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Become a Music Student


Hail Titans! Welcome to the family.

Audition Information

An entrance audition is required for admission to the music major and minor programs. Entrance auditions are only for those students who have applied and been accepted to the University. An early audition date is recommended as studios may fill quickly. The Music Industry minor, music certificate, and composition certificate do not require an entrance audition.


In-Person Audition Dates

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2024
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2025

Auditions begin at 2:30 p.m.

Want to experience what it’s like being a music major or minor? Two Music Preview Days are held each year where you attend a mock class, Q&A with current students, hear faculty and student performances, sit-in with ensembles, have a lesson with faculty, and tour the campus. For more information, visit:

Note: Auditions for ensemble participation are separate from entrance auditions. Ensembles are open to all University students and ensemble placement auditions are held the first week of classes in the Fall semester. Sign-up sheets are posted at that time outside the ensemble directors’ offices.

Virtual Auditions

Virtual auditions are available and encouraged! Virtual auditions will take place either by a real-time online video call (Zoom) or by sending us a link to pre-recorded video by email in any format. You may choose which option works best for you based on your individual circumstances. To register for a virtual audition, please fill out our Audition Application.

Real-time Virtual Auditions are scheduled by the Applied area Chair to occur at a mutually agreed upon time.

Admittance Eligibility

  • Comply with established Applied Audition Requirements by Area or Studio (see below).
  • Complete Music Theory Assessment.
  • Complete Keyboard Placement Questionnaire.
  • Scholarship applicants only: Submit a letter of recommendation from a private teacher and/or high school music director that addresses your musical background and ability.

Scholarship Eligibility

All applicants who successfully complete an audition, either live or pre-recorded, by March 1, 2025, may be eligible for scholarship.

Scholarship Requirements:

  1. Must meet the Scholarship Criteria.
  2. Online Music Theory Assessment must be completed within one week of the audition (the deadline is May 1, 2025 for the 2025-2026 academic year.
  3. Submitted Recommendation Letter.
  4. Submitted Keyboard Placement Questionnaire.
  5. Complete a UW Oshkosh Scholarship General Application (

Note: Any audition completed after March 1, 2025 will not be considered for scholarship but will be eligible for admittance to UWO Department of Music.

Applied Audition Requirements By Area or Studio


Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp)

  • Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass
    • Two scales – 3 octave, any bowings/tempo/pattern accepted.
    • Two solo pieces that contrast. You may choose to perform two movements from the same piece or two separate pieces by different composers.
    • Optional: Etude or excerpt from a technical study that best shows your skills as a player.
  • Harp

* Wisconsin State Music Association Solo/Ensemble List or equivalent. Students should work with their classroom music teachers to view the list.

Brass (French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium/Baritone, Tuba)

  • Solo from WSMA* Class A list or two etudes or studies in contrasting styles.
  • All major scales.

* Wisconsin State Music Association Solo/Ensemble List or equivalent. Students should work with their classroom music teachers to view the list.

Woodwinds (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon)

  • Two solos, movements, or etudes in contrasting styles.
  • All major scales.
  • Chromatic scale — practical range.


  • Two memorized contrasting classical art songs – one in a foreign language. Solos may be taken from the WSMA* Solo/Ensemble List or equivalent.
  • The student will be vocalized by an instructor to determine characteristics such as range, vocal timbre, flexibility, vowel purity, and breath management.
  • All voice auditions MUST be accompanied. 

* Wisconsin State Music Association Solo/Ensemble List or equivalent. Students should work with their classroom music teachers to view the list.


  • Two memorized pieces in contrasting styles.
  • Major and minor scales, arpeggios, and broken chords.
  • Harmonization of a melody. Chords will be given.


  • Classical Guitar
    • An etude from 20 studies by Fernando Sor or from 25 Melodious and Progressive Studies, Op. 60 by Matteo Carcassi.
    • One standard Classical guitar piece such as a sonata movement or concert piece.
    • 3 octave scales in the key of E, A, D, G, or C (pick 2)
    • A sight-reading excerpt may be given.
  • Non-Classical Guitar
    • Two pieces of contrasting style from any genre (must demonstrate competency in the genre).
    • 3 octave scales in the key of E, A, D, G, or C (pick 2)
    • A sight-reading excerpt may be given.


  • WSMA* Class A rudimental or concert style snare drum solo.
  • WSMA Class A or equivalent keyboard solo (mallet instrument).
  • WSMA Class A or equivalent timpani or multiple percussion solo.
  • Major scales — 2 octaves.


* Wisconsin State Music Association Solo/Ensemble List or equivalent. Students should work with their classroom music teachers to view the list.

