All prospective students desiring to audition in piano should demonstrate the ability to perform works of at least comparable difficulty to those listed below. More difficult materials will, of course, be welcomed; however, quality of performance is the principle factor in determining whether a student qualifies for the program.

Audition Guidelines

It is recommended that students desiring to major in piano performance (Bachelors of Music degree) should include works selected from at least three of the four categories listed below.

Minors should choose two pieces, contrasting in style, from two of the four listed categories.

Piano scholarships are available for piano majors and minors, but non-major participants are not eligible for piano scholarship. Auditions will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Students will be asked to read at sight and play scales and arpeggios.

Memorization of audition materials is recommended.

  1. Baroque: Inventions, Sinfonias, easier Preludes and Fugues, or easier suites of J. S. Bach. 
  2. Classical: Easier Sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven. 
  3. Romantic: Nocturnes, Waltzes, or Mazurkas of Chopin; Intermezzi of Brahms; character pieces of Schumann, Mendelssohn, etc. 
  4. Impressionistic and 20th-Century: Preludes of Debussy; Sonatinas of Bartok; various works of Ravel, Schonberg, Prokofieff, Shostakovitch, Dello Joio, etc. 

Registration form for Audition Days

Degrees available to piano students are:

Various combinations of the four music major programs are possible by pursuing a combined curriculum, for example a Bachelor of Music in Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education.

If you have other questions regarding piano audition requirements, you may direct them to Dr. Nicholas Roth at x2857.

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Zenith Chamber Music Festival features free, daily performances at four locations in Des Moines. Zenith is scheduled for August 18-21 and is hosted by Drake University.
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April 21, 2015