Audition & Program Requirements

Master of Music: Jazz Studies (All Instruments)

Prescreening required; must be video recording.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and CDC-recommended guidelines, the Bienen School of Music requests that applicants record prescreening materials with play-along tracks. 

For Prescreening and Final Audition:

  • Trumpet, saxophone, and trombone players will perform with piano (or guitar), bass, and drums.

  • Guitarists will perform with piano, bass, and drums.

  • Pianists will perform with bass and drums.

  • Bassists will perform with piano (or guitar) and drums.

  • Drummers will perform with piano (or guitar) and bass.

Choose one song from each of the categories and be prepared to perform the song’s melody. Rhythm section instruments should demonstrate the ability to accompany a soloist.

All songs are listed in concert key:


  • Sonny Stitt, The Eternal Triangle, Bb Major
  • Cole Porter, From This Moment On, F minor
  • Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields, The Way You Look Tonight, F Major


  • Charlie Parker, Chi Chi, Ab Major
  • John Coltrane, Mr. Day, Gb Major
  • Charlie Parker, Cheryl, C Major


  • Thelonious Monk, ‘Round Midnight, Eb minor
  • George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin, Someone to Watch Over Me, F Major
  • Herb Ellis/John Frigo/Lou Carter, Detour Ahead, C Major


  • Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, F Major
  • Thelonious Monk, Ugly Beauty, Db Major
  • Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart, Falling in Love with Love, Bb Major

Drummers only

In addition to the selections listed above, drummers should prepare the following grooves:

  • Afro-Cuban 6/8 groove

  • Shuffle groove with backbeat

  • Swing groove with brushes (slow, medium, and fast)

  • Swing groove with sticks (slow, medium, and fast)

Other Degrees

Bachelor of Music: Jazz Studies