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Requirements for Pre-screening/Portfolios & Auditions/Interviews

Audition & Interview Dates

Auditions and interviews will be held in a virtual format for the coming season. More information will be released as we continue our discussions with faculty over the course of the summer; we expect to have concrete plans in place by mid-August at the latest.

 

Audition/Interview Rescheduling Policy

We understand that sometimes things happen, but whenever possible please let us know at least 24 hours in advance if you cannot attend your audition/interview.

If you ask to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you but it may not always be possible.

Pre-screening/Portfolio & Audition/Interview Requirements

The audition/interview requirements are unique to each area of study and the menus below list all of the requirements for the program to which you are applying, including program-specific items you need to upload in your Artistic Profile.

MM & SM in Chamber Music

Pre-screening Policy

Pre-screening is required for all applicants to the MM/SM Chamber Music programs. Upon a favorable evaluation of your materials, an audition may be scheduled.

All pre-screening materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile by the December 1 deadline.

Upload to the Artistic Profile a chamber music repertoire list and unedited recordings of at least two chamber music works in which you are a participant. Movements of larger works are acceptable, and work may be from a performance in any setting. In addition, upload the required pre-screening recordings for your instrument, as specified below.

Current SMTD students applying to the MM/SM programs are exempt from pre-screening and should contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. An Artistic Profile is still required.

In-person Audition Requirements
  • Prepare the audition requirements as specified for your instrument.

Updated 8/3/2020

MM in Composition, MA in Composition, DMA in Composition, PhD in Composition & Music Theory

Portfolio Requirements

In your Artistic Profile, submit up to seven scores of your musical compositions with recordings of each work. While our departmental curriculum is generally geared toward composing for classical instruments and ensembles, all musical styles are welcome! We want to hear everything that exemplifies your creativity!

Live Online Interview Requirements

After a preliminary review of online portfolios, a selected number of applicants will be invited to complete virtual interviews and auditions.

MM in Conducting, DMA in Conducting

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the Orchestral Conducting and Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting programs are required to upload to their Artistic Profile a face-to-the-camera video of themselves conducting in rehearsal and interacting with an ensemble he or she regularly conducts, and a performance. For those applicants who have difficulty meeting this request, it is acceptable to use a smaller ensemble (such as a string quartet and piano, for example, rather than a full orchestra) playing a reduced version of a composition.

The musical portion of the video should be at least ten minutes in length and include literature of the applicant’s choice. The examples may be incomplete and a variety of different styles are welcome.

The video should also include the applicant responding verbally to the following: (1) speak briefly about yourself and your musical background; (2) describe your goals in pursuing graduate studies in conducting.

Questions should be directed to the appropriate program adviser:

Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting:  Professor Michael Haithcock (mlhaith@umich.edu)

Orchestral Conducting:  Professor Kenneth Kiesler (kiesler@umich.edu)

Audition Requirements

A small number of selected applicants will be contacted with audition dates and specific repertoire information.

Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting

In addition to the admissions documents and video, each applicant must also upload a written analysis of Chester Overture by William Schuman. Applicants invited to Ann Arbor for an audition should be prepared to conduct the second and fifth movements of Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy.

Orchestral Conducting
Following review of the video and written application materials, a limited number of applicants will be invited to Ann Arbor for an on-campus audition. The audition period may include a personal interview, examination of aural skills, a written examination (mainly on the audition repertoire but including questions of a more general nature), and one or more conducting auditions. Repertoire for the conducting audition will be sent out via email several weeks before the audition date.

Principal Instruments for MM Applicants

  • Organ
  • Piano
  • Strings: Cello, Double Bass, Harp, Viola, Violin
  • Winds & Percussion: Bassoon, Clarinet, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Oboe, Percussion, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba
  • Voice

Please make each video a separate track when uploading.

Pre-screening Requirements – Choral Conducting

Updated 7/28/2020

Upload the following to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

Face-to-the-camera video(s) conducting in performance and in rehearsal interacting with an ensemble you regularly conduct. If you have difficulty meeting this request, it is acceptable to use a smaller ensemble singing/playing a reduced version of a composition. Repertoire is the applicant’s choice, and should be at least ten minutes in length. The examples may be incomplete and a variety of different styles are welcome. In addition, you may also supplement your submission with 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other conducting you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged.

A video in which you address these topics: 1) speak briefly about yourself and your musical background; 2) describe your goals in pursuing graduate studies in conducting.

Two short videos demonstrating one sample each of your vocal and piano abilities. Tell us at the start of each video which is your primary or secondary applied area.

A written statement that expresses your views about the role and repertoire of a 21st century conductor with a concentration in the area of choral music.

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to Professor Eugene Rogers (ecrogers@umich.edu).

MM and DMA Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet live online with the faculty for a review of your training, current work, and future goals, some sight-reading and a short musicianship test, and a conducting lesson on this repertoire:

  1. Brahms “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen” from Ein deutsches Requiem (in German, conducting from the full choral/orchestra score with baton), and
  2. an excerpt of Mvt 3 “Where I am from” of Lifesmithing by Roshanne Etezady (will be sent as a pdf to finalists).

We are working to resolve online latency challenges that would allow us to provide a pianist for you to conduct online in the lesson. Alternatively, if you prefer to work with one of your own accomplished, trusted colleagues, you may choose that format instead. If so, you will need a piano or keyboard for this audition/interview, and you should ensure that both you and the pianist have the scores for the Brahms and the Etezady.

MFA in Dance

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree with demonstrated success and innovation in the field of dance. We expect a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited institution.

There are two components to complete to apply to the MFA in Dance:

  1. U-M application to the Rackham Graduate School
  2. Artistic Profile for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The deadline to submit your application is December 1. Admission is by audition and interview, and careful screening of the admission requirements below. Applications are considered for the Fall Term only; we do not consider students mid-year.

Selected applicants will be invited to a two-day on-site audition and interview in January. A recorded audition, uploaded through the Artistic Profile, may be accepted from applicants who live outside the continental United States. Applicants living outside the continental United States may also qualify for funding to assist in their travel to Ann Arbor for the audition; please contact the Dance Office at smtd.dance@umich.edu. Applicants invited to audition will receive detailed information about the audition no later than December 23.

Questions about appropriate content for the application can be addressed to Assistant Dean Laura Hoffman, lauras@umich.edu.

Questions about the digital upload should be addressed to the SMTD Admissions Office.

