Applying to the School of Music

Students pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree or minor within the School of Music must first apply for admission to Ball State University.

Students who identify music as a potential major in the Ball State online application system will be automatically directed to a supplemental application for the School of Music.

Admission Criteria

  • at least one recommendation from a music teacher
  • an audition to demonstrate musicianship and the potential to succeed as a music major

All prospective music students, including those interested in a degree in music media production, must demonstrate proficiency on one or more of the following:

  • keyboard (piano or organ)
  • symphonic instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and harp)
  • guitar
  • voice

Additional Requirements

Theory Placement Exam Guide

Download Guide (PDF)

As part of the admission process, you must complete a music theory placement exam and have your piano skills evaluated. While the outcome of these components have no bearing on admission, the results are used to place admitted students into the proper level of corresponding courses. Students might also earn credit for knowledge and skills manifest in the exams.

Music Theory Placement

This brief written exam will be administered at your on-campus audition. Your knowledge of the following concepts will be assessed:

  • Identifying and constructing key signatures
  • Constructing major and three forms of minor scales
  • Identifying and building intervals
  • Identifying triads and seventh chords

Piano Skills Evaluation

For the piano skills evaluation, students are asked to perform, if possible, a short repertoire selection that demonstrates their current piano ability level, as well as functional and technical skills such as:

  • scales
  • chord progressions
  • sight-reading
  • melody harmonization
  • transposition
  • improvisation
  • score-reading

Students are reminded that piano experience is not required. Students who are admitted to the School of Music but have no prior piano experience will begin study in our Level 1 Group Piano course.


The guidelines for the piano skills evaluation are different from the piano audition guidelines. If you are interested in piano as your principal instrument, please consult the piano audition guidelines.

Need Help?

If you encounter any difficulty or have specific questions as you navigate the admission process, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. The Office of Undergraduate Programs in Music can be reached by email or by calling 765-285-5503.