Music Theory Assessment

Lane offers an excellent array of Music classes including a) transfer preparation courses for students seeking a four-year Music degree, b) music lessons and ensembles for both majors and non-majors, and c) courses in Music Technology. To determine where a student should start their formal training in Music, Lane offers a Music Theory Assessment. For information and questions regarding the Music Assessment test, please email:

Who should take the Music Theory Assessment?

Anyone who intends to be a Music major must take the Music Theory Assessment. Students who have experience reading and writing music are encouraged to complete the Music Theory Assessment now to determine if they are eligible to enroll directly into Music Theory I (MUS 111) and related core classes.

Students with little background in reading and writing music may want to forgo completing the assessment and opt to enroll in Music Fundamentals (MUS 101) and Group Piano (MUP 131) or Group Voice (MUS 134). Music Fundamentals will provide students with the knowledge needed to successfully complete the Music Theory Assessment for the next academic year.

What's on the Music Theory Assessment?

The assessment has 40 questions (totaling 45 points) which cover the information listed below. Passing this test with 36/45 points in 30 minutes is a prerequisite for taking Music Theory I. In order to successfully pass the Music placement test students must be able to:

  1. Note Identification in treble and bass clefs
  2. Identifying keys on the keyboard and their enharmonic equivalents
  3. Key Signatures
  4. Major scales
  5. Minor scales (natural, harmonic, melodic)
  6. Interval identification
  7. Triad identification
  8. Note values: supplying a missing value to an incomplete measure

For more information on preparing for the Music Theory Placement Test, including some trainers, please visit these resources:

How do I complete the Music Theory Assessment?

To take the assessment students need to contact the Arts and Humanities office by email to schedule the assessment. The assessment is taken in person and will take only 30 minutes.

What happens if I pass the Music Theory Assessment?

Students who successfully complete the assessment will be cleared to enroll in the fall term Music Theory core classes which consist of:

  • MUS 111/Theory 1
  • MUS 114/Sight Reading & Ear Training (SRET) 1
  • MUS 127/Keyboard Skills 1

What happens if I don't pass the Music Theory Assessment or I decided not to complete it?

Students who do not successfully complete the assessment or decide not to take it should begin their studies by enrolling in:

  • MUS 101/Music Fundamentals
  • MUS 131/Group Piano and/or MUS 134/Group Voice

Completing Music Fundamentals will prepare students for the taking the assessment the following term, and entering Music Theory the following fall.