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How to Audition

BM, Vocal Performance: Music Theatre

All prospective and transfer students must apply for admission to NYU Steinhardt before scheduling an audition. Apply for undergraduate study.

Application Deadlines

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

Prescreen Video Submission Deadlines

All prospective students applying for regular decision and transfer applications are required to submit a video prescreening submission prior to being invited to a live audition. In this process, you will make short videos and upload them to GetAcceptd.

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

  • Regular Decision: December 15, 2019
  • Transfer Applicants: March 15, 2020

There will be NO prescreen requirement for Early Decision I and Early Decision II candidates for the 2019-2020 application year. If you are applying as an Early Decision I or Early Decision II applicant, please do not submit a video audition on GetAcceptd. The program will contact you directly to schedule an in-person audition.

Prescreen Details and Requirements

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 clearly say your name, the city you are from, and the pieces that you are going to do.
    • Include the specialization 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 – please avoid rock, pop, country, and jazz. Choose material from two different timespans (pre-1965 and post-1965), that demonstrates your vocal, interpretive, and stylistic knowledge. Please be sure to demonstrate proficiency in head-voice style of vocalism using legato lines in one of your selections. We are looking for musical accuracy and appropriate/healthy registration choices that are in keeping with the composer's intentions.
    • Piano must accompany you (no a cappella 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.

Please upload a resume and a headshot or photograph along with your prescreen video.

Please note: 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!

Scheduling an In-Person Audition

After uploading the prescreening 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. If you are invited to an audition, you must prepare materials according to the guidelines below. If you cannot travel to New York, please contact us for potential alternative options.

Please be aware that in-person auditions are only requested if the faculty would like more information on an applicant that would warrant an in-person audition. Not being asked to appear for an in-person audition does not mean that you have been rejected.

Please know that while prescreen auditions will be reviewed by the faculty on a rolling basis and while every attempt will be made to schedule an in-person audition in a timely manner after the submission of pre-screen materials, the possibility exists that an applicant may not receive an invitation until after the final deadline. All invitations will be sent no later than one week following the deadline for prescreen submissions.

Audition Dates

  • November 9, 2019 Early decision I and II, transfers, and concentration switches
  • January 10, 2020 Early Decision II and Regular Decision
  • January 18, 2020 Regular Decision 
  • January 19, 2020 Regular Decision 
  • February 22, 2020 Undergraduate 
  • February 23, 2020 Undergraduate
  • April 11, 2020 Transfer applicants

The last audition date for undergraduate freshman applicants is February 23. This is also the last date for all talent awards for undergraduate applicants.

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.

In-Person Audition Details and Requirements

Undergraduate Repertoire

  • Three contrasting songs
    • Prepare three songs, one from each timespan (pre-1965, 1965-1990, and 1990 to the current day), that demonstrate your vocal, interpretive, and stylistic knowledge. Choose material from music theatre repertoire – please avoid rock, pop, country, and jazz. Be sure to demonstrate proficiency in head-voice style of vocalism using legato lines in one of your selections. We are looking for musical accuracy and appropriate/healthy registration choices that are in keeping with the composer's intentions. 

    • Select the song you are most comfortable with to sing first. The committee will then make requests from your list which may include a cut of a second. In all likelihood, you will not sing all three songs.

    • These songs must be memorized and should be no more than 4 minutes in duration - cuts of 32 bars or more are welcome. 

    • 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 potential, so, please focus on using your voice in communicating the text in the most grounded and effective manner possible.

  • One 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.

Undergraduate Transfer Repertoire

  • Four 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 overstage your selections. The first criterion for acceptance into this program is vocal ability and vocal potential, so please focus on communicating the text during your performance in the most grounded and effective manner possible.
  • One 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 to Bring to Your Audition

  • Picture and resume – a recent photograph along with a resume 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.

What to Wear to Your 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 to Expect at Your 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 prerecorded 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.