For Current Students


The Music Department requires an audition for all students who wish to pursue the music major at Southwestern. A prospective student’s audition serves both as an admission and a scholarship audition.

Students who are not admitted into the major program on the basis of the audition are welcome to participate in all activities of the Music Department for which they qualify; if they still wish to pursue the major they may re-audition for the Department after they begin their studies at Southwestern. Please also note that admission into the major program does not guarantee a music scholarship.

For detailed repertoire requirements for music auditions, please see the page on music scholarships.

Sophomore Barrier Exam

All students pursuing a music major degree program will perform before the music faculty no later than the conclusion of their second full year of study, or after a maximum of two semesters in residence for transfer students, after they are admitted by audition to the Music Department.

The content of this performance varies by specialization; requirements are available from the Music Department. The faculty will use the quality of the student’s performance as one component of evaluating whether the student should be permitted to continue in his or her intended music degree program.

Keyboard Proficiency Exam

All music major degree plans, whether leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree, require passage of a keyboard proficiency examination. These are usually administered as part of a music performance jury at the end of a semester.

Specific skills and elements that a student must demonstrate in order to pass the exam vary according to the principal area of study, and the chosen degree plan and concentration. Certain degree plans, most notably the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education and the Bachelor of Music in Keyboard Performance, have more extensive requirements. Successful completion of the exam is recorded through the filing of a Special Report Card with the Registrar’s Office.

Since keyboard study is expected of all music majors whatever their planned concentration, prospective music majors for whom piano is not their principal performing area are strongly advised to begin keyboard study prior to arrival at Southwestern.

Up-to-date information about the Keyboard Proficiency Examination may be obtained from the head of the keyboard area, Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa.


The Music Department requires that all music majors or intended music majors perform a jury, or graded performance examination, on their principal instrument or voice at the end of each semester they are enrolled at Southwestern University.

Exceptions to this rule may be made at the discretion of the individual applied instructor under circumstances as outlined in the Music Department faculty handbook. All other students taking applied music lessons should perform juries starting with their third semester of study in a particular applied area, and continue every semester thereafter. This rule also applies to music majors in their secondary applied study area.