Master of Music (M.M.) Audition Requirements

Major Instrument/Voice Required for All Programs

All M.M. Candidates are expected to perform a musical selection on their major instrument/voice that best represents the applicant’s stylistic preferences and technique. Composition majors submit a portfolio of original works.

Performance majors audition with the following requirements:

Live auditions are required.
(DVD submissions or Skype auditions are permissible for International Students and students applying outside of the tristate area may request these accommodations)


Scales: Major, minor, and chromatic scales, two octaves, with various articulations

Chords: Major, minor triads, dominant seventh, and major and minor seventh chords (guitar, keyboard, mallet percussion).

Technique: Technical study or etude from any standard method book that will demonstrate the level of technique and potential for advancement.

Repertoire: Two selections in contrasting styles are required, which will demonstrate technical ability, tone quality, musicality, and improvisational ability. Recommendations are provided for each instrumental family.


Technique: Standard vocalizes that demonstrate the singer’s range and technical facility.

Improvisation: Improvisation over Blues changes with a specific groove. Ear training in the form of call and response from the auditioner.

Repertoire: Two memorized selections of contrasting style and tempo that best represent the singer’s stylistic preference, technique and stage presence. Sheet music is required for both selections; however, the singer may use a pre-recorded accompaniment.

Recommended for Piano

  1. Stablemates – B. Golson
  2. Milestones – C. Parker
  3. Daahoud – C. Brown
  4. Tricotism – O. Pettiford
  5. B section of Cherokee – R. Noble
  6. Tones for Joan’s Bones – C. Corea
  7. ‘Round Midnight – T. Monk

Recommended for Woodwinds

  1. Donna Lee – C.Parker
  2. All the Things You Are – J. Kem
  3. Giant Steps – J.Coltrane
  4. Tune Up – S.Rollins
  5. Meditation – A.C. Jobim
  6. Body and Soul -J.Green
  7. But Beautiful – J.Van Huesen

Recommended for Guitar

  1. Autumn Leaves – J.Mercer
  2. All the Things You Are – J. Kem
  3. Satin Doll – D.Ellington
  4. Out of Nowhere – J.Green
  5. I’m in the Mood for Love – J. McHugh
  6. Body and Soul – J.Green
  7. But Beautiful – J.Van Huesen

Recommended for Brass

Any of the above selections as well as:

  1. Struttin’ with Some Bar-B-Que – Lil Hardin (the Armstrong solo)
  2. Be Bop – Dizzy Gillespie (his solo)
  3. I Remember Clifford – B.Golson

Recommended for Bass
Bass applicants may audition on electric or acoustic bass and should be prepared to play idiomatic bass lines in various jazz styles, including a blues, a standard, a latin (bossa), and a modal-style tune.

Recommended for Percussion
Percussion applicants will be expected to play and take solo choruses on two selections in contrasting styles. Snare drum rudiments and various drum set rhythms using brushes as well as sticks should be demonstrated. Mallet instrumentalists should look to the above suggestions for contrasting selections.

*Achievement tests in jazz harmony, sight singing, ear training, and keyboard are given to ensure class placement commensurate with abilities. International students take an onsite English test to assess writing skills.