Audition FAQs

1. How long are the auditions?

About 20 Minutes


2. Where will the auditions take place?

All auditions will take place in the Accolade East Building on the Keele campus of York University.


3. What should I play?

Classical: Two Contrasting Pieces

World Music: Two Contrasting Pieces

Jazz: Two Contrasting Pieces (Slow – Fast or Straight 8ths – Swing etc.)

• Play heads, changes, and improvise as appropriate

• Bass players should also demonstrate the ability to play time in a number of styles and tempos and walk on chord changes

• For jazz drum set auditions, students are expected to perform “two contrasting styles” (i.e., demonstrate “swing feel” and/or “even eighths feel” and/or “Latin rhythms” and/or other jazz-related rhythms) at various tempos provided by the adjudicator.  The intent is to determine the breadth of knowledge of jazz rhythms, and the technical ability to perform some of them unaccompanied.

Recorded accompaniments or metronomes are not allowed for jazz drummers because the student is required to demonstrate consistency in tempo and “rhythmic feel” without relying on an external source.


4. What grade level should my selections be?

Where appropriate, your selections should be at approximately a R.C.M. grade eight level or higher. It is more important that you display your abilities in their best light.


5. Will I be asked to perform anything other than my two contrasting pieces?

You may be asked to sight-read and your ear training will be briefly evaluated.  Be prepared to recognize and name basic intervals, scales, and triads played on the piano by the examiner and/or to sing pitches, intervals, or scales.

You may also be asked to perform additional exercises if the adjudicator requires further information to make a complete assessment of your abilities and potential.


6. Is there a minimum piano proficiency requirement for all applicants?

There is not. However, all of your musical training will be taken into consideration when assessing your application.


7. How long does the theory evaluation take?

This depends on your experience but generally about an hour.


8. What types of questions are on the theory evaluation?

The questions are similar to grade two rudiments. A sample theory test is posted on the department of music website.


9. If I have taken a conservatory theory test do I still need to write the theory evaluation?

Yes, you do.


10. Will I need an accompanist for my audition?

If your music requires an accompanist you should have one. A list of qualified accompanists is available on the department of music website.


11. May I use a recorded accompaniment?



12. If I audition for the jazz program what kind of accompaniment do I bring?

We encourage you to bring an accompanist if you wish to do so but please do not use drums as part of your accompaniment for the audition. Please refer to the following “instrument – specific” accompaniment guidelines:

Jazz vocalists should be accompanied by piano or guitar.

Jazz guitarists and pianists may perform solo or be accompanied by bass.

Jazz wind or string players may perform solo or be accompanied by piano or guitar and/or bass.Jazz bassists may perform solo or be accompanied by piano or guitar.

Jazz drummers should perform solo, without accompaniment.


13. Where do I check in on the day of my audition?

A check in table will be set up in the lobby of the Accolade East Building.


14. Will there be a warm-up room available on the day of my audition?

Yes, you will be assigned a warm-up room when you check in.


15. How long before my audition should I check in?

Try to arrive at least an hour prior to your scheduled time. You will need to allow time for the check in process and to warm up thoroughly.


16. What if I canʼt find a suitable time in the online audition scheduling?

Please call the music office at 416-736-5186 and we will try to accommodate you by arranging a substitute audition time.


17. What do I do if I want to audition on two different instruments?

You may only audition on a single instrument but be sure to include information regarding your skills and training on a second instrument on your supplemental application.


18. What if I want to audition on the same instrument for two different areas such as Jazz and Classical?

Again, you may only audition in a single area but make your other abilities clear on your supplemental application.


19. When will I find out the results of my audition?

The audition is only part of the admissions process. After a satisfactory audition the office of admissions will review your grades and, if appropriate, send you an offer of admittance. In most cases the admissions office will notify you by the beginning of June. You can check the status of your application at: