Singer/Songwriter Audition Information

All applicants applying to the Singer/Songwriter Emphasis 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 page.

Singer/Songwriter Audition Requirements: 

  1. On video verbally answer the following questions: 
    • When and why did you start writing songs?
    • How did you find out about the CU Denver Singer/Songwriter Program?
    • Why do you want to attend the CU Denver Singer/Songwriter Program?
    • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years after graduating from the Singer/Songwriter Program?
    • How do you see yourself utilizing the faculty, peer, networking, and equipment resources in the Singer/Songwriter program to achieve those career goals?

  2. Perform 2 original songs with lyrics and accompaniment. Applicants must accompany themselves on either guitar or piano. The faculty will assess the songs/performances based on the following criteria:
    • Intonation/pitch accuracy 
    • Solid rhythmic groove/steady tempo 
    • Diverse accompaniment styles on accompaniment instrument 
    • Quality of technique and skill level in voice and accompaniment instrument 
    • Utilization of dynamic range in voice and accompaniment instrument 
    • Emotional expressiveness
    • Application of standard song forms (Verse/Chorus & AABA) 
    • Presentation of melodic and lyrical hooks 
    • Inclusion of major and minor triadic chords, and seventh chords, in accompaniment 
    • Exploration of various rhyme schemes (AABB, ABAB, AABCCB, etc.) 
    • Clarity of lyric meaning 
    • Natural lyric and melodic rhythm (speech-like lyrical meter - don’t acCENT the wrong sylABLE)

  3. Perform one cover song with lyrics and accompaniment. You can perform it identically to the recorded version, or you can make it your own by rearranging it to fit your performance style. Applicants must accompany themselves on either guitar or piano. Before you perform the cover song, give a brief verbal overview of why you chose the song and how it relates to or has influenced your personal writing style.

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, go to 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.

  • Singer/Songwriter applicants can schedule an audition by contacting MEIS faculty member Owen Kortz by email at Please let Owen know on which of our four audition dates you'd like to schedule your audition. Owen 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.

Contact Information:

If you want to schedule a live audition or have questions about the singer/songwriter audition process, please contact Owen Kortz at