Rackham Graduate School Admissions (for review by the Graduate School)
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research goals, and how Michigan’s MFA Dance program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • Personal Statement (500 words or fewer): How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. NOTE: avoid repeating your Academic Statement of Purpose.
  • Transcripts The Graduate School requires official transcripts (or “academic records” as referred to by some international schools) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress. How to submit your transcript.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resumé (Up to 4 pages in length): Your cv/resumé should include education; work experience, including choreographic, performance, and teaching experience; professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement; honors and awards; publications (if applicable).
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate adequate English proficiency and are required to provide one of the official score reports from TOEFL, ECPE, IELTS and/or MELAB. An invitation to audition will not be made until you have submitted English proficiency scores. Please see International Applicants page for details.
  • Application to the MFA in Dance degree does NOT require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

SMTD Artistic Profile (for review by the Dance faculty)

  • Creative Work Sample: videos of complete creative work (not excerpts) of choreography, performance, teaching, and/or screendance or other film/digital media work. Recommend three – five complete works.
  • Writing Sample: a 5- to 10-page sample of previously completed research. This sample should demonstrate the applicant’s command of writing in English and ability to communicate their ideas. Types of writing samples can vary, and can include, for instance, academic papers, grant applications, or extended program notes.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research goals, and how Michigan’s MFA Dance program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. (same Statement of Purpose as submitted to the graduate school)
  • Personal Statement (500 words or fewer): How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.  (same Personal Statement as submitted to the graduate school)
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resumé (Up to 4 pages in length): your cv/resumé should include education; work experience, including choreographic, performance, and teaching experience; professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement; honors and awards; publications (if applicable).
  • Unofficial Transcripts: upload an unofficial or official transcript from each previous college or university attended.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation from individuals who can attest to your potential for artistic growth in the field-at-large and in a graduate program, submitted via the Artistic Profile.
  • A recent photograph or headshot.
Audition & Interview Requirements

After evaluation of all required admissions materials, selected applicants will be invited to an audition and interview with members of the faculty.

The in-person audition/interview will include four (4) categories:

  1. Audition: A ten minute presentation that best demonstrates your current creative activity. Plan for about five minutes sharing of creative and five minutes of dialogue with the faculty. For example, a solo performance of original choreography, a showing of film/digital media original work, or a demonstration of performance methods;
  2. Teaching: a 50-minute dance class for non-dance majors (genres will vary and will be matched to the applicant’s interests);
  3. Interviews: a 10-15 minute dialogue about your work with the faculty;
  4. Class: participate in 1 or 2 upper level dance classes.

Further details will be provided at the time of invitation.

Graduate Certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Provide a headshot, artistic resumé, and a personal statement that tells us about your past or current experiences in arts entrepreneurship and leadership. After review of your materials, you may be asked to complete a short interview either in-person or via Skype/FaceTime. Arrangements will be made individually.

MM in Improvisation

Pre-Screening

This program does not pre-screen at this time. Please be sure to fill out the required portions of the Artistic Profile but you are not required to upload recordings unless you are doing a Recorded Audition.

Audition

Applicants may orient their auditions around their particular musical backgrounds. Eclectic or “open” improvisers will play an unaccompanied solo improvisation which consists of two parts: one will be without pulse and will display dynamics, density and registral variety; a second part will be pulse-based and will demonstrate solid sense of time. Such applicants will also play a collective free improvisation with one other musician who we will provide at the time of the audition. Applicants with jazz backgrounds can play a more jazz-oriented audition by playing 2-3 selections from the standard repertory. All applicants with original compositions are welcome to present these, either through live performance or accompanying DVD or CD.

For further information, contact Professor Andrew Bishop or the SMTD Office of Admissions.

MM in Music Education (Academic Year), MM in Music Education (Summer), PhD in Music Education

Prerequisites

The Music Education Department requires that applicants have two years of full-time teaching experience prior to entering the MM programs and four years of full-time teaching experience prior to entering the PhD program. Additionally, PhD applicants must have either a bachelors or a masters degree in Music Education.

Application deadlines for Academic Year and the Summer Programs can be found here.

Pre-screening Requirements

All applicants are required to create an Artistic Profile and complete an application with the following required materials:

  • Official academic transcripts
  • Resumé
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a supervisor, principal, or colleague who has observed your teaching.
  • Statement of Purpose:  a 2-3 page academic statement of purpose about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • Personal Statement:  a 2-3 page personal statement indicating how your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at U-M. For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  • 15-minute teaching video with a brief description of the video contents; guidelines below.
  • Writing Sample (PhD applicants only):  a recent research manuscript, term paper, or publication that relates to music education.
  • Applications to Music Education graduate degrees do NOT require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Academic Year Program applicants: If you are interested in applied lessons you must audition for the appropriate instrumental/voice faculty. Lessons are not available in the summer program.

Indicate on the application the manner in which you will complete the interview (on campus or Skype/FaceTime), and the audition if applicable.

All materials are due by the deadlines listed here. Applicants will then be reviewed and candidates may be invited for campus interviews.

Video Submission Guidelines
  1. Video should be of a class rehearsal, not a performance.
  2. Teacher should be in frame during the entire video. If possible, position camera so students are also in the frame (e.g., in the back of the room, zoomed in so teacher is centered in the frame and backs of students are visible).
  3. Provide a brief description of the contents for the viewer–what type of class, age of learners, focus of lesson, goals for the lesson–this can can done with an opening title screen, or an opening clip with a verbal explanation from the teacher.
  4. Long segments unrelated to lesson (e.g., students entering room, morning announcements, teacher needing to leave frame to fix a student instrument, etc.) should be edited out of video.
  5. The committee is interested in the breadth of an applicant’s teaching expertise. If possible, edit together 2 or 3 excerpts from different types of classes (e.g., different ages, different ensembles or classes). Video examples involving active student music-making through singing or playing instruments are preferable to lectures about music.
  6. Please put your strongest, most representative teaching first. Total video length should be no longer than 15 minutes.
Interviews

Applicants to the graduate Music Education programs are required to interview with the Music Education faculty. Applicants who cannot travel to Ann Arbor can interview via Skype or FaceTime.

PhD in Music Theory, PhD in Composition & Music Theory

Application Requirements

In addition to the application, all relevant transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation, each applicant who is not a graduate of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance must submit his or her scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Be certain to take the tests early enough that the scores will reach the University by January 1. Although no minimum cut-off scores have been established, no admission decision will be made until these scores have been received.

