Audition Information

Each student desiring admission to Keene State College as a music major or minor must pass an audition with a member of the music faculty. All students are encouraged to apply and audition early in the year to ensure eligibility for appropriate financial assistance.

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Each music applicant must take a music theory and aural skills placement test as part of the audition. Students with no or little theory background are encouraged to find a tutor, a website (e.g.,, software, and/or a self-instruction book to become familiar with the basic theory and notation of music (clefs, key signatures, intervals, chords, grand staff, rhythmic notation, meters, time signatures).

Auditions for the 2024-2025 academic year will continue to be held by individual appointments.

Auditions for the 2025-2026 academic year will continue to be held on these dates:

January 24, 2025
February 14, 2025
March 7, 2025
March 28, 2025

            (** Online and in-person auditions available)

Specific Audition Requirements

Bowed Strings

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios, preferably two octaves
  • Two contrasting pieces demonstrating lyrical and technical playing (ex: slow & fast movements of sonatas or concertos, études, etc.)
  • Sight reading
  • Students with a jazz or electric bass background may prepare a jazz standard as part of their audition


  • Audition is required on your primary voice or instrument
  • Complete a composition interview: bring a repertoire list and two representative scores to the interview (same day as the audition)
  • Optional: recordings may be submitted but are not required


  • One- or two-octave major scales in first and second position (C, G, D, A, E, F)
  • Two short pieces or études that demonstrate a basic technique (suggested composers are Sor, Carcassi, Brouwer, or Tarrega)
  • Students with a jazz or electric guitar background may prepare a jazz standard as part of their audition, in addition to the two required classical pieces


  • All percussion auditions: two prepared and contrasting snare drum solos or etudes (preferably one in simple and one in compound time); basic rudiments; snare drum sight-reading
  • Timpani and mallet pieces are required for a B.M. Performance audition (optional for other degree auditions). Tuning and scales may be asked of those playing timpani and mallets
  • Students with a drum set background may be asked to display styles (swing, bossa, samba, etc.)


  • For Music Education or Bachelor of Arts programs: perform two contrasting pieces, at least one from the Baroque or Classical period, preferably from memory
  • For B.M. Performance program: same requirements as above, plus one additional piece that contrasts with the other two selections and periods
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared scales and/or technical exercises (major and minor scales, arpeggios, etudes)


The Music Technology degree is part of the Bachelor of Music program. It is expected that each student attain a level of musicianship, in instrument or voice, equivalent to those students in the Music Education and Music Composition programs.

An audition is required on your primary voice or instrument:

  • Bowed Strings
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Voice
  • Woodwind and Brass


  • Perform from memory two classical songs of contrasting styles
  • Sight singing
  • Vocalizing on scales and arpeggios
  • Interview with voice faculty
  • An accompanist will be provided for voice auditions. Please bind all photocopies of your music or bring the original copies

Woodwinds and Brass

  • Major, minor, and chromatic scales, two octaves where applicable
  • Two contrasting pieces demonstrating lyrical and technical playing (ex: slow & fast movements of sonatas or concertos, études, etc.)
  • Sight reading



I cannot thank the staff and students enough for the amazing audition day we experienced on March 23rd. My son, Christopher, myself and his dad were welcomed into your world with genuine caring and interest. The extremely impressive students made conversation, answered all of our questions (some only a mom would be concerned about) and made us feel comfortable sending our son to Keene for the next four years. You should all be proud of yourselves and how you represent Keene State. I wish you all continued success and look forward to being part of the Keene State College world.

– Jeannine Assorto Stimson, parent of current student

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