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Certificate Program Audition/Portfolio Requirements

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Please click on your specific area of study below for audition/portfolio requirements.

Audio Recording
& Production

Bagpipes

Bassoon

Cello

Clarinet

Composition

Dalcroze Pedagogy  

Double Bass      

Euphonium 

Flute

Guitar

Harp

Horn

Music Education  

Oboe

Percussion

 Piano 

Piano Maintenance

Piano Pedagogy

Saxophone

Trombone

Trumpet

Tuba

Viola

Violin

Voice

 

 

Certificate Requirements

Performance applicants should keep in mind the area of concentration they wish to focus on during the program when choosing audition repertoire. Advanced Music Studies auditions and interviews are held on campus only. For the individual performance and piano pedagogy concentrations, an audio recording may be accepted in place of a live audition at the discretion of the faculty (primarily when travel distance poses a significant hardship).

Audio Recording & Production:

To be considered for the Audio and Recording Production certificate, the candidate should have one or more of the following (or equivalent):

  • Undergraduate degree in Music Performance, Music Composition or Music Technology
  • Undergraduate degree in Engineering or related area with Minor in Music Technology
  • Knowledge of standard recording techniques in classical music
  • Knowledge of standard recording techniques for studio recording
  • Working knowledge and experience using audio software
  • Good communication skills in one or more languages

In addition to the application and supplemental materials, applicants should submit a portfolio of recordings that he/she has engineered, or made significant contributions to, in two or more music genres.

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your portfolio. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

If you chose an alternate audition on your online School of Music application, please contact music-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu to set up an alternate interview date.

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Bagpipes:

All applicants to the bagpipe studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose selections that show tone, musicianship and technique.

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Bassoon:

All applicants to the bassoon studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Cello:

All applicants to the cello studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, a movement of a Bach suite, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Clarinet:

All applicants to the clarinet studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship, and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Composition:

(A master’s degree in composition is required to be eligible.) All composition applicants are required to submit a portfolio for pre-screening review. Applicants will be notified in early January if they are invited to interview. Interview confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the scheduled date.

Pre-screening portfolio requirements:

  • Three manuscripts of original compositions showing the artists range in genre, training and ability
  • An audio recording of a live performance of each of the submitted compositions. If a live performance is not possible, an electronically generated audio recording will be acceptable.

Although arrangements of works by other composers are welcome, they will be considered supplementary to the basic requirement for three original works.

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your pre-screening. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

Interview portfolio reviews:

At the in-person portfolio review, applicants will meet with the composition faculty panel to discuss personal compositional processes, background and future goals. To a great extent, the composition portfolio review resembles an interview. It will not be necessary for applicants to perform excerpts of their works, either vocally or instrumentally, during the review. Please bring a copy of your portfolio with you to the interview. Composition candidates are not required to complete a separate instrumental or vocal audition. Candidates may be required to participate in various placement tests or proficiencies on the day of the portfolio review.

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Dalcroze Pedagogy:

All applicants to Dalcroze Pedagogy should contact the Office of Recruitment and Enrollment via email

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Double Bass:

All applicants to the double bass studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales and arpeggios.

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Euphonium:

All applicants to the euphonium studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three band or orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Flute:

Flute applicants are required to submit a pre-screening video recorded audition. Invited auditioners will be notified in early January and audition confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the live audition date.

Pre-screening requirements:

This video recording must be entirely without piano accompaniment.

Required Repertoire: 

  • Mozart: Concerto in G or D major- 1st and 2nd movements (exposition only)
  • Orchestral Excerpts:
    • Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 (measures 328-360)
    • Brahms Symphony No. 4 (Movement IV – measures 93-105)
    • Mendelssohn A Midsummer Nights Dream (Scherzo- 2 measures before P to the end)
    • Debussy Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (rehearsal no. 2-3)

All of the above excerpts can be found in Orchestral Excerpts for Flute (Baxtresser/Rearick), published by Theodore Presser.

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your pre-screening. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

Live audition requirements:

Candidates who proceed to the live audition phase will be expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Guitar:

Those auditioning for the guitar studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. The audition should include one prelude or etude by Hector Villa-Lobos and one Bach prelude from BWV 995, 996, 997, or 1006.

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Harp:

All applicants to the harp studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Horn:

All applicants to the horn studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Music Education Certification:

In addition to the School of Music online application, applicants must meet the following requirements for pre-screening review by the Music Education faculty:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from most recent music degree
  • Applicants should choose 3 recommenders who can support their academic ability and promise as a music educator as part of the online School of Music application
  • Sample lesson plans, teaching materials, or other supporting documents (please limit the scope and amount of these materials). These materials can be uploaded to the School of Music online application. This is optional for Live Interview applicants, but required for Final Recorded Audition/Portfolio applicants.

Applicants who are invited to interview and audition for the Music Education Certificate program will be notified in early January and audition/interview confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the live audition date.

Live auditions/interviews:

Candidates who are invited for an interview and audition should prepare one selection on their primary instrument demonstrating their musical ability. Candidates will perform their audition selection and complete a sight singing/listening skills test as part of the interview process. Those applicants who are found to be acceptable candidates during the panel interview, but who are felt to have deficiencies in the area of performance will be required to take additional studio training courses as part of the Music Education curriculum.

If you chose an alternate audition on your online School of Music application, please contact music-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu to set up an alternate interview date.

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Oboe:

All applicants to the oboe studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. 