Students whose first language is not English should also take either the MELAB or TOEFL, and have the score results sent by the deadline. No action can be taken on your application until all materials are received.

All applicants to the PhD in Music Theory program must also create an Artistic Profile to upload:

  • A sampling of recent research papers, term papers, or publications you have written that relate to music theory.
  • A sampling of voice leading, model composition, or counterpoint exercises.
  • A recording of a recent performance (optional).
  • A copy of the score and, if possible, a recording of a recent composition (optional).

Finally, the faculty of Music Theory request that you submit a resumé in which you:

  • Summarize your professional training (appropriate areas of study include music theory, musicology, composition, performance, and keyboard facility, as well as any other subject in which you have undertaken extensive study).
  • List the foreign languages you read or speak. In each case, describe your training and level of competence.
  • List each of your teaching experiences, indicating the subject matter, level, dates of employment, and name of supervisor.
  • Describe any relevant research or other professional experience which was not part of your academic course work.
  • Write a statement of not more than three hundred words describing your professional goals and explaining your reasons for seeking to pursue graduate work in music theory. This will also serve as the statement requested on the official application form.

All these materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile. An applicant may be asked to come to Ann Arbor for an interview with members of the Graduate Committee in Music Theory.

Admission to the Rackham degree program in Music Theory does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

PhD in Musicology with Historical Emphasis, PhD in Musicology with Ethnomusicological Emphasis

Application Requirements

Each applicant must submit his or her scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Be certain to take the tests early enough that the scores will reach the School of Music, Theatre & Dance by the deadline for applications. Although no minimum cut-off scores have been established, no admission decision will be made until these scores have been received.

All applicants must also create an Artistic Profile and upload a sample of his or her writing consisting of a paper or papers on a music-related topic.

Auditions

If you wish to elect performance instruction, you will be asked to audition when you arrive on campus. Otherwise, no audition is required. For audition requirements, see the requirements for your instrument listed elsewhere on this website. All performance elections are subject to faculty availability. Applications are accepted only for the Fall term.

Admission to the Rackham degree program in Musicology does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

MM in Carillon, MM in Harpsichord, MM in Organ Performance, DMA in Harpsichord, DMA in Organ, DMA in Sacred Music

Application Requirements

To be considered for the MM in Performance programs in Carillon, Harpsichord, and Organ, complete the SMTD Graduate application as well as an Artistic Profile by December 1.

Once your application materials have been reviewed, those who are approved to audition will be notified of their audition date via email.

Pre-screening Requirements

These programs do not pre-screen at this time. Please be sure to fill out the required portions of the Artistic Profile but you do not need to upload recordings unless you are doing a Recorded Audition.

Carillon (MM)

Audition Requirements

Applicants should prepare three pieces:

  • Two significant compositions for carillon, at least one of which is contemporary
  • An arrangement or transcription of any music from any genre for carillon

In addition, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate (where applicable) ability in improvisation and arranging.

Early Keyboard Instruments (MM)

Audition Requirements

Applicants may audition on harpsichord, fortepiano, or organ. If you audition on one instrument, prepare 30 minutes of music. You are encouraged to audition on two instruments, allocating the time between them as you wish. Memorization is not required.

  • If auditioning on harpsichord, prepare a thirty-minute program consisting of 17th-century music, music of Bach, and music of Scarlatti or another 18th-century composer.
  • If auditioning on fortepiano, prepare a sonata of Haydn or Mozart and a work of Beethoven or Schubert.
  • If auditioning on organ, prepare a 17th-century French or German work, a major prelude and fugue of Bach, and another work of your choice.

Harpsichord (MM)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a thirty-minute program that includes 17th and 18th-century repertoire, works in French and Italian styles, and a piece of J.S. Bach. Memorization is not required.

Organ & Sacred Music (MM)

Audition Requirements

Prepare at least fifteen to twenty minutes of music including:

  • A major work of J. S. Bach (e.g., a prelude and fugue, trio sonata, large chorale prelude, or equivalent)
  • A composition of the Romantic period
  • A contemporary composition

Memorization is recommended if you are applying for admission to the MM in Organ Performance program, but is optional if you are applying to the Church Music program.

Harpsichord (DMA)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a program that includes a 16th-century work, a 17th-century French suite with a prélude non mesuré, a toccata and contrapuntal work of Frescobaldi, a larger work of J.S. Bach, an ordre of François Couperin, and two sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. Memorization is not required.

Organ (DMA Performance & Sacred Music)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a minimum of twenty minutes of music including:

  • A major work of J.S. Bach (e.g., a prelude and fugue, trio sonata, large chorale prelude, or equivalent)
  • A composition of the Romantic period
  • A contemporary composition

Memorization is recommended if you are applying for admission to the DMA Organ Performance program, but is optional if you are applying in Sacred Music.

MM & SM Percussion

Updated 7/28/2020

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload the following:

Solos (5)

  • Concert snare drum solo or etude
  • Rudimental snare drum solo or etude
  • Two-mallet keyboard solo, transcription, or etude
  • Four-mallet solo, transcription, or etude
  • Timpani solo or etude (please show your tuning in the video)

Excerpts (10 total)

  • Snare drum: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • Xylophone/Glockenspiel: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • Timpani: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts

RECOMMENDED: 1-5 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or gigs, and/or samples of drum set, multiple percussion, non-western percussion, and improvisation are encouraged. We also welcome examples of teaching, coaching, and/or conducting work.

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to: Douglas Perkins (dfperkin@umich.edu), Ian Antonio (iantonio@umich.edu), or smtd.auditions@umich.edu.

MM & Specialist Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the percussion faculty for a discussion of your training, current work and future goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading, on the instruments you have access to. The music for the live online audition can be the same as submitted on your videos.

Students will be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more.

DMA Percussion-CLOSED for Fall 2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload the following:

Solos (5)

  • Concert snare drum solo or etude
  • Rudimental snare drum solo or etude
  • Two-mallet keyboard solo, transcription, or etude
  • Four-mallet solo, transcription, or etude
  • Timpani solo or etude (please show your tuning in the video)

Excerpts (10 total)

  • Snare drum: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • Xylophone/Glockenspiel: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • Timpani: three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 1-5 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or gigs, and/or samples of drum set, multiple percussion, non-western percussion, and improvisation are encouraged. We also welcome examples of teaching, coaching, and/or conducting work.

