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MM Commercial Music Auditions

Requirements for Application Pre-Screening Audio Recording


As a part of the application process for the MM in Commercial Music all applicants must submit a pre-screening recording of existing repertoire. The repertoire on the recording should match the emphasis area to which the applicant is applying for admission: Performance or Media Composition and Arranging. Applicants to the Media Composition and Arranging track must also submit full scores for all submitted recordings.  This recording must be received no later than one month before the desired published audition date and approved by the Belmont University School of Music Graduate Admissions prior to scheduling an audition and interview. 

Specific requirements for the recording submission are as follows:
  1. Please submit a standard audio CD, an MP3 or WAV file, or an online link.
    • Recording must be a minimum of 10 minutes in length and a maximum of 30 minutes.
    • If submitting the recording electronically to the School of Music, please email a high quality MP3 file (160kbps at 44.1 kHz sample rate) or a link to a YouTube recording along with a PDF file of the liner notes (and scores, if media composition/arranging applicant.) Please email files to the Graduate Music Secretary; files too large to email should be shared through Dropbox or Google Drive.
    • If submitting the recording via an audio CD, please mail CD to the Graduate Music Secretary at the following address: Belmont University School of Music, Graduate Music Secretary, 1900 Belmont Blvd. Nashville, TN 37212
    • The recording may include full songs/compositions or excerpts in various styles.
    • The recording may be a compilation of previously recorded materials specifically prepared for this submission.
  2. Please provide liner notes (and scores, if media composition/arranging applicant.) Explain your role in each recording [e.g., composer, arranger, vocalist, producer, date of recording, etc] and the purpose of the recording [commercial CD recording, demo recording, jingle, newly recorded for this submission, etc.].
  3. The recording should represent your best work. In addition, diversity in genre and/or style is encouraged. Recording must be appropriate to the emphasis area (Performance or Media Composition and Arranging). Composition and Arranging scores should be sent in PDF format.  If any recording submissions are excerpts, the liner notes should indicate where in the full score they occur.

Live Audition Requirements for MM in Commercial Music

All students whose pre-screening recording is accepted must come to campus for an audition and interview with the Director of Graduate Studies, the Coordinator of Graduate Commercial Music, and selected commercial faculty members within the applied discipline. Applicants must also demonstrate their musicianship and skills in the field of commercial music as described below:

Performance Emphasis - Live Audition (20-30 minutes)
  1. Perform 3 pieces with a basic rhythm section (Drums, Piano, Bass, and Guitar). The School of Music will provide the rhythm section for the audition.
    • Provide accurate and readable charts and arrangements for the rhythm section. See Examples, adapted as desired.  Singers should prepare the charts in the key of performance.
    • Be prepared to coach the rhythm section with minimum rehearsal time.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to sight-read a selection provided by the faculty adjudicators.
    Instrumentalists should be prepared to perform one piece as a soloist (can be accompanied or unaccompanied). String players must play their choice of one major 3-octave scale and its parallel minor scale along with their respective arpeggio systems.
  3. Contact the Graduate Music Secretary for more details concerning the live audition, interview, and specific voice, keyboard, or instrument requirements.
Media Composition and Arranging Emphasis

Note: The Media emphasis focuses primarily on instrumental and vocal composition and arranging and is not a songwriting program.

  1. Submit 3 compositions (printed scores and recordings) different from the pre-screening submissions.
  2. Interviews with the Director of Graduate Studies and commercial arranging faculty.

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