Audition Requirements - Undergraduate

GENERAL INFORMATION

All undergraduate applicants to the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music are required to have an audition or orientation, and to take music theory and class piano (if applicable) placement exams.

Basic audition instructions: Be prepared to perform two pieces of music on your primary instrument which are contrasting in style and showcase your musical and technical abilities. You will be asked to play scales and to sight read.

AREA-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The following information has been provided by School of Music faculty to further assist students with their audition preparation.

Bassoon Audition Requirements and Repertoire
Cello Audition Repertoire
Clarinet Audition Requirements and Repertoire
Classical Guitar
Commercial Music
Composition Degree Program Requirements
Double Bass Audition Repertoire
Flute Audition Requirements
Harpsichord Private Lesson Audition Requirements
Jazz and Studio Music Audition Requirements
Music Industry Requirements
Organ Audition Requirements
Percussion Audition Information
Piano Audition Requirements
Trombone and Euphonium Requirements
Trumpet Audition Requirements
Tuba Audition Requirements
Voice Division Audition and Class Information
Viola Audition Requirements
Violin Audition Requirements

BASSOON AUDITION REQUIREMENTS AND REPERTOIRE

  • Two pieces in contrasting styles such as a slow and fast movement of a Galliard Sonata (two movements from the Carl Maria von Weber Concerto in F major would be an option for the exceptional student)
  • All major scales and the chromatic scale from the lowest note to the highest note

CELLO AUDITION REPERTOIRE

  • Major and minor scales
  • An etude
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style

CLARINET AUDITION REQUIREMENTS AND REPERTOIRE

  • Two pieces are contrasting in style (fast and slow); can be in the form of etudes or excerpts from concertos or sonatas (eg. Weber Concerto #1 or Concertino)
  • Sight-reading
  • Major, minor, and chromatic scales, preferably memorized

Any student may send a preliminary audio or video medium, however, these do not stand in lieu of a live audition.

CLASSICAL GUITAR CLASS REGISTRATION INFORMATION

MUAP 1551 is a private lesson for guitar majors or students who have the equivalent of two semesters of MUAP 1550, one hour a week with Dr. Lily Afshar. It is restricted and for more advanced students who are accepted only by audition.

MUAP 1550 Guitar Introductory Instruction is a private lesson of 1/2 hour weekly for students who are accepted only by audition. The lesson time is set between the student and graduate assistant teacher after audition.

MUSE 1118 is a class for non-music majors, for the person who has never played classical guitar and may not read music. No audition necessary.

Students may address questions to Dr. Lily Afshar at lafshar@memphis.edu.

CLASSICAL GUITAR AUDITION INFORMATION AND REPERTOIRE

Applicants seeking School of Music talent-based performance scholarships must have had a minimum of three years of classical guitar private instruction in order to play a scholarship audition.

Recording Technology and Music Business applicants not applying for School of Music scholarships and who select classical guitar for their applied instrument audition with Dr. Lily Afshar on the first day of classes of the fall or spring semester. Make an appointment with Dr. Afshar, lafshar@memphis.edu.

  • Major and Minor Segovia or Shearer scales, two or three octaves
  • Three contrasting pieces from three different periods, memorized
  • Music Education - Choral applicants whose primary instrument is guitar do a brief vocal audition as a part of their audition day.

See VOICE DIVISION, Other-Voice.

COMMERCIAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE EMPHASIS - ALL INSTRUMENTS AND VOICE

  • Major scales in all keys, ascending and descending in eighth notes at metronome marking quarter note=80
  • Minor scales in the key of c,g,d,b, and a
  • Arpeggios on major and minor triads
  • Arpeggios on major and minor seventh and dominant seventh chords Improvise on a basic twelve-bar Blues progression (12 bar solos for drummers).
  • Perform standard commercial music compositions in at least two styles.
  • Vocalists prepare three contrasting songs.
  • No more than one original composition will be allowed.
  • Sight-reading standard notation (no tablature). All rhythm section musicians will also be expected to accompany from a chord chart or lead sheet.

