Frequently Asked Questions


How do I join PKL?

Membership in Pi Kappa Lambda is an honor and by invitation only. Invitations are extended to undergraduate and graduate music students, and faculty by election of faculty who are members in a Pi Kappa Lambda chapter. Elections and invitations are in accordance to the Pi Kappa Lambda Constitution and Bylaws.

What are the guidelines for electing a candidate for membership?

Here are abbreviated explanations. Complete guidelines are defined in the Constitution, Article III, Section 1, found in the PKL Handbook.

College juniors who are music majors and whose academic achievements fall within the top 10% of the junior class.

College graduating seniors who are music majors and whose academic achievements fall within the top 20% of the senior class.

Graduate students (viz. Masters, Doctorate) in music whose academic grades contain no fewer than two-thirds of the credits of the grade A.

Music faculty who have completed at least two years of academic service and are deemed by the PKL Faculty Committee to be qualified.

What do new members receive?

Each new member recieves a Pi Kappa Lambda gold key, either as a pin or pendant (new member's choice), and a certificate of membership signed by the President of the Board of Regents and the Executive Director.

What are Certificates of Honor? Are these different from Certificates of Membership?

Certificates of Honor are awards that may be presented to outstanding freshman or sophomore music majors who are not yet eligible for membership. They are available as "plain" or "personalized." Plain certificates are completed and signed by the chapter President. Personalized certificates are completed with the recipient's name and date of award engraved on the certificate. Both may be ordered from the National Office using the Supply Order form. If ordering personalized certificates, you must submit the names and class rank of the student to the National Office with the Supply Order. The supply order form is available on the Forms page.

Certificates of Membership are awarded to the newly inducted members of Pi Kappa Lambda. These are complemented with a PKL key in the form of a pin or pendant.

Where is the PKL National Office?

The National Office of Pi Kappa Lambda is hosted in the Conservatory of Music on the Capital University campus. It has been at this location since 2006. Prior offices have been located at The Ohio State University and the original home at Northwestern University.

I lost my pin/pendant/certificate. How do I order a replacement?

Replacement  PKL keys (pin or pendant) and/or certificates of membership can be ordered from the National Office. Replacement Order forms, complete with prices and directions for ordering may be found on the Forms page. Please NOTE that replacement certificates will be engraved with the original induction date, but the signatures of the President and Executive Director will be the current officers.

My name is mispelled on my certificate. How do I get that corrected?

Notify the National Office immediately. If the error occurred in the National Office or the printing it can be replaced at no charge IF the National Office is notified within one month of receiving the certificate. If the error occurred in the chapter's registration, the chapter will be charged for the replacement.

How can we bring recognition to our outstanding students and faculty on campus?

  • Recognition of outstanding students and faculty at your school can be accomplished in many ways. Here are a few:
  • membership in PKL
  • honors recitals by newly-inducted members or faculty
  • identifying PKL members on concert programs throughout the year
  • public performance of prize-winning compositions
  • token awards to leading members of each class, such as complimentary tickets to special events or a gift of recordings
  • prizes or special recognition to seniors in performance, composition and creative teaching

What are some ways we can provide financial or academic assistance to our students?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • payment of induction fees for the highest ranking junior, senior, and/or graduate inductees,
  • or partial support for induction fees for all inductees
  • an annual PKL scholarship or establishment of an endowment fund for  scholarships
  • a tutoring program for music students (especially under-classmen) staffed and sponsored by PKL members
  • contributions to arts organizations or events in the name of PKL

What special activities or events might we sponsor on campus?

One of the most effective ways to bring attention to PKL on your campus is to sponsor events on campus, events such as…

  • benefit concerts by faculty, visiting artists or outstanding alumni
  • campus lectures, festivals, forums, workshops, chamber music concerts, and exchange faculty recitals
  • musical yard sale to benefit scholarship fund
  • workshops or other events presented by student inductees, perhaps on an area of music scholarship or skills that might need more attention than can be accorded in classes

How can we improve a general awareness of PKL on our campus?

Try some of these:

  • newsletter to graduates, faculty, and emeriti (and remember to forward the newsletter to administrators on your campus as might be appropriate).
  • a bulletin board which is maintained with information about events, outstanding students, alumni and faculty, and about chapter induction ceremony
  • sponsorship of an Honors Day with such things as a banquet/reception, induction, and public presentation of new members’ pins
  • Certificates of Honor publicly awarded to outstanding freshmen and sophomores (available from the National Office)
  • distributing the Society’s bookmarks at events, obtained free from national office
  • using ensemble concert programs to recognize PKL and its members and initiates
  • using your school’s weekly gathering of music majors, if available, to promote the Society, perhaps setting aside one day to share the history and qualifications of  inductees
  • conferring honorary membership to musicians with unquestioned national eminence (see the PKL constitution for details)
  • applying for a PKL national matching grant to support a chapter project