Due to COVID-19 first round auditions will now be by video, for details about this please see the video audition section of the website.
These requirements are for students auditioning to start their studies at the Academy in September 2021. Until specified otherwise, these requirements also apply for auditions in future years. Some audition requirements may change: please check back here regularly. You are welcome to contact the Admissions Team [firstname.lastname@example.org] or the department administrator if you have any queries.
You can find details of the 2021 entry audition requirements in the 'Audition requirements' section below.
Jazz candidates audition by a first-round video recording, with a recall round for selected candidates. Full details will be sent to candidates selected for this round.
Candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in their chosen idiom(s), including instrumental technique, improvisation, sight-reading and ability to relate to an accompanying group. Singers should either refer to a Real Book to obtain the lyrics when choosing a piece from each list or transcribe them from a recording.
Your video recordings should be uploaded to Acceptd by 09:00 UK time on 16 November.
Recordings uploaded after that deadline will be processed at the discretion of the Head of Jazz. For details about preparing and uploading your video, please see our Video Recordings page.
You will need two recordings:
a) your Spoken English item, and
b) in a single unedited ‘take’, a performance of one tune from each list 1) and 2) in the audition requirements, plus a performance of an original composition/arrangement by you – as explained in item 3) of the audition requirements section below. We do not accept audio-only recordings.
JAZZ AUDITION REQUIREMENTS 2021: Undergraduate and Postgraduate Applications
The requirements are the same for undergraduate and postgraduate auditions, however, the overall standard is expected to be higher for postgraduates.
UCAS Conservatoires course codes:
Undergraduate - Gap Year 102F, Bachelor of Music 300F
Postgraduate - Master of Arts 1 yr 700F, Master of Arts 2 yr 702F, Postgraduate Certificate 1 yr 703F, Postgraduate Certificate 2 yr 9300, Master of Music 1 yr 807F, Master of Music 2 yr 805F
The jazz auditions take place in two separate rounds, a video round and a recall.
1 October: application deadline in UCAS Conservatoires
16 November: extended deadline to upload videos into the Acceptd portal, details are on our video auditions page.
Stage 1 – video audition
You should submit your spoken English item, and an unedited single-take video of your performance of one item from each list as outlined below, performing with a live group or a playalong/minus-one backing track if necessary. Various playalong options are available for this, including the series published by Jamey Aebersold, as well as various options for Apps such as “iReal Pro”. Vocalists – use the same lists but you can change the key to fit your voice.
Examples of the expected form would be to play the melody (“theme/head”) on the first chorus, take two choruses solo approx on the sequence and be prepared to play the theme out to finish. For the ballad half a chorus or one chorus of improvisation is sufficient.
VOCALISTS sing the theme and take two improvised choruses, just as the instrumentalists do.
PIANO or GUITAR/VIBES: We’d like to hear you play the theme on one of the tunes, and you will also play an additional chorus of comping behind a soloist.
BASS: As well as soloing and accompanying, we’d like to hear you play some of the theme on one of the pieces, but it doesn’t have to be for the whole tune.
DRUMS: Play behind front line and/or piano soloists, plus an additional chorus or two of “trading”.
1. One Medium to Up tempo standard from this list– Airegin, Alone Together, Take the A Train, On Green Dolphin Street, I Mean You, It Could Happen To You
2. One Ballad tempo standard from this list – I Fall in Love Too Easily, Darn That Dream, Chelsea Bridge, I Should Care, Soul Eyes, God Bless the Child
3. One free choice, either your own arrangement or your own original composition. Think about presenting a contrasting piece to your other two choices [that is, with a contrasting rhythm / feel / time-signature / harmonic language etc].
- you must submit a PDF concert pitch score.
- if you are unable to get a live group to perform your piece you can submit a computer audio file extracted from Logic/Sibelius etc – but please perform along with the track so we can hear you playing in the context of your own music.
Stage 2 – recall
This may include sightreading, a short harmony/theory paper, and an interview. A video option will be available. Full details will be sent to candidates selected for this round. We regret we cannot provide specimen examples of the harmony/theory paper.
If you are applying for the MMus, we need one piece of academic written work and a Project Proposal, as described below. Please write in English, even if this is not your first language, we do not accept translations.
The academic written work must be on a musical subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. If you already have a longer piece of work, for example a thesis, please choose a representative extract.
In both the interview and the written work, we will be looking for evidence of your responsiveness and creativity as well as critical engagement, artistic maturity, and basic research and writing skills.
In addition to the written work you should provide a Project Proposal in which you describe your plans and aims for a potential research project. Research projects can be variable in format: common models are a concert with an accompanying written commentary, or a written dissertation.
Your Proposal should address the following questions:
- What is the subject area (repertoire, perspective) you wish to explore?
- What sort of structure do you envisage? Would the main project outcome take the form of a concert, or a written piece of work, or something else?
- How does this relate to your performance or composition interests?
- How does your proposed project relate to existing work in the field (including concert and performance practices that interest you, and/or published texts)?
At the application stage, the proposal is primarily a way for us to gauge your readiness to undertake a research project. If accepted, you will be not required to keep to your original plan, and in any case we would expect the plan to change significantly as your project develops.
You should upload the written work to Acceptd with your recordings.
The decision about whether to offer a place is made primarily on the basis of your performance at the entrance audition
All Master of Music candidates are automatically considered for Master of Arts, so if you are also interested in MA study you should only apply for MMus because there will only be one audition.
If you do not provide the written work and project proposal, or if the assessment at your entrance audition interview is that the work/proposal is not strong enough for MMus entry, or if you simply decide you only wish to pursue MA studies, your application will be transferred to the MA programme.
You are not tied to the programme choice in your application, the programme length and pathway can be discussed and adjusted as appropriate.