Audition Process

When Will Your Audition Take Place:

All applicants to the School of Music must perform an audition. We offer live audition opportunities in Toronto, Halifax, and St. John’s. Find the 2020 audition dates here. All applicants are strongly advised to come for a live audition. As part of your application to Memorial University, you will be asked to choose a one of the following locations for your live audition:

• Toronto – February 19, 2020
• Halifax – February 21, 2020
• St. John's – February 28-29* 2020
*In the case of inclement weather, auditions will be moved to March 1.

Once we have received your application, we will email you an acknowledgement letter with details about your audition.

If you are unable to perform a live audition, you may submit a recorded audition video. Please note that the deadline for submitting audition videos is before the live auditions take place in St. John’s, Toronto, and Halifax. Find a step-by-step process for submitting audition videos here.

Questions? Contact

What to Expect at Your Audition:

  1. Audition on your primary instrument
  2. Theory Assessment
  3. Sight Singing Assessment
  4. Piano Proficiency Test (optional)

Audition on Your Primary Instrument

Find Audition Guidelines by Instrument here.

It is expected that you play your audition with piano accompaniment. You will be responsible for hiring an accompanist for your audition. It is important to give your accompanists as much notice as possible so they can plan your audition into their schedules.

We can connect you with collaborative pianists in St. John’s, Halifax, and Toronto. Email us for information.

Please bring one extra copy of your music for the audition panel.

You will have access to practice rooms for the purpose of rehearsing and/or warming-up on the day of your audition.

Theory Assessment

The Theory Assessment comprises two components: Music Theory and Aural Skills. The assessment is designed to measure comprehension, accuracy and facility across a wide range of basic theoretical concepts. Results on the Theory Assessment inform our admissions decisions, and they help us place students in the appropriate theory class for their first year.

We are looking for instant and accurate recall of such constructs as:

  • scales and modes
  • key signatures
  • rhythmic notation
  • meter
  • simple and compound intervals
  • triads - major, minor, diminished and augmented
  • seventh chords
  • simple roman numeral analysis

The aural dictation component of the test demonstrates a dimension of music literacy. You will be asked to:

  • Identify harmonic or melodic intervals within the range of an octave.
  • Recognize major, minor, diminished and augmented triads, and dominant seventh (major-minor seventh) chords.
  • Detect errors in both rhythmic and melodic writing.

Students who audition live will write the Theory Assessment on their audition day. Students who submit an audition video will write the Theory Assessment after their audition video has been received (date TBD).

Applicants are exempt from writing the Theory Assessment if they have completed RCM Theory Level 8 (formerly RCM Grade 2 rudiments) within the last two years. Students are also exempt from writing the Theory Assessment if they have scored 5 on the AP Music Theory Exam within the last two years. Please email a copy of your certificate to

Sample Theory Assessment (pdf)

Sight Singing Assessment

The aural dictation component of the assessment demonstrates a dimension of music literacy. Results on the Sight Singing Assessment inform our admissions decisions.

You will be asked to:

  • Sing specific intervals within the range of an octave and sing (arpeggiate) major and minor triads.
  • Perform at sight a rhythmic phrase of 4-8 measures incorporating half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and dotted rhythms in simple and compound metres.
  • Sing a given diatonic melody at sight in any major or minor key, in treble or bass clef. We recommend, but do not require, that you use moveable do (major and minor keys).

Students who are auditioning live will sing their Sight Singing Assessment on their audition day. Students who are submitting an audition videos will have their Sight Singing Assessment deferred to a later date.

Piano Proficiency Test (optional)

The Piano Proficiency Test is not an entrance requirement, although applicants may choose to take it as part of their audition if they like. Students whose Principal Applied Study is Piano or Organ are exempt from the Piano Proficiency Test.

Students enrolled in MUN’s School of Music must pass the Piano Proficiency Test by the end of their first year. The test is administered in September and February of each year. All music students must pass it in order to register for the Keyboard Fundamentals course, a required course for all second year music students. If you are not already a good pianist, you should plan to take private piano lessons during your first year.


  1. Two contrasting pieces of your own choice, equivalent in difficulty to RCM Grade 2 or higher.
  2. The following scales:
    • C, Eb, and D major
    • A, C, and B harmonic minor
    • All scales to be played two octaves, ascending and descending. Play scales hands together, with hands one octave apart.
  3. The following triads:
    • C, Eb, and D major
    • A, C, and B minor
    • Triads are to be played solid and broken in root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion.
  4. Sight reading. The music to be sight read will be easier than the prepared pieces.


School of Music

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000