Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions people often ask about the Ball State School of Music and its programs, with links to the answers and related resources.

Undergraduate Auditions

What must I do in an audition?
What kind of piece should I prepare for my audition?
What should I do about accompaniment for my audition?
Is that all there is to the audition?
How long will the audition take?
May I audition in two different areas (such as piano and voice, or violin and clarinet)?
What do you mean by a “jury” for the audition?
If for some reason I can't attend an audition, may I tape my own performance?

Undergraduate Scholarships

How can I qualify for a scholarship?
How are scholarships and financial aid paid?
If I accept financial aid, what are my obligations?

What must I do in an audition?
You should have one or two pieces ready to perform. Memorized performance is always preferable. For voice auditions, memorization is required. You should also be ready to demonstrate scales. You may also be asked to sight-read a selection. 

What kind of piece should I prepare for my audition?
Most important is to play or sing a selection that you do well. Most acceptable would be something from the required list (or its equivalent) for Group I entrants for the state Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Choose something that shows your range, tone quality, and technique to best advantage.

What should I do about accompaniment for my audition?
You should provide your own accompanist if at all possible (if other than a keyboard audition), or you may perform unaccompanied if you wish. If you will need an accompanist, please indicate so on the application form, along with the title of the selection(s) you will perform. Originals of piano accompaniment must be in our office at least three weeks before the audition date; otherwise, an accompanist cannot be guaranteed. The cost for the accompanist is $35, payable at the time of the audition. This cost includes a 15-minute rehearsal and the audition performance.

Is that all there is to the audition?
No. There is also a piano minor proficiency test intended to assist in assignment of non-keyboard majors to the appropriate levels of instruction in the fall. Before or after your audition, you will take a 30-minute diagnostic theory exam and an ear proficiency test that will help us determine which classes to place you in.

How long will the audition take?
Your performance will probably be limited to 10 or 15 minutes. The piano proficiency and ear proficiency tests take no more than five minutes, and the theory exam requires approximately half an hour.

May I audition in two different areas (such as piano and voice, or violin and clarinet)?
Yes, if you feel that your versatility is one of your strong points. In that case, you would need to request two audition application forms so each jury may have a form. 

What do you mean by a “jury” for the audition?
Faculty members hear auditions in their respective areas. For instance, the piano jury consists of members of the piano staff, French horn auditions will be heard by members of the brass faculty, etc. 

If for some reason I can't attend an audition, may I tape my own performance?
Yes. Do yourself the justice of using only high-caliber equipment! And position yourself so that the accompaniment is minimized in sound. Taped recordings should be received in the School of Music office at Ball State by the end of January. At the beginning of the tape (and on its enclosing box), state the name of the performer and the titles of the selections included on the tape, allowing at least 10 seconds between selections. For those auditioning by tape/video, the minor piano proficiency will be given on a subsequent visit to the campus or after the start of fall term. Please send your tape as early in the year as possible

Undergraduate Scholarships

How can I qualify for a scholarship?
 Superior performance at the audition is the primary criterion for scholarship consideration, coupled with an assessment of academic background. Students who qualify for financial need should contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

How are scholarships and financial aid paid?
Most are applied directly to tuition in the form of a reduced fee statement each semester. Students who receive Band or University Singers grants-in-aid are generally paid by check at the end of September if all fees have been paid.

If I accept financial aid, what are my obligations?
Each student receiving a scholarship in the Ball State School of Music agrees to serve to the best of his or her abilities in performing ensembles in addition to maintaining a good academic record and a positive attitude. Specific criteria for continuing scholarship assistance are specified when scholarships are awarded.

School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5400
Fax: 765-285-5401
View E-mail Address