The Theory/Ear Training test is a required test for all students auditioning for the Degree program. This test is administered during audition days, prior to your scheduled instrumental audition. It is approximately 45 minutes in length. This multiple-choice test is in two parts: a written theory portion, and an aural dictation portion. There is no sight singing component.
Online applicants will be required to complete a Music Theory and Ear Training Evaluation Test electronically. A folder of materials containing the test and instructions will be provided to you. You’ll have to fill out the answer sheet and submit it as part of your online application on your own schedule. There is no set time limit for the test, but you should give yourself 30-45 minutes to complete it. View information posted on your MyHumber about how this is arranged.
The test is multiple choice. You’ll be asked to fill out your answers on a scan sheet, using a pencil, pen or PDF editor if you’re filling it out online.
Your listed audition time IS the time for your Theory/Ear Training test; it’s the first thing you’ll do when you arrive. For instance, if your information says that your audition is at 9am, your Theory / Ear Training test will be from 9-9:45 am. Once you complete the test, you’ll meet with your major instrument department head, at which point you’ll be assigned a time for your instrumental audition. Depending on your instrument, you may need to remain on campus for a total of 3-4 hours altogether.
Please bring a pencil and an eraser. No additional staff paper will be required.
For a review of the Theory topics listed above, consult Humber’s Theory text, Jazz & Popular Music Theory, 4th edition (by Mike Downes and Brad Klump), available in the Humber Lakeshore Bookstore. This is the text used for all of Humber’s Theory classes, and it contains numerous exercises and musical examples.
For melodic, harmonic and rhythmic examples, please consult Humber’s Ear Training text, The Ears Have Walls (Dickinson), available at the Humber Lakeshore Bookstore. This text is used for all 4 semesters of Ear Training at Humber. If you have a weakness in this area, we urge you to practice dictation examples with a private tutor. A working knowledge of the piano will also help a great deal.
For more ear training drills, try the "jazz" exercises under Music Theory and Ear Training Exercises at Teoria.com.
Yes. All auditioning students are required to take the test, regardless of prior background. Be aware that the terminology that we use may be slightly different from Royal Conservatory or other programs. Pick up a copy of the Theory textbook (listed above) to get familiar with these terms, regarding scales, intervals and chord symbols in particular.
All auditioning students are given an overall grade. This grade is based primarily on the instrumental audition results, however the Theory/Ear Training test counts towards a portion of that grade as well.
If you are accepted, but told that you need to upgrade your theory/ear training skills, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you do so before September. Be sure to review the concepts listed above by studying from our texts, seek private tutoring, or both. The degree program is very demanding and you will benefit from basic theory knowledge in order to keep up with your classes.