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Music Program Application Process

Thank you for your interest in applying to Pepperdine University's Music Program. As a prospective music major or minor, you need to follow the first three steps below to be considered for admittance into the program. Please read all information regarding the application and audition process prior to submitting materials.

  1. Apply to Pepperdine University
  2. Apply to the Music Program
  3. Audition Requirements and Repertoire
  4. Apply for Financial Assistance and Scholarships

Step 1: Apply to Pepperdine University 

You must apply to both Pepperdine University and the Music Program.

The first step in the application process is to apply to Pepperdine University by October 1, 2020 for Spring 2021, November 1, 2020 for Early Action or January 15, 2021 for Regular Decision.

You are urged to complete this process as soon as possible the year before your proposed entrance. Early application is strongly advised because of enrollment limitations and financial aid deadlines.

NOTE: The Music Program application process (via SlideRoom) works in tandem with the Seaver College application process (via Common App). However, acceptance to Seaver College does not guarantee acceptance into the Music Program.

Step 2: Apply to the Music Program

The second step in the application process is to apply to the Music Program. When you are ready to begin the music application process, please visit our SlideRoom Application. The Common Application is a prerequisite to the SlideRoom application. Once you indicate a fine arts major, Common App will redirect you to the SlideRoom website.

As a part of your audition process, prospective students declaring a Pre-teaching credential emphasis will be scheduled for an interview with a music education (pre-teaching credential) faculty member. The purpose of the interview is to provide our admissions committee with additional information about your potential as a music educator.  Please follow the audition repertoire guidelines listed below (Step 3) for your instrument or voice-type. 

Information for Transfer Students

The Department of Music welcomes transfer students who have been accepted to Pepperdine University and the music program at Seaver College. Content and units vary among music programs, and courses completed at another college or university must be evaluated and approved before any transferred units can be credited to the music major or minor program.

Transfer Students must apply to both Seaver College (via the Common Application) and the Music Department (via the Interfolio Application).

After being accepted to Pepperdine University and into the Seaver College music program, each transfer student must provide the following materials for potential transfer of units:

  • an official transcript from each college where music course work was completed,
  • a photocopy or printout of the catalog description of each music course,
  • a copy of the syllabus for each music course.

Additional Materials for Music Composition

Admission to the Music Composition program is subject to a successful audition in your major performing medium and per approval of your portfolio by the composition faculty. You must schedule or upload your performance audition via Interfolio along with your composition portfolio and letters of recommendation. The portfolio submitted should contain two or three notated scores (pdf format only). Audio or video recordings of your original compositions can be uploaded to Interfolio in the accepted media formats or they can be submitted via YouTube or SoundCloud links on your Interfolio application form.

Deadlines:

  • The deadline for submitting additional materials to be considered for Spring 2020 admission is October 8, 2019.
  • The deadline for submitting additional materials to be considered for Fall 2020 admission is November 8, 2019 for Early Action and February 1, 2020 for Regular Decision.

Additional Materials for Music Education (Pre-Teaching Credential)

Additional materials are required for the music education program:

When you come to the Department of Music for your audition, you will also be scheduled for an interview with a music education (pre-teaching credential) faculty member. The purpose of the interview is to provide our admissions committee with additional information about your potential as a music education major. Please follow the audition repertoire guidelines listed below (Step 3) for your instrument or voice-type. 

 Step 3: Audition Requirements and Repertoire

All candidates are required to upload audition materials into the SlideRoom application, regardless of whether or not they participate in a live Zoom audition. Live auditions are recommended, but are not mandatory and will not replace SlideRoom requirements. All applicants must upload all audition materials, specific to their instrument, into SlideRoom.

