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Graduate Auditions

Guitar | Music Therapy | Music Therapy Equivalency | Percussion | Piano | String | Voice | Wind

A student that desires to become a Music major must perform an entrance audition for acceptance into the School of Music. Students wanting to be considered for a School of Music scholarship must audition on one of the days listed below.


Audition Dates
for entrance in the
2015 - 2016 school year:

February 7th, 2015 (no percussion)
February 21st, 2015
February 28th, 2015 (vocal only)
March 21st, 2015

  • Prospective students must request a day to perform the audition. Auditions for wind, percussion, string, keyboard and vocal applicants are held on selected Saturdays throughout the year on the campus of Sam Houston State University. The dates available for School of Music audition are listed to the right.

    We strongly encourage you to schedule an audition for one of the listed dates. Students who are unable to attend the audition days listed may not qualify for scholarship consideration. In the event you are absolutely unable to audition on one of the official audition days, each individual discipline may be able to schedule an on-campus audition by calling (936) 294-1360.

    Please note: Due to the number of vocal applicants, private auditions are strongly discouraged and will only be held under special circumstances.

  • Audition selections should meet the criteria found below.

  • It is important for prospective students to contact an applied music instructor from the appropriate area (Winds, Percussion, Strings, Voice, Keyboard). Introduce yourself to the instructor, ask any questions you have related either to the entrance audition or about studying music at Sam Houston State University.
  • Classical Guitar

    Masters of Music

    One movement from a J. S. Bach Lute Suite or from the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998).

    Two contrasting works from different periods.

    Music Therapy

    Writing Sample
    A sample of your abilities in academic writing is required for application to this degree program. The sample could be a paper that you have previously written as part of an academic course.

    Video of Music Therapy session
    An example of music therapy session you conducted is required for application to this program. The example could be a therapy session with your clients and/or patients or a simulative therapy session. You are responsible for having the proper institutional and/or client release.  If you apply for Master Equivalency Program, you can submit your video of music therapy session at the end of your first year in the program. Music therapy faculty will evaluate the example of candidate’s music therapy session.

    Interview and Music Therapy Audition for Master Equivalency Applicants
    An interview with director of graduate studies in music therapy is required. Interviews via phone or Skype can be arranged. The purpose of music therapy audition is to determine your musical readiness for music therapy clinical practice.

    Music Therapy Equivalency

    You will be asked to sing and accompany yourself on either piano or guitar or a combination of both. 

    Prepare 15 songs following the specific criteria listed below:

    • Present at least 2 verses and the chorus of each song as applicable.  Include appropriate musical introductions.  Learn popular songs in their ENTIRETY, including bridges and endings where applicable.
    • Memorize at least 10 of the songs.  For the other 5, you may utilize music or a chord chart.
    • Each song must have a minimum of 3 chords.
    • Prepare each song in a key that supports your voice well.  However, be sure to prepare a total of least 3 different keys.
    • Choose at least 2 songs from each of the following genres:

      1. Traditional folk
      2. Childrens
      3. Patriotic
      4. Popular music written or made famous from the 1920’s – 1940’s
      5. Popular music (blues, country, rock, contemporary, etc.) from the 1950’s – 1970’s
      6. Popular music (blues, country, rock, contemporary, etc.) from the 1980’s – current
    • The other 3 songs may fall into the categories listed above, or may represent additional genres such as spiritual/gospel, show tunes, jazz, or original compositions.

    Bring the following to the audition:

    • A guitar, if needed
    • A notebook (for your own use) of the songs you have prepared, organized by genre or alphabetically
      • A list of song titles, organized by genre.  Beside each song, note the key and place an “M” beside those songs that are memorized.  Bring 2 copies of the list.  Examiners will choose songs from your list and will hear approximately 15 minutes of music.  Contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Music Therapy with any questions.


    Please see the Percussion Studio page for audition materials.


    Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music

    Applicants should prepare three contrasting works in different instrumentation (for example: a baroque flute sonata, a romantic string sonata and modern vocal work).  Both an audition repertoire list and a complete repertoire list (instrumental and vocal) must be submitted with your application. Sight reading proficiency will be examined during the audition. Any changes to the audition requirements must be discussed with Dr. Ilonka Rus-Edery, ilonkarus@yahoo.com, Director of Keyboard Studies, at least four weeks before the scheduled audition.

    MM applicants for the Collaborative Piano program are eligible for a collaborative piano assistantship and must submit a resume detailing their collaborative piano experience and a repertoire list in addition to the assistantship application. It is important that the applicant coordinate the audition with both the office of Graduate Studies at SHSU as well as the Director of Keyboard Studies.

    In special circumstances such as international applicants, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition. If you wish to upload a recorded audition, please contact Dr. Rus-Edery for permission and instructions before proceeding.


    Masters of Music in Piano 
    Students will perform a complete sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven, a Major work from the Romantic repertoire, and a work by a representative 20th Century/Contemporary composer. 

    In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition.

    Please contact Director of Keyboard Studies Dr. Ilonka Rus-Edery at (936) 294-1385 (ilonkarus@yahoo.com) to answer any questions.


    Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass

    Prepare the first movement of a romantic concerto with cadenza (if it has one), and two movements of an unaccompanied partita or sonata by by J.S. Bach (from memory).


    Prepare two contrasting works. Performance majors must play these from memory. Also prepare three orchestral excerpts from the standard literature.


    Masters of Music

    Prospective graduate students are to prepare a program of six memorized songs, representing major style periods and languages (English, Italian/Latin, German, French) from which the voice faculty will choose selections for the audition. Music must be memorized.

    Students may bring their own accompanist or one will be provided. Please bring a copy of the sheet music to the audition to share with the accompanist. The accompanist’s copy should be prepared with all the notes on the page, double-sided and contained in a three-ringed binder. Music must be in the keys in which you will sing. Students will have the opportunity to work with the accompanist briefly before their audition.

    Prospective students will be asked to sight-read a short musical passage. Students may also be asked to repeat short melodic passages (played on the piano) to demonstrate tonal memory and musicianship skills.


    Masters of Music

    Wind players should prepare two entire works from contrasting time periods from the standard repertoire. Three to four orchestral excerpts from the standard literature should also be prepared. An accompanist is not necessary. Music may be used.

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