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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 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.

 

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. 


Schedule

Placement Exams Date/Time Location
Music Theory Placement Test

April 30, 2022 | 9 a.m.

August 20, 2022 | 9 a.m.

FAB 114C (for students who have completed sophomore theory and aural skills)

FAB 114A (for students who have completed freshmen theory and aural skills)

Piano Competency Test and/or Class Piano Placement

April 30, 2022 | Immediately following completion of the Theory Tests 

FAB 212 

 

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

  • All BM and BME students must pass a piano competency.  This can be accomplished one of two ways.
      1. Successful completion of the piano competency exam;
      2. Completion of the fourth semester class piano course (MED 202).

Option 2 requires that the student take a piano placement test.  Upon completion of the test, they will be placed into the appropriate course based on their skill level.  Choosing this option may require the student to complete MED 101, MED 102, and MED 201.

  • Prior to the beginning of your studies at USM, you will have the opportunity to either attempt the piano competency exam, or to take the piano placement test. ​The competency exam and placement test are offered on the date listed above under "Schedule."
  • For those attempting to take the piano competency exam, please contact Dr.%20Ellen%20Elder%2C%20Associate Professor of Piano and USM Class Piano Coordinator. See the Piano Competency Exam Requirements.

  • For those attempting the piano placement test, please prepare the following items for placement into MED 101, 102, 201, or 202.
    • MED 101: beginning class piano, for those with little to no experience.  No placement test required.  Offered only in the fall.
    • MED 102: for placement into MED 102, please prepare all 14 Major/minor white key scales, 1 octave, hands together, with correct fingerings (harmonic form only for the minor scales).  Offered only in the spring.
    • MED 201: for placement into MED 201, please prepare all 24 Major/minor white and black key scales, 1 octave, hands together, with correct fingerings (harmonic form only for the minor scales).  Offered only in the fall.
    • MED 202: for placement into MED 202, please prepare all 24 Major/minor white and black key scales, 1 octave, hands together, with correct fingerings (harmonic form only for the minor scales). Offered only in the spring.

If you have questions about the piano competency exam, or need scale fingerings for your practice, 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.



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. TJ Tesh

Undergraduate coordinator  

Dr. Richard Perry

Graduate 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

112 Mannoni Performing Arts Center

Campus Hattiesburg

Campus Map

Email
Laurie.RinkoFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.5543