All worship students must study music theory as part of their course work. Some students have studied music theory as part of private lessons they have taken or in their high school music program. Other students have had no prior music theory experience, which is not required for admission to the program.
We offer a Theory Entrance exam for worship students who have had a background in music theory, and who believe that they could pass out of the class "Introduction to Music Theory and Aural Skills". This can save the student time and money. The criteria for "Credit by Examination" can be found in the current academic catalog.
Taking this test is optional for worship students, but there is no penalty for taking it and not being successful. It is offered on audition days and during Getting Started week. Topics covered on the exam include keys, scales, intervals, etc. and simple aural concepts.
You can prepare for the Theory Entrance Exam by purchasing an introductory music theory text and working through the material on your own. Introductory texts usually include titles such as Introduction to Music Theory, Basic Music Theory, or Fundamentals of Music Theory. A really useful text is Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Program Course by Paul O. Harder.
As you prepare, you should become very familiar with the following topics:
- Rules of basic music notation
- Major and minor key signatures
- Relative and parallel keys
- Simple meter and rhythm
- Major and three minor scale forms
- Basic interval spelling and recognition (up through the octave)
For additional information:
Dr. Roger O'Neel