COMPOSITION DEGREE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

To be accepted as a Composition major, a student must audition and accomplish the following:

  • Audition and acceptance by applied faculty on an instrument or voice
  • Complete MUTC 1008/1010
  • Complete MUAP 1105
  • Complete MUTC 2501
  • Be recommend for acceptance into MUTC 2502 by the Composition faculty

Until an applicant has achieved the above, he has not been fully accepted into the Composition program. The student who has a portfolio of written, possibly published and recorded pieces ready for presentation prior to audition, is encouraged to make an appointment with composition faculty for portfolio review.

DOUBLE BASS AUDITION REPERTOIRE

  • Major scales, two octaves
  • Two contrasting movements of a standard sonata or concerto, or two contrasting etudes

FLUTE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

  • Major and minor scales (Taffanel/Gaubert #4 recommended)
  • Chromatic scale, three octaves
  • One movement from a Handel or Bach sonata
  • One movement from a 20th century sonata or concerto
  • Sight-reading

HARPSICHORD PRIVATE LESSON AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

In most cases, keyboard players (organists, pianists, and harpsichordists) should be able to play at the minimum level of the Bach Inventions or other moderately difficult keyboard literature. Sight-reading will be checked.

JAZZ AND STUDIO MUSIC AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Auditionees must be able to READ music: notes, chords and rhythms. Auditions and acceptance to the School of Music in the Jazz Division are heavily weighted on this. Auditionees are not accepted based on ear playing and/or guitar/bass tablature.

Jazz and Studio Music Composition and Arranging Emphasis

  • Submit three scores of original compositions or arrangements as follows:
  • Bebop or Contemporary bop style, Latin, fusion or ballad style, Pop or commercial style
  • A performance audition on the student's applied instrument or voice will be required.

Jazz and Studio Music Performance Emphasis - All Instruments and Voice

  • *Major scales in all keys, ascending and descending in eighth notes at metronome marking quarter note=80*
  • Minor scales in the key of c,g,d,b, and a*
  • The basic jazz modes of Dorian, Lydian and Mixolydian on C,G,F,D,B, and A*
  • Arpeggios on major and minor triads*
  • Arpeggios on major and minor seventh and dominant seventh chordsImprovise on a basic twelve-bar Blues progression (12 bar solos for drummers).
  • Perform standard jazz composition in at least two styles, one must be bop or swing (4 bar solos for drummers)
  • Vocalists prepare songs that illustrate three styles. See below.
  • Sight-reading in several styles from jazz band or jazz choir literature to be provided by auditioning faculty

*not required of percussionists unless auditioning on mallet keyboard

Jazz and Studio Music Performance -- Saxophone

It is desirable that saxophonists double on flute, clarinet or both.

Jazz and Studio Music Performance -- Vocalists

  • At least one selection in the style of the great vocal jazz masters, eg., Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Carmen McRae, Nat "King" Cole, Billy Eckstine, Jon Hendricks, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, or Joe Williams
  • At least one selection in the style of the contemporary vocal jazz artists, eg., Chaka Kahn, Tanya Maria, Flora Purim, Dianne Reeves, Elis Regina, Dianne Schuur, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, or Bobby McFerrin
  • At least one selection in the style of any internationally recognized pop or R & B artist, eg., Regina Belle, Brandy, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Sheena Easton, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Alanis Morissette, Joan Osborne, Al Green, Donnie Hathaway, Michael Jackson, Billy Ocean, Ray Parker Jr., Seal, James Taylor, or Stevie Wonder

Jazz and Studio Music Performance - Rhythm Section: Piano, Drumset, Guitar, Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass

  • All rhythm players will be expected to accompany from a chord chart or lead sheet in the styles of Bop, Latin, Fusion, or jazz/rock, rock and pop.
  • Drummers will be expected to demonstrate adequate knowledge of percussion rudiments, and in addition, examples of the following drum set patterns at various tempi:
  • Bebop and contemporary mainstream (using both sticks and brushes)
  • Jazz waltz, Bossa nova and samba, Salsa or Afro-CubanFusion, funk, or jazz/rockBallads (brushes and sticks), R & B and shuffle, Rock and pop.

Jazz Guitar Registration Information

Intro to Jazz Guitar, MUAP 1550-01 is a class for music majors and music minors that meets one hour per week. Students should be enrolled concurrently in theory classes. Students who do not read notes, chords and rhythms can expect to take this class after MUTC 1008/1010. Audition placement required.

