Music Placement & Audition

COVID-19 UPDATE

Until further notice, all in-person Kent State events are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recommendations.

All new music students at Kent State Stark must participate in a Music Placement & Audition before declaring the music major and registering for classes. Please read the information below carefully as our processes have temporarily changed.

Questions about music placement, auditions and scholarships can be directed to Dr. Sebastian Birch at sbirch@kent.edu.


MUSIC PLACEMENT & AUDITION INSTRUCTIONS

All new music students entering the Fall 2020 semester will need to complete the following steps:

1. Be admitted to Kent State University at Stark

You must be admitted to Kent State University at Stark and have a @kent.edu email assigned before you can move on to Step 2. If you have questions regarding your admission application, email the Office of Admissions at starkadmissions@kent.edu


2. Register for Music Placement & Audition

Newly admitted music students must complete the following registration form to participate in the mandatory Music Placement & Audition.

SUBMIT MUSIC PLACEMENT & AUDITION REGISTRATION
After completing this registration, you will receive an email from Michelle Bagwell, M.M.E., at dbagwel1@kent.edu with instructions on how to submit materials for your performance audition.

MUSIC THEORY PLACEMENT

Once your performance audition materials have been submitted to the music faculty, you will receive instructions on how to take the music theory placement assessment online via Blackboard Learn. The 30-minute theory placement assessment is used to place students into a music theory section with students of similar musical abilities and backgrounds. The placement will assess your knowledge of note reading, major and minor (natural, harmonic, melodic) scales, major and minor key signatures, meter and rhythm, intervals and triads.

MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS

Our deadline to audition for a music scholarship has been extended to July 1. Follow the audition instructions below to be considered for a music scholarship.


3. Register for Classes

Before registering for a virtual First Step program (mandatory for new freshmen) or scheduling to meet with an academic advisor (all other students), you will be contacted by Admissions Counselor Cindy Deng at cdeng@kent.edu to confirm your next steps. Students may need to complete additional assessments for proper course placement—beyond the music major assessments.


PREPARE FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE AUDITION

Follow audition instructions below to prepare for your performance audition.

Voice: B.A. Music, Performance, Composition or Music Education Majors

  • Prepare two contrasting memorized selections from the classical or folk repertoire. Repertoire similar to that on the OMEA Solo & Ensemble list is appropriate. One piece in a foreign language is preferred, but not necessary. One selection may be from the musical theatre genre. An accompanist will be provided.
  • Music Technology students may prepare a voice assessment as described above or they may sing a version of Amazing Grace that will be provided. Contact Michelle Bagwell at dbagwel1@kent.edu for a .pdf and .mp3. The music technology voice audition does not have to be memorized.
  • Contact Michelle Bagwell at dbagwel1@kent.edu or questions regarding appropriate repertoire.

Piano: B.A. Music, Performance, Composition or Music Education Majors

  • Prepare two pieces from contrasting periods (baroque, classical, romantic, XXth century).
  • Music Technology students may prepare a piano assessment as described above or they may prepare one of the following:
    1. A contemporary piece from sheet music (preferred choice)
    2. An original composition
    3. A piece learned by ear
  • Contact Dr. Sebastian Birch at sbirch@kent.edu for questions regarding appropriate repertoire.

Electric Guitar: B.A. Music, Music Technology Majors

  • Prepare two pieces that demonstrate you playing at your absolute best!
  • Playing two pieces in different styles is recommended.
  • One of the two selections can be an original composition.
  • Students may play solo or with tracks. 
    * A backing track without the guitar part is preferred, but playing with the original recording is permissible if one is not available. 
    An amp and cable will be provided for on-site auditions. If students require additional gear (pedals, capo, slide, etc.), they must provide it along with any peripheral gear (power supply for pedals, additional 1/4 inch cables, etc.)
  • Contact Erin Vaughn at evaughn1@kent.edu for questions regarding appropriate repertoire.

Electric Bass: B.A. Music, Music Technology Majors

  • Prepare two contrasting pieces that show your abilities.
  • Contact Kevin Martinez at kmart114@kent.edu for questions regarding appropriate repertoire.

All Other Instruments

  • Prepare two contrasting pieces that show your abilities.
  • Contact Dr. Sebastian Birch at sbirch@kent.edu for questions regarding appropriate repertoire.

MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP AUDITION INSTRUCTIONS

Our deadline to audition and be considered for a music scholarship has been extended to July 1. To be eligible for consideration, scholarship candidates must be enrolled full-time at Kent State Stark.

In addition to the materials needed for a performance audition, the following will be required from you to audition for a scholarship:

  1. Recordings of original compositions with or without score
  2. Recordings of original songs
  3. Audio recordings of music events, along with a detailed description of venue, equipment, and methods employed
  4. A short essay (250-500 words) detailing why you are interested in your chosen major and how this scholarship will help you achieve your goals

Your high school (or college) transcript(s) also will be used in the evaluation of your scholarship eligibility.

Email all scholarship materials to Dr. Sebastian Birch at sbirch@kent.edu.