Jazz

Auditions

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    All students applying for admission to the School of Jazz at The New School are required to audition. Auditions take place in February, March, and April for those seeking entry in the next fall semester and in November for those applying to enter in the next spring semester.

    Audition Options

    All applicants must audition live in New York, at one of our Regional Auditions, or by submitting an audition video using Acceptd. We strongly encourage everyone to attend the live auditions, but we understand that not everyone is able to travel to New York or regionally to audition. Applicants must indicate their desired audition method on their Common Application.

    Pre-screen

    All applicants must submit a one-song pre-screen video recording. The video recording may be made using backing tracks, but recording with a live rhythm section is recommended. The pre-screen should highlight the applicant's artistic practice in music using voice or the specific instrument that was indicated on the application for admission. There are no restrictions on the style, genre, or instrumentation submitted, but we must be able to clearly hear the applicant.

    Final Audition Repertoire

    Prepare and perform three songs (15 minutes total):

    Song 1 - Jazz standard, to be performed with live rhythm section (rhythm section provided for on-campus auditions). Applicant must provide clear sheet music.

    Song 2 - Jazz standard, to be performed with live rhythm section (rhythm section provided for on-campus auditions). Applicant must provide clear sheet music.

    Song 3 - Any piece of your choosing that can be performed solo or with a group. If you are planning on having the provided rhythm section accompany you, you must have clear sheet music, as you will not have additional rehearsal time for originals or arrangements.  

    Audition Evaluation

    All auditions (live and recorded) are primarily judged on the following criteria:

    • Individual expression
    • Technique
    • Musical maturity
    • Originality
    • 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

    Live auditions take place on campus at The New School in February, March, and April for fall semester admission and in November for spring semester admission. After submitting their application and pending a favorable pre-screen review, applicants will be sent an email to self-schedule their audition, choosing from the available dates and times. When selecting the audition date and time, applicants must select the earliest time slot available on the chosen date to ensure that their audition will not have to be moved to fit that day’s schedule.

    Applicants perform their live auditions with a rhythm section composed of current New School students. The audition review panel consists of New School faculty members and administrators.

    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. Applicants may reserve an instrument by email once they have confirmed their audition time.

    Drum applicants must audition using the drum kit provided by The New School and must use the cymbals provided with the kit.

    Applicants should plan on having three copies of sheet music for each of their selections.

    Video Auditions

    Applicants submitting an audition recording must use Acceptd. The service fee is $30.

    Every effort should be made to record video auditions with live accompanists; if that is not possible, pre-recorded accompaniment tracks are acceptable. While the audio of audition recordings should be high quality, we do not require applicants to record their auditions in a professional studio. All video audition files must be clearly labeled with the applicant's name, the instrument, and the title of each track.

    Video auditions must be received at the Office of Admission by the dates indicated on the Application Instructions

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