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UNI School of Music

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Undergraduate Majors

The Music major under the Bachelor of Arts degree is a liberal arts program for the student interested in combining the discipline of music training with the breadth offered by a liberal arts curriculum.

The Composition-Theory and Performance majors are professional degrees designed to prepare the student for

  1. a career as a composer or an artist-performer, or
  2. entrance to graduate schools where further excellence in composition or in a performance area might be pursued.

The Music Education major prepares the student for a teaching career and provides licensure in music for grades K-6 and 7-12.

General Requirements for Undergraduate Majors

Music majors on all degree programs must choose an area of applied music (540:xxx) for specialization and must meet the proficiency standards of the School of Music. The total required applied hours indicated for each major must be completed on one of the specialization instruments or voice on which the student auditioned. Dividing the required applied hours among various instruments, or voice and instrument(s), will not satisfy the applied music portion of any of the degree programs.


Admission to the School of Music requires successful completion of an audition in the main performance area.

Music Theory

On the first day of classes at UNI, freshman music majors/minors will take a diagnostic test in Music Theory fundamentals. The results of this test will help determine which section of Music Theory would be appropriate for your skill level.

The link below will allow you to download a PDF of a sample of this diagnostic. We encourage you to complete this test to help you determine if your theory skills may need sharpening (*see below for suggested resources).

Click here for a sample of the diagnostic examination.

Click here for the answer sheet to the sample diagnostic examination.

Click here for suggested knowledge base for Theory I courses.

Aural Training and Sight-Singing

We use the following systems for singing pitches and counting rhythmic syllables:

  1. Solfege, utilizing a “fixed do” approach.

    In this system, the pitch C (C’s in all octaves) is always sung as do. If we sing in the key of D major, the tonic (first) pitch will be sung as re. Each pitch of the chromatic scale carries its own unchanging syllable. The link below contains a diagram of the chromatic solfege syllables utilized at UNI.

    Click here for a sample of the solfege syllables utilized at UNI.

  2. Rhythmic Syllables

    A vocabulary of syllables corresponding to specific rhythmic durations is learned and combined with conducting as a means of improving rhythmic-reading abilities. Click on the link below to download more information about the rhythmic syllables utilized at UNI.

    Click here for a sample of the rhythmic syllables utilized at UNI.

*The following resources may also be helpful in preparing for Theory I.

  1. MFun: Music Fundamentals, software by Elizabeth Sayrs - an interactive eText covering the basic music fundamentals with associated computerized drills. This resource is highly recommended, especially for students with very little or no previous training in music theory. To order, go to:
  2. Harder and Steinke, Basic Materials in Music Theory, A Programmed Course, 12th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009
  3. Websites:  or

Computer Resources

A computer lab with 23 iMac workstations and keyboards is available to all students in the Russell Hall music building.

We currently use the MacGamut 6 software as a component of the Aural Training courses. In addition, we have many other software titles housed on the CHFA (College of Humanities & Fine Arts) server. Among these are the industry standard notation programs, Finale and Sibelius.

Piano Proficiency

Required of all majors. All freshmen will enroll in group piano class or applied piano continuously (semester by semester) until piano proficiency has been passed. For Music Education majors, requirements must be completed prior to student teaching.

Piano Proficiency Requirements - Level 1

Piano Proficiency Requirements - Level 2

Piano Proficiency Requirements - Level 3

Vocal and Instrumental Competency

Required of all Music Education Majors.

Vocal/choral students (Specialization A) will complete one semester of Introduction to Instrumental Techniques (570:015); instrumental students (Specialization B) will attend special sections of Instrumental Techniques (570:010) taught by vocal/choral faculty. Keyboard majors enrolling for Specialization A must also satisfy vocal proficiency as determined by the voice faculty.

Foreign Language

Bachelor of Music Performance voice majors are required to complete one semester (5 credits-UNI) at the college/university level in each of two of the following foreign languages, listed in order of preference: Italian, German, French. Ten (10) semester hours of credit in a foreign language are strongly recommended for students whose applied concentration is voice (Music Education Major) and for all non-voice majors on the Bachelor of Music Performance program.

Large Ensembles

In addition to applied music, all music majors must participate in at least one of the designated large ensembles for a minimum of 8 semesters (6 semesters for students in the music education program). Participation in large ensembles will be continuous from the first semester of residence until completion of the requirement. Participation in the following ensembles [MUS ENS 1120/3120/5120, MUS ENS 1121/3121/5121] does not satisfy the large ensemble requirement. Auditions are required for all ensembles in the School of Music, and students will be assigned to ensembles according to audition results.

  • Wind and percussion students will be assigned to an appropriate instrumental ensemble. All wind and percussion students who are pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Music in Music Education are required to participate in marching band for a minimum of two semesters. (It is strongly recommended that this requirement be fulfilled during the freshman and sophomore years.) B.A. Music: Jazz Studies majors will be assigned to the appropriate large jazz ensemble (sections 02, 03, or 04).
  • In the fall semester, participation in either Jazz Band I oir II may satisfy the large ensemble requirement for students in select degree programs or those who have completed their respective marching band requirements.  All students must meet audition requirements for the two above ensembles.
  • String players will participate in the orchestra.
  • The initial choral ensemble for all freshmen voice students will be either UNI Singers or Women's Chorus. Freshmen are limited to participation in only one vocal large ensemble. Students performing targeted roles in UNI Opera main stage productions are exempt from ensemble participation for four (4) weeks preceding the final performance of the production.
  • Composition and Keyboard majors will audition for either an instrumental or a choral large ensemble. Keyboard majors in the music education program shall participate in an ensemble appropriate to their specialization.