All Arts Supplement materials are evaluated for the music major and for music scholarship (including the Arts Achievement Award), and must be submitted in fulfillment of the audition requirements outlined below. Click here to be directed back to our Application Procedures

First-year applicants with additional questions about the undergraduate admission and audition process should contact Mrs. Jennifer WrightCoordinator of Department Operations and Undergraduate Recruitment.

Incoming or current CWRU students interested in auditioning to add the music major (before their 2nd semester) should contact Mr. Eric CharnofskyCoordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music (BA) | Coordinator of Undergraduate Enrollment. 

First-Year Music Applicant Deadlines 

Common Application Arts  Supplement

Music Education 
Audition/Interview*

Undergraduate Admission Notification
(on or about)
Early Action November 1 November 15 February 7 or 17, 2020 December 17
Early Decision November 1 November 15 February 7 or 17, 2020 December 17
PPSP December 1 January 28 N/A February 1
Early Decision II January 15 January 28 February 7 or 17, 2020 March 20
Regular Decision January 15 January 28 February 7 or 17, 2020 March 20

All Arts Supplement submissions received by January 28 will be considered for music scholarship. Award notifications are sent on or about March 20 by Undergraduate Admission. 


*Live Audition/Interview
Students applying to the BS program in Music Education must complete a live audition/interview in addition to the Arts Supplement. Both video conference and on-campus options are available. Students applying to the Music Education program should submit their Common Application and corresponding Arts Supplement materials as soon as possible and well ahead of the posted deadlines to allow ample preparation time. Eligible students will be contacted directly for scheduling.

Students interested in the Music Education (BS) program may submit audition materials and may be notified of initial acceptance to the Music (BA) degree program for Early Action/Early Decision, however, all Music Education interviews will take place in the Regular Decision window (spring semester). Dates provided above.

Music Education (BS) applicants with additional questions about the live audition/interview process should contact Dr. Matthew GarrettCoordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education (BS).


Preparing Your Audition

As you prepare your Arts Supplement, here are some important things to keep in mind:
  1. Submissions must include the required elements listed below for your primary instrument only.
  2. Submissions on secondary instruments or of original compositions are not required and cannot be used as a substitution for the required elements. 
  3. All submissions must be complete and contain audition videos in which the applicant is clearly visible and audible at all times. Incomplete auditions will not be accepted.
  4. Make sure you have really mastered your pieces. We are primarily interested in hearing your technical abilities and in getting a sense of your ideas for musical expression.
  5. Choose the ideal repertoire for you. Read the audition requirements carefully and work closely with your current teacher to make these choices. Also, have an excellent pianist to accompany you—live piano accompaniment is preferred, but not required (recordings also accepted).
  6. Instrumentalists: Make sure the angle of the camera shows off your technique. Instrumentalists may perform with or without accompaniment. 
  7. Vocalists: We want to see evidence of appropriate vocal technique for your developmental level (body alignment, timbre, range, flexibility, musicality, etc.). Singers must perform with live or recorded accompaniment. 
  8. Popular Music applicants may accompany themselves on another instrument (guitar or keyboard).
  9. A clean room with good acoustics and a neutral background is ideal. Make sure there is ample lighting.
  10. Be professionally dressed.
  11. A smartphone or home video camera can work well for the audition. Use a tripod to keep the camera steady. A microphone is not needed.
  12. Videos should not be overly produced or edited. No digital enhancement of the performance is permitted.
  13. A live performance can be submitted if there are no distracting noises and the video is cropped to only feature you. Large ensemble performances are not acceptable.

Audition Requirements by Instrument

PIANO

  • 3 pieces representing different historical eras (baroque, classical, romantic or contemporary)
  • One major and one minor scale (applicant’s choice) minimum of two octaves 
  • Etude or technical piece
  • All prepared pieces must be memorized

Example piano audition repertoire:

  • An original work by J.S. Bach
  • One or more movements from a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert
  • Substantial romantic work or one work from the 20th or 21st century
  • Chopin étude

ORGAN
Prepare 3 works from contrasting historical periods (pre-Classical, preferably a work by Johann Sebastian Bach, Romantic, and Contemporary) and style (balancing virtuosic works with at least one expressive piece).

VIOLIN and VIOLA

  • 3-octave major scale
  • 3-octave melodic minor scale
  • Etude
  • 1 movement from a Concerto, Sonata, or other representative solo work
  • Optional: 1 piece of choice from any time period, style, genre, etc. (examples: contemporary/modern, jazz, pop arrangement, additional movement of Bach, concerto, orchestral excerpt, etc.)

CELLO and DOUBLE BASS (Note: Electric Bass players, please follow the guidelines listed under GUITAR)

  • 2-octave major scale
  • 2-octave melodic minor scale
  • Etude
  • 1 movement from a Concerto, Sonata, or other representative solo work
  • Optional: 1 piece of choice from any time period, style, genre, etc. (examples: contemporary/modern, jazz, pop arrangement, additional movement of Bach, concerto, orchestral excerpt, etc.)

