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Auditions/Interviews

All prospective students applying to the Elder Conservatorium of Music are required to attend an audition or interview for each area of specialisation or instrument, regardless of the number or type of music programs they are applying for.

Final audition round for 2017 commencement

Monday 23 January – audition/interview applications close
Wednesday 1  & Thursday 2 February – auditions and interviews held

To submit your audition application, please complete the online form

Audition/Interview Requirements

  • Classical Brass

    French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting pieces showing musicianship, technical facility and current musical achievement.

    What is the audition/interview panel looking for? Good tonal quality, clear articulation, precise rhythm and accurate intonation.

    Sightreading: this may be tested along with technical work such as scales and arpeggios.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Classical Keyboard

    Piano, harpsichord, organ

    Pieces performed: the applicant should prepare three contrasting and stylistically varied pieces chosen from the mainstream classical keyboard repertoire. The program must include a study or piece of a technical nature, as well as a polyphonic piece (e.g. Bach, Shostakovich, Hindemith).

    Scales: familiarity with scales and arpeggios will be expected.

    Sightreading: applicants will be given one minute to prepare a short piece of sightreading.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Classical Percussion

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting works selected from the following percussion categories. Applicants must include at least one work from each category.

    • Group 1: vibraphone, xylophone, marimba
    • Group 2: timpani, snare drum, multi-percussion

    Technical work: it is expected that applicants will play any major or minor scale/arpeggio, one or two octaves. Basic snare drum rudiments will be required.

    Sightreading: applicants will be given one minute to prepare an 8–10 bar piece of sightreading.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Classical Strings

    Violin, viola, cello, double bass, classical guitar, harp

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting pieces showing musicianship, technical facility and current musical achievement.

    What is the audition/interview panel looking for? Good tonal quality, clear articulation, precise rhythm and accurate intonation.

    Sightreading: applicants may be tested on scales, arpeggios and sightreading skills.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Classical Voice

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting works. Songs should include a variety of styles such as early Italian, a classical arrangement of a folk song or spiritual, an Art song (a classically composed song in any language) or up to one song from a musical.

    Sightreading: applicants are expected to be able to sight sing at Grade 4 AMEB level.

    Aural test: some very basic aural tests may be conducted during the audition.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Classical Woodwind

    Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, recorder

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting pieces from different periods/styles. They do not need to play a complete sonata but can choose one movement.

    Technical work: it is expected that applicants will play any 3 major scales, 3 harmonic minor scales, 3 melodic minor scales plus arppegios, chromatic scales starting on any note, whole tone scales on C and C sharp.

    Sightreading: applicants will be given one minute to prepare an 8–10 bar piece of sightreading.

    Accompanists: Applicants attending a live audition who require accompaniment will need to provide their own accompanist. A comprehensive list of accompanists is available from the Accompanist Guild of South Australia.

  • Composition

    Folio: applicants should bring copies of several of their scores (normally three) that enable the panel to understand their current style and handling of compositional techniques. If compositions are short, miniature pieces, applicants may wish to bring more than three. These scores should be brought to the interview, not sent prior to that time. Scores may be neatly written or computer generated (there is no preference for the latter), but they must be photocopies and not originals as the audition/interview panel will retain them after the audition.

    What will applicants be asked about? Applicants will be invited to speak about the character of their compositions and the techniques through which their musical ideas are expressed. Applicants will be asked general questions about things such as their knowledge of the musical repertory as well as the composers, experiences and musical works that have influenced them.

  • Jazz

    Bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, voice, flute, violin

    Pieces performed: applicants are required to prepare three contrasting pieces, typically blues, Latin and swing standards. (Refer to the Suggested Repertoire List for examples of possible repertoire.)

    Scales:all (12 keys) major scales and at least two types of minor scales are expected. Sightreading: applicants may be asked to read chords and melody lines for their instrument within a big band chart.

    Chord chart reading: play/improvise from a simple chord chart.

    Accompanist /rhythm section: it is preferable for applicants to bring rhythm section players to the audition, thereby giving the panel an opportunity to evaluate the applicant’s interaction with other players. However, if this is not possible, CD backing tracks are acceptable.

    Equipment: Music stands, a vocal PA and mike, bass amplifier, guitar amplifier and drum kit with cymbals are provided in the audition venue. Drummers should bring their own sticks. Please note that the warm-up rooms only have an amplifier.