All 2020-2021 Live Auditions will be facilitated through Zoom:

  • November 14, 2020 (Early Action): All Instrumental, Musical Theatre (Theatre Arts), and Vocal candidates as well as prospective non music majors auditioning for scholarships to play in our instrumental ensembles.
  • January 23, 2021: All Instrumental, Musical Theatre (Theatre Arts), and Vocal candidates as well as prospective non music majors auditioning for scholarships to play in our instrumental ensembles.
  • January 30, 2021: All Instrumental, Musical Theatre (Theatre Arts), and Vocal candidates as well as prospective non music majors auditioning for scholarships to play in our instrumental ensembles.
  Online Scale Requirements

VIOLIN: E major, B-flat major, and C melodic minor; 3-octaves; 16th notes; quarter note = 80

VIOLA: D major; 3-octaves;

CELLO: E-flat major, G major and their relative minor; 3 octave; quarter note = 126

DBL BASS: A major, E-flat major; 2 octaves; quarter note = 126; 2 notes per bow

FLUTE: Chromatic scale from low c to high c; major and minor scales of their choice; three of each; slurred and tongued (single and double).

OBOE: D-flat major, E-flat min, F# major, B min, chromatic; all 2 octaves, tongued, quarter note = 80

CLARINET: chromatic scale from low E to high G; F major, E major 3 octaves.

BASSOON: Chromatic scale, legato from the bottom to the top of your range on the instrument; B major, starting on the low B , 2 or 3 octaves and back down again, tongued; tempo: as fast you can maintain a steady rhythm and accuracy.

SAXOPHONE: Four 2-octave scales of your choice, eighth notes at half note = 80 or faster; chromatic scale, full range.

HORN: A major, E-flat major, E major, A-flat major; 2 octaves; quarter note = 120

TRUMPET: Concert A, E, and B-flat major, 2 octaves; sixteenth notes at quarter note = 88

TROMBONE: E major, B major; 2-octaves (if possible); 16th notes, quarter note = 72

EUPHONIUM: E major, B major; 2-octaves (if possible); 16th notes, quarter note = 72

TUBA: A major, E-flat major, E major, A-flat major; 2 octaves; quarter note = 120

Brass Instruments

In addition to the following requirements, you may submit additional footage of jazz playing for special consideration.  Please contact Dr. Tang at longtao.tang@pepperdine.edu.

Horn

  • Two major and two harmonic minor scales (two octaves)
  • Two contrasting movements, pieces, or etudes from the list below or from selections of comparable difficulty
  • Beethoven: Sonata
  • Glazunov: Reveries
  • Heiden: Sonata
  • Mozart: Concertos 1-4; Concert Rondo
  • Saint-Saëns: Concertpiece; Romance, Op. 36
  • Scriabin: Romance
  • F. Strauss: Concerto, Op. 8; Nocturno, Op. 7
  • R. Strauss: Concerto No. 1

Trumpet

  • Two contrasting movements, pieces, or etudes

Trombone

  • Two substantial etudes from standard method/etude books
  • Two contrasting movements, pieces, or etudes from the list below or from selections of comparable difficulty
    • Blazhevich Concert Piece No. 5
    • Galliard Sonatas No. 1-3
    • Guilmant Morceau Symphonique
    • Marcello Sonata in F Major
    • Ropartz Andante et Allegro
    • Barat Andante et Allegro
    • Rousseau Piece Concertante
    • Morel Piece in F-Minor
    • Hindemith Drei leichte Stucke

Bass Trombone

  • One etude from method books by Alan Ostrander, Kopprasch, Tyrrell, Blazhevich or Grigoriev 
  • One etude from Bordogni's 43 Bel Canto Studies
  • Two contrasting movements, pieces, or etudes from the list below or from selections of comparable difficulty
    • Sarabande from Bach Cello Suite
    • Lebedev Concerto
    • Lieb Concertino
    • McCarty Sonata 
    • One of the bass trombone solo works by Eric Ewazen

Euphonium

  • One standard etude (Suggested: Voxman Selected studies, Bordogni and Rochut Melodious Studies, Vol. 1, and Arban Characteristic Studies)
  • Two contrasting movements from works of your choice
    (Standard repertoire of comparable difficulty to: Curnow Rhapsody for Euphonium, Arban Carnival of Venice or Variations on a Tyrolean Song, DeLuca Beautiful Colorado, Clinard Sonata for Unaccompanied Euphonium)