WOODWINDS and BRASS

  • Sections or movements of 3 contrasting works or etudes demonstrating: technique, musical sensitivity, range, tonal quality, articulations, and general musicianship.
  • When possible, select works representing different musical periods (classical, romantic, contemporary, etc.)
  • Scales: 2-octave major scales (select two) and a 2-octave chromatic scale

PERCUSSION (Note: Drum Set specialists, please follow the guidelines listed under Drum Set)

Demonstration of all three instruments required.

  • Snare Drum: Solo or etude (i.e. Cirone, Delecluse, Peters, Pratt, Wilcoxon, etc.)
  • Mallets: Both a 2 and 4 mallet solo either on the marimba, vibraphone or xylophone (your choice); Knowledge of major/minor scales and arpeggios
  • Timpani: Solo or etude (i.e. Carroll, Delecluse, Freise, Goodman, etc.)
  • Drum-set (optional): Demonstrate 3 different selections (one must be a ballad) in different jazz styles, moods, and tempos 

Note: Students auditioning on campus for the BS in Music Education must provide their own mallets and sticks.

DRUM SET

  • 2 selections in different jazz styles, moods and tempos (which may include blues and rhythm changes) with your own improvisation
  • A medium tempo selection or a ballad demonstrating the ability to perform with brushes

GUITAR

Classical or Jazz

  • 2 pieces representing different historical eras (baroque, classical, romantic, jazz or contemporary)
  • Etude or technical piece
  • Scales: major and minor scales and arpeggios (select two)
  • Optional: 1 piece of choice from any time period, style, genre, etc. (baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, contemporary, pop arrangement, original composition)

Popular Music (Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass)

  • 2 pieces of contrasting style (the chosen repertoire must include a lyrical selection as well as one that demonstrates technical ability)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of major and minor pentatonic scales and the “blues” scale (knowledge of basic major and minor scales and arpeggios expected)
  • Optional: 1 piece of choice. Selection may be an original song or chosen from existing popular music repertoire from contemporary pop/rock, folk rock, R&B/Urban, country, Latin/Salsa/Samba, or from the “Great American Songbook.”

Note: Original compositions are acceptable. If accompanied by other musicians, video audition files must be clearly focused on the applicant and the audio must be live (no digital enhancement or dubbing of the live audio is permitted). Students may also upload studio recordings or links to recorded performances as supplemental materials (not as a substitute for required audition materials).  

HARP

  • 2 solo works of contrasting style (preferably memorized)
  • A selection from Level III Warm-Up from “On Playing the Harp,” by Yolanda Kondonassis (published by Carl Fischer)
  • One standard orchestral excerpt of the applicant’s choice

HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE PRACTICE (e.g. Baroque Violin, Baroque Cello, Lute, Harpsichord, Baroque Oboe, etc.)

  • Prepare 3 contrasting works from an appropriate range of periods for the instrument. Applicants may perform pieces as a solo or in a small ensemble: if performing in an ensemble applicant should be clearly visible throughout the audition video. 

VOICE

Classical Styles

3 vocal solo selections. These songs should represent contrasting styles chosen from genres such as 17th and 18th-century songs, early Italian art songs, 19th and 20th-century art songs, and folk songs. All selections may be sung in English, although students are encouraged to perform at least one selection in a foreign language. Students are strongly encouraged to memorize their audition repertoire, although sheet music may be used if needed.

  • Because the vocal instrument for students auditioning at the freshman level is usually in the elementary stages of growth and development, the particular selections presented in this audition are primarily important in how well they show evidence of the following: vocal freedom, pleasantness, and naturalness of tone quality, production technique, and expressive musicianship. Students are encouraged to select repertoire that is comfortably within their technical abilities. Previous musical experiences, such as choral singing, are extremely beneficial and previous study on an instrument, especially piano, is desirable.
  • Video audition files must be clearly focused on the student and the audio must be live. No digital enhancement or dubbing of the audio is permitted.
  • Vocalists must perform with keyboard accompaniment. Live accompaniment is preferred (recordings made with live accompaniment accepted).
  • Vocalists wishing to pursue the BS Music Education degree must submit materials following the classical style criteria. The video audition materials serve as a pre-screening audition. An accompanist will be provided for vocal applicants who choose to come to campus for the live interview/audition. Students must provide the accompanist with music in advance for all pieces in the proper keys.

Popular Styles

3 vocal solo selections. These songs should represent contrasting styles chosen from genres such as contemporary pop/rock, jazz, and musical theater. Students are strongly encouraged to memorize their audition repertoire, although sheet music may be used if needed.

  • Selections presented in the audition should show evidence of healthy vocal production techniques and expressive musicianship. Students are encouraged to select repertoire that is comfortably appropriate for their technical abilities. Previous musical experiences in group or solo settings are beneficial and previous study or coaching is desirable.
  • Video audition files must be clearly focused on the student and the audio must be live. No digital enhancement (i.e. reverb, echo, pitch correction, etc.) or dubbing of the live audio is permitted.
  • Vocalists must perform with accompaniment, as appropriate, and applicants may accompany themselves on another instrument (i.e. guitar or keyboard).
  • Optional: Students may also upload studio recordings or links to recorded performances as supplemental materials (not as a substitute for required audition materials)

Questions about vocal auditions? Contact Dr. Matthew GarrettCoordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education (BS).