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Preparing for Audition Day

Before Your Audition

Please be sure to confirm your audition day with the Department of Music and make sure that copies of your letters of recommendation have been sent to the department.  Questions may be addressed to

The Audition

Plan on arriving 15-30 minutes early on the day of the audition. This will give you adequate time to check-in, and also a little time to begin checking out the facilities and meeting students and faculty. We begin with a welcome session in which various degree options and study opportunities will be discussed. There will be time at the conclusion of the session for questions; there will also be ample opportunities to talk with students and faculty during the rest of the day. Allow three hours to complete all of the day’s activities.

There are three parts to every audition:

1. Aural Skills
A one-on-one test of basic aural skills including:
  • Singing a simple song.
  • Identifying pitch intervals.
  • Simple sight reading and memorization tasks.
A test of:
  • Reading bass and treble clef
  • Interpreting rhythms.
  • Identifying common meters and key signatures.
2. Performance Portion
A 10-15 minute performance with members of the relevant area faculty:
  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • Piano (20-30 minutes)
  • Strings
  • Voice
  • Woodwinds
3. Interview Candidates for each of the degree programs will participate in a short interview.

  • BA
  • Music Education
  • Music Performance

Preparing for your audition

 Work with a qualified professional teacher!

  • If you are not already taking lessons with a professional teacher, start looking for one NOW!
  • Contact a professional teacher who specializes in your instrument. This teacher should be familiar with the application/audition process for college music study. Ideally, you should work with a teacher who has had success placing students into college music programs.
  • You will need at least 6 months of intense, private study to be minimally prepared. Weekly, hour-long lessons are the norm in preparation for college-level study.
Familiarize yourself with the specific audition requirements for your instrument.

  • Anything that you are unsure of about the audition requirements should be resolved before your audition. Your teacher should be able to help you with most questions.
  • Any questions that cannot be resolved by your teacher can be referred directly to the faculty member whose name is given with the Audition Requirements of your instrument.
Procure and maintain a suitable and properly functioning instrument.

  • Is your instrument making clicking, sticking, squeaking or leaking sounds? Get it FIXED. You may not use a poorly maintained instrument as an excuse at your audition.
  • Although you may not yet own a high-end, professional instrument, you must still have an instrument of suitable quality. Your teacher should be able to help you determine whether your current instrument is acceptable.
Perform your audition pieces for friends and family.

  • Playing your audition pieces as a “mock audition” for others will help to desensitize you to the nervousness that is normal for all auditioners. The more you do this, the more relaxed and focused you will be at your real audition.
  • Practice your audition wearing the clothes that you will be auditioning in. This is especially important for high heels, jackets with tight sleeves, and ties!
  • For most instrumentalists, be prepared to audition seated or standing. Given the choice, what do you prefer?
Plan your audition travel carefully.

  • Do not plan more than one audition on any given day.
  • Depart early so you don’t add the stress of travel to your audition.

Degree Program Summaries
Parking and Directions
Schedule Your Audition

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