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Requirements for Pre-screening/Portfolios & Auditions/Interviews

Audition & Interview Dates

Auditions and interviews will be held in both in-person and virtual formats for 2022. Please check your program for a timestamp (XX/XX/2021) indicating that the information published is up to date for 2022. For the programs that are not yet up to date, please continue to check back frequently, as we are continuing our work with faculty to communicate our plans for the coming season. We thank you for your patience!

Requirements for Pre-screening, Portfolio, and Auditions/Interviews

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 what you need to upload in your Artistic Profile if your program includes pre-screening or a portfolio. Pre-screening and audition requirements are the same for non-performance majors unless otherwise notated.

This page has recommendations for making your recordings.

Please note that applicants will only meet with faculty from their Major Department. Music Education applicants will meet with the studio faculty for their Primary Instrument/Voice and participate in a Music Education group meeting.

Note: waivers of the Artistic Profile fee are available to students with financial need. Learn more on the Apply page to see if you might qualify for a fee waiver.

Updated 8/2/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

Please upload video recordings of two contrasting etudes and two contrasting solo works to the SMTD Artistic Profile. 

ETUDES: The etudes should either come from the Concert Studies, Op. 26 or the Scale and Arpeggio Studies, Op. 24 by Ludwig Milde. If you are not currently working on these studies, you may submit a request for a substitution to Dr. Lyman by email (jlym@umich.edu). 

SOLO WORKS: You should submit both one fast and one slow movement (your choice of which) from the following pieces: 

  • W. A. Mozart: Concerto in B flat, KV 191 (first or second movement, or both)
  • Carl Maria von Weber: Concerto in F, Op. 75 (first or second movement, or both)
  • Carl Maria von Weber: Andante and Hungarian Rondo (you may play one or both of these movements)
  • Antonio Vivaldi: any of his concerti for bassoon (either movements 1 & 2 or 2 & 3, depending on the concerto)
  • Camille Saint-Saëns: Sonate pour basson, Op. 168 (must include movement 2, and can add movements 1 or 3)

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be invited to meet with Bassoon faculty for a discussion of your training, future and career goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and live playing.

Updated 8/9/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following unedited videos. All solo literature must be performed from memory:

  • An etude representing your current level of technical development
  • Two contrasting movements from one of the Bach unaccompanied suites
  • An allegro movement from the standard cello concerto literature; students who choose to play the Elgar or Shostakovich concerto movement should also prepare the second movement
  • A speaking video in which you answer these questions. The format can be casual: 1) Why do you want to study music in college? 2) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?

“Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.

OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 monthsRecordings of past solo or chamber music recitals or performances are encouraged.

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be invited to meet with the cello faculty for a discussion of your work and goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and some live playing and sight-reading. The music for the audition may be the same or different from that submitted on your videos. An accompanist is not expected nor required.

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

Updated 8/6/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload video recordings of three contrasting works, one of which should be a work by either a BIPOC, or underrepresented composer. If you would like suggestions or if you would like to confirm your choice of piece, please write to Professor Dan Gilbert (nosqueak@umich.edu) or Professor Chad Burrow (burrowc@umich.edu) before submitting the recording. In the case of compositions with several movements, it may not be necessary to play the complete work. In addition, please upload two etudes showing legato style and articulation.

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be invited to meet with Clarinet faculty for a discussion of your training, future and career goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and live playing.

Updated 7/27/2021

Portfolio Requirements

All composition applicants must upload up to seven scores of your musical compositions with recordings of each work — live performances are preferable; yet MIDI realizations are also accepted. 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! 

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please refer to the pre-screening requirements for your instrument or voice.

All materials must be uploaded by December 1.

Audition/Interview Requirements (Online or in-person)

After a preliminary review of online portfolios, a selected number of applicants will be invited to complete online or in-person interviews. The interview component will focus on your portfolio materials. 

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

Updated 7/29/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

The Department of Dance is committed to recruiting a diverse group of candidates for our program. We encourage you to showcase your work with the videos you are most proud of and feel are most representative of your work. Applicants who have attended MPulse are eligible for a pre-screening waiver – please contact smtd.auditions@umich.edu for confirmation. Recipients of said waiver will still need to submit an Artistic Profile, but can omit the performance requirements listed below.

Performance Requirements, Video

To advance to a live online audition, upload videos following these specifications:

  1. Solo:  Perform and upload a one (1) minute solo in the style of your choice
  2. Additional videos: Please select two (2) of following excerpts to learn and record doing said excerpt: 
  3. A speaking video:  Please answer the following question, the format may be casual.
    • “What do you want to explore within this program over your four years at the university and how do you feel these experiences at Michigan will prepare you to reach your artistic, creative, and professional goals?”

Written Requirements
  • Resumé—With your videos, upload a copy of your one-page resumé, which includes training and experience you have had in dance, music, or theatre.
  • Photograph—Upload a recent photograph of yourself, headshot preferred.
Video Preparation Suggestions
  • Wear clothes that will show clean lines. For example, leotards and tights rather than baggy or ill-fitting costumes. 
  • Your entire body should be in view throughout your videos.
  • Individual videos  are preferred and will upload faster.
  • Do not submit a multi-camera, highly technical studio video.

Audition/Interview Requirements (online or in-person)

All auditions are by invitation only.

Following review of your videos and all other application materials, successful candidates will be invited to attend an in-person or live online audition/interview. 

Students will also be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty and current students to discuss the Department of Dance, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. Parents are encouraged to attend this session but may not observe the audition.

Live online audition format:

  • participate in two online dance classes
  • review and discuss your submitted video solo work
  •  have a short conversation about your background and goals 

In-person audition format:

  • participate in two dance classes
  • perform your solo work
  • have a short conversation with faculty about your background and goals

Updated 8/4/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following unedited videos.

Please take note of our commitment to engaging diverse repertoire and skill sets, as well as our SMTD Strategic Plan to build equity and inclusion in all that we do.

  • Applicants are asked to present 15 minutes of their best playing. Please consider showing an expressive and technical range of musical styles and repertoire that will provide more insight for assessment of an applicant’s qualifications and potential to thrive and contribute in the U-M community. Recommend 3-5 videos or selections.
  • One speaking video in which you answer these questions. The format can be casual: 1) Why do you want to study music in college? 2) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. 
  • “Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.

 

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process should prepare:

  • Applicants are asked to present 15 minutes of their best playing. Please consider showing an expressive and technical range of musical styles and repertoire that will provide more insight for assessment of an applicant’s qualifications and potential to thrive and contribute in the U-M community. Recommend 3-5 selections.
  • Sight-reading may also be assessed at the audition.
  • The music for the live audition may be the same as submitted on your videos.

 An accompanist is not expected nor required.

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

 

Updated 7/27/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload the following video recordings to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Rochut Melodious Etudes- Etude 23
  • Choose one of the following solos (accompaniment not required):
    • Barat- Andante et Allegro
    • Capuzzi- Andante and Rondo
    • Guilmant- Morceau Symphonique
  • A speaking video in which you briefly answer these questions. The format can be casual.
    • Why do you want to study music in college?
    • Who are one or two of your most influential instrumental artists and how have they most influenced you?
    • Where do you see yourself five years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL: One or two videos of other playing or music-making that you’ve done in the past 18 months that you are proud of.

