Preparing, Recording, and Submitting your Audition

Audition Preparation

Prepare your audition repertoire as listed on our Audition Requirements page. Audition requirements vary depending on your area. On this page, you will also find technique requirements that will be heard during your online audition. If you have questions, contact our faculty for help. Faculty contact information is listed on the Audition Requirements page.

  • We will accept unedited video recordings only. We would like to hear your presentation as close to "live" as possible.
  • Record each piece as a separate file.
  • Use the best tool available to you to record. You may use your smartphone, camcorder, or a computer webcam to record your audition.
  • Set your recording device to record a 1080P video. This is referred to as a HD video. If your device is only capable of recording in 720P mode (DVD quality), that is also acceptable. Do not record in 4K or 8K video resolution setting. The resulting file will be too large to be uploaded.
  • Always review your recording before you upload. Before recording yourself, check the sound quality of your recording device by recording brief 5-10 second clips of your selections and playing them back. Record the loudest or highest section of your piece. Listen for audio quality - Is it distorted? If so, you are probably too close to the mic or the mic is 'too hot.' You will need to stand farther away, or lower the microphone pick up level. Does it sound like you? Is the microphone picking up a full range of dynamics, articulations or pronunciation?

We'd like to know who you are, the date of your recording, what you are auditioning on (as in instrument or voice range), degree program you are planning to pursue, and the name of the piece you're going to be performing. Do the same for each recording, please.

Use this script:

  • Hello, I'm (your name)
  • I am a (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) / I'm auditioning on (your instrument)
  • Today is (today's date)
  • I'm applying for the (music education/performance/music industry studies/therapy) program.
  • I will be playing (piece title - do your best to pronounce the title).

Dress professionally so that you will make a good first impression in your video.

Winds and Brass

Instrumentalists should avoid playing directly into the camera. This will overload the mic and distort your sound. Instead play slightly off to the side. Set the camera some distance away from you, 6-10 feet is acceptable or such that your entire body is visible in the frame. That way, we can see your posture, hand position, fingers, and breathing. If you are limited by the space in your room, do your best to create distance away from the recording device. If you can or know how to change the microphone pick up level on your device, you can lower the microphone pickup volume. This will allow you to be closer to the device and not sound super loud.

Bowed Strings

Position yourself such that your entire body, hands, and your instrument can be clearly seen, about 6-8 feet directly in front of you. That way, we can see your posture, fingers, and breathing. If you are a violinist or violist, position yourself such that the "F-holes" face the camera while you're standing or sit a slight distance from the camera to enable the left hand and bow arm to be fully visible. If you are limited by the space in your room, do your best to create distance away from the recording device. If you can or know how to change the microphone pick up level on your device, you can lower the microphone pickup volume. This will allow you to be closer to the device and not sound super loud.

Percussionists

Percussionist should position the camera such that both you and your instrument are in the frame, about 6-8 feet directly in front of you. If you are limited by the space in your room, do your best to create distance away from the recording device. If you can or know how to change the microphone pick up level on your device, you can lower the microphone pickup volume. This will allow you to be closer to the device and not sound super loud.

Guitarists

Guitarists should position the camera such that your entire torso and hands and your instrument can be clearly seen, about 6-8 feet directly in front of you.

Vocalists

Vocalists might consider standing farther away than 6-10 feet. Avoid singing directly to the microphone, but instead to the side. We'd like to see your entire body to see your alignment and breathing. If you are limited by the space in your room, do your best to create distance away from the recording device. If you can or know how to change the microphone pick up level on your device, you can lower the microphone pickup volume. This will allow you to be closer to the device and not overwhelm the microphone.. If you are singing with a live pianist or recorded accompaniments, be sure to sound check your levels with your accompanist too.

Pianists

Pianists should see if the camera can be positioned such that we can see your entire body profile and both hands, if possible. If this is difficult to do, focus on positioning your camera so that we can see both your hands. Experiment with where you place your video recording device so that it's not too far away while still able to pick up all nuances of your playing.

Organists

If your microphone is not separate from your camera or recording device, you may place it wherever you feel is best for a good sound and image. If you have a separate microphone, experiment with placement so that it picks up some ambient sound in the room without losing clarity in the organ. Experiment with placing the mic where you enjoy hearing the organ in that room the most. Most microphones will get a better sound from at least several yards in front of the organ, depending on the size of the room. Meanwhile, depending on available space, the ideal camera placement will allow the viewer to see your entire body. Be sure to test your equipment with short recordings to make sure that the microphone "hears" the organ the way you expect it to. These suggestions are ideal, not absolute! Under no circumstances will a less-than-advantageous mic or camera placement jeopardize your audition.

Piano accompaniment is not needed unless you are auditioning for our voice program. As an instrumentalist you may use an accompanist, but the camera should be centered on you so that the faculty can observe your physical appearance as you play.

  • The length of your recording will depend on your piece. If you are recording a fairly long piece, reach out to our faculty to determine if they might only want to hear a specific section of the piece. When in doubt, please ask.
  • Each video recording should be no larger than 4GB if possible for fastest uploading.
  • Naming conventions: FirstLastName.Instrument.Piece#/Song#. For example: JayJohnson.Clarinet.Piece1 or JennyCarson.Soprano.Song1