Music Theory

Associate Instructor Positions

*No longer accepting applications

Associate Instructors (AIs) in Music Theory at the Jacobs School of Music teach courses in the core undergraduate program. This program includes theory and literature courses (covering harmony, formal analysis, elements of music such as melody and counterpoint, musical style, and music literature, especially works from 1700 to the present) and musical skills courses (covering sight singing and rhythm reading, dictation, and some keyboard harmony).

The audition for those interested in our teaching positions includes an evaluation of the candidate's own skills in the areas mentioned above, a discussion of any prior teaching experience, and an evaluation of the candidate's ability to explain musical materials clearly and correctly. Applicants should not audition unless they have very good abilities in most, if not all, of these areas.

All music theory AIs work with theory faculty members or theory coordinators, who are in charge of the core courses. AIs usually teach two groups of students (approximately 15 per group) two or three times a week, attend the general lectures of the course, and participate in weekly staff meetings for their course. AIs also assist in proctoring and grading entrance exams during the week before classes begin. A general training session is provided for all AIs before each semester.

Appointments are for 42.5% FTE (17 hours per week, including time for preparation and grading or individual skills hearings). Remuneration includes graduate tuition (does not include mandatory fees) for 21 credit hours during the year, a monthly stipend for 10 months, and health insurance. Graduate students with any major in the School of Music may audition for an AI position.

Applying for a Music Theory AI

Please review the audition format described below before requesting an audition. Only those who rate very good to excellent in all categories will be considered. Because of the number of people auditioning, meeting these standards will not ensure an offer of an AI position.

Prospective students should request an AI audition when applying to the School of Music. These auditions are scheduled through the Office of Music Admission and Financial Aid in conjunction with other interviews or auditions for admission to your graduate area of interest.

Current IU graduate students may audition for a music theory AI position during regular audition weekends. These auditions are scheduled through the department, using this online form.

If you have completed an AI audition previously and wish to be considered for a position again, please contact the chair of the music theory department. Repeat auditions will be at the discretion of the department.

Audition Format

The audition is in three parts: sightsinging, aural skills, and keyboard sightreading/analysis.

1. Sightsinging

You will be asked to sing one or two tonal melodies of moderate difficulty. Two melodies comparable to those used are shown below. You may sing using any system, including solfege or numbers, or you may use a neutral syllable. The melodies should be sung at steady tempo, with few errors, and remaining in the tonic key. Applicants should also be able to explain how to help students with difficult spots. The audio clips included below may be used to check your performance.

Example 1:

Sight Singing Melody 1

Example 2:

Sight Singing Melody 2
2. Aural Skills

Intervals and chords. Applicants will be asked to identify a series of intervals and chords played on the piano. Intervals are identified by quality and size (e.g., M3, P4), while chords are identified by quality and inversion (e.g., major, root position; major-minor 6/5). Applicants should be able to correctly identify most of the items played.

  • Sample exercises (there are six intervals and eight chord types; each is played twice):
  • Answers

Harmonic progression. Applicants will be played a tonal chord progression and asked to provide a harmonic analysis of the chords. The progression will include some chromaticism. Multiple hearings are permitted. Successful applicants should be able to quickly and accurately identify most or all of the chords.

3. Keyboard Sightreading and Score Analysis

Keyboard. Good functional keyboard skills are important for effective classroom work. Applicants should therefore be prepared to sightread at the keyboard an easy to moderately difficult musical example, such as a sonatina by Haydn or Beethoven. The score linked below is representative. Those auditioning should be able to play the piece accurately, with a steady pulse. For fast excerpts, a performance at the correct tempo is not necessarily required.

Score analysis. The candidate will be asked to discuss the same musical score. The applicant should be able to discuss the musical materials with a fair degree of sophistication. Questions may be asked about such things as key and changes of key, chord progressions, non-chord tones, rhythmic/melodic motives, phrase structure, possible large-scale form, and so on. The applicant will also be asked to make a few comments about possible composer, the type of piece, and a possible year of composition.

*No longer accepting applications