Live Audition Requirements (Online or in-person)

  • Applicant should be prepared to play any major scale two octaves
  • Etude of applicant’s choice from Voxman Selected Studies for Baritone
  • Solo of applicant’s choice (different from pre-screening repertoire)
  • Band Excerpts (will be sent to applicants chosen for live audition)
    • Holst- Second Suite
    • Grainger- The Brisk Young Sailor from Lincolnshire Posy
    • Sousa- Fairest of the Fair
  • Sight Reading

Updated 8/6/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload video recordings of three compositions from the standard solo flute repertoire to the SMTD Artistic Profile. Please include a movement of a concerto as one of your selections. You may perform one movement from a composition with multiple movements or an advanced etude. Representative audition repertoire include Mozart concerti, Paris Conservatoire pieces, 20th century compositions, and French, German, or English Baroque sonatas. If the composition has accompaniment,  please use accompaniment.

In addition, please upload two orchestral excerpts that represent your highest level of proficiency.

Memorization of solo literature and orchestral excerpts is not required. Competitive undergraduate applicants typically have a minimum of five years of private study and significant ensemble experience.

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be invited to meet with Professor Porter for a discussion of your training, future and career goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and live playing. Memorization of all major, minor, and chromatic scales is assumed and may be assessed at the audition. Sight-reading may also be assessed at the audition.

Updated 8/6/2021

Pre-screening Requirements – all candidates

Please upload unedited video recordings of the following to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Major Scales (two octaves ascending and descending) – F, A
  • Minor Scales (two octaves ascending and descending) – E natural minor, Bb harmonic minor
  • R. Strauss – Concerto #1, Movement 1
  • Maxime Alphonse Book 2 – Etude #1 at quarter note = 132

Audition Requirements – Final Round (Online or in-person)

Students who advance to this stage of the application process and conduct their audition in-person will play the following selections for the final round. Students who complete online auditions will submit recordings of each of these selections.

  • W.A. Mozart – Concerto #3 (complete)
  • Kenneth Amis – Preludes for French Horn – No. 1 
  • Kopprasch Book 1 – Etude #15 at eighth note = 84
  • Maxime Alphonse Book 2 – Etude #27 at printed tempo
  • Major Scales (two octaves ascending and descending) – B and Gb
  • Minor Scales (two octaves ascending and descending) – F harmonic minor, D melodic minor
  • Sight reading (Live auditions) 

A post-audition online interview will be required for all online finalists and may be requested of students who performed a live final audition. Online finalists will start their interview with a short sight-reading selection.

Updated 7/28/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following unedited videos. All solo literature must be performed from memory:

  • Four octaves of ascending and descending arpeggios in two keys, alternating hands.
    • EX: ascend from the bass wires and play: LH, RH, LH, RH (turnaround); then descend
      Fingering: 4321 per hand placement, consistently
  • Four octaves of a scale in your chosen key, RH and LH played simultaneously;
    • EX:  key of C major:  Begin on 5th  (RH) and 6th  (LH) oct. C’s; turnaround on 1st octave C ;  descend to starting place.
      Fingering 43214321, etc. using whatever fingering you prefer at the turnaround.
  • One etude
  • Two substantial works of contrasting style and/or time period.
  • A speaking video in which you answer these questions. The format can be casual:
    1. Why do you want to study music in college?
    2. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?

“Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.

Live Audition Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet in person or online with the harp faculty for live playing, sight-reading, and a brief discussion of your work and goals. The music for the audition may be the same or different from that submitted on your videos. An accompanist is not expected nor required.

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

Applicants to the BFA in Interarts Performance should complete the application steps required by the Stamps School of Art & Design. Please contact Stamps Admissions with any questions you have about the application process.

Updated 7/27/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

All applicants will demonstrate their skills in mainstream jazz according to the guidelines below. Applicants with original compositions, or who are involved in creative areas that may not fall within the categories listed, are strongly encouraged to present their work at the audition. 

Improvising Skills

All applicants (except drummers; see separate requirements) should prepare an F blues and B-flat rhythm changes tune of their choice. Bassists should play the head, walk a chorus (two choruses for the 12 bar blues) then solo over the changes. Pianist and guitarists should play the head, comp for a chorus (two choruses for the 12 bar blues) then solo.

Horn players may take advantage of the provided play-alongs. These are completely optional.

 In addition, select one piece from each of the following three categories:

Category 1 (medium or up-tempo standard)

Category 2 (ballad)

Category 3 (modal)

Category 4 (optional)

  • Original composition (please include a lead sheet with the recording)
  • Free Improvisation
  • Contemporary Styles (Folk, World Music, Pop)

Other compositions in these categories can be substituted if desired.

Jazz Drums – Pre-screening Requirements 

Drummers must play one piece from each of the three categories. This can be with a play-along or small group and should include exchanging 4 or 8 bar solos. In addition to these three tunes, please play at least 8 bars of each of the following styles:

¾ swing with brushes, bossa nova, samba, favorite rock or funk groove, mambo. Please also play Charley Wilcoxin Rhythmania at a minimum of 90bpm. This solo is found in Modern Rudimental Swing Solos.

https://www.alfred.com/modern-rudimental-swing-solos/p/36-10300203/

Drummers are welcome to perform pieces outside the areas listed above, including but not limited to multiple percussion, rudimental or concert snare drum and electronic pieces. They can be edited versions of pieces for time consideration.

Additional Instructions (all instruments)
  • Do not submit a multi-camera, highly technical, edited studio video. All recordings must be done in a single, unedited take.
  • It is highly recommended that all selections be memorized, including tune melodies and chord changes.

Audition/Interview Requirements (Online or in-person)

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online or in-person with the jazz faculty for a discussion of your work and goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and live playing and sight-reading. Students should be prepared to play a tune of their choice that is different from what they played for the pre-screen.

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

Special Instructions for Guitar, Piano, and Bass

  • Guitarists should prepare a chord melody.
  • Pianists and guitarists will be asked to comp changes.
  • Bassists will be asked to walk the bass lines in addition to soloing and performing melodies.
  • Bassists should prepare the melody to the ballad they choose and perform it arco if possible.

Jazz Voice Applicants

We do not offer a program of study in jazz voice. Students in other programs, such as Voice Performance, are able to perform with jazz combos and ensembles by audition.

Updated 7/26/21

Applicants are required to upload:

  • Two (2) academic writing samples, one of which should focus on music. 
  • Resumé that includes activities and awards related to academics, athletics, or leadership within your school or community, music or arts training, community service in which you have participated, and any work experience you have had while in school.
  • Short answer (one paragraph) explaining your interest in the BA in Music. 
  • “Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.
  • Artistic Recommendation from an arts teacher in any discipline, for example a private music teacher, a theatre director, Music Theory teacher/professor, ensemble director, etc. If you do not have access to an Artistic recommendation, you may submit a recommendation from an academic teacher. 
  • Optional Wild Card: add one additional item–video, photograph, creative work, paper, or other–that will help us get to know you

The application review is a three-step process:

  1. The SMTD Admissions Office will read your application for academic eligibility.  The review will include an examination of your transcript(s), letters of recommendation, and ACT or SAT scores if provided.
  2. If your application passes the initial academic review, faculty will read your writing samples and other materials, and make an assessment of the quality of your work.
  3. The SMTD Admissions Office will make the final determination regarding admission. A letter will be emailed to you as soon as that decision has been made.

