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So you want to be a music major?

An Advisory to Entering Freshman Music Majors | 2017-18

We are excited for your interest in music study at La Sierra University. If you are thinking about majoring in music and pursuing a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, then you need to focus on immediately on four areas that will help you have a successful freshman year.


1) Keep Practicing

1.  Keep Practicing

We want you to do well in your course work, in your private lessons, and in ensembles. In order to get a good start at La Sierra, you need to begin preparing now. First, you should practice several hours every day (the actual amount of time will vary with your performance area) This will help you be better prepared to perform your best on the audition for music scholarship and admission. This first audition is held during your senior year in high school. You will also have a second audition in September when you arrive to begin your studies.

There are two reasons for the September auditions:

Because music faculty hear students audition for scholarships the previous February, they may not remember exactly how you play or sing by the end of the summer. Furthermore, your musical skills have probably improved since your first audition on campus. Applied music faculty (your performance area) will hear freshmen and transfer students at the beginning of the Fall quarter so that they will be able to judge your subsequent progress throughout the year and place you appropriately.


Ensemble directors will audition all students, including freshmen, for ensemble placement. For wind, percussion, and string students, the audition will also determine chair placement within the section.

2) Develop Your Keyboard Skills

2.  Develop Your Keyboard Skills

If you have limited performance skills on the piano, then we strongly urge you to find a piano teacher and begin keyboard study immediately. Piano study will contribute to your general musical knowledge in many ways, especially your functional knowledge of scales, chords, and clefs. You will need functional keyboard skills to play simple accompaniments, harmonize melodies, and improvise music in different styles in your studies at La Sierra. All students, unless they have studied piano privately for a number of years, are required to enroll in piano proficiency classes to develop their keyboard skills. Even after completing the keyboard requirements for a music degree, some students feel the need for more study in order to use the piano as a teaching tool or for personal enjoyment.  So, get started now at the piano for a head start on success as a music student at La Sierra.

3) Develop Your Singing Voice

3.  Develop Your Singing Voice

The functional use of your singing voice is important to your success as a music student at La Sierra, and later as a music teacher in private lessons, ensemble rehearsal, or the classroom.  Although those students who anticipate being a voice major usually spend several years singing in a choir during their adolescent years, many instrumentalists, including pianists, fail to develop their vocal skills. During the freshman and sophomore years, all music majors must enroll in courses designed to develop the skills of aural perception and sight singing. Prior singing experience will help you succeed in those courses. If you have not recently had experience singing, then you are urged to find a place in a school or community choir or another musical venue where you can develop skill in singing with good pitch and rhythm and become comfortable in using your singing voice.  

4) Prepare for Success in Music Theory

4.  Preparing for College Level Music Theory | The Music Theory Placement Exam | 2017-2018

Please click 2017-2018 Freshman Theory Prep for an overview and details regarding theory and musicianship studies and the Music Theory Placement Exam required of all entering freshmen music majors.


Dr. Kenneth Narducci | Director, Theory & Musicianship Studies

For further information regarding preparation for your theory and musicianship studies, and to get started with Option 1 above, please contact: 

Dr. Kenneth Narducci, DMA

Director, Theory & Musicianship Studies

Click here for more information about the various degree works we offer here at La Sierra University. See you soon!


Before September rolls around...

Orientation & Registration

Make sure you've connected with the Office of Advising & Career Success and sign up for orientation. This will be the opportunity to:

and sign up for orientation. This will be the opportunity to:

  • Complete math & English placement tests
  • Clear registration holds
  • Register for Fall quarter courses
  • Obtain official student ID card and parking permit
  • Meet future classmates, administrators, faculty and staff

Orientation Dates:

Audition Requirements

All incoming music majors will need to prepare for two types of auditions:

  • Ensemble placement auditions (instrumental or choral)
  • Entrance auditions in area of emphasis

There are specific requirements for music performance majors. Please click here to review entrance audition instructions and materials. 

For more information about our music faculty, please click here

Theory Placement Test

All incoming freshmen music majors and minors will need to take the theory placement test on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 at 10a in Hole Memorial Auditorium Room 233. If you have any questions or concerns, please email:

Dr. Kenneth Narducci -

1st Year Courses

Please make sure you register for the following courses with your academic coach:

  • CRN #5975 MUCT 111 - Theory IA - 3 units
  • CRN #5981 MUCT 111L - Theory IA Aural Skill Lab - 1 unit
  • CRN #2640 MUET 105 - Intro to Music Tech - 2 units (this course may also be offered Spring 2017)
  • 2 units of music lessons in area of emphasis - MUPF
  • 1 unit of large ensemble - MUPF

If you have any questions or concerns, email