What You Need to Know About Music School Auditions

What you need to know about music school auditions.

Music school auditions involve many steps and lots of preparation. Below you’ll find a general overview of the music school application and audition processes.

We also spoke to our music educators who attended music schools and are familiar with auditions, so keep an eye out for more blog posts where they’ll share their insights and personal experience!

What to Expect

Most music schools require you to complete and submit general school applications, which may include the common application. You’ll also submit a portfolio showcasing your areas of interest and artistic strengths. In your portfolio, you might also be asked to submit supplementary materials, like a personal statement, essays, transcripts, and a résumé.

Depending on the school and their application process, you might have to wait to pass a “pre-screen” where they review your portfolio and application before you are invited to audition. Other schools will have you schedule your audition when you submit your application, or shortly after. Some schools may also require an in-person interview.

The Music School Audition

Auditions may differ from school to school, so pay attention to specific repertoire requirements like:

  • Minimum performance length
  • Number of works that must be performed
  • If you must include different styles and what those are
  • The mode of the audition: in-person or virtual
  • Whether the audition requires an improvisation component
  • If you will be tested on sightreading
  • If you will be tested on music theory

Advice From Our Educators on Nailing Your Music School Audition

  • Becoming a well-rounded and versatile musician is key for gaining admission to music school
  • Make sure the school is a good fit for you, not just that it’s good on paper
  • Get started early and stay organized with your applications
  • Understand that you will get out of music school what you put into it


Hodis Learning and Music educators attended music schools such as USC Thornton School of MusicBerklee College of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts where they’ll share their experience and advice for music school auditions! And if you’re interested in booking a session to prepare for your audition, you can do so here.