Is an audition required for the BA program?

No. We do not require an audition because the BA program is an academic, liberal arts degree that serves students with wide-ranging interests. It is not a performance program.

 

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Please follow the requirements for your instrument or voice area.

Personal Statement: Provide a personal statement of approximately 500 words outlining the reasons you wish to pursue the BMA in Multidisciplinary Studies and how you would integrate your studies in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance with an additional area of academic focus. As part of your statement please also detail any musical or academic subjects or topics that are of particular interest to you or coursework that you hope to pursue as part of your studies. In addition to your personal statement, you may include other materials that you feel are supportive of your application to this program.

Updated 8/6/2021

All applicants are required to create an Artistic Profile to demonstrate artistic preparation for their program of study, including any required recordings for your primary instrument/voice. After a successful review of your complete application materials, faculty will determine which students will be invited to participate in a live audition round. 

Video Interview Requirement

In your Artistic Profile, upload a video in which you answer these three questions:

  1. Why do you want to be a music teacher?
  2. What experience do you have teaching others, or working in any capacity with groups of young people?
  3. How would you describe yourself as a teacher or a leader?

Video Preparation Guidelines

The faculty know that making a video adds an extra challenge to the application process. The main goal is simple clarity so that we may get to know you. With this in mind, try to follow these guidelines when preparing your video:

  • Dress as you would for an in-person audition or interview.
  • Think about your answers to the questions in advance, but do not write an essay and read it to the camera. Talk to us, just like you would in a conversation with a teacher.
  • Begin your video by introducing yourself with your name, primary instrument or voice type, your hometown and the high school that you attend, and the degree program for which you are applying.
  • Your video should be no more than five minutes.
  • Do not submit a multi-camera, highly technical, edited studio video.

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Please follow the requirements for your instrument or voice area.

Choral Music Education

Prepare to audition in both piano and voice. You will declare either piano or voice as your principal, with the other as a secondary instrument. An information session with the Music Education Department will also be scheduled if you are invited to the live audition round.

Piano Principal:

  • For the piano audition, please follow the Piano Principal requirements listed under Piano below. 
  • For the secondary voice audition, please submit two memorized songs. An accompanist is preferred for all recorded selections. However, if you are unable to arrange for an accompanist because of the pandemic, you are allowed to use an accompanist or another recorded track resource. If you have no private voice teacher, ask your school or religious choir director for assistance in preparing for the audition.

Voice Principal:

  • For the voice audition, please submit the “Voice Principal: Choral Music Education” pre-screening and audition requirements listed under Voice below.
  • For the secondary piano audition, sight-reading, harmonization, and transposition skills will be tested as a part of the live audition round in order to determine your keyboard placement.

Instrumental Music Education

Applicants must complete a performance audition following the specific requirements listed below. An information session with the Music Education Department will also be scheduled if you are invited to the live audition round.

Principal Instruments

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

Updated 9/8/2021

The Bachelor of Music in Music Theory does not accept incoming first-year student applications. All applicants must be transfer students from U-M or from other institutions with a minimum of one full year of music theory coursework with grades no lower than “B”. U-M applicants must complete Music Theory courses 139, 140, 149, and 150 before applying. All applicants should have background in performance or composition and in a keyboard instrument.

To be considered, upload these materials to your Artistic Profile:

  • one original musical analysis, musical composition, or musical arrangement
  • one sample of your English writing (any topic)
  • a personal statement (no more than 1 page) speaking to your interest in the field of Music Theory and what you hope to learn from a degree in Music Theory
  • two-three samples of voice leading, model composition, or counterpoint exercises
  • a speaking video in which you answer these questions; the format can be casual.  1) Why do you want to study Music Theory in college? 2) Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • unofficial copies of your college and high school transcripts (optional for U-M students)
  • audition videos on a principal instrument or voice following the requirements listed for your instrument or voice

Audition Schedule and Application Deadline Dates

Live Online Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage in the application process will meet online with Music Theory faculty for a discussion of training, future career goals, and a review of previously submitted materials. Students may also be asked to complete a keyboard harmony assessment and/or theory assessment of part-writing and analysis.

Updated 7/26/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

All applicants must complete the full SMTD application process no later than December 1 before a prescreening review can be completed.

Documents to Include in the Artistic Profile
  • Resumé: Upload a pdf of your full resumé, which includes any training and experience you have had in music, theatre, and dance, as well as academic honors, work experience, and community service.
  • Photograph: Upload a recent photograph of yourself. Photographs such as a resumé headshot or a graduation portrait are preferred if you have one, otherwise take a photograph against a neutral background.
  • Brief Personal Statement: Upload a short (1-2 page double-spaced) essay describing an artistic event that was memorable and/or influential to you personally (this does not need to be an event in which you participated). If applicable, you may re-use an essay you wrote for the Common Application or Coalition Application either in whole or in part.
Pre-Screening Requirements

Important Note: the University of Michigan will only review pre-screening materials received via the SMTD Artistic Profile. We will not review materials submitted on Acceptd or any other platform. Additionally, you must follow the prescreening requirements listed here–not those listed on any non-SMTD website or platform–in order to be considered for a live audition.

  • Acting–upload 2 separate tracks
    • Prepare two short, contrasting monologues from contemporary plays (no earlier than late 1800s). The monologues must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The monologues should be no longer than 90 seconds each. Do not choose from historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects.
  • Voice–upload 2 separate tracks
    • Prepare two musical theatre songs of at least 32-bars each with a 2-4-bar piano introduction. Both songs must be memorized, and one should be written before 1965. Sing with recorded or live accompaniment, not a cappella.
  • Dance–upload 1 or 2 (separate tracks if uploading 2)
    1. Required for all applicants: present a 30-60 second clip of yourself moving/dancing. Your full body should be in view at all times. You may choose a cut from a musical or a dance performance in which you participated, or record something original. Any style is acceptable: musical theatre, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, etc. Wear shoes you can dance in and clothes you can move in. Dance music may be live or recorded.
    2. Optional, for applicants with dance training: execute a set of plies, tendues, grand battements, and pirouettes. Straightforward, simple exercises are preferred (side view is best). Dance music may be live or recorded.
  • Video Response–upload 1
    • Upload a 60-90 second face-to-the-camera video in which you answer ONE (1) of the following questions:
      • What music are you currently listening to and what do you like about it? 
      • Other than musical theatre, what are you most passionate about? 
      • Why do you want to go to college to study musical theatre?
  • Optional Additional Video
    • Optional (not required) – you are welcome to include ONE (1) extra video either as a YouTube/Vimeo link or a video upload that falls into one of the following categories:
      • A video from a performance (singing, dancing, and/or acting) that took place within the previous 18 months.
      • A “Wild Card” video (a special skill, unique dance style, an instrument that you play, etc.).
    • The Artistic Profile has a place to include a YouTube or Vimeo link, but if doing so please be sure your video privacy settings are set to “public” so that we can view them.