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to: Douglas Perkins (dfperkin@umich.edu), Ian Antonio (iantonio@umich.edu), or smtd.auditions@umich.edu.

DMA Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the percussion faculty for a discussion of your training, current work and future goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading, on the instruments you have access to. The music for the live online audition can be the same as submitted on your videos.

Students will be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more.

Updated 7/31/2020

MA in Media Arts

Application Requirements
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended must be submitted. An earned degree transcript demonstrating a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.6 from an accredited baccalaureate institution is required.
  • A written statement of purpose, of what the student intends to accomplish through graduate study in the media arts.
  • Recommendations from at least three persons able to evaluate your potential for graduate study in media arts.
  • All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit a score from an English proficiency examination. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the IELTS, or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score must be submitted with their application and admission materials. SMTD requires a minimum qualifying score of 6 on the IELTS exam, 88 on the TOEFL exam, or 82 on the MELAB exam.
Artistic Profile Requirements

Upload a portfolio of your best work in any medium (often 3-5 works). This is pivotal in establishing artistic and academic potential. Examples of portfolio pieces include original electro-acoustic compositions, slides of paintings, interactive art, video, a website, or software.

Live Online Interview Requirements

Upon evaluation of all these admissions materials, applicants may be invited to a virtual interview via Zoom with members of the program faculty.

Interviews consist of a 15-minute presentation on your past creative and/or research work, and a 15 minute Q&A with the faculty.

MM in Piano Performance, MM in Piano Chamber Music, & SM in Piano Performance

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to Master of Music in Chamber Music (Piano), the Master of Music in Piano Performance, or the Specialist in Music in Piano Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current SMTD undergraduate piano majors applying to the MM program.

Audition Repertoire: MM in Piano Performance & MM in Piano Chamber Music
  1. A major work of J. S. Bach, such as a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, a suite, or a partita
  2. A complete Classical sonata, for example, one of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A work of your choice from the 19th or 20th century
  4. An etude of virtuosity
Audition Repertoire: SM in Piano Performance
  • 60 minutes of music, including at least three complete major works of at least three different stylistic periods, must be offered.

Memorization is required for all degrees.

In addition to requesting an audition date on the online application, submit a complete alphabetized repertoire list that includes specific pieces from larger works and a list of all undergraduate and graduate theory courses that you have completed.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration.

Teacher Request & Contact Policies

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission/Scholarship Decisions

Admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admission decisions are made by the Office of Admissions and are generally decided within five to seven weeks after your audition. All auditionees are considered for merit scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information) with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the University of Michigan concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.

DMA in Piano Performance

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

General Requirements

To apply for admission, submit your official application, transcripts, recommendations, and other materials as instructed below. The deadline for applications is December 1 for the fall term. No applications are considered for the winter term in any DMA program offered by the Department of Piano.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or higher on the Internet based test (250 on the computer based test or 600 on the paper test) or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 83 or higher before the audition may be scheduled.

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. The recording submitted should be approximately 30 minutes in length, consisting of contrasting repertoire from at least two stylistic periods. The specific repertoire for the screening recording is left up to the applicant. Individual movements of a larger work are acceptable. In addition, please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

All recordings must be submitted below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate piano majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition/Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  • A major Baroque composition
  • A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  • A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  • A selection of the applicant’s choice

Your audition may also include a brief interview with the faculty.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admission/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission for second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

MM in Piano Pedagogy & Performance

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan undergraduate piano majors applying to the MM program.

Audition Repertoire
  1. A major work of J. S. Bach, such as a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, a suite, or a partita
  2. A complete Classical sonata, for example, one of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A work of your choice from the 19th or 20th century
  4. An etude of virtuosity

Memorization is required.

In addition to requesting an audition date on the online application, submit a complete alphabetized repertoire list that includes specific pieces from larger works and a list of all undergraduate and graduate theory courses that you have completed.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration.

Interview: Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance

Applicants to the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance degree will have a pedagogy interview at the time of the audition in Ann Arbor in addition to the performance audition detailed above.

Teacher Request & Contact Policies

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission/Scholarship Decisions

Admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admission decisions are made by the Office of Admissions and are generally decided within five to seven weeks after your audition. All auditionees are considered for merit scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information) with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the University of Michigan concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.

DMA in Piano Pedagogy & Performance Requirements

Pre-screening Requirement

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Pedagogy & Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. The recordings submitted should be approximately 30 minutes in length, consisting of contrasting repertoire from at least two stylistic periods. The specific repertoire for the screening recording is left up to the applicant. Individual movements of a larger work are acceptable. Please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

Additionally, applicants are required to submit a video recording of sample teaching. The video should be at least 30 minutes in length and should include both private and group teaching, if possible.

All pre-screening materials must be uploaded below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

Audition & Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  • A major Baroque composition
  • A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  • A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  • A selection of the applicant’s choice

In total, the process will include a performance audition, a teaching demonstration, and an interview with the Piano Pedagogy faculty.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admission/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission for second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

MM in Collaborative Piano

Updated 7/27/2020

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

Six unedited video recordings of the repertoire listed. This repertoire does not need to be memorized. If you are not able to record with a partner now because of the pandemic, you may simultaneously sing and play at least two of the required songs.  In addition, you may also supplement your submission with 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other collaborative playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged. Optional:  we also welcome examples of coaching, teaching, and/or conducting work:

  1. Choose one of the following
    • Brahms: Clarinet/Viola Sonata No. 1 in f minor, first movement
    • Franck:  Violin Sonata in A, fourth movement
    • Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 3 in A, first movement
  2. All five of the following (in original keys)
    • Schumann: Du Ring an meinem Finger (from Frauenliebe und Leben)
    • Schubert: Du bist die Ruh
    • Debussy: Il pleure dans mon coeur (from Ariettes oubliées)
    • Barber: The Daisies 
    • Strauss: Ständchen

A comprehensive list of your repertoire. This should include works for solo piano, voice and piano, instrument(s) and piano, and operatic material.

A video in which you answer these three questions:

  1. Why study collaborative piano?
  2. What experience in collaborating do you have?
  3. How and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu) or smtd.auditions@umich.edu.

MM Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the collaborative piano faculty for a review of your training, current work and future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading.

You will need a piano or keyboard for this audition/interview, and should have the scores available for all of your submitted collaborative recordings.

