-divisional examination

Bachelor's Degrees in Music
Keyboard Proficiency |

All music majors, other than those majoring in a keyboard instrument, are required to enroll in piano class until they have passed the piano proficiency examination. These students must enroll in MUS-P 105 Piano Proficiency, and attempt the examination, no later than their fourth semester of study. Further, these students are entitled to enroll for one semester in MUS-P 200 Piano rather than class piano, and this semester shall be the semester in which the student is enrolled in MUS-P 105 Keyboard Proficiency and takes the examination.

Music students majoring in a keyboard instrument must enroll in MUS-P 105 Keyboard Proficiency and take the piano proficiency examination no later than their second semester of study. If such students cannot pass the examination at that time, they are encouraged to enroll in class piano.

Keyboard Proficiency Exam |

MUS-P 105 Keyboard Proficiency is a requirement for graduation to all students majoring in music, part of the Midterm Assessment (Upper Division Examination). The proficiency examination tests the student’s ability to use the piano as a tool within the framework of professional activities; thus, the requirements vary in emphasis according to the area of major study. The test is taken with the consent of the instructor with whom the secondary student is studying. Entering students who are prepared to take the examination may do so.

The examination is offered at the beginning of each fall semester and at the end of each fall and spring semester. Examining committees will consist of at least one member of the piano faculty plus a representative from either the theory of music education faculties, or both. A student may attempt all or part of the examination in a given semester; any requirements at- tempted in which the student is deemed to be deficient will be subject to reexamination in the following semester.

Students, except those majoring in a keyboard instrument, are required to enroll in piano class until they have passed the piano proficiency or have completed the piano class sequence (MUS-P 101 Piano Class 1, MUS-P 102 Piano Class 2, MUS-P 103 Piano Class 3, MUS-P 104 Piano Class 4). Students who reach the fourth semester of piano class, MUS-P 104 Piano Class 4, without having attempted the examination are required to do so during that fourth semester. Students are entitled to enroll in one semester of studio instruction in piano (MUS-P 200 Piano) upon completion of the piano class sequence (or earlier, with faculty permission). Enrollees in MUS-P 200 Piano will take the piano proficiency examination at the end of the semester as part of the jury examination. Note that all students majoring in a keyboard examination must take the piano proficiency examination no later than the end of their first semester of study.

Students who intend to attempt the examination in a given semester will enroll that semester in the noncredit course number MUS-P 105 Keyboard Proficiency. The successful completion of the examination will confer the grade of S; the completion of part of the examination will confer the grade of I, and the failure of the entire examination (or the refusal to attempt it) will confer the grade of F. Once students have passed part of the examination, they are required to attempt it in each succeeding semester until passed. However, they need not reenroll in MUS-P105 Keyboard Proficiency.

Requirements for Keyboard Proficiency
  • Play any Major scale, two hands together, 2 octaves.
  • Read a melodic line at sight, incorporating a simple accompaniment with indicated chords.
  • Sight-read a four-part chorale or hymn.
  • Sight-read as follows  |  Voice (B.M., B.S.): an accompaniment to an art song  |  Instrumental (B.M., B.S.): an accompaniment to an instrumental solo.
  • Keyboard (except organ) (B.M., B.S.): the piano part of an ensemble piece such as a Mozart sonata for piano and violin.
  • Play a Roman numeral chord progression, such as I IV ii 6 V7 I, in a major key (to four sharps or flats).Perform a prepared repertoire piece from the last semester of the Piano Class sequence (or similar level for transfer students, such as a movement from a Clementi sonatina. Acceptable repertoire can be found in Alfred’s Group Piano for Adults Book 2, pgs 341-373 or any piece from Easy Classics to Moderns Vol. 17
  • Additional requirements: (required of students in the degree programs indicated)
  • Piano and Organ (B.M., B.S.): Scales and arpeggios, major and minor keys, in sixteenth notes, two hands–four octaves, quarter note = M.M. 144.
  • Organ (B.M., B.S.): Chorale style improvisation, modulation to any key; Transposition of a hymn by a half or whole step in either direction. Sight-reading of vocal score.
  • Voice (B.M., B.S.): Sight-reading a solo vocal part together with the piano accompaniment.
  • Composition (B.M. and M.M.): Sight-reading (from score) a portion of a Classical period string quartet (slow movement). Realize in four parts a Roman numeral progression which modulates to a distantly related key, and which may include chord types such as the augmented sixth, Neapolitan sixth, altered dominants, etc. Sight- reading a portion of a twentieth century piano work of moderate difficulty, e.g., Bartók Mikrokosmos, Vol. V.

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