Admissions Auditions

Select an instrumental studio category from the list above. The admissions requirements linked below are for admission to the Jazz Studies major.

Please note a screening (preliminary audition video) is required for all applicants. The screening will be submitted directly through the College of Music Acceptd application. If screening repertoire is not specified for an area below, the screening requirements are the same as for the live audition.

All applicants who pass the prescreening round are also required to complete a jazz theory and aural skills test. Students will be assigned a time to take this assessment through Acceptd on their requested virtual audition day. This assessment is primarily diagnostic in nature and helps ensure proper placement in classes if accepted to UNT. Your admission application is evaluated holistically, with greater weight placed on your performance audition. We strongly encourage applicants who may not have formal training in jazz theory to still apply.

Application deadline.

For information on admission at the doctoral level, please see the page on the local concentration in Jazz Studies within the DMA in Performance.

Admission to the Graduate Artist Certificate in Music Performance program is an option for jazz performers with exceptional qualifications. For more information, see http://music.unt.edu/admissions/graduate-degree-specific.

UNDERGRADUATE (Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance)

You are first required to submit a pre-screening video to determine if you will receive an invitation for a live audition. Please upload these video-recordings through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline for full consideration. You will then be notified if you qualify for an audition.

Guidelines for Prescreening Round:

Please upload each piece as a separate video file with the filename “FirstNameLastName_PieceTitle”.

  • A slow/medium tempo blues form (head and improvisation)
  • A medium/up-tempo standard (not a blues form, please include head, improvisation, AND at least one chorus of two-handed comping, as if you were comping for a horn player)
  • A solo ballad (rubato, in-time, or a mix of both)
  • Three (3) major/minor scales of your choice, hands together in octaves at quarter note = 72 bpm (in 16th notes)
  • An excerpt (or full recording) of one of your technical/classical piano audition requirements (see below).

Your videos should have decent sound quality and clearly display your hands and feet, but they do not need to be high-quality videos. A professional studio recording is not essential and does not lead to a higher score.

For jazz requirements, you may use a live rhythm section, a backing track, or simply play the requirements solo to an audible metronome click (on beats 2 and 4). If you choose the latter option, please play as if you were playing with a rhythm section (except for the solo ballad).

Please note that undergraduate jazz piano applicants, if invited to audition, also complete a mandatory audition for the piano department (a “classical” audition) consisting of scales, technical studies, and other repertoire. The scales and repertoire requirements for this round are a subset of what would be required in the live round.

NOTE: We are aware that some jazz applicants may not have had formal “classical” studies, but we still encourage these applicants to apply to UNT. The classical piano department audition is used as a diagnostic to determine what repertoire should be assigned in the first year of piano study. Every applicant will receive a holistic evaluation that takes into account overall musicality, effort at preparation, and potential for success at UNT, with greater weight placed on the jazz audition.
 

Guidelines for Live Audition Round:
If you are notified that you have passed the prescreening round, you will be asked to do a live audition, either in-person or through an online videoconferencing platform (Zoom or Skype). You are strongly encouraged to audition live at UNT if your schedule and finances permit. During an audition weekend, you will be able to see the campus, observe select jazz ensemble rehearsals and classes (if you arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday), meet with Prof. Dave Meder, and get to know our local music scene. In-person auditions are held on the scheduled Saturday audition dates of the College of Music. Sign up for these through the Acceptd portal.

If you are unable to attend a live audition for distance or financial reasons, your application will not be penalized. Simply email Prof. Dave Meder to set up a time for a remote audition, and select “Audition by Recording/Skype” in the Acceptd portal.

The requirements in the live audition round are more comprehensive, testing your overall musicianship, sight-reading ability, stylistic awareness, etc.

All applicants must bring in a typed repertoire list of all the jazz standards you know from memory. You are not being assessed on the number of tunes you know. Make sure you actually know all the tunes on your list - Prof. Meder will call one or two at random for you to perform from memory (either solo piano or with Prof. Meder providing a bassline on a second piano). It is best to have a variety of styles represented on your repertoire list: ballads, blues, rhythm changes, bossa nova, funk, waltzes, etc.

After playing these pieces, you may be asked to do the following:

  • Sight-read: a lead sheet (comping and improvising), and/or a written excerpt
  • Transpose: a piece from your repertoire list into a new key
  • Discuss: your musical influences and studies, your favorite jazz pianists, and some of their notable albums

With any remaining time, you can also ask Prof. Meder any questions you may have about UNT’s jazz studies program.