Tuba

  • Two contrasting etudes from the list below or from selections of comparable difficulty:
    • Grigoriev Studies for Tuba
    • Bordogni Legato Etudes Vol. 1 
    • Blazhevich 70 Studies for Tuba
  • Two contrasting movements or pieces from the list below or from selections of comparable difficulty:
    • Haddad Suite for Tuba
    • Hindemith Sonata for Bass Tuba
    • Vaughn Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba 
    • Holmes Lento
    • Wilder Suite No. 1 for Tuba
    • Marcello Sonata in F-Major or Sonata in A-Minor

Guitar

In order to provide a clear picture of your abilities and skills, please prepare the following:

Two or more solo works demonstrating different musical styles and techniques. Selections may include or be equivalent in difficulty to Renaissance lute or Vihuela pieces (i.e.; Dowland); movements from a Baroque suite (Bach); Classical era studies (Sor or Giuliani); and Romantic or twentieth-century pieces (Villa-Lobos or Tarrega).

* All applicants are required to submit a repertoire list.

Harp

Harp (Incoming Freshman)

  • An etude exemplifying the applicant's technical standard; i.e., Bochsa #1
  • Orchestra excerpt: Waltz of the Flowers Cadenza- Nutcracker Suite
  • Two solos works of contrasting in tempo and style.

Transfer Student

  • One of the Naderman Sonatas #1-7
  • Twentieth century solo work.

Piano

Audition Requirements for Piano

All prospective students must be able to play major and minor scales and arpeggios with facility and appropriate fingerings. Students should be prepared to sight-read at a live audition.

Majors in Music (Applied)

Prospective performance majors must play a memorized audition that demonstrates technical facility, musicality, and understanding of musical styles.

  • A Prelude and Fugue from J.S Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, or two movements from a Bach Suite or Partita
  • A fast movement from a Classical sonata
  • A work from the Romantic, Impressionist, or Contemporary Era

Minors in Music, other music degree areas

Prospective piano minors or majors in all other degrees (music education and composition) must play a memorized audition that demonstrates technical facility, musicality, and understanding of musical styles consisting of the following works or their equivalents:

  • An Invention by J.S. Bach
  • A fast movement from a Classical sonata
  • A work from the Romantic, Impressionist, or Contemporary Era

Percussion

Keyboard

  • Please prepare one continuous recording for keyboard and one continuous record each for two of the remaining three instrumental categories (three recordings in total).  If any of your solo selection is over 5 minutes, please play an excerpted version.  Standard orchestral excerpts could be used in place of the solo works as well. 
  • In addition to the following requirements, you may submit additional footage of jazz playing for special consideration.  Please contact Dr. Tang at longtao.tang@pepperdine.edu.

If you have difficulty accessing these instruments, please contact Dr. Tang at the above email address.

Snare Drum

  • Any solo from Advanced Snare Drum Studies by Mitchell Peters
    Concert roll, pp - ff - pp, 20 seconds
    Rudimental solo of choice/Standard orchestral excerpt of choice

Timpani

  • Roll at pp and ff dynamic levels 
    Solo work of choice/Standard orchestral excerpt of choice

Drum Set

  • Demonstrate steady time and fills in two styles of your choice: swing, rock, funk, latin, jazz waltz

Malley Keyboard

  • 2 mallet solo work of choice/Standard orchestral excerpt of choice
  • 4 mallet solo work of choice

Percussion Transfer Students

For entrance into the Department of Music as a transfer student in percussion, a student must demonstrate technical strength and reading ability on keyboard and two of the remaining three percussion areas.  Please prepare one continuous recording for all keyboard selections and one continuous record each for two of the remaining three instrumental categories.

In addition to the following requirements, you may submit additional footage of jazz playing for special consideration.  Please contact Dr. Tang at longtao.tang@pepperdine.edu

If you have difficulty accessing these instruments, please contact Dr. Tang at the above email address.

