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School of Music

Transfer Students

A “How-To” Guide for Transfer Students

We are delighted that you are considering the Southern Miss School of Music, and we want to make your transition to our University is as smooth as possible. Therefore, we have assembled this guide to provide you with important and helpful information before you even get here.  Please read everything carefully and thoroughly. 

Mississippi Public Universities

Mississippi Public Universities
Articulation Agreement

An agreement between two academic institutions that a course offered at one institution will be accepted for transfer credit at the partnering institution. Articulation agreements help students take appropriate courses at the community/junior college that will transfer for credit toward a bachelor's degree at the university of their choice.

 

Fall 2020: Due to Covid-19, Music Theory Placement Tests for 2020 will be waived for transfer students. Piano Competency Exams will take place virtually via Zoom.

 


 Dates  Exams Format
On-going

Piano Competency Exams and Class Piano Placements

Due to Covid-19, we are currently offering the piano competency exam and class piano placements via Zoom. More information is provided further below.

Interested students must contact Dr.%20Ellen%20Elder, Associate Professor of Piano and USM Class Piano Coordinator.

If you are considering majoring in piano, please instead contact: keyboardfacultyFREEMississippi

August 21, 2020 Music Theory Placement Test  Waived for 2020
May 2021 Piano Competency Exams and Class Piano Placements and Music Theory Placement Test T.B.A.
August 2021 Music Theory Placement Test T.B.A. 


Placement Exams

Each year, we offer you the opportunity to be placed properly in the right aural skills and theory courses (if needed) as well as piano class.  Information for each follows:

Music Theory and Ear Training

  • The theory department gives you the opportunity to take a validation test based on the transferrable credit that you have earned at another institution of higher learning.  Since curricula vary from university to university, we want to insure that what you have studied elsewhere has prepared you for classes at Southern Miss. 
  • These are not “CLEP” tests to exempt you from taking classes, but the tests are for students who have earned transferrable credit from another institution of higher education. 
  • You can only take this test once; we recommend that you take it in the spring, since you may be more familiar with the material.  

Please contact Dr.%20Danny%20Beard if you intend to take the tests in the spring and/or if you have any questions about the tests. Students who are unsuccessful in the spring will not be allowed to retake the tests in the fall.

 

Piano

  • You are required to study piano and pass a “Piano Competency Exam” as a music major at Southern Miss.  

  • This test is administered to you​, ​usually near the end of the final semester of piano class (MED 202), in a ​course entitled Piano Competency (MED 302).

  • As a transfer student, you will have the opportunity to either attempt the entire exam, or attempt part of the exam and be placed in the appropriate piano class. ​ (USM students must take the complete exam unless they have had four semesters of class piano at which point they may opt to take part of the exam, if needed). 

Due to Covid-19, we are currently offering the piano competency exam and class piano placements via Zoom. If you have questions, please contact Dr.%20Ellen%20Elder, Associate Professor of Piano and USM Class Piano Coordinator. If you are considering majoring in piano, please instead contact keyboardfacultyFREEMississippi.

Piano Competency Exam Requirements

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have already passed a piano competency exam at the college ​or university from which you are transferring, that exam must be comparable to USM's Piano Competency Exam Requirements found above.

If you have indeed passed such a competency exam, please provide the name and email address of the professor who administered the exam. We will contact that professor for:

  1. A description of the items on the exam (details regarding the specific things you performed)
  2. The grade that you earned, if applicable. Please send the name and email address of the professor at your previous institution to Dr.%20Ellen%20Price%20Elder, Associate Professor of Piano and USM Class Piano Coordinator.

 

Summer Preview


Southern Miss holds a series of dates over the summer called “Preview.”  Transfer students are required to register for one of these dates.

At Preview, you will:

  • Meet with your academic adviser and create your class schedule
  • Pre-order your textbooks
  • Get your student ID made
  • Have your questions answered during small-group sessions
  • Find out more about student organizations and opportunities to get involved on campus

Perhaps the most important thing to do during Preview is to register for your first semester of classes. You will be brought to the School of Music for this. It is extremely helpful if you bring a copy of your transcript; otherwise, registration may take longer and/or result in faulty advising.

  • If you do not attend Preview, you will have to wait until the beginning of the semester to register, and class availability will be extremely low; therefore, we see it as a must to register for one of the Previews above and attend it. 
  • We also recommend that you attend one of the earlier Previews, so that you can be more assured of getting into the classes that you want – the later you register, the harder it gets.
  • New transfer students sometimes find that their transferred courses were not entered correctly into their Southern Miss degree progress report or are even missing. This may occur for several reasons: final semester at your previous school has not yet been processed or even sent over to us, a glitch in the computer system, human error, etc.  Therefore, during your first semester at Southern Miss you should be sure that everything looks correct.  If not, please see the Undergraduate Coordinator as soon as possible to fix the problem.

Sophomore Proficiency Exam

Every student pursuing a bachelor of music degree at Southern Miss must perform an end-of-semester jury. You are probably familiar with these.  However, every student in this category must also pass what is called a Sophomore Proficiency Exam (originally called Barrier Jury).

