Music Theatre

Music Theatre Applicants

Graduate Applicants

Graduate Applicants for Music Theatre – Master of Music, Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy, and PhD – do not go through a traditional audition process. We ask that you submit recorded materials that will be reviewed by the faculty. Once that review has been completed we will contact those candidates from whom we require further information.

For detailed information on how to submit your recorded materials, please go to the application guide page for your program of interest:

Master of Music, Vocal Performance: Music Theatre

Post-Master's Advanced Certificate, Vocal Pedagogy

Master of Music, Vocal Performance: Music Theatre/Post-Master's Advanced Certificate, Vocal Pedagogy: Dual Degree


Undergraduate Applicants - First Year and Transfers

Auditioning is all too often the most difficult aspect of pursuing a career as a professional singer and actor. As a prospective student, try to think of your audition as a unique opportunity for you to introduce yourself to people who are your advocates and who very much want you to be good at what you do. This "mind set" will serve you well in any audition situation.

Always remember to take your time and to breathe.

Your task is to share your talents - not to impress the auditors!

Professor Brian Gill with audition advice.

Undergraduate Procedures and Requirements

How do I audition for the program?

Part I:  Submit application to NYU Steinhardt.  All prospective students – except those attending the November auditions – must first submit an application for admission to the Steinhardt School at New York University. You can find information on the application process through the appropriate admissions office.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
 212-998-4500

Office of Graduate Admissions
 212-998-5030

Part II:  Upload Pre-screening Materials:  All prospective students – except those attending the November auditions – are required to submit a video pre-screening submission prior to being invited to a live audition. In this process, you will make short videos and upload them to GetAcceptd, a company created for this purpose. You may begin this process at:

Submit your digital application 

All pre-screening submissions must be uploaded by the dates below.  Materials submitted after these dates may not be accepted.

Early Decision I:  November 1
Early Decision II:  December 1
Regular Decision:  December 15
Transfer Applicants:  March 1

Rather than a single long video, we would like three separate clips:  the introduction, the first song, and the second song. It’s easier for us to review and easier for you to shoot. We will not be influenced by the professional quality of the video. Please do not worry about any elaborate lighting or studio conditions.  Below are the requirements and suggestions for your material.

             Introduction: Please say your name clearly, the city you are from, and the pieces that you are going to do. Include the secialization for which you are auditioning (music theatre) and the degree level you would be entering (freshman, transfer).

             Two songs: Your two selections should be complete and contrasting songs. Each selection should be no longer than four minutes. Choose material from music theatre repertoire – but please avoid rock, pop, country, and jazz. Piano must accompany you (no a capella singing). Please make sure your voice can be heard above the accompaniment – try different distances from the sound source until you find the right “balance” between piano and voice.

            Upload a resumé. 

            Upload a headshot or photograph.

After uploading the pre-screening submission, your materials will be reviewed by our faculty. If, following the review, we require an in-person audition, you will be sent an email invitation, with several choices of dates on which to appear. The review process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. If you are invited to an audition, you must prepare materials according to the guidelines below. If you cannot travel to New York, you will have the option of submitting a video audition.

Invited Audition Dates for Undergraduates and Transfers Only:

Saturday, December 3, 2016 (last day for Early Decision I candidates to audition)

Saturday, January 28, 2017
 (last day for Early Decision II candidates to audition)

Sunday, February 5, 2017
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017 (last day for freshman auditions)
Saturday, April 1, 2017 (transfer applicants only)

*The last audition date for undergraduate freshman applicants is February 25. This is also the last date for all talent awards for undergraduate applicants.

What do I prepare for my Undergraduate Audition?

Three (3) contrasting songs: You must prepare three contrasting songs that you are able to sing from memory. Select one of the songs to sing first. After your first song the committee will make requests from your list. You will probably not be asked to sing all three songs.

Each selection should be no longer than four minutes, but you are free to sing a short section of a longer song or aria. Pick material from either classical or traditional music theatre repertoire. Avoid rock music, pop music, country music, and jazz.

Note: While some movement may be naturally incorporated into your songs, do not choreograph or over-stage your selections. The first criterion for acceptance into this program is vocal ability and vocal potential. We need to determine how you sing, not how you perform.

