Thank you for your interest in the School of Music at Montana State University! The following is important information for all of you.
Because our students come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, we have three pre-tests to help you assess your own pre-college preparation and determine if the Music, Music Education, or Pre-Music Technology major may be the right fit for you.
Pre-Test #1: All incoming students, on or before the first day of MUSI 140 - Aural Perception I, will be asked to match pitch: hear notes played on the piano, and sing back those same notes. If that skill is extremely difficult for you, it means that any music major will not likely be the right choice for you.
Pre-Test #2, required of all incoming freshmen, is the online Music Theory Pre-Test. Any student who does not take the pre-test online will be tested at Summer Orientation. The online pre-test determines whether you are eligible to enter MUSI 105 - Music Theory I.
Note: The material in the Music Theory placement test is preliminary to MUSI 105. Students who have taken AP music theory in high school typically score well, but a high score on the pre-test does not "place out" of MUSI 105. (Students can typically "place out" only if they have successfully completed an equivalent college-level music theory course at another university.)
Please follow this link:
- Type "musicplacement" for the Assessment ID
- Log in with your name and email address using "musictheory" as the password
- Open the window to full size and GO! You have 25 minutes to complete the test
- If you experience technical difficulties, you will be allowed to retake the test one additional time
Some additional resources to prepare for the music theory pre-test can be found here: Preparing for Your First Year
Whether you pursue music as a major or avocationally, the above information and pre-tests will help you plan your college education and your future musical endeavors.
If you have questions about music majors at Montana State University, please contact:
Bachelor of Music Education
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology
Thank you for your interest in the Pre-Music Technology major at Montana State University! Please read the information for all music majors (click above link) to learn more about our pre-tests for incoming music majors.
The Music Technology gate, through which we accept 16 students per year into the second year of the Music Tech program, allows us to offer sufficient resources (faculty, staff, classroom space, and studio time), while also ensuring that students admitted to the BA Music Technology degree program have the best chance for future success in the field.
Pre-Test #3, recommended for all prospective Pre-Music Technology majors, is to spend as much time as possible with any music software you have available, and to read books and websites about computer music. One that we can recommend is Tweak's Guide for Newbies. Another excellent source of information is Sound on Sound magazine's "Basics and Beyond" guide.
If you have no experience composing music or working with sound on a computer, you probably don't yet have enough information to determine if Music Technology is a good fit for you. Many students who enjoy songwriting discover they do not enjoy the complexities and frustrations of music software. Many students who love computers may not enjoy composing music.
Music Technology is professional-level preparation for work as a composer and sound engineer. A Music Technology major is not primarily about learning to record your own music in your own personal style. It is about learning to compose music with many different software programs, in all styles, for all different media and clients. Music Technology (like any music major) can be challenging, but the fun part is getting to create new music every day.
If reading about music technology (including other resources such as Electronic Musician magazine) is fascinating to you, this is a good indication that you might be a Music Tech major. If your interests lie more in music performance and general music study, MSU's Bachelor of Arts in Music may be a better fit. The Bachelor of Arts in Music does not currently have a gate, but does require that you be proficient at college level on your principal instrument.
Please email Jason Bolte at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime with your questions about Music Technology at Montana State University.