Bachelor of Arts In Music

Audition Requirements 2022-2023

Last Updated: September 2022
Program Contact:
Dr. Norah Duncan IV
Prospective students interested in the Bachelor of Arts in Music will complete a live audition OR submit video recordings of the categories listed below. With each video submission, state your full name and the music program for which you are auditioning. You may also submit a resume or other materials that you feel are relevant for the Music Department Audition Committee. 
  • Live Auditions: When participating in a live audition, you will complete your Audition, Theory Placement Test, and participate in interviews (if required by your program) on your audition day. We highly encourage this option.
  • Recorded Auditions: Students who choose to submit a recorded audition must complete a Zoom Sightreading test, Zoom Theory Placement Test, and Zoom interviews (if required by your program). The department will contact you to schedule these sessions after your application is approved. Students will not be considered for admission until these steps are completed.

All Instruments 

Answer the following questions in an informal interview-type setting (5 minutes maximum): 

  • What are some of your past and current activities in music? 
  • What is it about the Bachelor of Arts program that interests you? 
  • What is it about the Wayne State University Department of Music that interests you? 
  • What do you like to do musically and professionally once you have completed your degree?  

Brass and Woodwinds 

1. Scales: Select one 3-octave major, one 3-octave minor and chromatic scale throughout the range of the instrument 

2. Music Selections: Two prepared selections in contrasting tempo and historical styles: Selections can be chosen from: etudes, solo works, single movements of concertos, sonatas, suites, etc. 

Classical Percussion

Demonstrate percussion skills on snare drum, marimba or xylophone, as follows:

Snare Drum:

  • Double Stroke Roll, open-closed-open (slow-fast-slow)
  • Multiple Bounce Roll (buzz) pp-ff-pp
  • Single and double paradiddles, flams accent, flam taps
  • Solo snare drum piece 
  • Sight reading
  • Solo suggestions:
    •  Portraits in Rhythm by Cirone (any etude)
    •  Fourteen Contest Solos by Pratt (any of these)
    •  or any solo of comparable difficulty

Marimba or xylophone: 

•    Major scales, two octaves, keys of C,G,D,F,Bb
•   Two-mallet solo

  •    Solo suggestions:
    • Anything from Masterpieces for Marimba by Thomas McMillan
    • Furioso and Valse by Hatch
    • *Violin Sonata No.3 in F  by G.F. Handel (2nd movement)
    • Tambourin Chinois  by Kreisler
    • (or anything comparable)

* (also included in the McMillan book mentioned above)

(Students are responsible for all music)


1. Scales: One 3-octave major and one 3-octove melodic minor scale, with arpeggios

2. Music Selections: Two prepared selections in contrasting tempo and historical styles:  Selections can be chosen from:  etudes, solo works, single movements of concertos, sonatas, suites, etc.

Classical Guitar

1. Scales: Major and minor scales in several positions 

2. Music Selections: Perform two contrasting selections from memory. 

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. Make sure to demonstrate knowledge of chord types in several positions. Some examples of repertoire could include etudes/studies from Aguado, Brouwer, Carcassi, Giuliani, Sor, and Tarrega. 


1. Scales: One major and one minor scale with arpeggios (or representative etudes)

2. Music Selections: Two prepared solos in contrasting musical styles 


1. Music Selections: Three prepared pieces in different historical and contrasting styles. Song selections must be memorized. It is preferred that vocal applicants record with an accompanist or with a backing track.

  1. One English art song
  2. One foreign-language art song (preferably Italian),
  3. One other song (in any language) or aria appropriate to the auditionee's level. 


1. Scales: Select one major scale and arpeggio, four octaves; one minor scale and arpeggio, four octaves; chromatic scale, four octaves 

2. Music Selections: 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. 

Jazz Principal

1. One Prepared Jazz Standard 

Requirements: All instrumentalist should prepare 1 jazz tune from the standard jazz lexicon. The tune should showcase the student playing a chorus of the melody and an improvised solo. 

*Live Auditions: Students will perform with live rhythm section. 

*Submitted Video Audition: Applicants must use a backing track as accompaniment to the selected jazz standard. There are many free and paid backing track options available by internet search. 

This list, yet not exhaustive, provides acceptable jazz standards of varying degrees of difficulty: Autumn Leaves, On Green Dolphin Street, All the Things You Are, Take the A Train, Song for My Father, So What or Impressions, All Blues, Billie's Bounce, Billie's Bounce, Au Privave, Sandu, Blues for Alice, Blue Monk, Isotope, Straight No Chaser, Tenor Madness Confirmation, Donna Lee, Moment's Notice, Stable Mates, Oleo, Anthropology, In Walked Bud, Yes or No, A Night in Tunisia, Bouncin' With Bud. 

Additional Requirement for Drummers: Please announce each style before you play. 

Demonstrate following examples:

  • (approx. 20 or 30 sec. length) â–ª Swing (slow, medium, fast) 
  • Bossa nova 
  • Latin 
  • Contemporary pop styles 
  • Jazz waltz time 
  • Straight time 

2. Sightreading

Those who choose to audition in person will be required to sightread during their audition. 

Those who submit an audition video will be contacted by the audition committee to set up an interview where sightreading will be conducted over Zoom. 

For guideline and requirement questions please contact: 313-577-1783 or