Live Audition Requirements

Applicants who are invited to a live audition will have the option to do so either in-person or online (via Zoom), with full and equal consideration for admission no matter which format they choose.

Those invited to the live auditions will be asked to follow these requirements:

Live Audition Performance Requirements

Acting – Prepare two short, contrasting monologues from plays (not from monologue books). Neither may exceed 90 seconds. Each monologue must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The emphasis is on simple reality. Applicants may present one or both monologues, and the faculty panel will determine which will be presented. When preparing your monologue selections:

  • choose material that is appropriate for your age and experience
  • do not choose material that is inappropriate because of language or situation
  • do not choose from historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry
  • avoid dialects

You are not required to perform the same monologues that you submitted in prescreening, but you are welcome to do so if preferred.

Voice – Prepare two selections of musical theatre repertoire that contrast in style and decade of composition. Each cut may be up to 32 bars each, but should not exceed 60 seconds in length and must be memorized. In addition, please have the full version of your audition songs as well as any other performance-ready musical theatre or pop repertoire. You are not required to sing the same songs that you submitted in prescreening, but you are welcome to do so if preferred.

Dance – the format of the dance audition will vary slightly based on your chosen audition format:

  • In-person: the dance call will be a group event lasting approximately one hour. The first portion of the in-person dance call is a short ballet class, followed by a jazz/MT combination.  No prior dance experience is necessary. Wear shoes you can dance in and clothes you can move in.
  • Online: applicants who choose to do an online audition will be sent a video with instructions for filming and submitting a recorded dance audition, which will be a short ballet combination, followed by a jazz/MT combination. The instructional video will be sent to applicants after they have completed the online audition registration process. Applicants must submit their recording no later than the Tuesday before their assigned audition day. No prior dance experience is necessary. Wear shoes you can dance in and clothes you can move in.

Helpful Information and Important Guidelines for Applying to Michigan Musical Theatre

Pre-Application Preparation

First-Years

First-Year applicants should have training and experience in musical theatre techniques and production. The ability to read music fluently and training in ballet are assets. A “B” average (3.0 GPA) or better with good college prep courses and SAT or ACT test results are required.*

*For Fall 2022 applicants, the University of Michigan has adopted a test-flexible policy. Read more on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants must have the prerequisites of a 3.0 collegiate GPA or better and recent ballet training and college coursework (or its formal equivalent, such as regular private instruction) in voice, piano and music theory.

Homeschooled & Online High School Students

Students who have completed all or part of their high school education via homeschooling or through an online high school* must satisfy the requirements laid out on this page, including submission of supplemental test scores or their formal equivalent.

*Special note: this does not apply to students whose in-person high schools transitioned online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-screening Information & Guidelines

Early Pre-screening Round

If your completed Common Application/Coalition Application (with required supporting materials) and your Artistic Profile are submitted and uploaded by October 15, you will receive a live audition decision by November 15.* Later submissions, through December 1, will receive a decision by the end of December if all application materials have been received. Please note that this is not considered Early Action. If you mark “Early Action” rather than “Regular Decision” on your Common Application or Coalition Application, U-M will assume you are applying for a dual degree with a non-SMTD unit even if that is not your intention. Marking “Early Action” on your Common Application or Coalition Application will not speed up the SMTD admissions process, only that of the other U-M unit to which you are applying.

*Your Common/Coalition Application and Artistic Profile must be submitted on or before October 15 for this early round. It is ok if supporting materials (transcripts, test scores if applicable, and recommendation letters) arrive after October 15 but we cannot review your application until it is complete so it is best to request these materials be sent to U-M as soon as possible.

Video Preparation Suggestions

The faculty realizes that making an audition video adds an extra challenge to the application process. Please know that you will not be evaluated on the quality of the video recording itself. It is not necessary to submit a multi-camera, highly technical studio video. The main goal is simple clarity so that your work can be seen.

  • Dress as you would for an in-person audition.
  • Avoid extreme close-ups and be sure to include full-body shots.
  • Ensure that your voice can be clearly heard on the recording, but do not sing with a microphone or extra amplification.
  • Say your name and the name of the song, monologue or dance before you begin each section.
  • When uploading video recordings, submit separate tracks for each individual song, monologue, and dance.
  • For the dance portion, the Department is committed to finding a diverse group of individuals. No prior dance experience is necessary. Some of you may be singer/actors who move well and some may be competitive dancers who sing and act well. The movement/dance portion of your audition should reflect who you are as a performer. We will accept a wide array of presentations that demonstrate your abilities. Wear shoes you can dance in and clothes you can move in.

Live Audition Information & Guidelines

Vocal Audition Tips
  • Do not try to sing too high or too loudly. Volume and range can be explored separately if the faculty have questions. Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range so that you can present yourself at your best vocally, and if you are using a transposition of a song be sure that you have correctly printed the melody, lyrics, and accompaniment in the new key.
  • Work with a skilled accompanist at home before you begin your college auditions, making sure that all elements of your printed music are presented clearly and correctly.
  • Do not use a chair or props in the vocal audition.
  • Suggestions for choosing music:
    • Even though a 32-bar song is very short, do as much as you can to give the song a progression. Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible.
    • Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.
  • Suggestions for preparing your sheet music:
    • Your music should be in a binder or taped without page turns.
    • Include a 2-bar or 4-bar introduction for each song and mark it clearly in the music, making sure that the introduction leads clearly and naturally to your entrance. The measures of introduction do not count in the 32-bars you will be singing. Write the title of the song at the top of the page, along with the time signature.
Dance Preparation Suggestions
  • The first portion of the dance call will be a short ballet class, followed by a jazz combination.  No prior dance experience is necessary.
  • Wear shoes you can dance in and clothes you can move in.
  • Start warming up as soon as you come into the room.
Audition Day recommendations
  • At the beginning of every audition day in Ann Arbor, faculty members and MT majors speak to the applicants as a group, discussing the Musical Theatre Department and answering questions. Parents are encouraged to attend these sessions, but may not observe the auditions. Additionally, the Office of Admissions will present an information session that is highly recommended for parents and applicants.
  • We suggest that applicants practice and prepare in the shoes they plan to wear so that you are comfortable performing in them.
  • Auditioning can sometimes be stressful, and though we do as much as possible to put applicants at ease, be sure to choose songs and monologues with which you can be comfortable in all situations. Get as much experience as possible in rehearsing and performing your songs. It is also helpful to rehearse all of your material in different sizes of venues, from small rooms to large theatre stages. That way, whatever the circumstances you encounter at each school you will feel comfortable and can easily adapt.

8/9/2021

Students must complete these requirements in addition to an audition on a principal instrument or voice following the guidelines listed below.

All applicants should submit two or three examples of English academic writing in the Artistic Profile. The topic may be music or any other area of interest.

Principal Instruments

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

Updated 7/30/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload contrasting portions of two works from the major solo repertoire to the SMTD Artistic Profile, including music from the Baroque and 20th/21st-Century periods. You are encouraged to include repertoire from female composers and composers of an underrepresented background.  Also upload two orchestral excerpts of your choice. The entire recording should be 15 minutes in length. 

