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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers


Admission to Professional Education

All candidates are required to pass the Teacher Candidacy Skills Assessment (TCSA) to be formally admitted to the teacher education program and be permitted to begin the final two years of coursework.

The TCSA is designed to assess candidates’ musical and academic readiness for further work in music education. It also provides an opportunity for candidates to assess whether they want to continue working toward a career in music education.

The TCSA consists of components in Musicianship and Academic Readiness:



In addition to tests in aural and written theory and piano technique, candidates take an expanded jury examination that includes rhythmic reading  and melodic sight-singing.

The TCSA jury occurs at the 212 level (4th semester of applied studies) and consists of two parts: scales and rhythm. Two minor scales with arpeggios and one major scale will be selected at random by the jury for the candidate to perform. Four rhythms will be selected for the candidate to demonstrate. The TCSA jury components must be passed to qualify for Professional Education classes.

Academic Readiness

Candidates must fulfill two requirements in this area:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5.


TCSA Resources

TCSA Written Theory Guide

TCSA Aural Skills Study Guide

TCSA Piano Study Guide


The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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