Admitted Students

All incoming Music or Music Studies  majors, please make an appointment with the undergrad advisor over the summer:

For students interested in becoming a music major, a personalized meeting is also advised!

Undergraduate Fall Pre-Instructional Activities

All music department activities for Fall will be online. There is no current access to online facilities, including practice rooms. Students will be updated if there is a change.



This is required of new majors, highly recommended for all continuing majors and those considering the major. Tuesday, Sept 29, 1:30pm on Zoom.


Undergraduate Theory and Musicianship Placement Exam

Music Theory Exam, ONLINE, must be completed before Tuesday, September 29 at 1:30 pm.

Musicianship Exam will not be offered this quarter. To place out of 4A, first register for the class and then discuss this option with your class TA. Placement will be determined by evaluation.

Download the Study Guide.



World Music

World Music Instrument lessons (MUS 22D-X and 122D-X) do not require an audition to enroll. Contact the instructor of the course for class meeting times if not listed in the schedule. The department offers instruction in Dastgah, Arabic Maqam, Nay and Oud.

Strings, Winds, Brass and Percussion

Unless outlined in detail here, other auditions for private instruction in strings, winds, brass, and percussion may be arranged with individual faculty members by instrument. See for email contacts.


An audition is required. Students who audition may be assigned for piano study with either graduate teaching assistants or, in some cases for advanced students, with piano faculty members.
Students who wish to audition for private lessons or be considered for class piano study for Fall 2020 should be aware that:
  • You will need to possess an electronic keyboard or a traditional piano at your place of residency.
  • Practice rooms in the music building on campus will not be available due to Covid-19 for at least Fall quarter.
  • Lessons for Fall 2020 will be via Zoom or other online methods.
Class Piano (MUS 31 A, B,C,), or group lessons, is available for students who already read music (both treble and bass clefs), but who have had less background in piano lessons and may be at a more beginning level of piano study. If you are an undergraduate music non-piano major and are required to pass a piano proficiency, you can either start at MUS 31A or place into B or C sections of the 31 series, or even test out of the course by passing your proficiency exam. For requirements and scheduling, as well as questions about 31 A-C series, please reach out to the graduate piano Teaching Assistants (TAs), Buyun Li and Chika Nobumori at and
Private lessons (MUS 31X, 32 or 33/133) are for piano students who have had previous serious study in piano at the intermediate or advanced levels.
Requirements for the piano audition:
For consideration for MUS 31X, 32 and 33 prepare a video of your performance of two contrasting pieces. Memorization is optional. Traditional classical repertoire is preferred such as works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, or Contemporary periods. A short sight-reading piece will also be given later at your audition interview. At your interview time, you should be next to a piano in order to be able to play the sight-reading example.
Upload your video onto YouTube, making sure that videos are not set to Private (“Unlisted" works best). Send a link to your uploaded video to Dr. Natasha Kislenko at You may write Dr. Kislenko with any additional questions you might have. She in return will send you a questionnaire regarding your previous piano study and musical experience to fill out. 
All applicants will be asked to sign up for an interview time via Zoom on Wednesday, September 30. At this time your pre-recorded performance will have been viewed by a panel of piano faculty and TAs. You will be given a short sight-reading example and asked a few questions about your prior piano studies. Please be aware of your schedule before making an appointment for interviews on September 30 in order to avoid conflicts and changes in the schedule.
If you are an advanced student, your video may be forwarded by Dr. Kislenko to UCSB senior piano faculty for consideration in which case you will audition directly for them. Transfer Students admitted to the BA Music Studies major looking to get advanced placement for upper-division credit in piano (Music 133), will need to perform a BA Sophomore Audition consisting of three contrasting works from different historical periods. One of the works must consist of one or more movements of a sonata from the Classical period. Transfer students (and those who are not Music majors) can alternately audition for placement into  MUS 33. Please, direct your questions to either Professor Paul Berkowitz or Dr. Charles Asche at
Note, that piano lesson slots tend to fill up quickly and students selected for study in the Fall Quarter will automatically receive priority for study in subsequent quarters.


MUS20, Elementary Voice (Lessons with a Voice Graduate Student):

Please submit a link to a pre-recorded audition. Unlisted YouTube link recommended - do not make private or it will not be viewable.