Live Online or In-Person Audition Requirements

Students who advance to this stage in the application process will be invited to meet with Oboe faculty to perform an audition. The repertoire requirements for the live audition are the same as for the pre-screening. Knowledge of all major and minor scales is assumed, and sight-reading will be assessed.

Updated 7/30/2021

Audition/Interview Information

Auditions for Fall 2022 will be offered in both in-person and recorded formats. Your Common or Coalition application and Artistic Profile must be submitted by December 1, 2021. For those electing to submit a recorded audition, you must submit your material by no later than January 15. Recorded audition material will need to be submitted through the Artistic Profile, so please submit the Artistic Profile on December 1 as instructed and contact smtd.auditions@umich.edu once you are ready to include your recorded audition material.

Applicants who submit a recorded audition will also be asked to meet with Organ Department faculty online for a discussion of the program and curriculum, your training, future and career goals, and a review of your previously-submitted recordings.

This program does 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.

In certain cases, a student may be admitted who has had no organ study but does have a strong background in piano. Additionally, a full piano audition is permitted in lieu of an organ audition for those who do not have access to an organ.

In-Person Audition Requirements

Prepare fifteen to twenty minutes of organ literature you have thoroughly studied. Include a work of J. S. Bach and a romantic or contemporary composition. Choose pieces that you and your teacher agree are within your present musical and technical grasp. Memorization is neither required nor discouraged. You will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the organ you will be playing before your audition

Recorded Audition Requirements

Upload fifteen to twenty minutes (video recordings) of organ literature you have thoroughly studied. Include a work of J. S. Bach and a romantic or contemporary composition. Choose pieces that you and your teacher agree are within your present musical and technical grasp. Memorization is neither required nor discouraged. Separate tracks are allowed for individual pieces or movements. 

OPTIONAL: You are welcome to upload 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the past 18 months.

Updated 7/12/2021

Every Performing Arts Technology degree requires the submission of a portfolio by December 1, and subsequent interview with the Performing Arts Technology faculty.

Portfolio Requirements

All applicants are required to submit a portfolio consisting of the following six items. For items 3–6, please provide a paragraph that briefly describes the equipment and techniques used, your motivation for the work, and the file name of the corresponding media. All sound files must be uncompressed stereo audio 16-bit resolution with a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz (CD quality).

  1. Write a paragraph (approximately 150 words) describing your reasons for choosing to pursue studies in Performing Arts Technology.
  2. Write a short essay (300 words maximum) that discusses the aesthetic and technical features of either “John L” by Black MIDI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebrpRKUMcss) or “Animalcules” by Natasha Barrett (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRXf550WYVE).  Whichever piece you select, please describe your response to hearing the piece, and why you think you had the particular response you did.  Please also describe the qualities that distinguish the piece you chose from other music you have heard, or that relate it to other music with which you are familiar.
  3. A recording of you performing on a traditional acoustic instrument or voice, preferably with other instruments
  4. A remix, arrangement, interpretation, or cover version of ONE of the following pieces:
    • “Vitamin C” by CAN
    • “Plastic” by Moses Sumney
  5.  and  6. Pick TWO additional items from the following list:
    • A recording of an original composition (two to five minutes long) for any combination of electronic and/or acoustic instruments and digital sounds. If the composition has a notated score, please include it. Applicants may include two contrasting compositions to fulfill items 5 and 6;
    • A stereo mix of a high-quality recording that you have engineered. The recording should be produced primarily from microphone signals. This item will be evaluated based on the recording, mixing, and production quality;
    • An original video (up to five minutes in length) – such as a music video, live concert, animation, short film, video installation;
    • Visual art such as photography, painting, digital art, or drawing;
    • Original sound design, composition, or recording for visual media;
    • Documentation (video, audio, and/or still images) of a performance with electronic music hardware or an interactive system of your own design.

Additional Requirements for the BM in Music & Technology

The Bachelor of Music in Music and Technology also requires an audition. Please see the audition requirements listed under your specific instrument or voice entry.

Additional Requirements for the BS in Sound Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in Sound Engineering has higher academic requirements for admission than other SMTD degrees. We require at least a 3.5 GPA in high school academic courses. If you are submitting test scores, we require either an SAT math sub score of 630 or better, or an ACT math sub score of 28 or better. It is also important that students have:

  • extensive coursework in mathematics, preferably through at least pre-calculus
  • extensive coursework in natural science, with demonstrated aptitude
  • experience with music theory and ear training
  • high level proficiency on an acoustic instrument
  • some experience with sound reinforcement and multitrack recording

Live Online Interview Requirements

After a preliminary review of portfolios, a select number of applicants will be invited for virtual interviews via Zoom. This will consist of a 15-minute interview with several of the Performing Arts Technology faculty. Interviewees are asked to be prepared to discuss their portfolio materials.

Pre-Screening Requirements

Updated 6/15/2021

Please upload the following video recordings:

  • One snare drum solo or etude
  • Four-mallet solo, transcription, or etude
  • Timpani solo or etude (please show your tuning in the video)
  • OPTIONAL: 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 months (for example, drum set or other)

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

BM Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process should prepare:

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

The music for the live audition may be the same as submitted on your videos.

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

Updated 8/19/2021

Audition Requirements (BM and BMA)

Auditions for Fall 2022 will be offered in both in-person and video-recorded formats. For Piano Performance, in-person auditions are always preferable to recorded ones, although there will be no penalty in terms of admission or scholarship consideration if a recorded audition is chosen. Equal consideration is given to both formats. The deadline for submitting recorded auditions will be Wednesday, February 1, 2022. 

Note: Piano Audition requirements for degrees for which Piano is the principal instrument, not the major instrument (i.e.: Composition, Musicology), are listed below. No pre-screening recording is necessary for Piano Principal auditions.

All applicants to the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Bachelor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance must complete the online application and upload an unedited video recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination by December 1, 2021. Movements of larger works are acceptable, and the video must be recorded with the hands and profile of the applicant  visible at all times. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an in-person audition may be scheduled. 

Those who are granted an in-person audition may choose to submit a recording of their audition in place of a live audition. All works listed in the audition requirements (below) must be performed from memory and in their entirety, and the video must be  recorded with the hands and profile of the applicant visible at all times. The deadline for submission of recorded auditions is Wednesday, February 1, 2022. 

Note: the recorded format is intended for those applicants for whom travel to Michigan would be impossible, or a financial or otherwise personal hardship. In order to ensure equitable consideration of all applicants, those who choose to submit a recorded audition for the February 1 deadline will not have the option to switch to an in-person audition since they will be reviewed at the same time as the in-person auditions.

For the audition, prepare:

  1. a baroque work by a composer such as Bach, Handel, or Scarlatti with a minimum playing time of five minutes, no repeats. Any prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier is acceptable
  2. a complete classical sonata
  3. a romantic work
  4. an impressionistic or 20th-Century work
  5. an etude of virtuosity
  6. (recorded audition only) a speaking video which addresses the following prompts: 1) Please state your name and the degree(s) for which you are applying; 2) Why do you want to study music in college? 3) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing? 