Music Theory Placement Test

All students auditioning for the music major or minor will complete a brief music theory placement test intended to help us place students in the most appropriate music theory section. The results will not be considered in admissions decisions. The short test will cover note names, basic rhythm notation, time signatures, major and minor key signatures, triads, and intervals. We recommend visiting the following websites to practice these skills:

Incoming transfer students are not required to take the diagnostic exam if they have earned college course credit with a grade of C or higher for any music theory and aural skills courses at the freshman level that are intended for music majors/minors. Transfer students should indicate any music theory and aural skills courses for which credit was earned on their audition application form.

AP Credit Policy

1)  Music Majors, Music Education Majors, and Music Minors
a.  Granted 3 crs. of Music 107 Music Theory 1 with a Nonaural Subscore of 3.
b.  Granted 3 crs. of Music 107 Music Theory 1 & 3 crs. of Music 108 Music Theory 2 with a Nonaural Subscore of 4 or 5.
c.  Granted 1 cr. of Music 173 Aural Skills 1 with an Aural Subscore of 3.
d.  Granted  1 cr. of Music 173 Aural Skills 1 & 1 cr. of Music 174 Aural Skills 2 with an Aural Subscore of 4 or 5.

2)  Students who are not Music Majors, Music Education Majors, or Music Minors (Music Industry Minors are included in this group)
a.  Granted 3 crs. of Music 102 music elective with a score of 3.
b.  Granted 3 crs. of Music 102 and 3 crs. Music 219 music electives with a score of 4 or 5.

Keyboard Placement Questionnaire

Music major applicants will be required to fill out an online keyboard questionnaire prior to their audition. Applicants without a keyboard background will be placed into beginning class piano.

Applicants with previous keyboard experience will be placed into the appropriate course according to the results of the questionnaire.

A placement exam may be required for those with significant keyboard experience. This placement exam will be given at the beginning of the semester and will include sight reading and an assessment of fundamental keyboard skills.

Accompanist Information

In-Person Auditions: Accompaniment is required for voice auditions only. You may bring your own, or request our staff accompanist for a small fee. Accompaniment is not required for any other auditionees.

Online Auditions: Accompaniment is required for online voice auditions only. Auditionees must enlist their own accompanist or sing with a pre-recorded track. If you need assistance in finding pre-recorded tracks, please email with the titles and keys of the pieces you will be singing.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I become a major?

When are audition day schedules made?

  • Audition day schedules are created two weeks before the audition date.

What if I miss the audition deadline date?

  • Please contact the Department of Music as soon as possible to inquire about the possibility of a late registration if you miss the deadline for a certain date.

Can I double major?

  • Absolutely. You can double major within the Department of Music or between Departments (i.e. Engineering and Music).

Do I need to audition to become a music major?

  • Yes. Because musical performance is such an integral part of our programs, an instrumental or vocal audition is essential in getting to know you as a student, evaluating your musical proficiency, and ensuring success in our major.

What if I play more than one instrument?

  • Want to play in orchestra and sing in a choir? Please do. Want to play sax in Jazz Ensemble and clarinet in Wind Ensemble? It’s welcomed to do so, especially if you’re an education major or desire to become a “doubler” upon graduation. That said, most of the time it’s encouraged to choose one instrument or voice with which to focus your studies.

What if I don't play piano?

  • Not to worry. That’s what we’re here for. UWO offers class piano courses to either teach you the instrument or improve your proficiency.

I haven't been admitted to UWO yet, should I still audition?

  • Yes. As long as you’ve applied to UWO, you should still audition.

What courses should I enroll in?

  • Don’t worry about that yet. All incoming freshmen meet with an advisor to make sure you’re signed up for the appropriate classes.

Can everyone enroll in ensembles?

  • Yes! Note that some ensembles are by audition only.

Can everyone enroll in lessons?

  • Maybe. Contact the teacher with whom you want to study. The answer has to do with a teacher’s studio size.

Does UWO have any instruments I can borrow?

  • Absolutely. UWO allows students enrolled in ensembles to borrow, free of cost, any instruments available. Tubas, Double Basses, all sorts of percussion. Reach out to the ensemble director or applied teacher for more information.

Who hears my audition?

  • A committee of Department of Music faculty hear auditions.

Where can I warm-up for my audition?

  • UWO has fantastic, newly renovated practice rooms available to all auditionees.

What should I wear?

  • There’s no dress code. We encourage you to be you. That said, business casual is recommended.

Where do I go?

  • Arts and Communication Center, 1001 Elmwood Ave, Oshkosh, WI. Auditions are held in Music Hall, rehearsal spaces, classrooms, and faculty studios. When your audition is scheduled, you’ll be given a specific room along with your time.

National Association of Schools of Music

Founded in 1924, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 628 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other music-related endeavors.

Music Department

(920) 424-4224

Arts & Communication Center
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 424-4224
Arts & Communication Center

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901