Your video should:

  • Be at least 1 minute in length
  • Show your vocal range as much as possible
  • State your name, personal pronoun and major/minor in beginning of video
  • Your piece should be under one of  these genres:
    • Classical
    • Folk song
    • Hymn
    • Musical Theater
    • Melodic Jazz standard

Both Acapella or with an accompaniment are accepted. Do your best in your audition, we are not looking for perfection :)

Links to video and completed google form by March 24th (11:55PM) for Spring '21 for consideration and level placement.

MUS 25, Intermediate Voice (Lessons with Faculty)

Auditions:  Thursday October 1, 11:00-2:00. Fill out the FORM, then SIGN UP FOR A TIME.

Mandatory Voice Students Meeting*:   Thursday October 1, 3:00-3:30, Zoom information will be sent to invited students

*required for all voice majors and students in voice faculty studios



Audition information for Music Dept. ensembles may be found at, click on the ensemble you are interested in. Most World Music Ensembles do not require an audition.

All Ensembles can be found in GOLD under the MUSIC A - PERFORMANCE LABORATORIES section for registration. For ensembles that require an audition, approval (aka add) codes will be distributed by the instructor after a successful audition.


Audition Required:

UCSB Chamber Choir (SATB)


  • Lumina
  • Middle East Chorus
  • Gospel Choir
  • The UCSB Singing Gauchos (Men’s Choir, coming in 2021!)

Meet Dr. La

Dr. Nicole Lamartine is the newly-appointed Sorensen Director of Choral Music at UCSB.  She comes to us from the University of Wyoming where her choirs were known for their eclectic mix of genres and styles and were regularly selected for performances at regional and national conferences.  Dr. La is passionate about building UCSB choirs into a culture of excellence, where each student may freely contribute their experiences to our eclectic whole.  Read more here.

Mode of Instruction

All choirs at this point in time will be planned for online or hybrid instruction.  We may be able to meet in small groups spaced appropriately outdoors.


Mus A 36/136/236 Chamber Choir

Conductor: Dr. Nicole Lamartine, Sorensen Director of Choral Music
Rehearsals: 5-7pm Mondays and Wednesdays (By Synchronous Zoom in the Fall)

Highlights for Fall Quarter:

  • Real-time singing and rehearsing together via Zoom or in person
  • A “deep dive” into musics of several cultures.  Collaborations with guest speakers will teach us choral music from Moldova, the Chumash culture, New Zealand, American Bluegrass and others.
  • An audio/ video “Postcard from UCSB Choirs” including a montage of our choral performances

HOW TO audition for Chamber Choir: See Detailed Audition Information Posted Here:


Mus A 37/137/237  Lumina

Teaching Assistant/Instructor of Record:  David Torres, DMA Student in Choral Conducting
Supervisor: Dr. Nicole Lamartine - Sorensen Director of Choral Music
Rehearsals:  Tuesdays, 5-7pm and Thursdays, 5-6pm

As a member of Lumina in the Fall of 2020, you will be integral in establishing a new legacy for the ensemble.  You will:

  • Choose a new, inclusive and descriptive name for the choir
  • Write the mission and vision for the future
  • Sing together and create a welcoming community for all

NO Audition Required!  Join Lumina in three steps:

Questions?  Contact Dr. La  ( or David Torres (


UCSB Middle East Chorus 

MUS A 70N, 170N, 270N (Ethnomusicology Ensemble)
Director: Scott Marcus

Class time: Tuesdays from 5-6:30 pm, Synchronous Zoom classes this Fall

The UCSB Middle East Ensemble is looking for singers to join our Middle East Chorus! The chorus sings in a variety of Middle Eastern languages: Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Persian, Turkish, and more.  The Chorus regularly performs with the UCSB Middle East Ensemble.

All are welcome!

No prior experience necessary.

No auditions.

[Pre-COVID:] The UCSB Middle East Ensemble presents formal end-of-the-quarter concerts each quarter and additional (optional) concerts on and off campus throughout the year.

Please contact Professor Scott Marcus at for more information.


UCSB Gospel Choir

MUS A 70V, 170V, 270V (Ethnomusicology Ensemble)
Director: Victor Bell

Class time: Tuesdays from 7PM-9:50M, Synchronous Zoom classes this Fall

The UCSB Gospel Choir is looking for energetic and creative individuals who love to sing and perform. The choir regularly presents sold-out performances each quarter and is featured in numerous community events and University celebrations. The Choir recently produced a CD entitled Praize Party on the Yard and has been featured in the WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show, The Soul Man and has been featured at many stellar gospel events and churches.