SM in Instrumental Collaboration & Piano Chamber Music

Updated 7/27/2020

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

Unedited video recordings of 30 minutes of works for instrument(s) and piano. Repertoire is the applicant’s choice, and should include at least one work for orchestral accompaniment. This repertoire does not need to be memorized. In addition, you may also supplement your submission with 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other collaborative playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged. Optional:  we also welcome examples of coaching, teaching, and/or conducting work.

A comprehensive list of your repertoire for instrument(s) and piano. Do include works for instrument(s) and orchestra.

A video in which you answer these three questions:

  1. Why study collaborative piano?
  2. What experience in collaborating do you have?
  3. How and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu). Email him with your proposed audition program to begin a dialogue.

The pre-screening/recorded audition requirement (item #1 in the list) is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the Specialist program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. Your audition will take place by appointment in a setting similar to your ongoing lessons.

SM Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the collaborative piano faculty for a review of your training, current work and future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading.

You will need a piano or keyboard for this audition/interview, and should have the scores available for all of your submitted collaborative recordings.

SM in Vocal Collaboration & Coaching

Updated 7/27/2020

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

Unedited video recordings of 30 minutes of works for voice(s) and piano. Repertoire is the applicant’s choice, and should include at least one aria originally for voice and orchestra. This repertoire does not need to be memorized. If you are not able to record with a partner now because of the pandemic, you may simultaneously sing and play at least two of the pieces. In addition, you may also supplement your submission with 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other collaborative playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged. Optional:  we also welcome examples of coaching, teaching, and/or conducting work.

A comprehensive list of your repertoire for voice and piano. Do include repertoire for voice and orchestra.

A video in which you answer these questions:

  1. Why study collaborative piano?
  2. What experience in collaborating do you have?
  3. How and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu). Email him with your proposed audition program to begin a dialogue.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the Specialist program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver.

SM Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the collaborative piano faculty for a review of your training, current work and future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading.

You will need a piano or keyboard for this audition/interview, and should have the scores available for all of your submitted collaborative recordings.

DMA in Collaborative Piano Requirements

Updated 7/27/2020

Prerequisites

Master’s degree in piano, collaborative piano, or an equivalent.

Demonstrated pronunciation and comprehension ability from two European languages into English. Repertoire including approximately one-third of the repertoire requirement for achieving the degree (see repertoire requirement). Significant performance experience to suggest successful completion of the degree.

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

Unedited video recordings of 60 minutes of works for voice(s) and piano, instrument(s) and piano, and solo work. Repertoire is the applicant’s choice, and should include at least three diverse styles or periods of music, at least one work for orchestral accompaniment. The repertoire does not need to be memorized. A minimum of 20 minutes each of vocal and instrumental repertoire must be included. No more than 20 minutes of solo work may be included. If you are not able to record with a partner now because of the pandemic, you may simultaneously sing and plan at least three of the pieces. In addition, you may also supplement your submission with 1-5 additional videos or YouTube links of other collaborative playing you’ve done in the last 24 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged. Optional: we welcome examples of coaching, teaching, and/or conducting work.

A comprehensive list of your repertoire for voice and piano. Do include repertoire for voice and orchestra.

A video in which you answer these questions:

  1. Why study collaborative piano?
  2. What experience in collaborating do you have?
  3. How and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

Questions regarding video submissions should be sent to Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu). Email him with your proposed audition program to begin a dialogue.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the Specialist program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver.

DMA Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the collaborative piano faculty for a review of your training, current work and future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading.

You will need a piano or keyboard for this audition/interview, and should have the scores available for all of your submitted collaborative recordings.

MM in Fortepiano Performance

Fortepiano

Prepare a sonata of Haydn or Mozart, a work of Beethoven or Schubert, and a work of your choice appropriate to the instrument.

Faculty Contact Policies

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in SMTD. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Master of Music & Specialist in Music Programs

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to MM or SM programs must upload by December 1 an unedited video recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upload separate tracks for each piece.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this video recording, your resume, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

Current U-M students applying to the MM/SM programs are exempt from pre-screening and should contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. The Artistic Profile is still required.

Audition Requirements: MM & SM in Performance Programs

Accompanists are neither required nor provided for string auditions.

Cello

Prepare an étude representing your current level of technical development, two contrasting movements from one of the Bach unaccompanied suites, and an allegro movement from the standard cello concerto literature.

The Bach and the concerto should be played from memory.

Double Bass

Prepare an étude representing your current level of technical development, two solo pieces or movements in contrasting styles and tempi, and a few minutes of excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire.

One of the works or movements should be played from memory.

Harp

Prepare four octaves of ascending and descending arpeggios in two keys, alternating hands; and four octaves of a scale, hands together (one key); one etude; one orchestral excerpt from standard audition repertoire; and two advanced works of contrasting style/time period.

All solos are to be performed from memory.

Viola

Prepare a movement of a standard sonata (Brahms, Schubert, Clarke); two contrasting movements of a Bach sonata, partita, or unaccompanied suite; and a movement from a 20th century viola concerto.

The concerto movement and the Bach movements should be performed from memory.

Violin

Prepare two contrasting movements of a concerto, two contrasting movements of a Bach sonata or partita, a Paganini caprice of choice, and an additional piece of choice from the 20th century. Sight reading may be required.

All solo repertoire should be performed from memory.

Doctor of Musical Arts Programs

Pre-screening (Due December 1)

Applicants to the doctoral program in violin, viola, cello, double bass, and harp must create an Artistic Profile to upload required materials (resumé, repertoire list, pre-screening recordings, etc.).

Upload unedited video recordings of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination. Complete movements of larger works are acceptable.

The pre-screening video recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate string majors applying to the DMA program. Please contact our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a waiver.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this video recording, your resume, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an in-person audition may be scheduled. Doctoral applicants in string performance must audition live in Ann Arbor. 

In-person Audition: DMA Program

Prepare three complete works of contrasting nature demonstrating your highest level of artistry. An accompanist is required for all auditions. You may bring your own or an accompanist may be supplied by the school if requested in advance and confirmed.

MM & SM in Performance

All graduate voice applicants must audition in Ann Arbor to receive merit award consideration.

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Music in Voice Performance or the Specialist in Music in Voice Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited audio recording of four selections in differing styles including a work in English, French, German, and Italian. Of the four selections, only one operatic or one oratorio aria is permitted. One selection must have been written after 1940. Additionally, upload an unedited audio recording of eight measures of secco recitative (i.e. not written for orchestral accompaniment) from an 18th century opera or oratorio in one of the four languages above.