Undergraduate Jazz Guitar, MUAP 1552-003 – lower division, MUAP 4552-003 – upper division, is a private, one hour weekly lesson for jazz guitar majors and advanced Music Industry majors. Students must be enrolled in a jazz ensemble and the Jazz Guitar Ensemble (MUAP 3504-011). Audition required.

MUSIC INDUSTRY AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Essay Information

Write an essay on the appropriate topic given on the following page. Seek and study a variety of sources to reach your own conclusions in order to express your own topical thoughts. Cite references to avoid plagiarism. Essays must be electronically submitted as attached Word documents no later than two (2) weeks prior to Audition/Orientation Day. Essays must be single spaced and created with 12-point Times font with 1" margins on all sides. Essays must be a minimum of 750 words and no longer than 1,000 words. All reference sources must be cited and are not included in the word count of the written essay. Put your name, date, and essay title at the top of your essay.

Essay Topic for Music Business Applicants

"For the past decade, sales of recorded music released by the three major companies in the field (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group) have been undergoing significant declines. Some say this slowdown in growth can be attributed to either the phenomenon of widespread file sharing on the Internet, to a lack of quality music, to the rise of streaming delivery services, or a combination of these and other factors. In the current environment, some are predicting that independent musicians and independent labels will have a better opportunity to thrive because they are smaller and more flexible than the majors and can take advantage of the Internet and other new technologies to promote their music. Yet these same musicians and labels are facing some of the same issues and pressures that the major labels are. In your essay, discuss your views on the future of the music industry, making your argument for who you think will benefit from the recent changes in the business (e.g., major or independents) and how they will still be able to generate revenues given the widespread availability of free music." ​

Essay Topic for Recording Technology Applicants

"Digital delivery systems of audio (i.e. the Internet) have forced the entire music industry to rethink the methods involved in the recording and distribution of recorded material. At recent audio conventions there has been much discussion regarding digital audio watermarking. Relying on your own research, provide information regarding the fairly young history of digital audio watermark technology as well as how you anticipate the technology will continue to develop and be utilized in the future."

ORGAN INSTRUCTION AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Beginning Student

Students auditioning for lower division undergraduate-level organ may audition on organ or on piano. If auditioning on organ, they should play 15-20 minutes of music, including a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach and a composition by a later composer. If auditioning on piano, they should play 15-20 minutes of music on a level of a Bach 3-part Sinfonia (Invention), an easier Mozart Sonata, Chopin, Nocturne, or Persichetti Poem for Piano. All auditions include sight-reading.

Transfer Student

Students auditioning for upper division undergraduate level organ should play 20-30 minutes of music, including a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach and a composition by a later composer. Audition material should demonstrate the student's technical and musical proficiency. Students should bring to the audition a list of music that they have played.

PERCUSSION AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Undergraduate percussion applicants should demonstrate proficiency in as many of the following areas as possible.

Snare Drum

  • Demonstrate rudiments: long roll-closed; pianissimo crescendo to fortissimo; decrescendo to pianissimo
    Flam, flam tap, and accent
  • Demonstrate reading knowledge from Goldenberg's Modern School for Snare Drum, Cirone's Portraits in Rhythm or similar snare drum method
  • Sight-reading

Keyboard

  • Major and minor scales, two octaves
  • Any selection from Bach's Two Part Inventions top part only, or Bach's a-minor Violin Concerto, third movement, or any of the 39 etudes found in the Goldenberg Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, and Vibraphone
  • Sight-reading

Timpani

  • Tuning of all intervals
  • Technical proficiency on 3 timpani at the level of Mitchell Peter's Scherzo for Three Timpani, Garwood Whalley's Statement for Timpani, or three timpani exercises from the Goodman or Friese-Lepak timpani methods
  • Sight-reading

PIANO AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Piano Performance

  • Major and minor scales
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style, eg. Bach Prelude & Fugue or Invention, movement of a classical sonata, a 19th century character piece, impressionistic work, Shostakovich prelude or a comparable 20th century work; the more exceptional student will play the larger works of the standard composers

Music Education

  • Major scales
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style, eg. Bach Invention, Mendelsohnn Song without Words, Satie Gymnopedie, movement of a classical sonata

Music Education-Choral applicants whose primary instrument is piano do a brief vocal audition as a part of their audition day. See VOICE DIVISION, Other-Voice.