  • Music Education and Pedagogy

    There are no separate interviews or auditions for Music Education and Pedagogy. Applicants will need to meet the audition requirements of their relevant classical/jazz instrument/voice or Composition or Musicology or Sonic Arts or Popular Music and Creative Technologies audition.

  • Musicology
    Applicants applying for entry into the Musicology major will be required to fill out the audition/interview form and attend the aural/theory test however, no interview is required.

    The panel will be looking for a range of skills in the area of music history and music theory, and an enthusiastic attitude towards the study of music. Evidence of well-developed writing skills and an interest in developing abilities to describe and analyse music. Although musical performance is not required with this major, the ability to read music is expected.

  • Popular Music and Creative Technologies

    Interview/audition: applicants will be interviewed individually and will be asked to provide a recording of a minimum of three of their own songs/compositions which demonstrate their creativity, their technical and musical proficiency on an instrument/voice, and their potential for further development. In some instances, where an applicant is unable to provide recordings, songs/compositions may be performed live during the interview. Where recordings are provided, applicants may be asked to further demonstrate their technical and musical proficiency on an instrument/voice, as determined by the panel. Applicants will be advised of this additional requirement at the time of the interview and should be prepared to perform if deemed necessary.

    What is the audition/interview panel looking for? Within a contemporary rock/pop style, creative potential in songwriting/composition is sought, supported by well-developed practical skills on an instrument or voice, and/or proficiency with technology and production.

    Additional items to bring: applicants should bring copies of their CV/portfolio together with recordings and/or written scores that demonstrate their songwriting/compositional ability.

  • Sonic Arts

    Interview: applicants will be interviewed in groups.

    Short questionnaire: applicants will complete a short questionnaire as part of the interview process.

    What is the audition/interview panel looking for? A range of skills in the area of music, music technology, arts, maths, science or related areas and general information technology proficiency.

    Additional items to bring: applicants should bring a CV to the interview. A CD demonstrating the widest variety of the applicant’s abilities and activities should be left with the panel at the interview.

Receipt of all audition/interview applications

Receipt of all audition/interview applications will be acknowledged via email within two weeks of the application closing date. If you do not receive email notification in that time, and wish to check that your application has been processed by the Conservatorium, please email auditions.music@adelaide.edu.au (please check the ‘Junk Mail’ folder first to ensure that the message has not appeared there, rather than the ‘Inbox’ as expected.)


Schedule dates and times

The Conservatorium schedules auditions once the closing date for applications has passed. As such, specific dates and times are not able to be confirmed prior to the closing date. All applicants will be notified of interview or audition schedule dates and times approximately one week in advance of the audition/interview round. Applicants will be contacted via the email address specified on their audition application form.

Any applicant who has specific problems attending an audition/interview on any day in the audition round must email auditions.music@adelaide.edu.au at least two weeks prior to the audition/interview round to request consideration of this for scheduling purposes. Please note that the earlier the warning is given the higher the chance of accommodating any request.

The Conservatorium appreciates that time is required to organise and prepare audition repertoire with an accompanist. As such, the Conservatorium recommends you contact an accompanist well in advance of the audition round to make a tentative booking.


Musicianship Test

What is the musicianship test?

The musicianship test is an integral part of the audition/interview process in that it provides the Conservatorium with an indication of your current level. As such, it contributes to the Conservatorium’s selection process.

The musicianship test aims to assess the applicant's general level of musicianship, which involves the ability to identify and recognise musical concepts within aural, written and theoretical contexts. The test comprises:

  • aural questions covering rhythm, tonality, melody and harmony
  • score interpretation questions about a given short piano extract
  • theoretical questions such as keys, major and minor scales, intervals and chords

In addition to undertaking the test, applicants are asked to provide details of their theoretical background and copies of any recent certificates.

Who has to do the test?

All applicants undertaking an audition/interview must undertake the musicianship test.

When is the test held?

The Musicianship test will be held daily at 12 noon on campus during the week of auditions.

Sample test papers

Download the Sample Musicianship Test.

The test is similar in content to the SACE Stage 2 Musicianship exam (Theory, Aural Recognition, and Musical Techniques section). Past SACE Musicianship exam papers are available from the SACE Musicianship webpage under 'Documents' and then 'Past Examinations'.

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Elder Conservatorium of Music

Faculty of Arts

THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

Contact

music@adelaide.edu.au
T: +61 8 8313 5995
F: +61 8 8313 4423

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