All undergraduate applicants to the School of Music are expected to attend a New Student Admissions Day (NSAD) and need to apply for a date through the Music Admissions Portal
Basic musicianship assessment
All prospective music majors (BA, BM, and BS) are expected to complete basic musicianship exams as part of NSAD. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music applicants need to complete all three outlined below; Bachelor of Science (MAT) applicants complete only the written music theory exam. These tests are used primarily for diagnostic purposes and course placement, but are also taken into consideration by some studios as a factor in determining admission and/or scholarship status. There are online materials to help prepare for these tests at the Music Theory Help Site and within the School of Music Admissions Portal. The following tests are administered when you come to campus on New Student Admissions Day:
- Written Music Theory: This test covers basic recognition of scales, key signatures, intervals, triads, rhythms, and time signatures from a musical score.
- Aural Skills Identification: This test assesses your ability to identify musical elements by ear. For example, listening to a triad and identifying whether it is major or minor. Listening to a complete melody or rhythmic excerpt and matching it with the correct written version. Not required for BS-MAT applicants.
- Aural Skills Performance: This test assesses your ability to sing basic melodic materials (e.g., pitches,scales, triads, short melodies) and clap basic rhythmic material. It is conducted privately (one-on-one) with a faculty member. Not required for BS-MAT applicants.
Prospective majors in Music Composition, Music Education, Music Therapy, and Multimedia Arts Technology (see links for details) take part in interviews with faculty on New Student Admissions Day. These are separate from instrumental or vocal auditions for specific studios. All other prospective majors are encouraged to have supportive materials on hand in case there is time to present them during your studio audition. These might include letters of recommendation, a repertoire list, a statement of career goals or any other material that further supports your application. Any required portofolio materials may be submitted ahead of time via the WMU Music Submissions website.
Most Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts applicants must schedule an audition for a primary instrumental or vocal studio on a New Student Admissions Day. Prospective Composition and MAT applicants are not required, but may request a studio audition if they also want to be able to take private lessons with studio faculty (and be considered for studio-based scholarships). All students auditioning for a studio must be able to read music, a skill which needs to be demonstrated through sight-reading in the audition. Accompanists are not required for instrumental auditions; one will be provided for voice auditions. Students interested in Jazz Studies must complete both a Studio and Jazz audition. For further details about specific repertoire requirements for each studio and general advice for auditions, consult Studio Auditions.
While it is preferable to audition in person, if you live more than 300 miles from Kalamazoo, MI, you may submit video and/or audio files for your studio audition. You must still follow the regular Music application process as described above and should indicate "Video Audition" in place of the audition date. Some studios may use video submissions for pre-screening purposes (e.g., conducting, voice) and will still require an in-person audition for final admission. It is recommended that you contact the appropriate studio faculty regarding any questions about repertoire. Go to the WMU Music Submissions website for specific instructions on uploading materials.