Any student who wishes to be admitted to the B.M. in Performance degree program in order to declare a performance major (including B.M. in Performance with a Second Major, B.M. in Performance with an Emphasis in Business, and the Five-year Double Degree: B.M./B.A.) must successfully complete a twenty-minute performance examination on the major instrument. The Sophomore Proficiency Examination will be scheduled during the last six weeks of the second semester of the academic year.

The repertoire should typically represent several historical/stylistic periods and a variety of genres. The program for voice majors should encompass selections in French, German, Italian, and English, and include at least one operatic aria or an aria from an oratorio.

All students must prepare a formal program in which their musical selections are indicated. Additionally, all students must prepare a complete repertoire list of works studied while at DePauw University. Voice majors (and instrumentalists, if necessary) should provide program notes and translations. Students are responsible for providing enough copies of these materials for each member of the Sophomore Proficiency Examination jury.

Sophomores wishing to take the exam must meet the following criteria:

  • To take the SPE, a student cannot be on academic probation during the spring semester of his/her sophomore year.
  • A student must pass the first three (3) semesters of music theory and musicianship and be enrolled in or have passed the fourth semester of music theory and musicianship.
  • A student must complete three (3) semesters of applied lessons with a B average in the primary instrument and be enrolled in the fourth semester of applied lessons in the primary instrument.
Criteria approved by the music faculty, November 6, 2007.

In order to postpone a Sophomore Proficiency Examination, a student must provide strong evidence of the need for postponement to the Dean of the School of Music.  The Dean of the School of Music will then determine whether the exam may be postponed.  If the exam is postponed, the make-up performance exam should be in the same semester.

Policy approved by the music faculty, December 4, 2007.

In order to pass the Sophomore Proficiency Examination, a vote of a simple majority by the faculty is required.  In the case of a tie, the Dean of the School of Music will make the final decisions.

Policy updated by the music faculty, April 19, 2012.