Skip to main content

Piano Audition Requirements

The following audition requirements are for piano students at West Virginia University interested in pursuing a BM degree in Music Performance, Composition, Music Education or Music Therapy;  a BS degree in Music and Health; or a BA degree in Music Industry.

For each degree path, piano students may study both classical and jazz music styles, the jazz music style exclusively or the classical music style exclusively.

Students auditioning for classical piano should prepare the following for their audition:

  • Three works from the standard piano literature representing three different style periods: examples of selections include works from the baroque period (Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, etc.), a sonata movement from the classical period (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, etc.), a romantic work (Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, etc.), or a contemporary work (Debussy, Copland, Bartók, etc.).
  • A fourth additional piece of the applicant’s choice may also be included. 

Students auditioning for jazz piano should prepare the following for their audition:

  • All 12 major scales are required and the ability to perform additional scales is encouraged.
  • Perform a solo transcription or a traditional etude in any style.
  • Play a solo rendition of a jazz standard (There Will Never Be Another You, Autumn Leaves, It Could Happen to You, Recorda-me, All the Things You Are, But Not for Me, Blue Bossa, All of Me, Four, etc.). Be able to play an arrangement of the song and improvise within the song form.
  • Be prepared to improvise and comp for several choruses on a medium tempo blues progression.
  • Play an unaccompanied ballad with a chorus of improvisation.
  • Perform a piece with a Samba, Bossa Nova, or Straight 8th feel.
  • Be able to demonstrate comping ability.

Students auditioning for both classical and jazz should prepare the following for their audition:

  • Two works from the standard piano literature: examples include works from the baroque period (Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, etc.), a sonata movement from the classical period (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, etc.), a romantic work (Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, etc.), or a contemporary work (Debussy, Copland, Bartók, etc.).
  • All 12 major scales are required and the ability to perform additional scales is encouraged.
  • Play a jazz standard (There Will Never Be Another You, Autumn Leaves, It Could Happen to You, Recorda-me, All the Things You Are, But Not for Me, Blue Bossa, All of Me, Four, etc.). Be able to play an arrangement of the song and improvise within the song form.
  • Be prepared to improvise and comp for several choruses on a medium tempo blues progression.
  • Play an unaccompanied ballad with a chorus of improvisation.
  • Be able to demonstrate comping ability.

Piano students are encouraged to showcase their versatility in classical and jazz idioms.