Music Education

Contact: Abigail Butler (Vocal Music Education)
(313) 577-2673

Contact: Abigail Butler (Instrumental Music Education) 
(313) 577-2673

All music education applicants must complete the following:
1) an audition on their primary instrument or voice
2) participate in a group interview
3) submit a written essay.
4) complete the Music Theory Placement Exam 

See below for a detailed description of each.

Group Interview

All music education applicants will meet with the music education faculty for a group interview. The interview will be scheduled during the day of your audition and will last approximately 45 minutes. The purpose of the interview is two-fold. First, it allows the music education faculty to assess your oral communication and interpersonal skills, both of which are important for a career in teaching. Second, it allows you to ask questions about the music education program at Wayne State University. Interview questions will focus on your musical background, academic experiences, and extra-curricular activities. You should be prepared to talk about your reasons for choosing music education as a career and what you believe you have to offer as a future music teacher.

Written Essay

Music teachers need to be able to communicate successfully in writing; furthermore, effective writing skills are a necessity for successful completion of the academic requirements at Wayne State University. To assess your skill in this area, please write a short essay answering each of the three questions below. The essay also provides us with the opportunity to get to know you better, so provide as much information about yourself and your experiences as possible. The essay should be between 2-3 pages, typed and double spaced, 12 point font. Print out your essays and bring them to the interview. Your essay will be collected during the interview.

1. Describe your teaching and/or leadership experiences. These experiences may include both musical and non-musical responsibilities or relevant experiences. Music related leadership experiences might include: section leader, drum major, choir president, music librarian; while non-music related leadership experiences might include: youth group leader, stage manager for the drama club, soccer coach for the local rec center, day care worker.

2. What are the most important personal attributes you bring to music teaching? What qualities, traits, or work habits do you possess that you believe will contribute to your success as a music teacher?

3. Why have you chosen Music Education as a career? What is it about music, education, or music education that you find compelling? What do you want to do with your degree once you graduate?


All music students must audition for admission to the music department. Audition requirements are based on the degree and concentration for which you are applying. Detailed information about the requirements (scales, rudiments, repertoire, etc.) is listed below by specific instrument or voice. If you have any questions about your audition, be sure to contact a music education faculty member.

Instrumental Music Education

Brass and Woodwind Principal
•    All Major, minor, and chromatic scales throughout the range of the instrument
•    Two prepared selections in contrasting tempo and historical styles:  Selections can be chosen from:  etudes, solo works, single movements of concertos, sonatas, suites, etc.
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Percussion Principal 
Demonstrate percussion skills on snare drum, marimba or xylophone, and timpani, as follows:
Snare drum:
•    Long roll, open-closed-open, pp-ff-pp
•    5,7,9,13,17-stroke rolls
•    Flams, flam accent no. 1 & 2, ruff, paradiddles,ratamaque, flam tap
•    Sight reading
•    Solo piece (non-rudimental)

Marimba or xylophone: 
•    Major scales, two octaves, keys of C, F, G, D, E, A, Bb, Eb, Ab
•    Chromatic scale
•    Major and minor arpeggios, two octaves, for each of above keys
•    Sight reading
•    Three or four-mallet solo

•    For two drums, tune major 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths; minor 3rds, 6ths; octaves
•    Perform page 19 in the Goodman Timpani Method plus any two exercises for two or three drums
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Strings Principal
Violin, Viola and Cello:
•    One 3-octave major and one melodic minor scale, with arpeggios
•    One movement from solo Bach sonatas and partitas
•    An etude of applicant's choice
•    One concerto movement or single-movement solo piece
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

•    One 2-octave major and one melodic minor scales, with arpeggios
•    One movement of solo Bach or an etude of applicant's choice
•    One concerto movement or single-movement solo piece
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination


Scales and arpeggios (or representative etudes)
•    Two prepared solos in contrasting musical styles
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination
Piano and Organ Principal

•     Must choose Vocal Music Education Piano or Organ Principal

Vocal Music Education

Voice Principal
•    Two prepared pieces in different historical and contrasting styles, one English art song and one foreign language art song (preferably Italian); an aria or other appropriate song may be substituted for the second song
•    Students must have piano accompaniment for their repertoire in the correct key
•    Scores must be legible and accessible
•    No recorded accompaniments
•    Music must be memorized
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Piano, Guitar, or Organ Principal
•   Chromatic scale, major and minor scales and arpeggios, four octaves
•   Two prepared pieces in contrasting styles. The minimum acceptable level is early intermediate, standard compositions such as Bach, Little Preludes; Clementi, Sonatinas; Kuhlau, Sonatinas; short character pieces of the 19th and 20th centuries. "Self-composed" works are not acceptable for audition repertoire.
•   Sight reading of a simple piece
•   Theory placement examination

Applicants should demonstrate technical ability consistent with the satisfactory completion of method books such as Frederick Noad: Book 1 - Solo Guitar Playing, Julio Sagreras Book 1, or similar methods.
•    Major and minor scales in several positions
•    Demonstrate knowledge of chord types in several positions
•    Perform, from memory, studies and/or etudes such as those by Aguado, Brouwer, Carcassi, Giuliani, Sor, and Tarrega
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

•    Two prepared pieces in contrasting musical style, performed on either organ or piano
•   For organ, selections should be at the level of J.S. Bach's simpler Preludes or standard hymns
•   For piano, selections should be at the level of Bach's two-part Inventions or a simpler sonata by Mozart
•   Chromatic, major and minor scales and arpeggios, two octaves (piano only)
•   Sight reading of hymns (organ only)
•   Theory placement examination

For more information on the Music Education program, click here.