On your audition day, you will also be scheduled for a piano department audition (“classical audition”). The requirements can be found here, or they are listed below for your convenience:

Entrance Auditions:

The classical audition is diagnostic in nature. It serves to guide and inform your major professor and applied teacher in making repertoire recommendations for juries and applied lessons.

Therefore, your choice of repertoire should reflect the music that you feel best represents your current ability. Please prepare:

  • All major and minor scales (natural minor only), hands together at the interval of an octave, at quarter note = 72 bpm, in 16th notes. Memorization REQUIRED.
  • A Two-Part Invention, Three-Part Invention, or Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach performed at a comfortable tempo. In the case of a Prelude and Fugue, the Fugue is mandatory. Memorization is not required.

For those with limited experience practicing Bach, we recommend using the Alfred Masterworks Editions of the above pieces, which will provide fingerings and performance guidelines.

  • A technical study by Czerny, Cramer, Duvernoy, or the equivalent, OR a concert etude of either Burgmüller, Moszkowski, or Chopin. Memorization is not required.

For those with limited classical training, below are some recommended technical studies available for free download:

Duvernoy op. 17
Czerny op. 299
Cramer 60 Selected Studies

Jury Requirements:

  • All major and minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic) and arpeggios in all keys, up and down three octaves, at the unison, 3rd, 6th,10th and in contrary motion. Tempo of at least quarter note = 80 bpm, played in 16th notes. It is recommended that the first two juries include scales two different ways. 
  • 10 minutes of solo classical repertoire to be chosen in consultation with the major professor and applied teacher.

Not to be played on the jury, but mandatory to have studied two different (short) technical exercises per semester, focused on contrasting technical skills. Examples may include Czerny, Moscheles, Moszkowski, Dohnanyi, Brahms, Liszt, etc.

Students will study classical piano for either one or two academic years, depending on jury results. Juries will be adjudicated by the major professor in the Jazz Division, a professor from the Keyboard Studies Division, and the student’s applied teacher.

For those auditioning through videoconference, the above requirements remain the same. You should be prepared to perform your classical audition and jazz audition together, live through Zoom or Skype, at the time you arrange with Prof. Meder. You must have access to email, and preferably a printer in order to print the sight-reading examples. Alternatively, you may read the sight-reading examples on a tablet or computer screen. For remote auditions, it is recommended that you use the highest-quality audio equipment you have available to ensure the best possible result.

GRADUATE (Master of Music in Jazz Performance)

You are first required to submit a pre-screening video to determine if you will receive an invitation for a live audition. Please upload these video-recordings through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline for full consideration. You will then be notified if you qualify for an audition.

Guidelines for Prescreening Round:

Please upload each requirement as a separate file with the filename “FirstNameLastName_PieceTitle”.

  • A slow/medium tempo blues form (head and improvisation)
  • A medium/up-tempo standard (not a blues form, please include head, improvisation, AND at least one chorus of two-handed comping as if you were comping for a horn player)
  • A solo ballad (rubato, in-time, or a mix of both)
  • A recording of an original composition (please also upload a PDF of the score or lead sheet)
  • OPTIONAL: a piece from the standard, common practice “classical” repertoire: recommended technical difficulty comparable to a Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach, a sonata allegro movement, or a Concert Etude of Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Bartok, Debussy or Ligeti.
  • OPTIONAL: any other piece, excerpt, score, or creative project that you would like to include (something that encapsulates your artistic identity or rounds out your application, any document or recording format)

Your videos should have reasonable sound quality and clearly display your hands and feet, but they do not need to be high-quality videos. For this round, a professional studio recording is not essential and does not lead to a higher score.

You may use a live rhythm section, a backing track, or simply play the requirements solo to an audible metronome click (on beats 2 and 4). If you choose the latter option, please play as if you were playing with a rhythm section (except for the solo ballad).

Jazz piano applicants who may not have extensive background in classical study should still apply and audition. The classical repertoire of the prescreening audition is optional and evaluated holistically, with greater weight placed on the jazz audition.

 

Guidelines for Live Audition Round:

If you are notified that you have passed the prescreening round, you will be asked to do a live audition, either in-person or through an online videoconferencing platform (Zoom or Skype). You are strongly encouraged to audition live at UNT if your schedule and finances permit. During an audition weekend, you will be able to see the campus, observe select jazz ensemble rehearsals and classes (if you arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday), meet with Prof. Dave Meder, and get to know our local music scene. In-person auditions are held on the scheduled Saturday audition dates of the College of Music. Sign up for these through the Acceptd portal.