One (1) monologue performed from memory: Select a monologue (no more than two minutes in length) that allows you to make strong acting choices. A monologue should take you and your audience on a "journey." Your character should be somehow different at the end than he/she was at the beginning. Pick age-appropriate material, and do not do your monologue with any kind of accent or dialect. We need to hear standard speech with good English diction.

Sight-reading: Testing your ability to sight-sing music helps us determine your basic musicianship skills. You will be provided with a piece of music and will be expected to sing the melodic line. Sight-singing is a skill that singers develop through a process of ear-training. You can, and should, practice this before your audition. Music theory, music history, and keyboard performance are essential elements in any music curriculum. Study and preparation in these areas will also be a great advantage to you.

What do I prepare for my Undergraduate Transfer Audition?

Four (4) contrasting songs: You must prepare four contrasting songs that you are able to sing from memory. Three must be from the music theatre repertoire, and the fourth must be a classical piece. Select which of the songs you wish to sing first. Your classical song must follow that selection. The committee may then make other requests from your list. You will probably not be asked to sing all four songs.

Each selection should be no longer than four minutes, but you are free to sing a short section of a longer song or aria. Pick material from either classical or traditional music theatre repertoire. Avoid rock music, pop music, country music, and jazz.

Note: While some movement may be naturally incorporated into your songs, do not choreograph or over-stage your selections. The first criterion for acceptance into this program is vocal ability and vocal potential. We need to determine how you sing, not how you perform.

One (1) monologue performed from memory: Select a monologue (no more than two minutes in length) that allow you to make strong acting choices. A monologue should take you and your audience on a "journey." Your character should be somehow different at the end than he/she was at the beginning. Pick age-appropriate material, and do not do your monologue with any kind of accent or dialect. We need to hear standard speech with good English diction.

Sight-reading: Testing your ability to sight-sing music helps us determine your basic musicianship skills. You will be provided with a piece of music and will be expected to sing the melodic line. Sight-singing is a skill that singers develop through a process of ear-training. You can, and should, practice this before your audition. Music theory, music history, and keyboard performance are essential elements in any music curriculum. Study and preparation in these areas will also be a great advantage to you.

Note: If you are accepted as a transfer student there are two factors that determine how long it will take you to complete your degree at NYU. These factors are 1) the number of completed credits that NYU will accept and apply to your curriculum requirements and 2) the number of semesters of private voice the faculty adjudicators decide you must take in order to complete your NYU degree. Completed semesters of private voice at another institution will not necessarily count toward your degree requirements at NYU. Be aware that while the voice study requirement can be provided to you immediately upon your acceptance, it often takes longer for the University and the Program to process and apply your transfer credits.

Note for Prospective Transfer Students:
Though NYU's deadline for Spring transfer admission is November 1 and our deadline for Summer/Fall transfer admission is April 1, we suggest that you submit your Common Application one month in advance. Submitting your Common Application early will leave you more time to schedule an audition by our deadlines above.

What do I bring to my audition?

Picture and resumé – a recent photograph along with a resumé of your educational and performing experience.

Audition music for the accompanist – legible copies in the key in which you will sing with all cuts clearly marked. We do not accept “charts” or lead sheets.

Recital program (graduate auditions only) – a copy of the program from your undergraduate voice recital (or equivalent solo recital). Our graduate curriculum is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in music. If accepted in the program you must take placement tests in music theory and music history. Your results on these tests will determine if any remedial courses will be required in order for you to complete your graduate degree.

What do I wear to my audition?

Professional performers are often expected to dress with a sense of “the occasion” and an audition is a crucial part of both your education and the professional career you are beginning to pursue. Wear clothing that makes you comfortable, but make certain that you look your best and are dressed in a manner that shows you take both yourself and the audition seriously.

What should I expect at my audition?

An accompanist: We will provide a pianist who will play the music you bring. Copies of your songs must be provided in a legible form and in the key you will sing them with all cuts clearly marked. We will not accept charts or lead sheets.

Note: You must audition with the accompanist, or you may bring your own accompanist if you choose. Singing a cappella or performing to pre-recorded music is not allowed!!

Questions: The auditors may decide to ask you questions about your training, your experience, and your goals. This is done in an attempt to get to know you a bit better.

Coaching and direction: Once you have performed your selections various members of the panel may ask you to make some adjustments or to repeat part of your song. This is done in order to determine how readily and receptively you work with instruction and direction.