Only students who have submitted a complete application and have met the minimum requirements will be granted an audition for admission to the ChiArts Music Department. Please visit the application pages for more information.

Students of all abilities and levels of experience may audition for admission into the music program. ChiArts recognizes the need to provide opportunities for students who have high levels of musical training and for students who have not had training in a formal setting, but demonstrate strong natural ability and a desire to learn.

In order to place the students in the appropriate audition area, applicants must complete the arts experience section on the admission application that describes any prior musical training or experience.  It is important for students to be thorough and accurate when submitting this information. Students must bring any instruments (except piano and percussion) to the audition. Double bass students who do not own their instrument should notify the ChiArts staff in advance of the audition.

Required audition preparation:

Instrumental (brass, woodwind, percussion, string, piano, guitar)

1. Prepared Piece(s)

  • All Instruments (except Guitar & Percussion): Please play one 60-90 second piece. Although only one piece is required, we strongly recommend submitting two contrasting pieces (solos, etudes, etc.) for consideration. It is recommended to select a piece that shows off your sound, expressiveness, and technique. Accompaniment is not allowed for instrumental auditions.
  • Optional: students may send a copy of their audition sheet music to the admissions department for the adjudicators to review.
  • Guitar: Students should perform two selections of solo (unaccompanied) instrumental music, featuring a combination of melody and accompaniment. Examples of appropriate solo guitar selections are linked below. Please contact ChiArts admissions with any questions regarding appropriate audition material.
  • Percussionists: prepare this music.

2. Scales

  • All Instrumental Music Applicants: Prepare two major scales of the student’s choice and the chromatic scale.

Guitar Selection 1

Guitar Selection 2

Guitar Selection 3

Guitar Selection 4

Guitar Selection 5

Guitar Selection 6

Guitar Selection 7

In some cases, students may be asked to participate in an additional evaluation. Families will be contacted as needed. No additional preparation is necessary.

Advice from the Instrumental Music Department on Virtual Video Auditions

Vocal (Non-Musical Theatre)

Musical theatre applicants, please see the theatre requirements.

  • Students perform 1 minute of a song of their choice. Students may have accompaniment on CD, MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet. (instrumental track only, no lip-synching). Acapella (unaccompanied) singing is discouraged but permitted. Bring an additional copy of your music for the adjudicators.
    You should perform a song, no matter how simple, that demonstrates the quality of your voice and clear articulation of the song’s words. Patriotic songs, church hymns, some show tunes and art songs are appropriate. Popular music that imitates the style of a pop singer is not helpful in determining the quality of a young voice, and should be avoided. A piece that shows high notes and low notes is helpful. Students who are not sure about song choice should select from our preferred songs list, which you can view here. Many Chicago Public Libraries have sheet music available for free checkout.
  • Students will submit videos mimicking the vocalizations demonstrated in the videos below created by staff.

Voice Vocalizations Instructional Video

Advice from the Voice Department on Virtual Video Auditions

  • In some cases, students may be asked to participate in an additional evaluation. Families will be contacted as needed. No additional preparation is necessary.Scale