Bachelor of Music (Music Performance, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Composition)

Important! Please make sure you have read the How to Apply information for this course prior to reading the audition requirements below.

Audition Dates

2021 Start Year Intake

Please note due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no live (in person) auditions this year. All applicants will be required to submit a video recorded audition via the supplementary application form.

Early audition assessment:

  • Video recorded auditions submitted by Monday 5 October will be assessed in the early round. Applicants will receive their audition outcome in late October.

Late audition assessment:

  • All remaining video recorded auditions are to be submitted by Monday 30 November and will be assessed in the late (final) round. Applicants will receive their audition outcome in December.

Audition requirements

Music Performance audition

You will be required to submit more than one audition if you apply for multiple specialisations or instruments. Please check the requirements for each specialisation as they may differ.

AMEB examinations are not a prerequisite for entry to the Bachelor of Music, but multi-year attainment in the AMEB system of repertoire and technical work (scales, arpeggios, etc.) provides a strong preparation for our program.

  • Applicants should prepare three contrasting pieces/movements demonstrating their skill on the instrument they wish to study (approx. 15-20 minutes). For voice, three contrasting pieces are required (approx. 10 minutes).
  • Select each piece from the Western Art Music repertoire (except for electric guitar and bass).
  • Pieces should be of contrasting style, period and composer (e.g. works from the Baroque, Romantic and 20th century repertoires).
  • Piano and Percussion applicants, please see below for more detailed audition guidelines.
  • Bachelor of Music (Performance/Composition/Musicology/Ethnomusicology) is not available to contemporary voice applicants. The Jazz and Improvisation specialisation is more suitable for some contemporary vocalists.

*During COVID-19 restrictions performing with an accompanist is encouraged, but not mandatory, and only if you deem there to be no health risk. You may organise an accompanist of your choice for your audition. See the “Preparing your recorded audition” section below for further guidance.

List of approved Conservatorium accompanists

How will I be assessed?

Applicants’ auditions will be assessed against the following criteria for this specialisation of the Bachelor of Music:

  • Technical accuracy (in rhythm, tempo, intonation, articulation, loudness)
  • Sound quality (tonal control and expressive range)
  • Performance presence (overall coordination, poise, focus)
  • Musical attention (awareness in listening, phrasing, style and expression)

Please note that all applicants will be ranked based on the above criteria, up to the capacity of places within the course.

Preparing your recorded audition

Please prepare your recorded audition as per the Music Performance audition guidelines outlined above.

We understand that in current circumstances, arranging a live accompanist and/or accessing certain recording equipment may be difficult. For applicants requiring accompaniment, you may organise an accompanist to provide backing tracks for your repertoire. Once you have received your backing tracks from an accompanist, you can use them to rehearse and then record your audition.

It is not an expectation that you access or purchase additional recording equipment beyond a basic smartphone, iPad or laptop/desktop device. For smartphones, many recent models already have very good microphones built-in.

Please note, your full audition must be uploaded as one file. Pauses or edits between pieces are permissible.

Here are some tips from our University of Melbourne Learning Environments team on recording a video using your smart phone.

Piano applicants should include the following in their audition which must be recorded in a single take.

For domestic applicants; international applicants may include this material if they wish:

  • A major scale hands together beginning on a white note, four octaves ascending and descending;
  • A melodic or harmonic minor scale hands together beginning on a black note, four octaves ascending and descending
  • A Dominant seventh arpeggio hands together in root position or first inversion, four octaves ascending and descending;

For ALL applicants:

  • Three contrasting pieces from the classical piano repertoire lasting not more than 20 minutes.

If possible, applicants should record their audition on an acoustic piano. If this is not possible for 2021 entry, an electronic instrument may be used. The camera should be angled to show at least the keyboard, your head, torso, arms and hands. If possible, feet and pedals should be included but this may not be achievable in all cases. Applicants are encouraged to treat the video recording process as equivalent to the experience of a live examination, demonstrating a capacity to deal with any live imperfections as and when they may occur.

Percussion applicants should prepare and upload the following:

  • One piece for snare drum.^
  • One piece for timpani.*
  • One piece for 2-mallet keyboard.
  • A demonstration of 4-mallet keyboard performance (e.g. a performance of, or short excerpt from, a 4-mallet piece, etude or warm-up exercise).

* Note about timpani: If you do not presently have access to timpani, you may substitute with an additional piece for snare drum, keyboards or multi-percussion setup.

^ Note about snare drum: If you do not presently have access to a snare drum, you may perform on a practice drum pad. Please ensure that all articulation is audible in your recording.

Duration of pieces can vary - choose repertoire or studies/etudes that best showcase your skill.

Entry to Composition

Applicants wishing to specialise in Composition are required to audition as per guidelines outlined for Music Performance, and may then apply for specialisation in Year 2 of the Bachelor of Music degree program.

Entry to Musicology/Ethnomusicology

Applicants wishing to specialise in Musicology/Ethnomusicology are required to audition as per guidelines outlined for Music Performance, and may then choose to specialise in Year 2 of the Bachelor of Music degree program.