Music Minor

  • Major scales
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style

TRUMPET AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Two or three Etudes/Solos of contrasting character should be prepared which best demonstrate your sound, range, and technique. The following repertoire is recommended but similar works may be substituted.

Performance

  • Technique: All major scales and arpeggios
  • Etudes: Charlier, Etudes Transcendantes; Longinotti, Studies in Classical and Modern Style; Concone, Lyrical Studies; Brandt, 34 Studies
  • Solos: Hindemith, Sonate; Kennan, Sonata; Haydn, Concerto; Chance, Credo

Music Education and all other concentrations

  • Technique: All major scales and arpeggios
  • Etudes: Bousquet, 36 Celebrated Studies; Getchell, Second Book of Practical Studies; Brandt, 34 Studies; Arban, Characteristic Studies
  • Solos: Haydn, Concerto (2nd movement); Goeyens, All' Antica; Balay, Prelude et Ballade; Barat, Fantasie en mi bemol; Goedicke, Concert Etude

For questions or assistance please email: Dr. David Spencer at dspencer@memphis.edu.

TROMBONE AND EUPHONIUM AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Required

  • All major scales and arpeggios
  • Chromatic scale, two octavesTwo prepared contrasting solos
  • Two movements of a multi-movement solo, or two contrasting etudes

Optional

  • Minor scales - natural, harmonic and/or melodic
  • Orchestral excerpts (trombone)
  • Band excerpts (euphonium)

Representative Prepared Material

  • Etudes: Melodius Etudes – Bordogni/Rochut; Forty Progressive Studies – Tyrell; Studies in Legato – Fink
  • Solos: Solos for the Trombone Player – ed. H. C. Smith (for euphonium, too); Morceau Symphonique – Guillmant; Andante and Allegro – Barat; Andante and Allegro – Roparts; Sonata #1 – Galliard

TUBA AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

  • All major scales
  • Two contrasting solos (two movements of a multi-movement solo or two contrasting etudes)
  • Sight-reading

VOICE DIVISION

Voice Division Audition Information for Private Instruction

All students will be heard by a committee of the voice faculty and other faculty as designated. Under special circumstances the head of the Voice division may hear and audition incoming students without an audition committee with approval of voice faculty members.

Vocal Performance, Music Education-Choral, Composition, Music History

  • Two solos, one English or one American art song plus one foreign language art song or aria, memorized
  • Sight-reading
  • Pitch recognition
  • Rhythm recognition

Each auditionee should bring sheet music as a pianist will be provided. Auditionees may bring their own pianists.

Undergraduate/Music Education-Piano or Guitar/Music Industry/Music Minor/Lessons Only

Audition Requirements for students interested in taking Applied Voice Lessons

  • Two solo selections, no language requirement; selections should be in a classical style and memorized
  • Sight-reading
  • Pitch recognition
  • Rhythm recognition

Each auditionee should bring sheet music as a pianist will be provided. Auditionees may bring their own pianists. No recorded accompaniments are allowed.

*Vocalists who are applying for Lessons Only and School of Music scholarship, complete an application on Aceptd to schedule an audition.  Vocalists who are applying for Lessons Only but not applying for School of Music scholarship should contact Professor Susan Owen-Leinert at sownlnrt@memphis.edu, 901-678-4082, regarding scheduling an audition.

Course Information

MUAP 1610 Private instruction in basic vocal production. Audition required. Permit required.

MUAP 1611 Private instruction for voice majors and concentrations. In some cases a non-voice major will be allowed to study at this level when studio space permits. Audition required.

All students studying voice at the MUAP 1610 or 1611 levels must have passed MUTC 1001 or be concurrently enrolled in it during their first semester of study. If MUTC 1001 is not passed, the student will not be allowed to continue voice study until the requirement is met. All students enrolled in voice MUAP 1610 - MUAP 4611regardless of major, must be concurrently enrolled in an ensemble each semester of study.

MUSE 1112 Vocal methods class for Music Education students other than those with voice or piano concentrations. No audition is required.

MUAP 4611 Upper division vocal instruction.

VIOLA AUDITION REPERTOIRE

  • An etude
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style

VIOLIN AUDITION REPERTOIRE

  • All major and minor three-octave scales and arpeggios
  • Two works contrasting in style and tempo
  • Applicants for the performance degree should prepare an outer movement of a standard concerto and a movement from one of Bach's Sonatas or Partitas