- Alumni Blog
Please see Filling In Your Application For UK Conservatoires via UCAS for further assistance with this process.
These requirements are for students auditioning to start their studies at the Academy in September 2023.
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.
We are committed to ensuring the audition process is equitable and accessible for all, as well as minimising unnecessary travel costs. As such, all jazz candidates are initially assessed by video recording as Round One of the audition process, after which candidates may be invited to a Round Two recall, either live in London or online.
We want the video audition to be as easy as possible for you so please see the ‘Easy guide to making your Academy audition video’ section on the Video Auditions page. And most importantly, please remember that the audition panel are not going to be judging the quality of your video making skills! It is only your musical performance that is being auditioned so it is absolutely fine to send in a simple video recorded at home or school on a smartphone/tablet.
All applicants will be considered for a scholarship award, irrespective of whether or not they have a video round-two audition or an in-person round-two audition.
3 October, 6pm UK time:
deadline for all candidates to submit the UCAS Conservatoires application.
28 October deadline to upload audition recordings (including the spoken introduction and referee contact details) into the Acceptd portal, details are on our Video Auditions page along with guidance for making your performance recording. You will need to create a profile in the Acceptd portal into which you upload your audition performance recording, your PDF score, any written requirements (postgraduates only) and your Spoken English introduction.
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 Auditions page.
Week of 14 November: we will notify you of whether or not you have been progressed to Round Two (see 'Audition requirements' below).
Jazz Department FAQs with Nick Smart
Jazz Department FAQs with Nick Smart
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 these recordings:
a) your Spoken English introduction, and
b) three pieces, each in a single unedited ‘take’ with no editing:
- 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 with a PDF concert-pitch score – 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 introduction, 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”.
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 List 2 pieces, and a ‘workshop’ performance of your List 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.
Drum Kit candidates are asked to bring their own cymbals and sticks/brushes.
Jazz Guitar is treated as a front-line solo instrument so the band will have a piano.
There will be a short harmony/theory paper, and an interview with the audition panel. Full details will be sent to candidates selected for this round. A video option will be available.
We regret we cannot provide specimen examples of the harmony/theory paper.
The Stage 2 recalls are during our Main Audition period in December.
You may be asked to have a subsequent interview with one of the postgraduate programme tutors where you can discuss your study plans.
Applicants for the Master of Music (MMus) course need to submit written requirements in their Stage 1 Acceptd profile, please view these on the entry requirements page of the website. There are no academic written requirements for MA or PGCert. 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.
We audition everyone who applies on time and pays their application and assessment fee.
Information on the assessment fee and waivers can be found in the Your Application pages of our website, please click on the link below.