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Will a BA in Music require an audition?

nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 57 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My son is applying to several liberal arts schools and some schools that have Conservatories for a BA in Music. He does not plan to pursue a BM that would be held in the conservatory. My question is, which schools require an audition for a BA in Music? Some that he is considering with conservatories (I’m assuming schools that do not offer a BM through a conservatory will not require an audition) include: Oberlin, Bard, Ithaca, UB, Tuft’s, Vassar, Hamilton.
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Replies to: Will a BA in Music require an audition?

  • gram22gram22 109 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Music department websites at these schools should specify if they are audition based or not. If they do not, they will respond to queries about their admissions requirements.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2819 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I can answer for Bard - if he's only applying to the College for a BA - he will need to moderate into the music major by Junior year. There are requirements for moderation in the different concentrations in the Music major, just as there are in every academic field at Bard. He will need to pass moderation, after fulfilling the required prerequisite courses, to be accepted into the major. Acceptance into any major at Bard is not guaranteed. Sometimes that may mean that someone, for instance, who wanted to get a BA in Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis is not accepted into that track, but only into the more general musicology track. But there is no audition required to sign up for basic music courses in the first two years, although there may be prerequisites for admission to the classes.

    Every music department website for each college on your list should have the information you seek.

    For instance - at Bard here are the Moderation requirements for a Classical Instrumental Performance major:
    Moderation should consist of a 25-to-40-minute concert that presents a variety of the student’s musical strengths, together with program notes and an explanation of the student’s proposed plan for further study.
    And for the Jazz program:
    For their Moderation project, most students give a 25- to 40-minute concert of their own music and/or music by other composers; a substantial music history or theory paper written for a class may also be accepted.

    I believe there are a number of BA programs for music which don’t require an audition for initial admission to the college yet at some point there will be a version of an audition to be accepted into the major.
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  • WestOfPCHWestOfPCH 107 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Wonderfully detailed and specific response re: Bard. Thank you, @SpiritManager

    (tagging @212121 as an FYI)
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Check each website carefully. Many BA programs do not have auditions. ( Of course it can help to submit a music arts supplement with recording, music resume and letters of recommendation from teacher and/ or director.) Many schools with a BA in music will have fall auditions for the various extracurricular ensembles and orchestras.
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 14
    i should add that BA music programs may or may not have any performance components. Music is also taught as a liberal art, with music history, musicology, theory, analysis, composition, ethnomusicology and technology. Some schools will offer lessons (sometimes funded, sometimes for credit) and some schools will also give credit for extracurricular performance. It is really necessary to look into each school's details. If there is no or little performance component, then the music dept. can still offer an excellent experience throught the major plus extracurricular performance (and lessons). Look also at who teaches lessons: grad students or professors or a teacher from outside the school.

    Or perhaps your son plans a different major and wants to play in extracurricular ensembles within an excellent music department.
    edited September 14
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