Entry to the BMus programme is normally by audition and interview, informed by your referee's reports and academic record. All BMus students must be proficient on at least one instrument or voice, and be able to demonstrate competence in keyboard skills at the piano Prior to your audition, you will be asked to:
- confirm your attendance;
- find a referee to complete a form commenting on your musical experience and ability;
- provide information about your instrument(s) and/or voice;
- let us know whether you have any particular audition needs (eg. use of the Chapel for an audition on organ, or use of percussion instruments);
- let us know whether you will require an accompanist.
During your visit, you will be looked after by a team of friendly and supportive current students. You will be sent a schedule for the day in advance, starting with registration at 0930 followed by tours of the university and music department and the completion of a short aural, theory and literacy test. The audition themselves, usually with two members of the Music teaching team, last 20 minutes and you are free to leave after your audition, which will finish no later than 1800.
It is worth remembering that interviewing is a two-way process: your visit to Aberdeen is an opportunity for you to find out about our facilities, staff and to get a feel for the place. We are an expanding, dynamic department operating in a friendly atmosphere.
You may bring your own accompanist. This ensures that you are comfortable playing with the accompanist, and may help set you at your ease. Alternatively, by prior arrangement, one may be provided: please remember that our accompanists will usually be sight-reading their parts.
Preparation for the audition and tests
- Aural, Theory and Musicianship Test
This theory test will involve answering questions about a musical score, for example, an extract from a string quartet, a song by Schubert or Schumann, or an eighteenth-century keyboard piece. The questions will progress in difficulty and you may be asked about identification of pitch in treble and bass clef, keys, key signatures, key relationships, modulation, instrumentation, identification of chords, musical forms and historical context.
The aural and musicianship component will involve recognition of intervals, cadences and major/minor triads.
- Audition and Interview
Auditions begin at 13:00. You will have an opportunity to warm up and have a run-through with your accompanist beforehand. Each audition lasts around thirty minutes. After your audition, you are free to leave at any time.
At your audition you will be required to:
- perform one piece (or movement of a piece) of no more than five minutes duration on your chosen instrument or voice. The work should be of Grade VII standard or above. If you want to have lessons on two instruments, you can only do so if you have been auditioned on those two instruments. The panel will decide whether or not you would be better on one rather than two instruments. Music Education applicants will need to study piano either as first or second instrument.
- undertake a sight-reading test on you instrument/voice of a short passage of music which is the standard expected of around ABRSM Grade V sight-reading - we will be looking for fluency, accuracy and evidence of basic keyboard technique. Also, if you haven’t offered a keyboard instrument as either main or second study, you should bring along a piece of prepared music of no more than 3 minutes that will demonstrate their ability. This is the case, irrespective of which programme you are intending to take.
- take part in a general discussion about music with the panel where we will be looking for enthusiasm, engagement with the subject and an ability to communicate effectively.