Memorization is required. Audition repertoire may duplicate repertoire submitted for pre-screening.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration. Additionally, please submit a complete, alphabetized repertoire list of all the major works you have studied from Bach Inventions and higher in terms of difficulty.

Piano Principal Requirements (for pianists applying to degrees other than performance)

Prepare:

  1. a baroque work
  2. a quick tempo movement of a classical sonata
  3. 19th- or 20th-Century solo of your choice
  4. (recorded audition only) a speaking video which addresses the following prompts: 1) Please state your name and the degree(s) for which you are applying;  2) Why do you want to study music in college? 3) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing? 

Memorization is preferred.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admissions/Scholarship Decisions

While filling out your SMTD Artistic Profile, you will be asked to indicate your Studio Preferences, 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. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the School, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your recorded audition is submitted.

Before your audition, 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 has been performed/submitted, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice in your Artistic Profile, 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 is performed/submitted, 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 to SMTD is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your recorded audition evaluations. Admissions decisions are made by the school’s Office of Admissions and are generally announced in late February/early March.

All auditionees are considered for School 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 U-M 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.

Updated 9/10/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload the following video recordings to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • 15 minutes of alto saxophone literature representing your highest proficiency. Suggested literature includes the Sonata by Creston, Concertina de Camera by Ibert, Concerto by Glazunov, Brilliance by Gotkovsky, Concerto by Creston and Prelude, Cadence et Finale by Desenclos.
  • Two Ferling Etudes (one slow and one that displays your technical skills)
  • A video demonstrating all twelve major scales (full range B-flat to F-sharp 3) and on major thirds in all keys (full range-varied articulations)
  • OPTIONAL: 1-2 additional videos of other playing you’ve done in the past 18 months. Recordings of past recitals or performances are encouraged, including jazz or other genres of music.

Jazz improvisation videos are welcomed and, if you have significant jazz experience, you are encouraged to include video performances of your work. Contact our Auditions Coordinator (smtd.auditions@umich.edu) if you would like to audition separately for the Jazz faculty.

Audition/Interview Requirements (in-person or online)

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet with Saxophone faculty for an audition and a brief discussion of your training, future and career goals.

Prepare an audition program with approximately 15 minutes of music that showcases your highest level of musical and technical expertise. Be prepared to demonstrate altissimo skills, overtones, and/or altissimo scales. Tuning response will also be tested. The music for the live audition may be the same or different from that submitted on your videos. An accompanist is not expected nor required.

Writing Requirements

Updated 7/27/2021

Prepare the writings below in typed, single-spaced format, and upload to your Artistic Profile:

1) Write a one-page statement explaining your previous experience with the theatre and why you are seeking admission to the BTA program. Why is the BTA the best fit for you? We encourage you to discuss specific aspects of our program and university that will support your interests and career goals (for example, courses, degree concentrations, professors, student organizations, alumni, context within a research university and/or a school dedicated to the performing arts). For more details about the program, consult the main Bachelor of Theatre Arts web page, the BTA Student Experience page, and/or the BTA Curriculum.

2) Write a two-page essay reviewing or analyzing an artistic work (e.g., play, musical, movie, theatrical production, spoken-word performance, music video, dance work, opera, etc.) that you have read, watched, or attended. Consider discussing (for example) character development, major ideas or themes, political or social context, music or sound design, movement, technology, scenic or costume design.

3) Using one of the four poems below as inspiration, write a two-page story or narrative featuring the poem’s narrator as the “main character”

  1. Reginald Dwayne Betts, “Legacy”
  2. Darius V. Daughtry, Poetry is a One Hour Forty-Three Minute Playlist from And the Walls Came Tumbling (2019)
  3. Claudia Rankin, excerpt from part IV of Citizen: An American Lyric
  4. Alice Walker, “Expect Nothing”

The application review is a three-step process:

  1. The Admissions Office will screen your application for academic eligibility.  The review will include an examination of your transcript(s), letters of recommendation, and ACT or SAT scores.
  2. If your application passes the initial academic review, the BTA faculty advisor will read your writing samples and make an assesment of the quality of your work.
  3. The School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office will make the final determination regarding admission. A letter will be sent to you as soon as that decision has been made.

Is an audition required for the BTA program?

No. We do not require an audition because the BTA program serves students with wide-ranging interests. (Students whose sole focus is acting, directing, design, or technical theatre pursue the department’s BFA program.) BTA students complete coursework and hands-on learning opportunities in performing arts management, playwriting, global theatre and ethnic studies, practice-as-research, producing, education, and stage management, among other areas.

Updated 7/28/2021

Application Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed the Common Application or Coalition Application, created an Artistic Profile, and been invited for an audition.
    • Already a U-M student? Submit the online cross-campus transfer application instead of the Common Application or Coalition Application; be sure to submit the Artistic Profile as well.
  • Resumé and photo: Upload a resumé to your Artistic Profile that includes previous theatre experience and training, and dance or music background, and roles performed. Include a photo with a good likeness of yourself.

Pre-screening Requirements

Please upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following:

  • Two (2) monologue videos: Upload two contrasting monologues from published works that are contrasting in style (period and/or genre) and emotional range. Your selections may be from comedies or dramas of any period. Try to incorporate some physical movement in at least one of the selections.
  • “Why Acting?” video: Upload a 60-90 second face-to-the-camera video in which you answer the question “Why do you want to pursue a career in acting?” so that we may get to know you. Do not submit a multi-camera, highly technical, edited studio video.
  • Short essay: Upload a 1-2 page double-spaced essay that answers ONE (1) of the following prompts:
    • “Why Michigan?” – Tell us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You are permitted to re-use an essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.
    • “Why Theatre at Michigan?” – Describe your reasons for choosing performance training at Michigan and a theatre career. This may include goals, professional ambitions, and ideas about the field itself.
  • OPTIONAL: 1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other acting you’ve done in the last 18 months

Live Online Audition/Interview Requirements

  • Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online with the theatre faculty for a live audition and a discussion of your background and goals. 
  • Performance: Prepare and memorize two contrasting monologues from plays, not to exceed a combined total of four minutes. You may choose new monologues or present the same monologues that you used in pre-screening. These selections, which must be from a published work, may be from comedies or dramas of any period. Try to incorporate some physical movement in at least one of the selections. Be prepared for the evaluators to ask you to do an adjustment or to have a conversation about the piece you have chosen. Additionally, you may be asked to perform a third piece if you have one prepared.
  • Students will also be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. 

Recording Tips

  1. In one of your pre-screen recordings, please be no more than 4-6 feet away from the camera. The faculty would like to see ¾ of the body.
  2. In your second pre-screen recording, please be no more than 2-3 feet away from the camera. This should be a close-up recording from the shoulders up.

