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How to Audition

BM, Music Theory and Composition: Contemporary Production and Songwriting

All prospective and transfer students must apply for admission to NYU Steinhardt before scheduling an interview. Please note that transfer students are only accepted for the Fall semester. Apply for undergraduate study.

University Application Deadlines

  • Early Decision I: November 1
  • Early Decision II: January 1
  • Regular Decision: January 1
  • Transfer Applicants: April 1

Submit Your Portfolio

Portfolio must be submitted online via GetAcceptd by the appropriate deadline noted below. All materials must clearly indicate the applicant's name and NYU ID Number (if applicable), the program applied to, and the contents of the file. When initiating the portfolio submission process on GetAcceptd please make sure to select the correct program group, Music Theory and Composition, and program – Music Theory & Composition: Bachelor of Music (including Concert Music, Screen Scoring, and Songwriting concentrations).

The undergraduate Composition portfolio for applicants interested in the Contemporary Production and Songwriting concentration must contain:

  • Recordings of and lyrics and lead sheets to three songs to which you have significantly contributed. Collaborations must be accompanied by a detailed explanation of your contribution to each song. (Lyrics in a language other than English must be accompanied by a literal translation.)
  • A video with a performance of two songs in contrasting styles on an instrument of your choice. One of these pieces may be a song of your own, but at least one (and, if you prefer, both) of them must be a song by a composer other than yourself. After recording the performance we encourage you to also include no longer than two minutes discussing your musical and personal background as well as your goals if accepted into the program. This can be filmed at the same time as the performance footage and submitted as one video. The performance and discussion should be uploaded as one file according to our GetAcceptd guidelines.
  • One score of either an original composition or an existing composition by another author(s). Scores should utilize instruments other than those used in recordings of submitted songs. For example, if the recordings of an applicant’s songs utilize drums, bass, keyboard, and guitar, appropriate instrumentation for a submitted score would be for one of the following: jazz ensemble and soloist(s), woodwind/wind quintet, string quartet, brass quintet, multi-part vocal ensemble, etc.
  • A written statement of your songwriting goals.
  • Your CV.

Please note: The quality of the recording and the performance are unimportant. 

Portfolio Deadlines

  • Early Decision I: November 1
  • Early Decision II: January 1
  • Regular Decision: January 1
  • Transfer Applicants: April 1

Schedule Your Interview

All applicants are required to submit their portfolio materials prior to being invited for either an on-campus or phone/video interview. Below are specific guidelines for Early Decision I, Early Decision II, Regular, and transfer applicants.

Early Decision I

All prospective students applying for Early Decision I are required to have either an on-campus or a phone/video interview. Once you have submitted your application and portfolio, please use our online scheduling system to schedule your interview (2020 form coming soon).

Early Decision II

All prospective students applying for Early Decision II are required to have either an on-campus or a phone/video interview. For Early Decision II we suggest a phone/video interview, however on-campus interviews can be arranged upon request. If you are applying Early Decision II and would like to request an on-campus interview, please make that request by December 15; we may not be able to accommodate requests made after December 15. Once you have submitted your application and portfolio, please use our online scheduling system to schedule your interview (2020 form coming soon).

Regular Decision

Interviews for prospective students applying for regular decision are by invitation only. All prospective students applying for regular decision are required to submit their portfolio materials prior to being invited to interview. After submitting your portfolio, your materials will be reviewed by our faculty. If, following the review, we require an interview, you will be sent an email invitation no later than January 24. We will offer the option of either an on-campus or a phone/video interview for invited applicants. Instructions for scheduling the interview will be included in the invitation email. 

Please be aware that interviews are only requested if the faculty would like more information on an applicant that would warrant an interview. Not being asked to interview does not mean you have been rejected.

Transfer

Interviews for prospective transfer students are by invitation only. All prospective students applying for transfer into the composition program at NYU Steinhardt are required to submit their portfolio materials prior to being invited to interview. After submitting your portfolio, your materials will be reviewed by our faculty. If, following the review, we require an interview, you will be sent an email invitation. We will offer the option of either an on-campus or a phone/video interview for invited applicants. Instructions for scheduling the interview will be included in the invitation email. 

Please be aware that interviews are only requested if the faculty would like more information on an applicant that would warrant an interview. Not being asked to interview does not mean you have been rejected.

Interview Dates

Please note that interviews for Regular Decision and Transfer applicants are by invitation only. See the above section (Schedule Your Interview) for guidelines concerning interviews for all applicant types. Please also note the portfolio deadline for each audition date. Applicants must first submit their portfolios before being invited to interview..

Portfolio deadline for each interview date
Interview Date Portfolio Deadline Applicants Eligible for Date
November 16, 2019 November 1, 2019 Early Decision
November 16, 2019 January 1, 2020 Early Decision II (Freshmen)
February 15, 2020 January 1, 2020 Regular Decision (Freshmen)
February 15, 2020 April 1, 2020 Internal/External Fall and Summer transfer

Note for Early Decision II applicants: While you may attend the November 16 on-campus interview day, please note that in order to do so you must submit your portfolio materials prior to that date. Otherwise, we encourage Early Decision II applicants to schedule phone or video interviews during the week of January 13. If you would like an on-campus interview you must request one prior to December 15. If you request an on-campus interview prior to that date we will be able to arrange one for you the week of January 13.

Note for prospective transfer students: Though NYU's deadline for Fall transfer admission is April 1, we suggest that you submit your Common Application at least one month in advance so that faculty can review your materials, and if necessary allow sufficient time to schedule an interview. Please note that invitations for transfer students are by invitation only as outlined above.

Interview Details and Requirements

Interviews will include a short discussion of your background as a musician and composer, your goals for the program, and may include a discussion of works in your portfolio as well as brief testing of music theory fundamentals.