If you are unable to attend a live audition for distance or financial reasons, your application will not be penalized. Simply email Prof. Dave Meder to set up a time for a remote audition, and select “Audition by Recording/Skype” in the Acceptd portal.

The requirements in the live audition round are more comprehensive, testing your overall musicianship, sight-reading ability, stylistic awareness, etc.

Please bring in a repertoire list of all the jazz standards you know from memory. Make sure you actually know all the tunes on your list - Prof. Meder will call one or two at random for you to perform (either solo piano or with Prof. Meder providing a bassline on a second piano). Please have a variety of styles represented on your repertoire list: ballads, blues, rhythm changes, bossa nova, funk, waltzes, etc.

After these pieces, you may be asked to do the following:

  • Sight-read: a lead sheet (comping and improvising), and a written excerpt
  • Analyze: a jazz standard in terms of harmonic functions
  • Transpose: a piece from your repertoire list into a new key
  • Discuss: your musical influences and studies, and your career goals

With any remaining time, you can also ask Prof. Meder any questions you may have about UNT’s jazz studies program.

For those auditioning through videoconference, the above requirements remain the same. You should be prepared to perform your classical audition and jazz audition together, live through Zoom or Skype, at the time you arrange with Prof. Meder. You must have access to email, and preferably a printer in order to print the sight-reading examples. Alternatively, you may read the sight-reading examples on a tablet or computer screen. For remote auditions, it is recommended that you use the highest-quality audio equipment you have available to ensure the best possible result.

GRADUATE (Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance / Concentration in Jazz Studies)

You are first required to submit a pre-screening video to determine if you will receive an invitation for a live audition. Please upload these video-recordings through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline for full consideration. You will then be notified if you qualify for an audition.

Guidelines for Prescreening Round:

Submit the following:

  • High-quality recordings of studio and/or live performances (preferably a mix of both), totaling approximately thirty (30) minutes and displaying a wide range of pianistic styles, tempi, and techniques. You must include at least one solo piano piece (not necessarily a ballad), and the remainder of the pieces should be performed with a live rhythm section, not a backing track. Please upload each piece as a separate video file with the filename “FirstNameLastName_PieceTitle”.
  • At least one example of academic writing in English, e.g. a Master’s thesis or course paper with a works cited
  • OPTIONAL: Other original compositions, videos or creative projects to round out your prescreening application

Guidelines for Live Audition Round:

If you are notified that you have passed the prescreening round, you will be asked to do a live audition. All DMA auditions must be in-person, not remote (even for international applicants). You are encouraged to arrange a multi-day visit, allowing you sit in on classes, receive a trial lesson from Prof. Dave Meder, and check out our local music scene. Sign up for the specific audition date designated for DMA Jazz Applicants in Acceptd. Each DMA audition lasts approximately one hour. If this date is not possible due to a documented schedule conflict, please email Prof. Dave Meder to schedule a different date, and select “Arranged Audition” in the Acceptd portal.

Please prepare a program of no more than thirty (30) minutes, to include at least the following:

  • A slow blues or spiritual
  • A medium tempo jazz standard (not a blues or rhythm changes piece)
  • An up-tempo rhythm changes piece
  • A solo ballad (rubato, in-time, or a mix of both)
  • An original composition (please also upload a PDF of the score or lead sheet)
  • A straight eighths and/or odd meter piece (if not already covered by the original composition)
  • OPTIONAL: A piece from the standard, common practice “classical” repertoire: recommended technical difficulty comparable to a Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach, a sonata allegro movement, or a Concert Etude of Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Bartok, Debussy or Ligeti.

You will have a live rhythm section available to accompany you. Please bring all necessary music. You have the option of performing other pieces besides the ballad as solo piano.

You will also be asked to:

  • Discuss your academic writing sample (submitted in the prescreening)
  • Describe your research interests, career goals, and preferred teaching assignments
  • Sight-read and transpose a lead sheet (comping and improvising)
  • Analyze a jazz standard in terms of harmonic functions
  • Other tasks designed to assess your overall musicianship

Jazz piano applicants who may not have extensive background in classical study should still apply and audition. The classical repertoire of the prescreening audition is completely optional and evaluated holistically, with much greater weight placed on the jazz audition.

International applicants for the jazz piano DMA will also be required to take a short analytical writing exam, which will consist of reading a brief excerpt from an academic journal and answering related comprehension questions.