Audition Tips

  1. Be on time for your scheduled audition.
  2. Warm up physically and vocally before the audition. Be relaxed and focused as much as possible.
  3. It’s recommended that you wear clothing in which you feel good, which you feel accurately represents you, and which allows you to move freely and comfortably.
  4. Record your monologues in front of a neutral background if possible (for ex: in front a solid colored wall with no photographs or art hung on it).  A neutral background could be helpful, too, in your live audition.
  5. Choose material with which you feel comfortable, and is appropriate to your own age and experience. Avoid excessively stylized pieces, dialects, extreme physicality, and props.
  6. Remember that an audition should demonstrate both your talent and your potential.
  7. Be simple, direct, and honest. Avoid lengthy explanations or apologies.
  8. Remember that the faculty want you to be successful.

Updated 7/30/2021

Applicants must have completed the Common Application or Coalition Application, created an Artistic Profile, and been invited for an interview. At each interview session, there is an opportunity to learn more about the program and for parents and prospective students to ask questions.

Portfolio Components

  1. Résumé and photo: Upload a typed résumé that includes previous theatre experience and training. Upload a photo with a good likeness of yourself.
  2. “Why Directing?” video: Upload a 60-90 second face-to-the-camera video in which you answer the question “Why do you want to pursue a career in directing?” so that we may get to know you. Do not submit a multi-camera, highly technical, edited studio video.
  3. Brief personal statement: Upload a short essay describing reasons for choosing directing training at Michigan and a theatre career.  This may include goals, professional ambitions, and ideas about the field itself. It should not be more than two double-spaced typed pages.

(4 & 5 below are in place of the in-person workshop given at on campus audition/interviews.)

  1. Instructional movement video: Watch the video at the link provided. Listen carefully to the instructions and watch the movements carefully. Practice the 2 sequences as demonstrated and then video yourself executing the movements. Wear clothes that allow for free movement. Make sure the camera is far enough away to capture the whole body. Upload the video/s with your application.
  2. Vocalization Video: Read the text at the link provided. It is a Chorus speech from The Cure at Troy: A version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes by Seamus Heaney. At the time of its composition, Heaney saw themes of the Philoctetes as consonant with the contemporary political situation in South Africa, as the apartheid regime fell and Nelson Mandela was released from prison without a full-scale war. Heaney described Mandela’s return as a similar overcoming of betrayal and a display of “the generosity of his coming back and helping with the city—helping the polis to get together again.”
    Choose any 2 stanzas and play with the words. Ignore the meanings of the words and play with sounds inspired by the vowels and consonants. Lengthen, shorten, howl, sing, growl, etc. It may feel foolish but that is OK! Have fun. Video yourself. Then upload the video with your application.
  3. Documentation: Upload any notebooks, reviews, photographs that may give a fuller picture of your theatre experience. Upload at least one letter of recommendation from a theatre teacher or professional who has worked with you.

It is especially important that the items above are clearly and articulately presented.

Interview (Online or in-person)

Be prepared for a conversation with the Head of Directing.  This will include a discussion of your previous theatre work, your other interests, and your goals. It is important to be relaxed, honest, direct, and yourself.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the department with the Head of Directing. Please come prepared with questions.

Updated 7/27/2021

Applicants must have completed the Common Application or Coalition Application, an Artistic Profile, and been invited for an interview. 

Application Requirements

  • Personal Statement: Upload a short essay describing reasons for choosing a career in theatre and training at Michigan. This may include goals, professional ambitions, and ideas about the field itself. It should not be more than two double-spaced typed pages.
  • Portfolio: Since the BFA is a comprehensive design and production degree, your portfolio should include examples of all of your visually creative pursuits (i.e., drawing, painting, photography, doodles, graphics, crafts, theatrical design in any area – include any of your process and research as well as photos of outcome) as well as any examples of stage management work. Share anything that demonstrates your creative self.

Interview Requirements (Online or in-person)

  • Interview: Be prepared for a short conversation with the Design & Production faculty. Be ready to discuss the materials in your portfolio, your previous creative work, shows on which you’ve worked, the kind of performing arts you enjoy and why, and performing arts that you have seen or studied. It is important to be relaxed, honest, direct and yourself. If applicable, provide one or two stage management production books into your Artistic Profile that show your organizational strategies, blocking, cueing, communications from rehearsal or performance to others on the team. 
  • Students will also be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more.

Updated 8/3/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

Upload video recordings of 15 minutes of contrasting solo and/or etude literature to the SMTD Artistic Profile that represents your highest level of proficiency. Memorization is not required. 

Audition/Interview Requirements (Online or in-person)

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet online or in-person with Trombone faculty for live playing, a review of your previously-submitted recordings and discussion of your training. In addition, you may be asked to play two-octave major scales from memory.

Updated 7/27/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload 20 minutes of music (video recordings), including standard solo recital literature, one technical etude and one lyrical etude for trumpet representing your highest level of proficiency. Memorization is not required.

Optionally, you may upload a selection of 2-3 excerpts from the orchestral repertoire representing your highest level of proficiency. Memorization is not required.

Audition/Interview Requirements (Online or in-person)

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will meet with faculty for a discussion of your training, future and career goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and some live playing of your previously-submitted recorded material. You may be asked to sight-read and to play two-octave major, minor, and chromatic scales from memory.

Updated 7/27/2021

Pre-screening Requirements

Please upload the following video recordings to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Blazhevich- Etude 32
  • Choose one of the following solos (accompaniment not required):
    • Hartley- Suite for Unaccompanied Tuba
    • Capuzzi- Andante and Rondo
    • Lebedev- Concerto in One Movement
  • A speaking video in which you briefly answer these questions. The format can be casual.
    • Why do you want to study music in college?
    • Who are one or two of your most influential instrumental artists and how have they most influenced you?
    • Where do you see yourself five years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL: One or two videos of other playing or music- making that you’ve done in the past 18 months that you are proud of.

Live Audition Requirements (Online or in-person)

  • Applicant should be prepared to play any major scale two octaves
  • Etude of the applicant’s choice from Bordogni Vocalises
  • Solo of applicant’s choice (different from pre-screening repertoire)
  • Orchestral Excerpts
    • Mahler- Symphony #1, third movement solo
    • Wagner- Overture to Die Meistersinger (J to L)
    • Wagner- Ride of the Valkyries
  • Sight Reading

Updated 8/3/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following unedited videos. All solo literature must be performed from memory:

  • An etude representing your current level of technical development
  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a Bach sonata, partita, or unaccompanied suite
  • A movement from the standard viola concerto literature
  • A speaking video in which you answer these questions. The format can be casual: 1) Why do you want to study music in college? 2) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?

“Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.

OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 months. Recordings of past solo or chamber music recitals or performances are encouraged.

Live Online or In-Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be invited to meet with the viola faculty for a discussion of your work and goals, a review of your previously-submitted recordings, and live playing and sight-reading. The music for the audition may be the same or different from that submitted on your videos. An accompanist is not expected nor required.

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

Updated 9/15/2021

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload to your SMTD Artistic Profile the following unedited videos. All music must be performed from memory.

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a solo Bach sonata or partita (repeats not required). The Chaconne may be performed alone to satisfy this requirement as well.  
  • The first five (5) minutes of the first movement of a concerto written between 1800 and 1950. If you select the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, play the fourth movement and cadenza instead of the first movement.
  • A speaking video in which you answer these questions. The format can be casual: 1) Why do you want to study music in college? 2) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos of other playing you’ve done in the last 18 monthsRecordings of past solo or chamber music recitals or performances are encouraged.

