Since the formation of its first jazz course in 1987, the Royal Academy of Music has steadily produced an outstanding array of creative, versatile and employable musicians.

Audition
requirements

Due to COVID-19, if your application requires an audition, the first round will now be by video. For further details please see the video audition section.

These requirements are for students auditioning to start their studies at the Academy in September 2022. 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 or the department administrator if you have any queries.

This year, all studies are initially assessed by video recording.

29 October, 4pm UK time: deadline to upload audition recordings (including the spoken item) into the Acceptd portal, details are on our video auditions page. Also see the deadline information on Your Application.
Following the first round submission, applicants may be invited to a recall, either live or online, and to have the opportunity to perform live should they wish to travel to the Academy. All applicants will be considered for a scholarship award, irrespective of whether or not they are invited to an interview or live audition.

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.

The requirements are the same for undergraduate and postgraduate auditions, however, the overall standard is expected to be higher for postgraduates.

You are required to demonstrate proficiency in your 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.

You will need two recordings:

a) your Spoken English item, and

b) in a single unedited ‘take’, three pieces: 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.

Stage 1 – video audition

You should submit your spoken English item, and an unedited single-take video which includes 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”.

Repertoire:

List 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

List 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

List 3. One free choice item, 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 upload a PDF concert pitch score for item 3.

- 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 a performance of one of your selected List 1 OR 2 pieces, and a ‘workshop’ performance of your Item 3 free-choice piece (so you must bring parts for R/Sect and Bb Frontline) as well as sightreading, a short harmony/theory paper, and an interview.
A video option will be available that would include a short harmony/theory paper, and an interview. Full details will be sent to candidates selected for this round.
We regret we cannot provide specimen examples of the harmony/theory paper.

Open Days

Open Days are the perfect way to discover more about the Academy and whether it’s the right place for you.

Find out practical information about the application process, finances and career development on the Open Days Home.

Woodwind players in a large group rehearsal