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College Prep

Frequently asked questions about college music scholarships and majoring in music.

Music Scholarships

College music scholarships are often available even if you don't plan to major in music. For example, you may be able to earn a scholarship in exchange for accompanying college choir practices.

To qualify for a music scholarship you will normally audition in front of one or more piano faculty during a student preview weekend at the college(s) you are considering attending. The audition may include scales, arpeggios, chord progressions, and memorized repertoire. The admissions department or music department at the college can provide a handout in advance that shows you what to prepare for the audition.

Majoring or Minoring in Music

Pursuing a college degree in music is a very challenging, and very rewarding, process! You may choose from areas of emphasis such as Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, Music Education, Music History, and more. Admission requirements vary from school to school, but here is some sample information to give you an idea:

Boise State University Music Department Admissions:

BSU's music audition process is very accessible for students in Level 8 and above. Students seeking to major or minor in music must perform an audition for the music faculty and take the Music Literacy Predictive Exam. In the audition, the student must play two memorized pieces from contrasting historical periods. Examples include:

The audition includes playing some major and minor scales, and may include a sight-reading test.

Music Conservatory Admissions:

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are dreaming of attending a prestigious music school, the expectations are much higher. Here, for example, is a summary of Julliard's admission process.

  1. Submit pre-recorded audition on CD (a sonata plus a major Romantic-era work).
  2. If invited to come for live audition, the application must perform a 45-minute audition from memory. The audition must include all of the following pieces:
    • Bach Prelude & Fugue
    • Complete sonata by Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, or Schubert
    • Substantial composition from the Romantic era
    • Two etudes, one by Chopin and one by another composer
    • Another substantial work of the applicant's choice.

Visit the Julliard website for further information.

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