Jazz Studies


2014-2015 Audition Dates

Applications must be completed no later than two weeks before a chosen audition date.

Friday, November 7, 2014 - Closed
Friday, February 6, 2015
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015


Step One - Apply to the University

All prospective students must complete the application to the University before applying to the Cali School. Use the appropriate link:


Step Two - Apply to the Cali School

After completing your application to the University, all students must apply no later than January 20, 2015, through Decision Desk (link below). You may apply for either the Jazz Studies program or the Jazz/Music Education program. All students must submit an audition video. Jazz/Music Education applicants must also schedule an interview with music education faculty.

1. Jazz Studies (NOT Jazz/Music Education)

Prepare the video using the following guidelines:

All instrumentalists except drummers are required to demonstrate competency in basic scales.

1. On one track of the audition CD, play Major (Ionian) scales up to the 9th and back down in medium/slow tempo (60 BPM) 8th notes. Start in C concert and play all 12 keys around the circle of fourths (C, F, Bb, etc.). You may use a metronome.

2. On another track, do the same for Dorian minor; six keys will be sufficient.

3. On one more track, do the same for Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) for six keys. Vocalists do the same as above, but sing three keys each for Major, Dorian minor and Dominant 7.

Song Tracks for Jazz Guitar

1. Perform three contrasting jazz standards (for example, a medium blues, a Latin or Bossa or ECM style tune, and a medium-up or up tempo tune) in the following format.

a. You play the melody in.
b. You solo for one two choruses.
c. You comp while another player solos (or comp at a louder volume than the play- along CD).
d. You play the melody out.

2. Perform a solo version (chorded melody) of a ballad (either an arrangement or an original is acceptable).

Song Tracks for Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass, or Voice*

All tunes should be recorded with other musicians if possible, but may be recorded utilizing an Aebersold (or similar) play-along recording.

1. Perform a medium tempo blues in F or B-flat: head and three choruses. Bass players please note: After the melody, walk for two choruses before your solo (which may be only two choruses). Piano players please note: After the melody, comp for two choruses prior to your solo.

2. Perform a ballad. Melody should be interpreted in a personal way, along with one chorus of improvisation. Piano players please note: your ballad should be played without accompaniment.

3. Perform a medium or up-tempo standard or “modern” jazz tune (may be swing or even eighth). Melody should be fairly close to the lead sheet (exact if selecting an up-tempo jazz tune), along with 2-3 choruses of improvisation. Bass players: after the melody, walk or play the appropriate groove (bossa, Latin, etc) for two choruses prior to your solo.

* Scat singing is optional, not required. All melodies, including the blues, should be your own interpretation, but melody notes should be the correct pitches. If your blues head or up-tempo tune does not have lyrics, either compose something (vocalese) or use scat syllables to sing the head.

Jazz Drum Set Requirements:

1. Perform the following snare drum rudiments (state what each one is before playing it):

a. Single, double and triple paradiddles
b. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls
c. Flam tap, flam accent
d. Single and double ratamacues
e. Press roll – soft (pp) to loud (ff), and back down to soft

2. Demonstrate three contrasting styles or grooves (for example, you might choose from swing, funk, bossa, songo, 6/8 Latin, ECM even eighth, etc) using three separate tunes. If you are sending in a recording featuring only yourself, please be sure to play time for 2 choruses of each selection. If you are utilizing a full group, standard jazz performance practice is acceptable, but any solos, including your own, should be limited to one chorus.

3. Ted Reed Syncopation book, page 32: Play a jazz (swing) ride pattern in the right hand, hi hat on two and four, while demonstrating various coordination skills between the left hand and right foot.


2. Jazz/Music Education

A. Prepare the video using the following guidelines:

All instrumentalists except drummers are required to demonstrate competency in basic scales.

1. On one track of the audition CD, play Major (Ionian) scales up to the 9th and back down in medium/slow tempo (60 BPM) 8th notes. Start in C concert and play all 12 keys around the circle of fourths (C, F, Bb, etc.). You may use a metronome.

2. On another track, do the same for Dorian minor; six keys will be sufficient.

3. On one more track, do the same for Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) for six keys. Vocalists do the same as above, but sing three keys each for Major, Dorian minor and Dominant 7.

Song Tracks for Jazz Guitar

1. Perform three contrasting jazz standards (for example, a medium blues, a Latin or Bossa or ECM style tune, and a medium-up or up tempo tune) in the following format.

a. You play the melody in.
b. You solo for one two choruses.
c. You comp while another player solos (or comp at a louder volume than the play- along CD).
d. You play the melody out.

2. Perform a solo version (chorded melody) of a ballad (either an arrangement or an original is acceptable).

Song Tracks for Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass

All tunes should be recorded with other musicians if possible, but may be recorded utilizing an Aebersold (or similar) play-along recording.

1. Perform a medium tempo blues in F or B-flat: head and three choruses. Bass players please note: After the melody, walk for two choruses before your solo (which may be only two choruses). Piano players please note: After the melody, comp for two choruses prior to your solo.

2. Perform a ballad. Melody should be interpreted in a personal way, along with one chorus of improvisation. Piano players please note: your ballad should be played without accompaniment.

3. Perform a medium or up-tempo standard or “modern” jazz tune (may be swing or even eighth). Melody should be fairly close to the lead sheet (exact if selecting an up-tempo jazz tune), along with 2-3 choruses of improvisation. Bass players: after the melody, walk or play the appropriate groove (bossa, Latin, etc) for two choruses prior to your solo.

Jazz Drum Set Requirements:

1. Perform the following snare drum rudiments (state what each one is before playing it):

a. Single, double and triple paradiddles
b. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls
c. Flam tap, flam accent
d. Single and double ratamacues
e. Press roll – soft (pp) to loud (ff), and back down to soft

2. Demonstrate three contrasting styles or grooves (for example, you might choose from swing, funk, bossa, songo, 6/8 Latin, ECM even eighth, etc) using three separate tunes. If you are sending in a recording featuring only yourself, please be sure to play time for 2 choruses of each selection. If you are utilizing a full group, standard jazz performance practice is acceptable, but any solos, including your own, should be limited to one chorus.

3. Ted Reed Syncopation book, page 32: Play a jazz (swing) ride pattern in the right hand, hi hat on two and four, while demonstrating various coordination skills between the left hand and right foot.

B. Interview with Music Education faculty


Contact Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel, kunkelj@mail.montclair.edu if you have questions about the video audition or interview.

Apply online and upload your audition video through Decision Desk ($20 fee). After we review the online video, you may be asked to come in on a regularly schedule audition date for a live audition and/or to take a music theory/aural skills placement test.


General Notes

  • Applications will be processed within two weeks.
  • Applicants must satisfy both the audition criteria of the Cali School of Music as well as the academic criteria of the University.
  • Music minors are not currently offered.
  • Non-music majors may only take general education music courses.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the audition process, contact the Auditions Coordinator 973-655-7610 or musauditions@mail.montclair.edu


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