Prospective Students - Music Technology
The B.A. in Music Technology offers a synthesis of a traditional music study and the latest technologies for music and audio. Students gain skills in diverse music and technology related areas including recording, live sound, audio for multimedia and film scoring, music composition and theory, sound synthesis, notation and sequencing, orchestration, interdisciplinary collaboration, entertainment business, and instrumental/vocal performance. Students apply what they have learned in the classroom during internships where they work closely with professionals in a variety of music, media, and entertainment fields. This combination of academic study, creative work, community involvement, and hands-on training produces well-rounded musicians and digital audio artists.
The B.A. in Music Technology is based on a traditional music degree. The music requirements are rather rigorous, and require previous knowledge of music notation and reading fundamentals, music theory, ear training, aural skills, keyboard skills, and instrumental or vocal performance. It is required that students take the music theory diagnostic exam available on the School of Music website before or during orientation. Students who score 60% or below on the diagnostic exam have typically struggled in the Music Technology program. The Diagnostic Exam is NOT an entrance exam, it is used for course placement when taken during orientation. The School of Music does offer remedial coursework and advises students on pre-university study preparation. Students with limited experience in music can be successful in the Music Technology program if they put forth the effort and time required to meet college level expectations. Resources designed to help prospective students prepare for the music theory diagnostic exam and their first year of study can be found on the Prospective Music Majors page.
To take the Music Theory Diagnostic Exam, please click the following link:
Expectations of incoming 1st year students:
- Know note names in treble and bass clef
Major and minor key signatures
- Time Signatures / Rhythmic Values
- major and minor scales
Aural Skills / Singing Skills
- Vocal pitch matching
- Beat awareness
- Ability to sing back a simple melody by ear
- Ability to match notes on the staff with keys on the keyboard
- The physical coordination necessary to move individual fingers
Music Technology Students at Montana State University are performers. Students study their primary instrument/voice with a faculty member during individual applied lessons. In order to be accepted into an instrumental/vocal studio, students must audition for placement in an applied studio. The audition may take place at anytime before the first day of class or at the latest, during the first semester of study. The applied studio audition can be part of a scholarship audition. Please contact the appropriate faculty at www.montana.edu/music/people. Audition requirements can be found at www.montana.edu/music/audition. It is highly recommended that students study an instrument or voice in high school and/or privately in preparation for college music study.
The School of Music yearly awards performance tuition wavers ranging from $500 to Full Tuition. More information about School of Music Scholarships can be found on the School of Music Scholarship Page. Tuition waivers for students who participate in the Spirit of the West Marching Band start at $1,000 per year. Information about academic and need-based financial aid and scholarships is available at the MSU Financial Aid Office.
It is also recommended that all prospective Music Technology students spend as much time as possible with any music software you may have available, and to read books, magazines, and websites about Music Technology and Electronic/Computer Music. One website that we can recommend is "Tweak's Guide for Newbies." Another excellent resource is Dan Hosken's book, "An Introduction to Music Technology.”
- Visit and review the School of Music and Music Technology websites - These sites contain information that will answer many of your basic questions about the Music Technology program and the School of Music at MSU.
- Contact Dr. Jason Bolte or Dr. Linda Antas to discuss the Music Technology program and answer any questions you may have about the degree.
- Apply for Admission to Montana State University.
- Investigate/Apply for scholarships through the School of Music and Office of Financial Aid.
- Review Info for Prospective Students & Frequently Asked Questions.
Address musical preparation deficiencies if necessary. Prepare for college music study!
Take lessons on your instrument/voice
Take piano lessons
Take a music theory course at your high school or local college if available
Visit www.musictheory.net on a regular basis. In “Lessons” Start with “The Basics” and work up through “Introduction to chords.” Reinforce your knowledge in the “exercises” page.
- Take Theory Diagnostic Exam.
- Contact Applied Instrument/Voice Professor to discuss and schedule applied studio audition.
- Attend MSU Orientation – Meet with Dr. Jason Bolte or other School of Music Representative.