Studying Music at UWSP

You are on your way towards becoming a member of the UWSP musical family! Whether you are planning on being a music major, minor, or pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, you will need to audition to be admitted to the Department of Music. Auditions for incoming students typically take place the year before you start studying at UWSP (during the senior year of high school for most people). Your audition will take care of three things:

  1. Your acceptance to the Department of Music
  2. Your scholarship eligibility
  3. Your keyboard skills placement

Applying to and auditioning for the Department of Music is separate from your application to UWSP. You will need to take care of that in addition to scheduling your music audition.

Applicants will be notified of their music admission status and of any scholarship offer made by the department shortly after the audition.

Schedule your audition now using the Applicant Audition Form

Please have your teacher(s) fill out this reference form:

Please have a guidance counselor fill out this reference form:

Warm-up rooms are available throughout the audition day. A committee of music faculty will hear your audition.

Audition Requirements


  • Two pieces in contrasting style
  • Three octave major scale of your choice
  • Three octave melodic minor scale of your choice
  • Sight-reading


  • Two pieces in contrasting style (one more technical and one more lyrical)
  • Several scales: major, minor, and/or chromatic
  • Sight-reading


  • Two pieces in contrasting style (one more technical and one more lyrical)
  • Several scales: major, minor, and/or chromatic
  • Sight-reading


Perform a solo on two of the four core instrument categories listed below. If auditioning for scholarships, please perform on three of the four categories. 

  1. Snare Drum - concert or rudimental (both would be preferred).
  2. Keyboard Percussion (marimba, vibraphone, or xylophone - 2 or 4 Mallets).
  3. Timpani - also demonstrate ability to tune the drums to given pitches.
  4. Drum set
    1. Play time in several styles including rock, swing, funk, various Latin styles.
    2. Trade 4's in your chosen styles.
    3. Play an improvised solo with a clear beginning and ending. 

Sight reading is required on snare drum and keyboard percussion.  Knowledge of scales and arpeggios is expected on keyboard instruments.  Perform open and closed rolls and other standard rudiments on snare drum.


3 memorized works, including:

  1. Contrapuntal work by Bach or from the Baroque period
  2. Movement(s) of a classical sonata (e.g. Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart) 
  3. Romantic work and/or a twentieth-century work (jazz works may be included)
  4. Sight-reading may be requested

Music Minors: 2 memorized works chosen from the suggested repertoire

For graduate audition information please contact Molly Roseman 


  • Two memorized classical pieces in contrasting style - one in English and one in a world language 
  • Sight-reading
  • Tonal and rhythmic memory exercises


  • Two Jazz pieces of contrasting style, one medium-tempo and one up-tempo including a melody statement comping and an improvised chorus on each tune
  • Demonstration of any other style (classical or rock for example)
  • Sight-reading
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Keyboard Placement

On the day of your audition, if you have prior experience you will meet with the piano faculty to determine placement-with the exception of those auditioning on piano. Those without a piano background will be placed in beginning class piano. For those with piano ability, please be prepared to:

  • Perform a short prepared piece
  • Sight-read
  • Play major scales 

To prepare for piano placement, please review the Group Piano placement page

Audition Dates

  • November 18, 2020
  • February 24, 2021 
  • February 20, 2021
  • March 6, 2021
Schedule an Audition

Or contact us to schedule an alternate date.

Have a question? Check out our
Student FAQ