Eastern Illinois University Logo
Music |

Audition Guidelines


Admissions and Auditions

Community Music Program


Department News

Eastern Music Camp


Events and Festivals


Faculty Access

Faculty and Staff

Graduate Program



Why Choose EIU

Contact Us


Guidelines for Auditions

All prospective music majors must pass an audition on their primary instrument or voice before being accepted as a music major and prior to registering for music classes.

Auditions are held in front of the Music Department's applied faculty members.

Note: In addition to the specific requirements listed below, all auditioning students will be asked to complete a few short ear-training exercises.

Strings, Woodwinds, and Brass

  1. One or more solos chosen from standard repertoire for your instrument (approximately seven minutes). Piano accompaniment is optional.
  2. Technical exercise/tonal development study (two to three minutes).
  3. All major scales.
  4. Sight-reading will be provided.


  1. Be prepared to audition on any three of the following categories (greater consideration is given to those students who have more than three categories prepared for the audition process):
    • Snare Drum (military or concert)
    • Mallet Instrument (marimba, xylophone, or vibes)
    • Timpani
    • Drum Set
    • Multiple Percussion
  2. Sight-reading will be provided.


  1. Solo literature

    Piano: Teacher Licensure (music education) majors selecting piano as their primary instrument should choose music from three of the following categories, one of which must be memorized.  Performance majors should choose one piece from each of the four categories, two of which should be memorized.
    • Baroque: a Bach fugue, invention, sinfonia, prelude and and fugue, or suite movement.
    • Classical: a quick movement from a Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven sonata.
    • Romantic: a work by Chopin, Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Schumann, or Mendelssohn.
    • Twentieth Century: a work in impressionistic or contemporary style by Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, Prokofiev, or others.
    Organ: Organ applicants may perform on piano if they have no formal training in organ. They should perform three selections on their chosen instrument. At least one piece should be from the Baroque era.

  2. Major and minor scales, hands together, four octaves (pianists) or two octaves (organists).
  3. Two sight-reading pieces will be provided, in hymn and sonatina styles.
  4. Present a repertoire sheet listing compositions studied during the past two years.


  1. Two art songs, or an art song and an aria (an accompanist will be provided; applicants may also choose to bring their own accompanist).
  2. Melodies to be sung at sight (selected hymns, folksongs, etc).
  3. Short melodies (five or six notes) to be sung after one hearing.


The Department of Music offers study in guitar as part of the Performance Option - Jazz Studies Concentration.  Prospective jazz guitar students should prepare two standards in contrasting styles.  Students will be asked to accompany a soloist and improvise on both tunes.  In addition, students should be prepared to play major scales and sightread from a lead sheet.  Please note that EIU does not currently offer lessons in classical guitar.


Prospective composition students should provide scores and/or tapes of original compositions prior to auditions.  Recorded performances would be helpful, but are not required.  Materials can be submitted either through the mail or electronically to:

Dr. Bradley Decker
Department of Music
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920


Jazz Studies

Students auditioning to major in Jazz Studies will complete the above requirements according to their instrument, and should also be prepared to demonstrate their ability to improvise over two contrasting jazz standards.  Piano or play-along accompaniment will be available.