Please do not speak on the recording. No introduction is necessary. Create a separate track for each vocal selection. The Department recommends using an iPhone, smartphone, or similar recording device to create pre-screening recordings, with a recommended microphone placement of 4’–8′ from the singer.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this recording, your resumé, repertoire list, and undergraduate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M undergraduate voice majors applying to the MM program, or current U-M graduate voice majors applying to the Specialist in Music program. Please contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. The Artistic Profile is still required.

Audition Requirements
  • Prepare four selections in differing styles including a work in English, French, German, and Italian. Of the four selections, only one operatic or one oratorio aria is permitted. One selection must have been written after 1940.
  • Additionally, prepare eight measures of secco recitative (i.e. not written for orchestral accompaniment) from an 18th century opera or oratorio in one of the four languages above.
  • Memorization of all works is required. 

The school will provide an accompanist for persons auditioning in Ann Arbor.

DMA Program

All graduate voice applicants must audition in Ann Arbor to receive merit award consideration.

Pre-screening Requirements

Please upload your resumé, comprehensive repertoire list, and pre-screening recordings by creating an Artistic Profile. Applicants to the DMA in Voice Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited audio recording of six vocal selections for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Please include one (and only one) operatic aria, one twentieth-century work, one (and only one) oratorio aria, and three additional songs of the applicant’s choosing.

Please do not speak on the recording. No introduction is necessary. Create a separate track for each vocal selection.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this recording, your resumé, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate voice majors applying to the DMA program. Please contact our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a waiver.

In-person Audition Requirements
  • Prepare six selections, including one operatic aria (only one), one oratorio aria (only one), and a twentieth-century work. The twentieth-century work should not be an arrangement by a twentieth-century composer (e.g., Copland’s Old American Songs) but an actual composition by a twentieth-century composer. The six selections should demonstrate facility in French, German, Italian, and English.
  • Additionally, prepare eight measures of secco recitative (i.e., simple, with minimal accompaniment) from an 18th century opera or oratorio in one of the four languages above.   
  • Memorization of all works is required. 

The school will provide an accompanist for persons auditioning in Ann Arbor. All auditions must be done in person.

Required Materials

To apply for admission, all applicants to the DMA must submit an Artistic Profile and an official application, transcripts, and recommendations. The deadline for applications is December 1.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score before the audition may be scheduled.

No action will be taken on your application until your application file is complete.

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability. A master’s degree in the applicant’s proposed field of specialization, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for admission.

MM and SM in Performance Programs: Winds & Brass

Pre-screening Policy

Pre-screening is required for all applicants to the MM/SM Performance programs Winds & Brass. Upon a favorable evaluation of your materials, an audition may be scheduled.

All pre-screening materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile by the December 1 deadline. Hard copies of pre-screening materials will not be considered.

Current SMTD students applying to the MM/SM programs are exempt from pre-screening and should contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. An Artistic Profile is still required.

Recorded Audition Policy

Though it is strongly preferred that all applicants audition in-person in Ann Arbor, those residing over 300 miles away may be eligible to submit a recorded audition.

To submit a recorded audition, select ‘Recorded Audition’ as your submission type when completing your Artistic Profile and upload video recordings of the required audition repertoire.

Hard copies of audition materials will not be considered. An accompanist is recommended for recorded auditions.

In-Person Audition Policy

Upon a favorable evaluation of your materials, an audition may be scheduled. The required audition repertoire can be found below listed by instrument.

An accompanist is neither required nor provided for in-person auditions.

Audition Requirements by Instrument

Bassoon

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of the following as separate tracks:

  • Mozart: Concerto in B-flat Major KV 191: Movement 1
    (complete, with cadenza; piano accompaniment optional but recommended)
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts of your choice
  • A movement of a solo work or étude of your choice

Audition Requirements

Prepare two contrasting solo works from the standard repertory, two contrasting etudes and four orchestral excerpts. The solo works should demonstrate facility in different styles and/or time periods, and the excerpts should be chosen to highlight your skills in lyrical playing, high register playing, fast staccato, complicated technique, etc.

Clarinet

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least three contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare a minimum of three compositions representing different styles from the basic clarinet repertoire and four orchestral excerpts of contrasting character.

Euphonium

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload the following selections:

  • Two contrasting movements of solo repertoire with piano accompaniment, if applicable. These may be files from previous live performances or material recorded for the purpose of this audition.
  • Any complete etude from Rochut: Melodious Etudes for Trombone, Book 2
  • Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever (no repeats)
  • Schoenberg: Theme and Variations (Variation V; baritone part)
  • Grainger: “Horkstow Grange” from Lincolnshire Posy (beginning to m. 17; baritone part)

Audition Requirements

Prepare the following selections:

  • Two contrasting movements of solo repertoire (piano not required)
  • Five wind band excerpts of the candidate’s choice that demonstrate capabilities in technique, range, and dynamics.

If auditioning in person, you may be asked to sight-read and to play two-octave major and minor scales and scales in thirds. Memorization is required for the scales but not for the solo repertoire. Skills are assumed in the reading of both bass and treble clefs and in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Flute

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least three contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare four compositions from the standard solo flute repertoire and four orchestral excerpts representing your highest level of proficiency. One of the compositions must be memorized. Please include a movement of a concerto as one of your selections. You may perform only two movements from a composition with multiple movements. Choose from the contrasting styles of the Baroque, Classical, French, or Contemporary literature. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level. Be prepared to sight-read.

French Horn

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare two complete compositions of your choice representing different styles. In addition, be prepared to play the first movement of Strauss’ Second Horn Concerto and five contrasting orchestral excerpts. You may be asked to play two-octave major and minor scales. Memorization is required for scales only. Proficiency is assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Oboe

Updated 8/4/2020

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload portions of three complete works from the major solo repertoire to the SMTD Artistic Profile, including music from the Baroque and 20th/21st-Century periods. Also upload two-four orchestral excerpts of your choice. The entire recording should be 20-30 minutes in length.

Live Online Audition Requirements

Students who advance to this stage in the application process will meet online with Oboe faculty to perform an audition. The music prepared for the live online audition should be: three complete works from the major solo repertoire, including music from the Baroque and 20th/21st-Century periods. Also prepare four orchestral excerpts of your choice.  Familiarity with all major and minor scales and thirds is assumed. You may also be tested in sight-reading skills.

Saxophone

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare two major works for saxophone that will demonstrate your highest level of musical and technical development. It is recommended that at least one of the selections include one of the following works: Albright, Sonata; Bolcom, Lillith; Dahl, Concerto; Harbison, Sonata; Berio, Sequenze IXB; Denisov, Sonata; J.A. Lennon, Symphonic Rhapsody.

Jazz improvisation skills are welcomed and you are encouraged to request a separate audition with our Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation faculty. If you wish to take advantage of this, please contact the Auditions Coordinator to arrange your audition.

If you have played a recital, please bring with you a CD, if available, to supplement your audition.

Trombone

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload the appropriate material for the instrument on which you will audition:

  • Tenor Trombone
    • Upload video recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Additionally, upload the following excerpts:
      • Berlioz: Hungarian March (Trombone 2)
      • Mahler: Symphony No. 3 — Movement I: first solo
      • Mozart: RequiemTuba Mirum
      • Ravel: Bolero
      • Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries — B Major section
  • Bass Trombone
    • Upload a video recording of the Sarabande from the Fifth Suite for Solo Cello by Bach as well as at least one additional piece of your choice and the following excerpts:
      • Berlioz: Hungarian March
      • Haydn: The Creation
      • Schumann: Symphony No. 3 (4th movement)
      • Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries — B Major section
      • Wagner: Das RheingoldEntry of the Gods

Audition Requirements

Prepare the same repertoire as listed above for pre-screening, PLUS the Rossini Overture to William Tell.

Trumpet

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload unedited recordings of the following as separate tracks:

  • Honegger: Intrada (complete)
  • Bach: Magnificat (opening to measure 35)
  • Stravinsky: Petrouchka (ballerina dance)

Audition Requirements

Prepare twenty minutes of the standard solo recital literature for trumpet and standard excerpts from the orchestral repertoire representing your highest level of proficiency. You are encouraged to demonstrate your knowledge of different stylistic periods and ability to perform on the piccolo. You will be asked to transpose while sight-reading. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Tuba

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload the following selections:

  • Two contrasting movements of solo repertoire with piano accompaniment, if applicable. These may be files from previous live performances or material recorded for the purpose of this audition.
  • Any complete etude from Rochut: Melodious Etudes for Trombone, Book 2 (down one octave)
  • Wagner: Overture to Die Meistersinger (RN J to RN L)
  • Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5, mvmt. 1 (RN3 to RN6)
  • Berlioz: Hungarian March (RN4 to 4 after RN5)

Audition Requirements

Prepare the following selections:

  • Two contrasting movements of solo repertoire (piano not required)
  • Five orchestral excerpts of the candidate’s choice that demonstrate capabilities in Technique, range, and dynamics

If auditioning in Ann Arbor, you may be asked to sight-read and play two-octave major, minor, and chromatic scales. Memorization is required for the scales but not for the solo literature. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Wind Instruments Major

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload the appropriate pre-screening material as determined by your primary instrument.

Audition Requirements

Prepare an audition on your primary instrument following the audition requirements listed above.

DMA in Performance: Winds & Brass

Pre-screening Requirements

Each DMA applicant must first pass a pre-screening prior to the live audition. Follow the instrument sections below for specific pre-screening repertoire requirements. Please upload your resumé, comprehensive repertoire list, and recordings by creating an Artistic Profile here by December 1.

Indicate in your Artistic Profile the works you intend to perform for your audition. Be prepared to perform a varied program of at least 30 to 45 minutes duration selected from the repertoire specified below.

Required Materials

To apply for DMA admission, submit an official application, transcripts, recommendations, and other materials as instructed on the application. The deadline for applications is December 1 for the Fall term. A master’s degree in the applicant’s proposed field of specialization, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for admission.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score before the audition may be scheduled.

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

Bassoon

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening that will be evaluated prior to the live audition.  Prepare a video recording of at least 30 minutes of music of your choice, including at least one standard work for bassoon and piano, at least one unaccompanied work for solo bassoon and 3-4 orchestral excerpts of your choice.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate bassoon majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. One complete Vivaldi bassoon concerto
  2. The first and second movements of the Mozart Concerto, KV 191
  3. One unaccompanied work from the 20th or 21st century
  4. A work of the candidate’s choice from any musical period, preferably for bassoon and piano, or another unaccompanied work
  5. Six contrasting orchestral excerpts, taken from the standard orchestral repertory

Piano accompaniment is strongly encouraged, but not required if it would cause undue financial hardship.  Audition candidates can arrange to hire a pianist from the SMTD Collaborative Piano pool.  Please contact Dr. Lyman for more information.

Clarinet

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate clarinet majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play six selections drawn from an extensive range of clarinet repertoire. One work or movement should be performed from each of the following six categories (approval of any substitutions must be approved in advance):

  • Concertos
    • Eighteenth or nineteenth centuries: Mozart, Molter, J. Stamitz, K. Stamitz, Weber, or Spohr
    • Twentieth century: Copland, Francaix, Hindemith, Nielsen, or Seiber
  • Sonatas
    • Eighteenth or nineteenth centuries: Devienne, Brahms, Danzi, or Weber
    • Twentieth century: Arnold, Bax, Hindemith, Martinu, or Poulenc
  • Other Solos
    • Unaccompanied: Bassett, Messiaen, W. O. Smith, Stravinsky, or Tomasi
    • With piano: Dautremer, Debussy, Francaix, Jeanjean, Lutoslawski, P. Pierne, Rossini, or Schumann
Euphonium

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate euphonium majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following (approval of any substitutions must be given in advance):

  1. The Joseph Horowitz Concerto or a concerto of similar difficulty
  2. The Jan Bach Concert Variations, or other solo/sonata of similar difficulty
  3. The David Gillingham Blue Lake Fantasies or other unaccompanied piece of top difficulty
  4. Band excerpts
  5. A transcription of a composition written prior to 1800
  6. All major and minor scales
  7. Sight reading is possible
Flute

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.  Perform with piano accompaniment when applicable.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate flute majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. A complete J. S. Bach sonata, partita, or suite
  2. At least one of the following, performed from memory in its entirety:
    • A complete Mozart concerto
    • A complete 20th- or 21st-century concerto (EXAMPLE: Jolivet, Nielsen, Ibert, Foss, Rouse, Bolcom, Tower, Rivier, Liebermann or other)
    • Two additional complete works of contrasting styles and periods that showcase contemporary extended techniques and/or detailed performance practice (e.g., music by a living composer, a commissioned work, French conservatoire pieces, French, Italian or German Baroque pieces)
  3. Six standard orchestral excerpts displaying a balance of technical and lyrical playing.
French Horn

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate horn majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. Mozart Concerto #2 or #4 (complete)
  2. One complete Romantic recital piece or Concerto
  3. One complete Modern/Contemporary recital piece or Concerto
  4. Six contrasting orchestral excerpts
Oboe

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate oboe majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play two major works of the oboe literature from the Baroque period, two major works from the Classical or Romantic period, and two major contemporary works, to equal six (6) complete works which demonstrate technical facility, rhythmic complexity, and musical expression.

