Audition Information

2016-17 New Student Admissions Days

For Additional Audition Information, please visit

Jazz Scholarship Audition

If you have a strong background in jazz, you might want to audition with the Jazz Area Faculty for jazz scholarship consideration in addition to your other audition. If so, you should be prepared to play or sing:

  1. A piece of your choice in 12-bar blues form (such as Billie’s Bounce or Straight, No Chaser) with two or three improvised choruses to follow;
  2. A jazz standard of your choice (such as Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Oleo) with improvised choruses to follow;
  3. Sight reading of jazz pieces.

An accompanist will be provided, if necessary.

Jazz Drummers should be prepared to play the following:

1.  Swing time at various tempos;

2.  Demonstrate knowledge of 12-bar blues and 32-bar AABA (rhythm changes) song forms;

3.  Trade 4s, 8s and choruses with a rhythm section over these forms;

4.  Demonstrate various Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms; (Mambo, 6/8 Afro, Songo, Samba, Bossa Nova and others)

5.  Demonstrate swing and ballad playing with brushes.

Jazz Vocalists should prepare the following:

1.  Two jazz songs in contrasting styles (swing, bossa nova, ballad, contemporary), preferably with vocal improvisation (scat) as part of one of the songs.
2.  If neither selection includes improvisation, then be prepared to improvise over 12-bar blues.
3.  Be prepared to demonstrate sight-reading skills.
4.  Sing a major scale, a minor scale of your choosing and a chromatic scale.
The audition will also include aural recall (singing back a series of notes played at the piano), and harmonic identification (singing the notes you hear when a chord is played at the piano). Accompaniment will be provided unless you prefer to provide your own.

Before you can be admitted to any music major, you must complete our audition and testing program. Audition dates are indicated above. If you cannot come to Western on one of these dates, please notify us promptly and we will attempt to determine an alternate date.

You must audition in November, February, or March to ensure entrance and scholarship consideration. Instrumental and vocal studios are limited in the number of students that may be accepted. Admission is highly competitive. Students may audition a maximum of two (2) times for any studio.

Weather Information
In the unlikely event that weather forces WMU to close, School of Music auditions will need to be cancelled. Information on the University’s status may be found at or by calling (269) 387-1001. Information on the staus of School of Music auditions will be available at (269) 387-4672.