May 29, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Music Major, B.M. (Performance: Keyboard Concentration)

Department Information

Department of Music
PO Box 70661
Phone (423) 439-4270
Web Address:

The Department of Music at East Tennessee State University was established in 1946. The University is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Department offers the Bachelor of Music with concentrations in Performance and Music Education and the Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in Contemporary Music Performance, Composition, Music History, and Performance. The Department of Music is a vibrant community of students and faculty committed to the highest level of musical artistry and academic achievement.

Admission Requirements

Any student applying to major or minor in music at both the undergraduate and graduate levels must first meet the general university admission requirements. Once admitted to the university, the student must audition for admission to the music degree program. Auditions are held on announced dates during the academic year and may also be scheduled by appointment. Undergraduate auditions may be performed via recording if the student lives more than 150 miles from campus. 

Students will be notified of their acceptance or denial to be a music major in the Department of Music within ten business days of the audition. If accepted, an academic advisor will assist the student in determining courses to be taken to begin the program of study. Students who are denied acceptance may still register for applied music lessons and for ensembles. Students who are denied acceptance may audition again, but no more than once per calendar year. A student who is denied acceptance three times is no longer eligible to audition.

Students who are accepted for admission to the music or jazz studies minor programs must declare that minor prior to reaching 60 credits of coursework to ensure that the program of study can be completed before graduation.

For complete information about auditions see the department web page:

Undergraduate Music Theory and Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam

Before a student begins a music degree, they will take the Music Theory and Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam. Students must score a minimum of 85% on the exam, or they must take MUSC 1100 - Music Fundamentals  prior to enrollment in MUSC 1300 - Theory & Aural Skills I . Students who meet or exceed the 85% minimum are clear to enroll directly in MUSC 1300 

Applied Music

Music majors must register for applied music courses (private instruction) in their major area of performance as part of their degree programs. Students may register for either one or two credits per semester, depending on the degree program which they are pursuing. Each credit is for one half-hour lesson, with the expectation of six hours of practice per week. A fee of $200 per credit is assessed.  For more information about course fees (Click here).

Students may advance in applied music course levels (1, 2, 3) through the successful completion of the level advancement process assigned by faculty as part of the courses. Students must spend a minimum of two semesters of study at each level before attempting level advancement. Students may not exceed four semesters at level 1 and six semesters at level 2. Students who advance to level 3 may continue to enroll indefinitely.


Performing experience in ensembles is a vital part of the training of all musicians. Thus, all music majors are required to participate in a major ensemble every semester of full-time enrollment. Students are not limited to a specific number of ensembles, but music majors must enroll for a minimum of ten (10) non-ensemble credits each semester of full-time attendance.

Transfer Students
Students transferring to East Tennessee State University from another college or university are required to take an audition. Student transcripts will be reviewed prior to acceptance into the Department of Music.

Students wishing more information regarding the Department of Music or wanting to be advised, can contact us at:
(423) 439-4270
or email us at
or visit

Degree Requirements: 120 credits

General Education 41-42 credits
Major Total Requirement 76 credits
     Major Core    (25 credits)
     Concentration    (51 credits)
     Piano Proficiency
     Sightreading Levels I & II
     Independent Musicianship
     Half Recital
     Full Recital
     Program Notes
     Recital Attendance
Free Electives 2-3 credits
TOTAL 120 credits

Suggested Four-Year Program of Study: MUSC-BM (PEKE)  

Compass Core Curriculum  

These requirements include earning 41-42 credits in Strengthening Foundations, Understanding Natural and Social Worlds, Exploring Connections, Cultivate Artistic Awareness, and Growing as an Individual and Global Citizen categories.

Total Requirements for Music Major: 76 credits

Music Major Core Requirements: 25 credits

Performance: Keyboard Concentration: 51 credits

Free Electives: 2-3 credits

No Minor Required

Non-Course Requirements

Piano Proficiency: B.M. Performance

Students in the B.M. performance concentrations are required to meet a standard proficiency level on piano. This is assessed through a piano proficiency examination given at the end of the first year of classes (typically after the completion of MUSC 1010 Class Piano I and MUSC 1020 Class Piano II). To prepare students for the proficiency examination, students must enroll for a piano course beginning their first semester of study, either in class piano or applied piano lessons. Students must remain in a piano course until the piano proficiency examination is passed. Students with prior piano training may request to take the piano proficiency examination when they matriculate.

Sight Reading

Students in the B.M. concentrations must successfully pass two sight reading proficiency examinations. The examinations will be administered by the applied faculty and are part of the requirements for applied level advancement. The first from applied level I to II and the second from applied level II to III. The examination may be administered at the time of the level advancement performance jury or scheduled separately.

Independent Musicianship

Students in the B.M. performance concentrations must demonstrate the ability to prepare a new piece of music for performance without the assistance of a faculty member. This skill must be demonstrated at a jury after the student has advanced to applied level III. Selection of the piece should be made in consultation with applied faculty.

Recital Performance

Students in the B.M. Performance concentrations must perform a solo work in public each semester. “In public” includes studio recitals, department recital hour, half-hour or full-hour recitals, or other public events as approved by the applied instructor.

To complete the degree, students must perform and pass both of the following:

  • A half-hour recital (typically given during the junior year)
  • An full-hour recital (typically given during the senior year)

Half-hour and full-hour recitals may only be presented after a student has been admitted to Level III applied lessons. Repertoire requirements and assessment procedures for these recitals will be provided by applied faculty.

*Recital Attendance

As a music major it is important to experience a variety of musical performances in different genres, styles, and forces. In order to ensure this occurs during the student’s program of study, the ETSU Department of Music requires all music majors to attend the following music recitals (concerts/performances). This is a standard requirement for universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. To track attendance at these events, music majors are required to enroll in MUSC 1111 - Recital Attendance  every semester. This is a zero credit class graded as pass/fail. 

Program Notes

Students giving their half recital must write and submit program notes to the Department of Music faculty program committee.  These notes must meet the requirements for program notes (provided by the applied faculty).  If the submitted program notes are not of the quality necessary for publication, students are required to revise the program notes as requested by the faculty program committee until the program notes meet the required standard.

Major Field Test

A major field test is required for graduating students. Please see advisor for more information.

Additional Information

Click here to view Degree and Graduation Requirements  for all ETSU students.

CSCI 1100  or Proficiency exam: Must be completed to meet Bachelor’s Degree Requirements. CSCI 1100  has a required lab course, CSCI 1150 .

Most minors range from 18-24 credits. Those few minors with more than 24 credits may affect the number of free electives allowed.

See the Music Department  page for detailed information on half recital, full recital, piano proficiency, recital attendance, and other program requirements.