Keyboard

  • Two major and two harmonic minor scales of your choice (two octaves) at a moderate tempo
  • Four-mallet solo of your choice from the following list or from works of comparable difficulty to the following:
    • Eric Sammu: Four Rotations
    • Paul Smadbeck: Rhythm Song
    • Keiko Abe: Michi or Wind in the Bamboo Grove
    • One movement from J. S. Bach Violin Sonatas or Partitas
  • One standard orchestral excerpt including but not limited to:
    • Dukas - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
    • Gershwin - "Porgy and Bess", overture
    • Kabalevsky - Colas Breugnon
    • Mozart - "The Magic Flute", Act 1 Finale
    • Respighi - Pines of Rome
    • Shostakovich - "The Golden Age", Polka

Timpani

Ability to tune drums by relative pitch (by using a tuning fork) will be assessed

  • Relaxed roll at pp and ff dynamic levels
  • One solo selection or etude (for two or more drums and involving tuning changes) including or of comparable difficulty to:
    • John Beck: Sonata for Timpani
    • One selection from Alexander Lepak 32 Solos for Timpani
    • One selection from Fred Hinger Solos for the Virtuoso Tympanist
  • One standard orchestral excerpt including but not limited to:
    • Beethoven - Symphony No. 5, 7 or 9
    • Hindemith - Symphonic Metamorphosis
    • Mahler - Symphony 5
    • Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring
    • Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 4

Snare Drum

  • Rudimental roll and closed orchestra roll at ppp through fff
  • Prepared solo using rolls, drags, flams and a wide dynamic range comparable to the following:
    • Jacques Delecluse: Douze Etudes
    • Anthony Cirone: Portraits in Rhythm
    • Mitchell Peters: Hard Times

Drum Set

  • Ability to keep steady time and play fills several basic beat styles: Swing, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Funk, Rock and Jazz Waltz, alternating 4 measures of time with 4 measures of solo

String

Violin

  • A movement from a Bach Sonata or Partita for violin solo.
  • A movement of a concerto or a major concert piece.
  • One major or minor scale (three octaves) and one major or minor arpeggio (three octaves)
  • One etude (Kreutzer, Fiorillo, Dont or similar)

Viola

  • An etude exemplifying the applicant's technical standard (i.e. Campagnoli or Kreutzer)
  • One major or minor scale (three octaves) and one major or minor arpeggio (three octaves)
  • A movement from one of Bach's Suites for solo cello
  • A concerto movement or piece from the standard repertoire, including but not limited to:
    • Bloch Suite Hebraique
    • Handel-Casadesus B Minor Concerto
    • Hummel Fantasie
    • Stamitz Concerto
    • Vaughan Williams Suite
    • Weber Andante and Hungarian Rondo

Cello

  • One major or minor scale (three octaves) and one major or minor arpeggio (three octaves)
  • One movement of a Bach Suite
  • One fast movement and one slow movement from a concerto (i.e. Boccherini, Vivaldi, Haydn or 19th century work)
  • One movement or complete work of your choice

Double Bass

  • One major or minor scale (two octaves) and one major or minor arpeggio (two octaves)
  • One standard etude demonstrating technical abilities
  • Two works contrasting in tempo and style

Voice

Prepare a complete list of solo repertoire studied. (It is not necessary to list choral repertoire unless you were a featured soloist.) It is appropriate to list any roles you have performed.

Memorization of all audition material is expected. An accompanist will be provided at no charge or you may bring your own.

Those students seeking admission to the Applied degree should show evidence of a minimum of one year of private instruction in voice and sufficient performance experience. This may be explained in a brief typed resume.

While you are on campus for your audition, you will be expected to take the Music Fundamentals & Skills Assessment (MFSA). This examination assesses your knowledge of basic elements pertaining to rhythm and meter, pitch and intervals, key signatures, scales and chords, aural and keyboard skills. Anyone who wants to major or minor in Music or declare a major in Theatre-Music must take this exam on the day of their live audition. For more information, please visit the Music Fundamental & Skills Assessment web page.

