All students applying for admission to The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music are required to audition. Piano, guitar, voice, and drum applicants must submit a prescreening recording in order to be invited to audition. All other applicants are automatically granted an audition. Auditions take place in February, March, and April for those seeking entry in the next fall semester and in October for those applying to enter in the next spring semester.
(piano, guitar, voice, and drum applicants only)
The prescreening recording must be included with your completed application. You must record with a rhythm section; you may either assemble your own rhythm section, or you can download and play along with one of our pre-recorded accompaniment tracks. Visit the pre-recorded accompaniment page for instructions and to download the tracks. Note: prescreening requirements are unique for each category. Select the appropriate audition page below to find the correct information for your prescreening:
All applicants must audition live in New York City (or, now, internationally; see above) or by submitting an audition recording. We strongly encourage everyone who can to attend the live auditions, but we understand that not everyone is able to travel to New York City (or other location) to audition. You must indicate your desired audition method on your online application form. Note: If you are a vocalist living in North America, you are required to audition live.
Prepare and perform three jazz standards. If you are required, because of your instrument, to submit a prescreening recording, you must perform a live audition repertoire different from the selections you performed for the prescreening.
The standards you perform must include one of each of the following:
- An up-tempo tune
- A ballad
- A blues tune
To read more about specific audition requirements, select your category from the menu to the left.
All auditions (live and recorded) are judged for
- Individual expression
- Performance experience
- Ability to phrase a melody, perform with a committed rhythmic feel, and improvise confidently with a rhythm section
The audition is the primary evaluation tool for both acceptance to the BFA program and scholarship consideration. New School Jazz scholarships, all merit-based, are awarded at the time of admission and included in the letter of acceptance.
Live auditions take place on campus at The New School in February, March, and April for fall semester admission and in October for spring semester admission. See the Audition Schedule. After submitting your application (and, if required, receiving a favorable prescreening review), you will be sent a link to self-schedule your audition at an available date and time. When selecting your audition date and time, please select the earliest time slot available on your chosen date to ensure that your time will not have to be moved to fit that particular day’s schedule.
Applicants perform their live auditions with a rhythm section composed of current students. The audition review panel consists of New School faculty members.
The audition room is set up with a full drum kit, piano, bass amp, guitar amp, or vocal PA system, as needed. Applicants are required to bring their own instruments (except drums, piano, and acoustic bass applicants), music, instrument cables, and any additional equipment they need to perform.
Applicants arriving more than 30 minutes before their audition will be given a 15 minute warmup period prior to the audition.
Bass applicants may audition on a New School instrument provided they reserve it in advance. Reserve an instrument via email once you have confirmed your audition time.
Drum applicants must audition using the drum kit provided by The New School and are not allowed to use their own cymbals.
Applicants submitting an audition recording may upload audition tracks directly to the Office of Admission. (Select "Online" as your audition option on the application form.)
All audition recordings must be made with a live rhythm section. Recordings done with pre-recorded accompaniment will not be accepted. While the audio of audition recordings should be high quality, we do not require applicants to record their auditions in a professional studio. All audition recording files must be clearly labeled with the applicant's name, the instrument, and the title of each track.
If you cannot upload your audition tracks, an audition CD will be accepted. Please note: we accept CDs only. We do not accept cassettes, minidiscs, or other audio formats or any form of video recording.
Audition recordings must be received at the Office of Admission by the following deadlines:
Fall Admission: Priority Deadline, February 22; Late Deadline, April 15