Saxophone

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate saxophone majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following (approval of any substitutions must be requested in writing before the audition):

  1. ONE CONCERTO: One from the following:
    • Concerto of your choice
    • Ingolf Dahl – Concerto (preferred)
    • Alexander Glazounov – Concerto
    • Jacques Ibert – Concertino
    • John Anthony Lennon – Symphonic Rhapsodie (preferred)
  2. SONATA: One from the following:
    • William Albright – Sonata (preferred)
    • Paul Creston – Sonata
    • Edison Denisov – Sonata (preferred)
    • John Harbison – San Antonio (preferred)
  3. BAROQUE:
    • Soprano Saxophone: Repertory of your choice
    • Alto Saxophone: One from the following:
      • J.S. Bach – A Minor Sonata BWV 1013 (flute) 2 mvts. (preferred)
      • J.S. Bach – Suite No. 1 (cello) 1st mvt.
  4. GENERAL: Two from the following:
    • Paul Bonneau – Caprice en forme de Valse (preferred)
    • Luciano Berio – Sequenza IXB
    • Alfred Descenclos – Prelude, Cadence et Finale (preferred)
    • Claude Debussy – Rhapsodie
    • Jules Demerssenman – Fantaisie (preferred)
    • Michael Djupstrom – Walimai (preferred)
    • John Anthony Lennon – Distances Within Me (preferred)
    • Robert Schumann – Romance from Three Romances

The applicant may request in writing specific substitutions for any of the above.

Trombone

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate trombone majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition – Tenor Trombone

  1. One trombone concerto by Albrechtsberger, Grondahl, Jacob, Larsson, Rota, Tomasi or other concerti of similar level.
  2. Select one sonata by Marcello or Telemann
  3. One piece from the major sonata literature by Casterede, Ewazen, Hindemith or other work of similar level for trombone and piano.
  4. Select one of the following unaccompanied works:
    • Bassett: Suite
    • Crespo: Imiprovisation No. 1
    • Hidas: Fantasia
    • Persichetti: Parable, op. 133
  5. 8 Orchestral Excerpts
  6. All major and minor scales

Audition – Bass Trombone

  1. Bach Sarabande from Cello Suite No. 5
  2. One major concerto by Ewazen, George, Lebedev, Spillman, Vaughn-Williams or other concerti of similar level.
  3. One major work for bass trombone and piano by Bozza, Gillingham, Koetsier, Lassen, Semler-Collery, Wilder or other works of similar level.
  4. Select one of the following unaccompanied works:
    • Fetter: Spain
    • Hartley: Sonata Breve
    • Hidas: Meditation
  5. 8 Orchestral Excerpts
  6. All major and minor scales
Trumpet

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate trumpet majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play one selection in categories 1 through 5, six or more selections from category 6, and sight reading at the discretion of the committee. An equivalent work substituted for one of the following should be of similar musical stature and difficulty.

  1. Fasch, Concerto; Telemann, Concerto in D; L. Mozart, Concerto or equivalent baroque concerto originally written for the trumpet
  2. Haydn: Concerto or Hummel: Concerto (in E or Eb)
  3. Tomasi, Concerto; Jolivet, Concertino; Chaynes, Concerto or other similar twentieth-century concerto for trumpet and orchestra
  4. H. Stevens, Sonata; K. Kennan, Sonata; Hindemith, Sonata; Ewazen, Sonata or equivalent sonata for trumpet and piano
  5. A work of the candidate’s choice that would not appropriately fit in one of the above categories
  6. Standard orchestral excerpts from Bruckner, Mahler, Respighi, Prokofiev, Ravel, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and/or Wagner
  7. Sight reading
Tuba

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate tuba majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. The Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba, or another concerto of like difficulty
  2. The Hindemith Sonata or another sonata of like or greater difficulty
  3. An unaccompanied work of top difficulty, like the Kraft Encounters II or Penderecki Capriccio
  4. Orchestral excerpts
  5. A transcription of a composition written prior to 1800
  6. All major and minor scales
  7. Sight reading is possible

Additional Important Information

An audition, interview, or portfolio review is required for every Graduate program. An email confirmation of your audition/interview date will be sent after receipt and processing of all your application materials. Admission decisions will be made in March after the audition/interview, when your complete file has been reviewed.

All portfolios and pre-screening recordings must be submitted by December 1 and will only be forwarded to the faculty for review when the application and all transcripts and test scores (if applicable) have been received. Pre-screening and audition recordings must be uploaded using your Artistic Profile. A select number of applicants will be scheduled for an audition/interview following the portfolio/pre-screening review.

Live auditions/interviews are highly preferred, especially for merit-based award consideration. We understand, though, that this is not always possible. Most MM and SM applicants to instrumental or voice performance programs living 300 miles or more from Ann Arbor may instead upload a recorded audition, which must be uploaded by January 15th for merit-based scholarship consideration. Repertoire requirements for recorded auditions are the same as for live auditions. DMA applicants are required to audition live.

Be aware that applicants who audition/interview in Ann Arbor are given priority for financial awards. SMTD merit-based scholarship decision letters are e-mailed near the beginning of April.

Send audition repertoire changes via email to our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) before the week of your audition date so that these changes will be reflected in the materials that the faculty review at your audition. Otherwise you may simply announce your repertoire changes at your audition.

Placement tests are only administered to specific applicant groups. Orchestral conductors will take a written and aural theory exam as part of their audition. Otherwise, all placement tests are taken at fall orientation prior to the first week of class.

Application & Audition Feedback Policy

The staff of the Admissions Office and the faculty are not able to provide individual application or audition/interview feedback. We ask your understanding and thank you in advance.