Formal admission to the music major requires demonstrated talent through an audition and interview arranged with the department, preferably prior to beginning university studies. A student may enter as an intended major and audition/interview during the first year. Students will be accepted based on programmatic approval and written declaration of major.
Auditions are held several times each year: usually once each fall and twice in the spring. It is suggested that students intending to declare music as a major during their freshmen year audition either before arrival at American University or during the fall of their first term. Students eligible to apply to the music program include the following:
All students who audition before the audition panel will be considered for scholarship funding through the music program. Most awards are renewable for up to four years of study provided the terms of the award are met each semester. Scholarship offers are made each spring for awards the following academic year.
Audition & Entrance Requirements
Entrance requirements vary according to the student’s music field of study. In order to matriculate as a Bachelor of Arts student, the applicant must demonstrate an appropriate level of performance proficiency, ability to read music, and rudimentary knowledge of music theory.
Please Note: Admission to the music degree program is a two-step process. In order to receive full admission to the BA in Music program students must also be accepted by American University and must also complete a successful audition and interview with the Department of Performing Arts music program faculty.
Live auditions are strongly encouraged; however, audition uploads can be accepted from from incoming students who reside more than 100 miles from American University.
Audition times: will be determined following completion of your online application: students will be contacted by the music program with an assigned time and other pertinent information.
Accompaniment: provided for vocalists, but not for instrumentalists (who may bring their own).
Two selections drawn from any period of the solo guitar, lute, or vihuela repertoire, or other methods and materials. The audition pieces should demonstrate a minimal technical level equivalent to that of the "50 Exercises Progressing in Difficulty," found in the Carcassi Classical Guitar Method.
1. Prepared two standards of contrasting styles (i.e. swing or latin or ballad, etc.). Be prepared to play the single line melody at pitch, comp harmonies, and improvise.
2. Scales: two octaves each (major and all minor forms).
3.Some basic sight-reading.
4. Optional: Prepared jazz etude, transcription, or chord solo.
1. Movement of a concerto or solo work, performed from memory.
2. Movement from a solo work or etude in a style that contrasts with the first selection.
3. Two orchestral or operatic excerpts of the auditionee's choice from the standard repertoire. One preferably to include a cadenza.
1. Selections for the audition may be drawn from the solo repertoire, or other methods and materials, which will demonstrate the applicant’s potential. Snare drum solo comparable to repertoire from any State Festival List of repertoire.
2. Rudiments, open to closed: Single Strokes: Long roll: five and seven stroke rolls: flams, drags, and four – stroke ruffs.
3. One timpani or marimba or xylophone solo.
1. J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue from WTC book 1 or Toccata, or a single movement from any Bach suite, or Partita.
2. A movement from a sonata (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven).
3. A contrasting piece of your choice.
1. Two pieces of contrasting style (ballad/up tempo).
2. Play and solo on a blues.
3. Sight-read an unfamiliar tune (lead-sheet) from the Real Book/melody and chords.
4. Auditionee should be able to play major and minor scales, all keys.
Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
1. Movement of an unaccompanied work by Bach.
2. First movement of a standard major concerto, or comparable single-movement work.
Two contrasting songs chosen from solo vocal literature (arias of composers such as Gluck, Handel, Purcell, Mozart, Schubert, Faurè, Barber, or Rorem). Note: For voice students an accompanist will be provided. Please bring an additional copy of music for the pianist.