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Percussion:

  • Solos
    • Two or four mallet solo marimba work or etude of applicant’s choice – (Bach, Contemporary work
    • Concert snare drum solo or etude of applicant’s choice – (Delecluse, Peters, Aleo, etc.)
    • Timpani Solo or etude of applicant’s choice – (Carter, Delecluse, Firth, etc.)
  • Orchestral Excerpts
    • Snare Drum: Four contrasting excerpts of applicant’s choice
    • Xylophone: Four contrasting excerpts of applicant’s choice
    • Glockenspiel: Four contrasting excerpts of applicant’s choice
    • Cymbals: Two contrasting excerpts of applicant’s choice
    • Tambourine: Two contrasting excerpts of applicant’s choice
    • Triangle: If desired, but not required
    • Vibraphone: If desired, but not required
    • Drumset: If desired, but not required

Notes for all percussion applicants:

  • All applicants must supply their own sticks and mallets
    • The following will be provided on campus: timpani, mallet instruments, adjustable thrones, snare drums, snare drum stands, cymbals – Applicants may bring their own snare drums, stands, cymbals, and thrones if they wish.
  • If available audition dates are not compatible with an applicant’s schedule, they may contact Mr. Branson to schedule another date.
  • A live audition is preferred, but in special circumstances (i.e. travel, time) a video-recorded audition will be accepted. Details must be worked out in advance with Mr. Branson PRIOR TO uploading the recording to the Audition Dropbox.

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Piano:

Piano applicants are required to submit a pre-screening video recorded audition. Invited auditioners will be notified in early January and audition confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the live audition date.

Pre-screening requirements:

  • The length of the recording must be at least 20 minutes
  • Required Repertoire:
    • A Baroque or Classical work (from 17th century to Beethoven)
    • A Romantic, 20th Century, or Contemporary work demonstrating the applicant’s pianistic and artistic ability

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your pre-screening. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

Live audition requirements:

Candidates who proceed to the live audition phase will be expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Piano Maintenance:

All applicants are required to complete an interview for the Advanced Music Studies Certificate in Piano Maintenance. Piano proficiency and musicianship will be assessed in the interview. Intermediate piano proficiency is required. Interview appointment confirmations will be sent via email no less than 2 weeks prior to the scheduled date. If you chose an alternate audition on your online School of Music application, please contact music-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu to set up an alternate interview date.

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Piano Pedagogy:

(A master’s degree in piano is required to be eligible.)  All applicants are required to play 15-20 minutes of music including a piece from each of the following styles: 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, and 20th century.

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Saxophone:

All applicants to the saxophone studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Trombone:

All applicants to the trombone studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please choose a solo piece, a movement from a concerto, three orchestral excerpts, and etudes that show tone, musicianship, and technique. Know that you may also be asked for major and minor scales.

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Trumpet:

All applicants to the trumpet studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Tuba:

Applicants to the tuba studio should prepare a major concerto (such as Vaughan Williams, John Williams, or another of similar difficulty), and at least two additional selections, one of which should be a solo or etude in a style which contrasts the concerto, and one of which should be performed on CC tuba. In addition, the applicant should prepare at least five standard orchestral excerpts, three or more of which should be performed on CC tuba.

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Viola:

All applicants to the viola studio are expected to perform an audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Violin:

Violin applicants are required to submit a pre-screening video recording. Invited auditioners will be notified in early January and audition confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the live audition date.

Pre-screening requirements:

  • Two contrasting movements of any solo sonata or partita by Bach (played from memory)
  • A Paganini Caprice or a movement from an Ysaye solo sonata
  • A first movement of a major concerto written after 1830

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your pre-screening. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

All invited applicants to the violin studios are expected to perform a live audition recital of 15-20 minutes, including a minimum of five works showing representative repertoire of various periods. Although there are no set requirements for this audition, please refer to the graduate audition requirements for guidelines.

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Voice:

Certificate candidates must exhibit the equivalent preparation and presentation to that required for completion of the BFA at Carnegie Mellon University, and be able to demonstrate career potential in the classical music field. 

Voice applicants are required to submit a pre-screening video recording. Invited auditioners will be notified in early January and audition confirmations will be sent no less than two weeks before the live audition date.

Pre-screening requirements:

Four selections:

  1. One song or aria in English
  2. One song or aria in Italian
  3. One oratorio aria in a language of your choice
  4. One song or aria in a language of your choice
  • Songs may be from the art song repertoire or a combination of art songs and arias from opera and oratorio.
  • No more than TWO selections may be arias.
  • Music should be selected from a variety of stylistic periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th century, for example). 
  • Musical Theater, Jazz, "CCM" (Contemporary Commercial Music), and original compositions will not be accepted.

Please see Pre-screening Instructions for details on how to submit your pre-screening. Media must be uploaded to the School of Music online application by December 1.

Live audition requirements:

Candidates who proceed to the live audition phase are expected to prepare the following audition repertoire

Five selections:

  1. One song or aria in English
  2. One song or aria in Italian
  3. One song or aria in German
  4. One song or aria in French
  5. One song or aria in a language of your choice
  • All selections must be performed in their original language, from memory. 
  • Each of the five selections should represent a variety of musical styles and periods, and at least one selection MUST be from the standard 20th/21st century literature (You may refer to this PDF for a suggested list of American and British composers who have contributed to 'standard' 20th/21st century literature). 
  • At least one selection MUST be from an oratorio (any language), and when applicable, should include a recitative. 
  • Audition materials may contain no more than THREE arias.

In addition, prospective graduate students are to provide the panel with a copy of their most recently performed degree recital. The faculty panel will also review the resume and repertoire lists submitted as part of the online application.

A collaborative pianist is provided only for on-campus voice auditions. Please email a PDF copy of your audition music, if it is outside the standard repertoire, to music-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu clearly indicating your name and birth date at least one week prior to your audition.  

At the live audition, all applicants are expected to present their Carnegie Mellon School of Music appointed collaborative pianist with clean, double-sided copies of their repertoire in a 3-ring binder.  Please do not present music in plastic sheet protectors.

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