Audition Tips

Your entrance/scholarship audition is the first step to becoming a music major or minor. It is your first opportunity to present your skills and level of preparation to the music faculty. We want you to succeed! Here are some suggestions to help you prepare a first-rate audition:

Scheduling your audition

Choose an audition date that works for you and fill out our scholarship application. In addition to your performance, you will be assessed in piano and music theory skills for advising. Plan on spending sufficient time on the UNK campus and Kearney community, to become acquainted with it. Meet with UNK music faculty, or arrange to sit in on a class. Make additional appointments to meet with faculty in other programs in which you may be interested, or speak with a representative in financial aid, student life, or other university offices. Take full advantage of your time on campus!

Preparing your audition

Consult the list of audition requirements for your principal instrument. Your principal instrument is the performance area with which you MOST closely identify. While you may both sing and play an instrument in high school, what do you believe is your real strength as a performer? Do you think of yourself as a singer or instrumentalist? You may have the opportunity to take lessons in more than one instrument in your program of study at UNK, but your audition and assessment for scholarship will be based on your choice of principal instrument. This will serve as a guide for the literature you should prepare for your audition. With the assistance of a music teacher, choose selections which best showcase your talents and skills.

Prepare your music carefully with the assistance of your private teacher, choral or band director. Perform your pieces often for family and friends. You want to feel confident, even in a pressure situation.

Review the sample theory worksheet/piano skills sheet included in your audition packet. This will help you to prepare for these placement exams and give you a brief introduction to theory and keyboard skills expected of each entering

Secure a copy of the accompaniment to your solo (instrumentalists) or an extra copy of your songs (singers) to bring to your audition. If you are using a taped accompaniment, rehearse with it frequently and bring it to campus with you.

Review information you have received about UNK and the music programs that we offer. Please become familiar with our department on our website and come prepared to ask questions. On the night before your audition, get plenty of rest so that you are at your peak of physical energy and concentration. Be sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids to give your body the strength it needs to perform.

On the day of your audition

Choose clothes to wear in which you can perform comfortably. A neat professional look will make you feel good about yourself and present a positive image to the music faculty.

Be sure to arrive on campus in plenty of time for your theory placement test and audition. You will need to find the Fine Arts Building, get settled, warm up, and in most cases, meet with an accompanist.

Take your time warming up and follow your regular routine. Review the words to your songs, fingerings, bowings, etc. Remember, you have spent many hours preparing this music. You are ready!

At your audition

Introduce yourself and your selections with energy and enthusiasm. Check tempos with accompanist before you begin. You have worked hard for this moment — break a leg!