Academics: Majors and Programs

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Prospective Music Student

As you explore this area, you will find everything you need to know about the department of music at Spelman College - a great place to learn, grow, and develop as a musician.

The Music Program

The department of music offers curricula leading to a bachelor of arts degree in music. Students may either major or minor in music.

Special Entry Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the College, the incoming student must do the following:

  • Complete an audition in person in her major medium. See Audition Information.
  • Take a theory assessment test. Students with little or no prior music training should plan to take Fundamentals of Music before taking Music Theory I.
  • For transfer students, all credits in music from another institution are subject to evaluation by the department of music and must be validated upon entrance by examination and audition. Transfer students may have to spend longer than the customary four years to complete the music requirements for the baccalaureate degree at Spelman College.

Music Major Requirements
Music Minor Requirements

A music major who wishes to acquire certification for teaching must (1) satisfy the College requirements for the core, (2) satisfy the requirements for a major in music, including passing a piano proficiency examination, and (3) complete one of the professional education sequences, including laboratory experience and student teaching in the public schools.

The planning of courses should be done collaboratively with the chairpersons of the departments of music and education. Summer school will be necessary for the completion of all requirements.

Audition Information

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the College, the incoming student must complete an audition in person in her major medium. Auditions are evaluated by the music faculty.

Purpose of the Audition

The audition provides an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate her performance ability to the music faculty. The audition is also a way for faculty to determine whether the candidate is likely to be successful as a professional musician. An audition generally lasts between 10-20 minutes.

General Guidelines

Students who have more than one instrument are encouraged to audition in each area of musical expertise.

Performance from memory is desirable but not required unless specifically indicated.

Piano accompaniment for instrumental solos is desirable but not required. Vocalists should be prepared to audition with piano accompaniment. The department will supply the accompanist.

All candidates will be examined for tonal memory and ability to match pitch.

All candidates are encouraged to include a current repertoire, reflecting technical studies, solos, scales, etc.

Where a great distance is involved, the candidate may submit a recording, preferably in video format. Candidates who submit a recording may be asked to re-audition after arriving on campus.

Specific Guidelines

Keyboard. The candidate should be prepared to perform:

  • At least two contrasting pieces from the standard repertoire.
  • Scales and arpeggios in any major or minor key.

Orchestral Strings. The candidate should be prepared to perform:

  • Two pieces - one slow for tone, vibrato and bow control; one fast for general dexterity.
  • Basic major scales and arpeggios.

Percussion. The candidate should be prepared to perform:

  • A suitable solo to demonstrate musical and technical ability on the following instruments: snare drum, timpani, and xylophone/marimba.
  • Basic rhythm patterns and scales to demonstrate musicality.

Voice. The candidate should be prepared to perform:

  • From memory, a minimum of two songs, one of which should be in a foreign language.
  • Various vocal exercises to determine range, dexterity, and vocal quality.

Wind /Brass Instruments. The candidate should be prepared to perform:

  • A suitable solo or etude to demonstrate musical and technical ability.
  • Basic major scales and arpeggios to demonstrate range and sound quality.

Scheduling an Audition

Auditions for the department of music are generally held during New Student Orientation Week. Be sure to check the orientation schedule when arriving on campus to determine when the auditions will take place.