“Why Michigan?” essay: Upload an essay that tells us why you want to attend the University of Michigan. You may reuse the essay from your Common Application or Coalition Application that answers this same question.

Audition/Interview Requirements (in-person or online)

Prepare an audition program with approximately 15 minutes of music that includes:

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a solo Bach sonata or partita (repeats not required). The Chaconne may be performed alone to satisfy this requirement as well.
  • First movement of a concerto (including cadenza if one is written) If you select the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, play the fourth movement and cadenza instead of the first movement.
  • One Caprice chosen from Paganini Caprices, op. 1 or Wieniawski Etude-Caprices, op. 18

Memorization of the Bach movements and your concerto is expected. Your audition program may include repertoire submitted on your prescreening videos. An accompanist is not expected nor required.

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

Updated 9/7/2021

Notes for all Undergraduate Students Submitting Voice Repertoire

Please speak with your teacher for guidance on selecting great pieces that meet the following criteria. It is not necessary to choose the most advanced voice literature for your recordings. Operatic literature at the undergraduate level is not expected.

An accompanist is highly preferred for all recorded selections. However, if you are unable to arrange for an accompanist because of the pandemic, you are allowed to use Appcompanist or another recorded track resource. 

For recordings, the Department of Voice recommends using an iPhone, smartphone, or similar recording device to create recordings, with a recommended microphone placement of 4’–8′ from the singer. At the start of your first video, please state your name and the type of recording equipment you are using. 

Teacher Request & Contact Policies

While filling out your SMTD Artistic Profile, you will be asked to indicate your Studio Preferences, 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. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition has been submitted.

Before your audition, the Department of Voice 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 has been performed/submitted, primary contact from the Department of Voice will be with the chair and the teacher listed as first choice in your Artistic Profile, 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 has been performed/submitted, 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.

Voice Major: BM in Voice Performance and BMA in Performance

Voice Major: Pre-Screening and Audition Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Four (4) memorized contrasting classical selections. Repertoire is the applicant’s choice, and should showcase classical music you love to sing. It is not necessary to choose the most advanced voice literature for your recordings. Operatic literature at the undergraduate level is not expected. Please follow these guidelines to choose your songs.
    • Because of our historic legacy and ongoing passion for promoting inclusivity in the vocal arts, we recommend that at least one selection be written by an underrepresented composer (composer of color, female composer, or other underrepresented group.)  This piece should also be in a classical art song style, inclusive of spirituals.
    • at least one selection should be in English
    • at least one selection should be in a foreign language 
  • A speaking video in which you briefly answer these questions. The format can be casual.
    • Why do you want to study voice in college?
    • Who are one or two of your favorite vocal artists and how have they most influenced you? 
    • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other singing or performance you’ve done in the last 18 months.
Voice Major: Live Online or In Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. Those same applicants may also be asked to meet with the voice faculty for an audition (see Voice Major audition repertoire requirements, above) and/or interview that will entail review of your training, current work, future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live singing and aural skills exercises. Please have your scores available for reference for all of your audition repertoire and previously submitted recordings. An accompanist will be provided for applicants auditioning in Ann Arbor.

Voice Principal: Choral Music Education

Choral Music Education: Pre-Screening and Audition Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Four (4) memorized contrasting classical pieces. It is not necessary to choose the most advanced voice literature for your recordings. Operatic literature at the undergraduate level is not expected. Please follow these guidelines to choose your songs.
    • Because of our historic legacy and ongoing passion for promoting inclusivity in the vocal arts, we recommended that at least one selection be written by an underrepresented composer (composer of color, female composer, or other underrepresented groups).  This piece should also be in a classical art song style, inclusive of spirituals. 
    • at least one selection should be in English
    • at least one selection should be in a foreign language 
  • A speaking video in which you briefly answer these questions. The format can be casual.
    • Why do you want to study voice in college?
    • Who are one or two of your favorite vocal artists and how have they most influenced you? 
    • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other singing or performance you’ve done in the last 18 months.
Voice Principal: Choral Music Education Live Online or In Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. Those same applicants may also be asked to meet with the voice faculty for an audition (see Choral Music Education audition repertoire requirements, above) and/or interview that will entail review of your training, current work, future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live singing and aural skills exercises. Please have your scores available for reference for all of your audition repertoire and previously submitted recordings. An accompanist will be provided for applicants auditioning in Ann Arbor.

Voice Principal: BMA in Multidisciplinary Studies

BMA Multidisciplinary Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Four (4) memorized, contrasting pieces. Classical selections are preferred. It is not necessary to choose the most advanced voice literature for your recordings. Operatic literature at the undergraduate level is not expected. Please follow these guidelines to choose your songs.
    • Because of our historic legacy and ongoing passion for promoting inclusivity in the vocal arts, we recommend that at least one selection be written by an underrepresented composer (composer of color, female composer, or other underrepresented group).  
    • At least one selection must be a classical art song
    • The songs should be no longer than 3 minutes each
  • A speaking video in which you briefly answer these questions. The format can be casual.
    • Why do you want to study voice in college?
    • Who are one or two of your favorite vocal artists and how have they most influenced you? 
    • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What would you like to be doing?
  • OPTIONAL:  1-3 additional videos or YouTube links of other singing or performance you’ve done in the last 18 months.
Voice Principal: BMA Multidisciplinary Live Online or In Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Students who advance to this stage of the application process will be asked to attend a group meeting with the faculty to discuss the school, the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. Those same applicants may also be asked to meet with the voice faculty for an audition (see BMA Multidisciplinary audition repertoire requirements, above) and/or interview that will entail review of your training, current work, future goals, a discussion of one or more of your recordings, and some live singing and aural skills exercises. Please have your scores available for reference for all of your audition repertoire and previously submitted recordings. An accompanist will be provided for applicants auditioning in Ann Arbor.

Voice Principal: Composition, Music Theory, Musicology, and Music & Technology

Voice Principal Pre-Screening and Audition  Requirements

Upload to the SMTD Artistic Profile:

  • Two (2) memorized, contrasting pieces. It is not necessary to choose the most advanced voice literature for your recordings. Operatic literature at the undergraduate level is not expected. Please follow these guidelines to choose your repertoire.
    • Because of our historic legacy and ongoing passion for promoting inclusivity in the vocal arts, we recommend that at least one selection be written by an underrepresented composer (composer of color, female composer, or other underrepresented groups.)  
    • Classical selections are preferred
    • The selections should be no longer than 3 minutes each
Voice Principal Live Online or In Person Audition/Interview Requirements

Composition, Music Theory, Musicology, and Performing Arts Technology applicants will have interviews or live online auditions with their prospective home departments.

Additional Audition/Interview Information

Depending on your program, your online audition/interview could last anywhere from ten to twenty minutes (or longer). You may audition/interview for a panel of faculty or for an individual faculty member.

We recommend you dress appropriately, similar to what you would wear for a job interview; do your best to maintain a neutral video background with little to no visual distractions. We also recommend you take the time to attend one of the virtual information sessions we will be offering, where we will answer any of your questions about the admissions process, financial aid, and what happens next.

Auditioning students will not be asked to take written placement exams.