Piano/Keyboard Audition Information

All piano applicants applying to the Performance Track, Music Business - Audition Track, or Recording Arts - Audition Track must either submit an audition video or conduct a live audition (video conference this year). Applicants can choose between auditioning by video or by auditioning live (video conference this year). We offer two platforms for video audition submissions: 1) Through the CU Denver Slate application platform or 2) through our GetAcceptd.com page.

Piano Audition Requirements: 

  1. Repertoire: Prepare and perform two pieces of contrasting styles from your choice of these genres: Jazz, Latin, Pop/Rock/R&B, or Classical. One piece should be slower and demonstrate your touch and expressivity on the piano. The other piece should be faster and demonstrate your technique and energy on the piano. In addition (not as a substitute), students are encouraged to perform an original composition. This is not required.
  2. Scales: Prepare major scales with both hands in B, C, Db, and D – two octaves ascending and descending, eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 80.
  3. Personal Statement: Introduce yourself with the following: 1) Your name and where you live. 2) Your strengths and weaknesses on the piano. 3) Goals you are passionate about and why you think studying piano at CU Denver can help you achieve those goals.

How to submit an audition video:

  • Record your audition video per the guidelines listed above. Please verbally describe your selections prior to performing them. 
  • If submitting the video using the CU Denver Slate application platform, either submit the video in the portfolio section when applying to CU Denver or go back into your application portal after you've already applied to upload your video in the portfolio section.
  • If submitting the video through our page on GetAccetpd.com, go to https://app.getacceptd.com/ucdenver. Then choose your Program Group (emphasis area) and Program (instrument). Click “Get Started!”. Follow the registration instructions to create your account and upload your video. Please note that it costs $30 to submit an audition video through Acceptd. 
  • Audition videos will be reviewed by our faculty within three weeks of receipt. Applicants will be contacted about next steps. Faculty may request that applicants conduct a live audition in addition to the video submission.

How to schedule a live audition (video conference this year):

Applicants may choose to audition live (video conference this year) instead of submitting an audition video. The audition dates are listed on the MEIS How To Apply Page on our website.

  • Bass applicants can schedule an audition by contacting MEIS faculty member Paul Musso by email at paul.musso@ucdenver.edu. Please let Paul know on which of our four audition dates you'd like to schedule your audition. Paul will respond with an audition time and the details. 
  • Live auditions typically take 20-30 minutes and will take place in the Arts Building on the Auraria Campus. The audition will consist of sight-reading and a short demonstration of the pieces described above. The audition will also feature an opportunity for the prospective student to ask questions regarding the program, applied lessons, ensemble placement, etc. Sight-reading will be assessed during the audition using two methods:
  1. Read short grand staff excerpts.
  2. Read a lead sheet (interpreting chord symbols) in two of the following three ways:
    1. as an accompanist for vocals/melodic instruments (not playing the melody on the piano)
    2. as a solo pianist, interpreting chord symbols and the melody
    3. as in a jazz ensemble, playing left hand chords and right hand melody/improvisation

Contact Information:

If you want to schedule a live audition or have questions about the piano audition process, please contact Jonny Sterling at jon.sterling@ucdenver.edu.