How to Apply
The application process includes:
– 1 – completed application form
– 2 – music teacher endorsement letter
– 3 – $100 deposit (check made out to Western Michigan University)
– 4 – recorded audition (CD/DVD or emailed zip file).
The postmark deadline for applications is March 2. Applications will continue to be accepted, however, as long as there are vacancies. The enrollment status for each section can be found on the enrollment VACANCIES page.
If you have one of our posters, detach and use the application form on the bottom of the poster, or you may click HERE or the link at the top of the page to download the application form.
Music Teacher Endorsement Letter
Candidates should include a music teacher endorsement letter with their application. The teacher can be your private lesson instructor or high school music director (band, orchestra, or choir). The letter should endorse you as a responsible music student. It can be a simple letter (even hand written), but it must clearly identify the person writing the letter, be signed by that person, and clarify that person's role as your music teacher.
A candidate's application cannot be processed without a $100 deposit. The deposit is non-refundable unless we are unable to accept the candidate in which case a $75 refund will be made (see REFUND policy).
The $100 application deposit does apply to the total tuition due for accepted students.
Please make checks payable to Western Michigan University.
All candidates must audition for admission by sending a recorded audition (CD/DVD or emailed zip file) with their application. Please CONTACT us if you plan to upload a recording to YouTube or other internet source that you would like to use. Because enrollments are often competitive, candidates should give as much attention as possible to the quality of their recordings.
Woodwind, brass, and percussion candidates should record a two-octave chromatic scale (percussionists on the mallet keyboard of their choice) as well as a "festival" solo piece (with or without accompaniment) which demonstrates both lyrical and technical playing.
String candidates should record a solo piece from the violin/viola/cello or double bass repertoire (accompaniment optional) representing their current technical and musical abilities.
Vocalists should record two accompanied, classical art songs in contrasting style such as those used for the typical state solo and ensemble festivals. Popular songs, music theater and jazz are not appropriate for the Seminar program.
Pianists should record two representative works each selected from a different era: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Contemporary.
Composition applicants will need to provide the following materials: 1. a recording of an original work (either solo or ensemble work) in mp3 or m4a file format, or as a link to a website, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.; 2. the score of an original work in PDF format; and 3. a short essay addressing why the applicant would like to pursue composition (2-3 paragraphs describing experience with music, interest in creating original music, what types of music the applicant would most like to learn to write, etc.) in PDF or Microsoft Word format. A teacher recommendation is not required.
CD/DVD/USB drives will be returned on July 12, or by mail to students who cannot be accepted. We reserve the right to waive the audition requirement if circumstances allow an alternate evaluation. Some students, for example, will have earned audition waivers due to previous Seminar participation.