University of Michigan SMTD

UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance - University of Michigan

Keyboard Audition Information


Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Musical Arts in Piano must upload by December 1 an unedited recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an in-person audition may be scheduled.

Non-performance majors do not need to upload pre-screening recordings.

Piano Performance (BM and BMA)

For the audition, prepare:

  1. a baroque work by a composer such as Bach, Handel, or Scarlatti with a minimum playing time of five minutes, no repeats. Any prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier is acceptable
  2. a complete classical sonata
  3. a romantic work
  4. an impressionistic or 20th-Century work
  5. an etude of virtuosity

Memorization is required.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration.

Recorded auditions must be uploaded using the link above.

Applicants to the Bachelor of Music in Performance with Teacher Certification (Curriculum B) will also be scheduled for an information session with faculty from the Department of Music Education.

Piano Performance BMA (Bachelor of Musical Arts)


Piano Principal (Requirements for pianists applying to degrees other than performance)


  1. a baroque work
  2. a quick tempo movement of a classical sonata
  3. 19th- or 20th-Century solo of your choice

Memorization is preferred.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admissions/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the School, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission to SMTD is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admissions decisions are made by the school’s Office of Admissions and are generally announced in late February/early March.

All auditionees are considered for School scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information) with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the U-M concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.


Organ (BM)

Pre-screening Requirements

This program does not pre-screen at this time. Please be sure to fill out the required portions of the Artistic Profile but you do not need to upload recordings unless you are doing a Recorded Audition.

In-Person Audition Requirements

Prepare fifteen to twenty minutes of organ literature you have thoroughly studied. Include a work of J. S. Bach and a romantic or contemporary composition. Choose pieces that you and your teacher agree are within your present musical and technical grasp. Memorization is neither required nor discouraged. You will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the organ you will be playing before your audition.

In certain cases, a student may be admitted who has had no organ study but does have a strong background in piano. In such individual cases, a full piano audition is permitted instead of an organ audition.


Updated on 10/05/2018