Other Requirements for Music Students

Ensemble Participation

Students taking private lessons are required to play or sing in the assigned ensemble each semester of enrollment. Pianists may be asked to accompany or required to participate in an ensemble. 

Juries and Required Performances

Music majors are required to perform a jury exam and perform TWO TIMES publicly in a solo setting during each semester of applied music study after the major declaration.

Music minors are required to perform a jury and an approved public performance during each semester of enrollment in applied music after the first.

Non-music majors are required to perform a jury or an approved public performance every semester of enrollment.


Juries are held during final exam week. The usual jury literature for majors or intended majors will include two contrasting movements or songs, and memorization is required for singers and pianists and strongly urged for instrumentalists. Students performing a Junior or Senior Recital may be exempted from a jury exam for that semester. Any exemption must be approved by the applied teacher and indicated on the jury form.

Semester Jury Form

Junior Level Examination

The Junior Level Examination is an extended jury for students intending a music major that is attempted no later than the fourth semester of applied study at Austin College. Students are heard and aurally examined on all aspects of their musical preparation. Successful completion of the Junior Level Exam allows the student to register for major-level applied music and to continue in the music major. Students attempting the Junior Level exam sign-up for two jury slots during normal jury times and should consult early with the applied teacher to prepare for the examination. Composition students are required to complete the Junior Level Examination on the major instrument and submit a portfolio of composition work.

Junior Level Exam Form

Piano Proficiency Requirement

Students majoring in music who are not concentrating in keyboard performance are required to complete a piano proficiency requirement. This requirement is fulfilled by an examination for the piano faculty, and students normally take one or more semesters of applied piano specially designed to prepare them for the test. It is strongly recommended that this be accomplished by the end of the sophomore year and it is required that the student attempt the examination one time before the senior year.

Piano Proficiency Examination

PART I – Technical Skills
A. Scales played one octave with hands together and with correct fingering at a steady tempo: All major scales All white minor scales (a,b,c,d,e,f and g) in three forms (natural, harmonic and melodic).
B. A complete cadence in all major and white minor keys in close position (Bass note in the left hand and a complete triad in the right hand). Omit the 5th of the triad in the V 7 chord. I – IV – V 7 – I
C. Play all triads and inversions – hands separately.

PART II – Literature
A. Play one selection from memory by a composer of your choice from Piano for the Developing Musician (Book One) by Hilley and Olson.(Choose from Chapter V through Chapter X *) OR play any selection of your choice approved by the piano faculty of the music department.
B. Harmonize a simple melody at sight with the three primary triads I, IV and V in the left hand and the melody in the right hand.
C. Sight read a selection chosen from Piano for the Developing Musician (Book One) by Hilley and Olson.
D. Transpose a single melody line at sight to at least two keys below the given tonality and two keys above the given tonality.

*Copies of the Hilley and Olson text are available for any student wishing to prepare for the exam.

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Austin College, 900 N. Grand Ave., Sherman, TX 75090-4400, 903.813.2000