James Madison University School of Music

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Curriculum Questions:

Do I have to play an instrument or sing to be a Music Industry major?
Yes. A Music Industry major receives a Bachelor of Music degree and is required to be in a studio (classical guitar, trumpet, voice, etc). However, the music industry minor does not require that the applicant play or perform on an instrument.

Is the music education program a five-year, Master’s-included education program just like the other education programs in the catalog?
No. JMU does offer a Master of Music in Music Education, but one year of teaching is required for admission. The undergraduate curriculum can be completed in four years; some students opt for one additional year but it is not required.

Do I have to be admitted to the University in order to attend the JMU School of Music?

What kind of music do I need to play to be admitted to the School of Music?
We have a classically based program, and an audition should reflect training in this area. JMU also offers an undergraduate Jazz Studies degree, but students interested in pursuing this major must be accepted into the School of Music via the same classically based entrance audition required of all prospective music majors at JMU. You can view our audition requirements online at www.jmu.edu/music/auditions.

Do I have to have had piano training to be admitted to the JMU School of Music?
No. If you have not had piano before, you will be enrolled in an entry-level piano class.

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Application-Specific Questions

What do I need to do to transfer to the SOM?

  1. Fill out a transfer application to the university.
  2. Fill out a music application, available on our website, www.jmu.edu/music
  3. Send two letters of recommendation.
  4. Audition for the school of music.
  5. Wait patiently for your letter to arrive in the mail. We cannot tell you ahead of time if you have been accepted or not.

What do I need to do to transfer to the SOM in the spring semester?

  1. Contact the applied faculty member (Professor of Saxophone, Coordinator of Vocal Department, etc) to see if there will be room in the studio.
  2. Arrange an audition with that faculty member. If you do not have or cannot find the contact information, you can contact the music admission’s office for their email or phone number.
  3. Complete an application for transferring to the University.
  4. Complete an application to the SOM available on this website.

Does the SOM require separate letters of recommendation in addition to the separate application?
Yes. Please send us two letters of recommendation with your school of music application. It is advised that these letters be from people who know your musical background and potential. Letters can be mailed to:

James Madison University
ATTN: Music Admissions
School of Music, MSC 7301
800 South Main St
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Do you recommend applying early action?
The early action option’s effect on music admissions is that you will be notified of your audition result a few weeks earlier than the regular decision music applicants.

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Music Admissions Questions

How do I set up a tour to see the music building?
Call or email the music admission office (see our contact information below) and tell us the date and approximate time you would like to visit. Our office is open 9-5 Monday through Friday during the Fall and Spring semesters. You may come and see us any time you like and we will give you a tour and answer any and all the questions you have.

How do I set up a lesson with a professor?
Please look at our website and find the contact information for the professor you are interested in studying with. Email is the easiest way to get in touch with the JMU faculty; please feel free to contact them and set this up at a time that is convenient for both of you.

How do I get in touch with you guys in the admissions office?
One graduate assistant and several undergraduate student employees staff the music admissions office. The faculty coordinator is Dr. Michele Kirkdorffer, our oboe professor. You may reach us at:

Phone: (540) 568-3851
Email: music_admit@jmu.edu

We look forward to assisting you with your college search! Good luck!