Audition Materials

Bachelor of Arts Vocal Performance, Pre-Teaching Credential (vocal)

Prepare three songs in varying styles or tempi. At least two songs should be classical; one in a foreign language and the other an American or English art song. The third song may be from musical theater repertoire. These songs should be memorized. The audition must be accompanied. An accompanist will be provided for you, or you may bring your own. Provide musical scores or readable copies of your music for the accompanist.

Theater Arts with an Emphasis in Musical Theater

Two vocal selections must be presented. One should be your best Broadway number. One selection must be from the classical repertoire, i.e., an art song or an aria from opera or oratorio and may be in English or in a foreign language. These songs should be memorized. The audition must be accompanied. An accompanist will be provided for you, or you may bring your own. Provide musical scores or readable copies of your music for the accompanist. A monologue will also be presented which must not exceed two minutes in length. You will not be required to dance at this audition.

Woodwind Instruments

In addition to the following requirements, you may submit additional footage of jazz playing for special consideration.  Please contact Dr. Tang at longtao.tang@pepperdine.edu

Flute

  • Chromatic scale up and down, slurred and double tongued (full range) 
  • Two major scales and two harmonic minor scales
  • Outer movement (first or last) of a standard flute concerto
  • Two contrasting works in style and tempo

Oboe

  • Basic knowledge of reed making is required (please contact Dr. Tang at longtao.tang@pepperdine for a remote interview).
  • One standard etude from, but not limited to, the following list:
    • Barret Oboe Method
    • Brod Oboe Method
    • Ferling Forty-eight Etudes
  • Two contrasting movements/complete works from, comparable in difficulty to, the following list:
    • Bellini Concerto
    • Donizetti Sonata
    • Guilhaud Concertino
    • Haydn Concerto
    • Hindemith Sonata
    • Hummel Adagio, Theme and Variations
    • Mozart Quartet or Concerto
    • Paladilhe Solo de Concert
    • Saint-Saëns Sonata
    • Telemann Sonata in A-minor.

Clarinet

  • Rose 32 Studies: etudes 1 AND 2
  • Klose scales in thirds: a major and minor scale of your choice (slow, smooth and even)
  • Finzi A movement from Five Bagatelles for clarinet
  • Mozart 2nd movement from Clarinet Concerto in A major
  • Weber A movement from Concerto #1 in F minor OR Concertino in Eb major

Bassoon

  • Two contrasting etudes from Weissenborn 50 Advanced Studies OR one etude from Milde Concert Studies, vol. 1.
  • Two selections from, or of comparable in difficulty to, the following list:
    • One movement from a standard concerto (Mozart, Weber, Vivaldi, Hummel
    • One movement from a standard sonata (Hindemith, Saint-Saëns, Telemann, Hurlstone, Cascarino
    • A single movement work in its entirety (Elgar Romance, Pierné Solo de Concerto, Op. 35 or Prelude de Concert, Bourdeau Premier Solo, Osborne Rhapsody

Saxophone

Two selections from, or of comparable in difficulty to, the following list:

  • Rueff Chanson et Passepied (Leduc Publishing)
  • Ibert Aria (Leduc Publishing)
  • Bozza Aria (Leduc Publishing)
  • Lantier Sicilienne (Leduc Publishing)
  • Eccles Sonata (arr. Rascher, Elkan Vogel Publishing)
  • Ward An Abstract (Southern Music Publishing)
  • Bonneau Suite (Leduc Publishing)
  • Tcherepnine Sonatine Sportive (Leduc Publishing)
  • Hartley Petite Suite (Crescendo Publishing)

For additional questions please contact our Fine Arts Recruitment Office at: 310.506.4111 or email fineartsrecruit@pepperdine.edu.

Step 4: Financial Assistance and Scholarships

Please contact the Financial Assistance Office for information regarding academic scholarships and needs-based financial aid. For general questions, call 310.506.4301.

You are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. To do so, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Music Awards are merit-based scholarships. Decisions concerning scholarships are generally made by mid-March. Students whose files are complete, and have been admitted to both the Music Program and the university, are given priority consideration for scholarships. Music Award decisions are included in the Financial Package sent to each student by the Financial Aid Office shortly after Acceptance Notification in late March.