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.

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 “prescreening” video to determine if you will receive an invitation to audition. Please upload this video-recording through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline. 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 72 bpm (in 16th notes)
  • A Three-Part Invention or Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach (a substantial excerpt is acceptable for the prescreening round, with the understanding that the full piece will be required in the live audition.)

Your videos should have reasonable 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 etudes, and other repertoire. The scales and Bach requirements for this round are a subset of what is required in the live round.

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 piano department audition is used primarily to evaluate the applicant’s chances for success in the first two years of technical/classical piano study at UNT. Every applicant will receive a holistic evaluation that takes into account overall musicality, effort at preparation, and potential for success at UNT.

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 Thursday or Friday), 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 “Arranged Audition” 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:

  • All major and minor scales, at the interval of an octave, at 72 bpm in 16th notes (MEMORIZED)
  • Either a Three-Part Invention or a Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach. In the case of the latter, the fugue is mandatory. (MEMORIZED)
  • A Concert Etude of either Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Bartok, Debussy or Ligeti (MEMORIZED)

Jazz piano applicants who may not have attempted this level of repertoire in their previous studies should still apply and audition. This portion of the audition is evaluated holistically along with your jazz piano audition.

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 high-quality audio equipment to ensure the best possible result.

GRADUATE (Master of Music in Jazz Performance)

You are first required to submit a “prescreening” video to determine if you will receive an invitation to audition. Please upload this video-recording through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline. 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)

·      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 requirement of the prescreening audition is evaluated holistically along with the jazz requirements.

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 Thursday or Friday), 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, you will not be penalized. Simply email Prof. Dave Meder to set up a time for a remote audition, and select “Arranged Audition” 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 from memory (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.

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

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 high-quality audio equipment to ensure the best possible result.

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

You are first required to submit a “prescreening” video to determine if you will receive an invitation to audition. Please upload this video-recording through the Acceptd application portal by the preferred admission deadline. 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, 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). 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 you due to a documented schedule conflict, please email Prof. Dave Meder to schedule a different date, and select “Arranged Audition” in the Acceptd portal. You are encouraged to arrange to attend classes, receive a trial lesson, and check out our local music scene during your visit.

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)

·      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 DMA applicants who may not have extensive background in classical study should still apply and audition. The classical requirement of the audition is evaluated holistically along with the jazz requirements.

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.