Piano Audition Requirements

For consideration into the Bachelor of Music for Piano Performance, Master of Music in Piano, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano, applicants must first submit a pre-screening video. If their video is satisfactory, they will be invited for a live audition.

Note: Piano scholarships are awarded only to students who enroll in the four-year BM degree in piano performance.

Audition Requirement Information for Music Education (B.M.E.), Music Therapy (B.M.), Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A.), or Music Composition, Music Theory, Musicology (B.M. or B.A.), or Music Minor.

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (B.M.)


Deadline: Pre-screening submissions via Acceptd are due by Dec. 1st.

Submit a 30-minute video:

  1. The first movement of a Classical sonata
  2. A major Romantic work
  3.  Other works of the entrant’s choice.

All selections must be played from memory. The recording does not have to be professional quality but should be a clear and accurate representation of your playing. Please submit this video to sash@ku.edu. Poor sound quality will lessen your chances of admission. If you pass the pre-screening, you will be invited to sign up for a live audition.

Live Audition

For the live audition, you must prepare one piece from each of the following categories:

  1. Baroque: a Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I or II;
  2. Classical: a complete multi-movement sonata by a Classical composer, up to and including Schubert;
  3. Romantic: a major solo work by Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann or Liszt;
  4. Contemporary: a work from the 20th or 21st Centuries. Works by Impressionistic composers are acceptable in this category;
  5. Etude: a virtuoso etude.

All selections must be played from memory.

Requirements for Non-Major Undergraduate Students
Auditions for Private Piano Lesson, Spring, 2023

Auditions will take place online. You should make a video recording of two pieces in contrasting styles, memorization not required, and upload your unlisted video to YouTube. Send the link to your recorded YouTube audition to chen@ku.edu by 11:59 P.M. on January 22, 2023.

Requirements for Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Music in Piano Performance (M.M.)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


A pre‐screening VIDEO submitted with your graduate application by December 1st is required for all graduate programs in Piano (Graduate Certificate in Music Performance, MM or DMA).Students must submit a 20‐minute audition of works from at least 2 periods:

  • First movement of a Classical Sonata is required (Schubert included)
  • Additional repertoire of applicant’s choice

Note: Memorization is required for all works with the exception of 20th/21st Century works of exceptional difficulty

The video does not have to be professional quality, but should be a clear and accurate representation of your playing. Poor sound quality will lessen your chances of admission.

Final Audition Requirements:  A 45‐minute program and repertoire must include at least 3 solo works from different periods. 

  • All Sonatas, Variations, Suites and other individual works written with multiple movements must be prepared in their entirety
  • Sets of pieces that are intended to be performed together must be prepared in their entirety (Schumann Carnaval, Davidsbündlertanze, or Kreisleriana; Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition; Franck Prelude, Chorale and Fugue)

When choosing repertoire, we encourage (not require) you to explore the works of underrepresented composers who reflect different racial, gender, ethnic and cultural traditions. To get started, we recommend the following resources:

*All applicants interested in being considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship should prepare to answer the following question: “Why do you wish to pursue graduate study at the University of Kansas and what are your goals following your musical study at the University of Kansas?” If auditioning by video, please submit a separate video response to the question.

Faculty Contact: Scott McBride Smith, smcbsmith@ku.edu or 785-864-1470