  • This examination is longer than the typical jury, and it tests the student’s ability to play at the upper-divisional level (200-level = freshmen and sophomores, or lower divisional; 400 = juniors or seniors, or upper divisional).  All music students in this category must pass this.
  • Students who begin their music degrees at Southern Miss typically take the Sophomore Proficiency Exam at the end of their sophomore year.
  • Transfer students are required to take it as soon as possible (usually at the end of a given semester, but permissible at auditions). Transfer students can lose quite a bit of time at Southern Miss if they are not already on track to take this jury before they arrive. 
  • We strongly recommend that transfer students study the following requirements for their major instrument and are familiar with all or part of them before arriving to Southern Miss

Music Performance Majors:

  • Student must sign up for a double time-slot for the jury (20 minutes instead of 10 minutes);
  • All major and minor scales, as defined by the studio professor on that instrument;
  • Supplementary technical material, as determined by the studio professor;
  • Oral exam encompassing knowledge of literature, pedagogy, recordings, and performers, specific to the instrument;
  • Solo work(s) representing major repertoire accompanied by piano, as chosen by the studio professor;
  • Etude(s) as chosen by the studio professor.

Music Education Majors: 

  • Student must sign up for a double time-slot for the jury (20 minutes instead of 10 minutes);
  • All major and minor scales, as defined by the studio professor on that instrument;
  • Supplementary technical material, as determined by the studio professor;
  • Oral exam encompassing knowledge of literature, pedagogy, recordings, and performers specific to the instrument;
  • Etude(s) and/or Solo work(s) representing major repertoire accompanied by piano, as chosen by the studio professor.

Please click here and scroll down to the Trumpet area..

Tenor Trombone Sophomore Proficiency

  • Major Scales/All forms of Minor Scales (2 Octaves)
  • #16 from Borgdogni/Mulcahy Complete Vocalises for Trombone
  • #6 from Bleger 31 Studies

Bass Trombone Sophomore Proficiency

  • Major Scales/All forms of Minor Scales (2 Octaves)
  • #6 from Tyrell 40 Advanced Studies for Bb Bass
  • #16 (8vb) from Borgdogni/Mulcahy Complete Vocalises for Trombone

Performance Majors (Additional Requirement) 

Tenors

  • Mozart Tuba Mirum
  • Berlioz Hungarian March
  • Wagner Ride of the Valkyrie

Basses

  • Schumann Symphony No. 3 (The Rhenish)
  • Berlioz Hungarian March
  • Wagner Ride of the Valkyrie

Note: Deficient Proficiencies must be completed before the end of a student’s first semester for the student to remain as a music major.  All but two proficiencies must be completed before a student can register for MUP 456.  All proficiencies must be completed in order to receive a passing grade for MUP 456.

Music Ed, BA degrees

  • Snare Level 1 and 2
  • Mallets Level 1 - 4
  • Set Level 1 - 3
  • Timpani Level 1 and 2
  • Latin Lab

Performance degree

  • Snare Level 1 and 2
  • Mallets Level 1 - 5
  • Set Level 1 - 4
  • Timpani Level 1 and 2
  • Latin Lab

Jazz Studies degree

  • Snare Level 1 and 2
  • Mallets Level 1 - 5
  • Set Level 2 - 6
  • Timpani Level 1
  • Latin Lab
  • A selection, chosen by the jury, of memorized scales (G - D-flat for violin), in major and minor, with 4, 6 and 8 notes slurred per bow, and the related series of arpeggios, memorization not required.
  • Three works from among the required jury categories, one of which must be memorized.
  • Be able to perform any of the complete 120 Studies for the Right Hand by Mauro Giuliani.
  • Be able to perform any of the complete diatonic major and minor scales as fingered by Andres Segovia with free- and rest-stroke as well as with all of the following right-hand alternation patterns: im, mi, ma, am, ia, ai, p, pi, ip, pm, mp, pa, ap.
  • Perform one etude by Carcassi, Sor, Coste, or Villa-Lobos.
  • Perform one movement of a work by J.S. Bach (preferably from an unaccompanied suite).
 

Please check your repertoire choices with any member of the piano faculty before proceeding. 

  • BA - Three pieces, with one being memorized. 
  • BME - Three pieces (or movements) of contrasting style periods, with at least two memorized, from the standard piano repertoire. 
  • BM - Three pieces (or movements) of contrasting style periods, with all three memorized, from the standard piano repertoire.

BME Choral/Vocal, BM Voice Performance, and BA with Voice Emphasis

  • For the Barrier Audition/Jury, each voice major will prepare and present six (6) contrasting pieces that must include the following four languages: English, Italian, German, and French. A total of three pieces will be sung, with the student selecting the first piece and the voice faculty selecting the subsequent two pieces. In order to pass the Barrier, the student must receive a majority vote of Pass by the voice faculty.

BM Voice Performance only: 

  • In order to continue in the degree track, the student must also secure a majority Pass of the Performer’s Certificate. It is possible to pass the barrier and be denied the Performer’s Certificate.


Helpful Links

University’s Office of Admissions’ Transfer Students 

Music Theory Sample Tests


Contacts

Dr. J. Taylor Hightower

Undergraduate coordinator  

Dr. Danny Beard

Theory professor in charge of placement tests 

Dr. Ellen Elder

Piano faculty in charge of piano placement tests 

Contact Us

School of Music

115 Mannoni Performing Arts Center

Campus Hattiesburg

Campus Map

Email
Laurie.RinkoFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.5543