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Performing Arts | Music Program Application & Auditions

Music Program Online Application

Before completing your Music Degree Program Application with the Decision Desk online form, please see the How to Apply and Audition & Entrance Requirements info below and our separate Music Scholarship page. (Please note that this application is for music majors and music scholarships only.)

Decision Desk Online Application Notes

  • You can save partial applications at any time while completing the Decision Desk online form's 3 sections: Personal Info, Application Info (about AU admission status, etc), and Music Experience
  • The Music Experience section requests the following: primary & secondary instrument/voice type; instructors/years of study; academic awards; 2 recommenders (with email addresses); repertoire sheet to upload; and choice of audition date (see dates on right of this page)
  • Live auditions are strongly encouraged; however, audition uploads can be accepted from from incoming students who reside more than 100 miles from American University via Decision Desk
  • Do not use the Facebook sign-in option for Decision Desk unless your primary email account is with Facebook

Go to Decision Desk Application Form.


2016-17 Audition Dates

November 12, 2016
January 28, 2017
February 11, 2017


Music Program Director Nancy Snider with any additional questions:

Related Links

Hearing Health & Wellness

Performance Opportunities

Performance Auditions

Music BA Requirements

Music Minor Requirements

Music Program Home

How to Apply

Directors' Musicians of Accomplishment

Directors' Musicians of Accomplishment.

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 via Decision Desk.

Audition times: will be determined following completion of your Decision Desk 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).


Audition Requirements


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.


Piano: Jazz

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.



Woodwinds: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon

Brass: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba

Two compositions of contrasting style, one of which must be selected from the solo literature; the other may be an etude or study.

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