Audition Guidelines

Your audition is a chance for us to get to know each other.  Here is some information you need in order to start planning for your audition.

Audition Components

Your 30-minute audition and interview will include:
  • Repertoire - music you choose to present.  VanderCook does not work from a standard repertoire list so you should select pieces you enjoy, are comfortable with and show contrast of tempo/style.
  • Scales - an important part of any musician's training.
  • Sightreading - a demonstration of your ability to correctly interpret notated music.
  • Conversation - to explore your interest in music and commitment to sharing it through teaching.  You may also ask questions about the school and your work here.

How to Prepare

  1. PRACTICE!  Spent time each day learning and getting comfortable with what you will perform.
  2. Two weeks prior to an audition, vocalists should send us three copies of the pieces they plan to perform as a courtesy to the staff accompanists.  Instrumentalists need not send music in advance but should bring 3 copies of the piece(s) they plan to perform on the date of their audition.
  3. Dress for an interview.  From the moment you step in the door, we see you as a future teacher!
  4. Plan to be here about 30 minutes prior to the start of your audition to provide yourself ample to get situated and warm up.

Percussion Guidelines

Beyond scales and sight-reading, try to prepare as many of the following as possible:
  • A snare drum solo or etude.
  • A 2-mallet and a 4-mallet keyboard selection.
  • A tympani solo or etude
  • Some basic drum-set beats.

Instrumental Guidelines

  • Play two or more pieces/movements on your primary instrument that contrast in style, tempo, or mood.
  • Play three or four scales.  The more you know, the better, but a smooth, steady performance with good tone and intonation is more important than speed.
  • Sight-read a few short exercises.

Choral Guidelines

  • You may bring your own accompanist, or you may request one two weeks prior to your audition.  (Audition music should be sent immediately following a request for an accompanist.)
  • Sing two or more short songs that show your vocal range and sense of contrasting styles.  Show off different aspects of your ability to communicate the music.
  • Demonstrate that you can sing scales in tune.
  • Sight-read a few short exercises.

2015-2016 Audition Dates

  • October 12, 2015
  • November 16, 2015
  • February 15, 2016
  • March 7, 2016
  • March 28, 2016

Schedule Your Audition

After completing your application, schedule an audition with the Admissions office at or (312) 788-1120.


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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