Audition Process


Your Audition Will Include:

  1. Audition on your primary instrument
  2. Theory Assessment
  3. Piano Proficiency Test (optional)


Audition on Your Primary Instrument

All applicants to the Bachelor of Music program and the Joint Degrees program (Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Business Administration) are required to perform an audition.

We strongly encourage all applicants to perform live auditions. View dates and locations of live auditions here.

Applicants whose repertoire features piano accompaniment are normally expected to perform their auditions with a collaborative pianist. Should circumstances prevent an applicant from performing with a collaborative pianist, contact us to ask for an accommodation.

We encourage repertoire selections by composers from marginalized and under-represented groups. While our Principal Applied Study courses focus primarily on classical training, if an “own choice” selection is listed in the Audition Guidelines for your instrument, you are welcome to perform a piece in a non-classical style (unless otherwise specified).

Audition Guidelines by Instrument

If you have questions about the suggested audition pieces, please contact the faculty member that matches your instrument.


Theory Assessment

Applicants who perform live auditions in St. John's will write the Theory Assessment on the same day as their audition. Applicants who submit audition video in lieu of performing live auditions will write the Theory Assessment from their home location through Memorial University's online learning platform. Results on the Theory Assessment inform our admissions decisions and help us place students in the appropriate theory class for their first year.

Sample Theory Assessment (pdf)

The Theory Assessment is designed to measure comprehension, accuracy, and facility across a wide range of basic theoretical concepts. We are looking for instant and accurate recall of such constructs as:

  • scales and modes
  • key signatures
  • rhythmic notation
  • meter
  • simple and compound intervals
  • triads - major, minor, diminished and augmented
  • seventh chords
  • simple roman numeral analysis

The aural dictation component of the test demonstrates a dimension of music literacy. You will be asked to:

  • Identify harmonic or melodic intervals within the range of an octave.
  • Recognize major, minor, diminished and augmented triads, and dominant seventh (major-minor seventh) chords.
  • Detect errors in both rhythmic and melodic writing.

Applicants are exempt from writing the Theory Assessment if they have completed RCM Theory Level 8 (formerly RCM Grade 2 rudiments) within the last two years. Students are also exempt from writing the Theory Assessment if they have scored 5 on the AP Music Theory Exam within the last two years. Please email a copy of your certificate to


Piano Proficiency Test (optional)

The Piano Proficiency Test is not an entrance requirement, although applicants may choose to play it as part of their audition if they like.

The Piano Proficiency Test assesses students' basic keyboard skills. It is administered in September and February of each year. Successful completion of the test is a prerequisite to required second-year core program courses, including Music 2107, 2117, and 2401. If you are not already a good pianist, you should plan to take private piano lessons in advance of playing the Piano Proficiency Test.

Students whose principal applied study is piano or organ are exempt from playing the Piano Proficiency Test.


  1. Two contrasting pieces of your own choice, equivalent in difficulty to RCM Grade 2 or higher.
  2. Scales:
    • C, Eb, and D major
    • A, C, and B harmonic minor
    • All scales to be played two octaves, ascending and descending.
    • Play scales hands together, with hands one octave apart.
  3. Triads:
    • C, Eb, and D major
    • A, C, and B minor
    • Triads are to be played solid and broken in root position, 1st inversion, and 2nd inversion.
  4. Sight reading.


Questions? Contact