Audition required. Please contact the director, Pastor Victor Bell, at to schedule an audition. Please come prepared with a popular song (preferably in English).


COMING 2021 - Singing Gauchos

Are you daring enough to be a part of the excellence?

Directed by Dr. Nicole Lamartine, an expert in conducting male ensembles, and the newly-appointed Sorensen Director of Choral Music.

  • As a charter member of The UCSB Singing Gauchos Tenor-Bass Choir, you will be integral in establishing a new legacy for the ensemble.  You will:
  • Create the mission and vision for the future
  • Sing together to create a welcoming community for all - NO AUDITION REQUIRED, and NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY
  • Explore a variety of music for low voices from a wide variety of cultures and peoples
  • Experience student leadership opportunities

Once a Singing Gaucho, Always a Singing Gaucho, Questions?  Contact Dr. La  (

Jazz Combos/Ensemble

Contact Dr. Jon Nathan at and attend a first class meeting, TBD

Maurice Faulkner Scholarship Brass Quintet

See for audition and repertoire requirements.

UCSB Chamber Orchestra

Auditions will take place. All students (even BM majors, required to audition). You must sign up for an audition, visit for information.

Wind Ensemble

Auditions are held at the first week of class. Audition Information (PDF)


Important Information

Music Library Tours

Meet at the Music Library, in the Music Building, on the second floor. Scheduled tours are available:

  • TBD

Practice Room Keys & Lockers

Lockers & Room Key informaiton for Fall 20 coming soon. The following is from past years:

To arrange for a practice room key or locker, please contact Connor to set up an appointment. Connor will be available for temporary additional hours for key, locker and instrument check out in the Music Building, Room 1251 (the northwest corner of the building, near Storke Tower).  Normal key hours throughout the year are M-W from 1:30 - 2:30, but during the first two weeks of each quarter additional hours include: M-F 12:30 - 2:30.

Music Department rooms are ONLY for students enrolled in Music Department ensembles or lessons (no exceptions). A $40 deposit is required, checks or money order (available at the Post Office in the UCen) only, made out to UC Regents is required at the time of your key appointment.

If you need a room to warm up for an audition for a Music Department offered lesson or ensemble, please see the Advising Office in Music 1314 during office hours to see if a space is available during this time only. Once you are accepted into a lesson or ensemble, you will need to arrange for your own key.

First Quarter Recommended Classes For New Majors

Please note that this is a general guide based on all music majors entering new to UCSB. Various degree emphasis, placement exams and transfer courses or other exams (e.g. Language proficiency) may have already fulfilled some of these requirements prior to enrollment at UCSB. Schedule a meeting with the undergraduate advisor for personalized recommendations.

For classes you are unable to add directly, contact Heidi for guidance. For 3B, provide the section you are trying to add.

Music 3B, Writing About Music

Music 4A, Musicianship - You will drop this during the first week of classes if you place at a higher level after taking the placement exam. You will pick up this series wherever you placed. It is advised that you take the 4A-B-C classes concurrently with 5A-B-C.

Music 5A, Music Theory - You will not register for this class until after you take the Music Theory and Musicianship Placement Exams. If you place at a higher level after taking the placement exam, you will register for the appropriate class in the next available quarter it is offered. If you placed into Music 11, Fundamentals of Music, you should register for this class at this time. If Music 11 is full and you are an entering declared Music Major, contact the undergraduate advisor for an add code.

Music 10A, History of Music – If you placed out of the 5 series, you may want to start the MUS 10 series, although this series is recommended for your sophomore year.

Music 31A, Class Piano - You may drop this the first week of classes if you place at a higher level after taking the class piano audition or switch into a higher level class.

Music 20-33, Individual Instruction - Choose the appropriate course number for your instrument or voice. BM students must register for 3 units, and BA students and composition students must register for 1 unit.

A Performance Ensemble, Music A34-A70AA-ZZ - this may vary; choose from the selection on your requirement sheet or if you are considering a switch from BA to BM, take the requirement for BM.

French, German or Italian. Primarily applicable to voice and piano majors. All students at UCSB will need to complete a language proficiency requirement, which may have been met in high school. If not, these are the languages Music students are advised to study (if not already required for their degree).


ENGLISH LANGUAGE PLACEMENT EXAM (ELPE) Non-native speakers of English, including both international students and Permanent Residents, are required to take both the written and the oral portions:

ELPE          TBD           TBA