Jazz Applicants
The award-winning jazz program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music features world-class faculty on every instrument. We look forward to meeting you at your audition.

All jazz applicants are required to submit a pre-screening by December 1st.

Online Pre-screening Submission:
Pre-screenings will be accepted online through DecisionDesk. Please go to this website, register, and submit your pre-screening materials to University of Miami Frost School of Music by December 1st. All submissions should include both audio and video.

Please submit your audition materials online through our DecisionDesk drop box. DecisionDesk accepts the following file formats:

Video (MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB)
Audio (MP3, M4A, OGG, AIFF, WMA, WAV, AAC)
Image (JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF)
Document (PDF, TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, SIB, MUS)
Individual files can be as large as 5GB, but keep in mind that larger files may take some time to upload. Upload speed is dependent upon both file size and speed of the internet connection. Please be patient, as files larger than 50MB can take some time. Be sure to upload files using a stable internet connection, and make sure the computer does not go into sleep or hibernate mode while a file is uploading. For technical support with your DecisionDesk application, please visit http://support.decisiondesk.com/ or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The requirements are listed below for each individual instrument. Unless specified, the pre-screening requirements are the same as the audition requirements list below.


Jazz Saxophone:

Pre-screening (required):

Three short songs (standards, jazz standards, originals) in contrasting styles with rhythm section accompaniment (live preferred, or play along tracks acceptable). Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Supplemental material such as minor instrument pieces, classical pieces, big band recordings, etc. is welcome but cannot substitute for the basic saxophone and rhythm format. Video is preferred, audio acceptable. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact Prof. Gary Keller.

On-Campus Audition:

1) Applicants should prepare a minimum of five standard songs/jazz standards representing a variety of key centers, tempos and rhythmic format. Applicants will be evaluated on improvisational skills, melodic interpretation, and instrumental proficiency. Basic piano accompaniment will be provided; in some cases applicants will perform with a rhythm section. Performance of jazz repertoire by memory is strongly encouraged.

2) In addition to prepared selections you may be asked to demonstrate technical devices (scales, articulations), theoretical knowledge (chord scale relationships), aural skills, and sight-read written music and/or chord changes.

3) Optional, but encouraged- a concert piece or etude (non-jazz). Applicants will be judged on technique, accuracy, phrasing, articulation, tone and intonation, etc. as related to the interpretation of a written piece of music. May be submitted as a supplemental recording.

4) Optional, but encouraged- an etude, concert piece, or jazz performance demonstrating skills on secondary instrument(s) such as clarinet, flute, or piano. May be submitted as a supplemental recording.

Supplemental audition materials such as original compositions and arrangements are welcome and encouraged, but may not be substituted for the listed audition requirements. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact Professor Keller (gkeller@miami.edu).

Jazz Trumpet:

Pre-screening & On-Campus Audition:

Two or three short tunes in a small group setting with drums, bass, guitar, and/or piano that demonstrate your improvisational skills. Include a variety of rhythmical feels or tempos (swing, Latin, rock, ballad, etc.). You may include big band selections in which you are a featured soloist (recording only).

Optional - Original compositions or arrangements.

On-Campus Audition: In addition to prepared selections you may be asked to demonstrate technical devices (scales, articulations), theoretical knowledge (chord scales) and sight-read for rhythmical accuracy, time feel, and phrasing.

Jazz Trombone:

Pre-screening & On-Campus Audition:

Two or three short tunes in a small group setting with drums, bass, guitar, and/or piano that demonstrate your improvisational skills. Please include a variety of rhythmic feels or tempos (swing, Latin, rock, ballad, etc.) You may include big band selections on which you are a featured soloist (tape only).

Optional - Original compositions or arrangements.

On-Campus Audition: In addition to prepared selections you may be asked to demonstrate technical devices (scales, articulations), theoretical knowledge (chord scales) and sight-read for rhythmic accuracy, time feel, and phrasing.

Jazz Bass:

Pre-screening:

Swing Four - with a walking bass line (5 minutes - most important) and improvise a solo.

Latin - Samba, Bossa, or Afro-Cuban (3 minutes) and improvise a solo.

Rock Feel - anything from funk to Corea, etc. (3 minutes) and improvise a solo.

A Legitimate Piece - selections from Baroque or Classical literature. Need not be a piece composed solely for bass; may be an etude (3 minutes).

We will be looking especially for a solid time feel and sound bass lines. State the theme in any or all of the first three categories. In addition, you must solo on all of them. The first three selections should be with drums, guitar and/or piano; additional instruments are acceptable as are synthesized or pre-recorded backgrounds.

On-Campus Audition:

Play a walking bass line, over changes at sight and improvise a solo.

Sight-read a classical piece.

Sight-read something with swing feel and improvise a solo.

Answer questions on theory and background.

Jazz Guitar:

Please Read Carefully.

The pieces must have either live rhythm section accompaniment (preferred) or pre-recorded (Jamey Aebersold play-a-longs are acceptable).
All selections (except the unaccompanied "solo piece") should feature the applicant playing the melody (at least once) and improvising. Soloing by the other musicians should be strictly minimal. Edit your selection if necessary to keep it to a minimum.
The selections should all be (common) standards and jazz tunes. Please, no "originals" at this time.
The total length of each of the 3 small group pieces should be between 3 and 5 minutes each.
Please do not include additional pieces beyond what is listed in the requirements below.


All music performed (except, of course, for the improvisation sections) needs to be played from memory, in other words, no "reading" lead sheets, fake books, etc.


Pre-screening & On-Campus Audition:

Solo Piece - a standard or jazz ballad (e.g. Misty). Present the melody harmonized "chord-melody" unaccompanied (2-3 minutes). Improvisation is allowed within the time limits, but is not mandatory.

Small group selections - guitar, bass, drums, optional piano and/or horns.
a. a medium tempo 12 bar "jazz" blues.
b. a medium or medium-up tempo standard jazz tune; the harmonic rhythm (number of beats per chord change) should be primarily whole notes or half notes.
c. a standard ballad or jazz ballad.

On-Campus Audition: You will be asked to play all or part of the material listed above. The accompaniment will be provided by the faculty member conducting the audition. If your selections are unusual, please bring a lead sheet. You will be asked to sight-read a brief selection and answer questions about scales and chords.

You will be asked to play scales and chords.

Helpful Hints:Recording a Successful Pre-screening-
Be sure your recording is balanced - that you (the soloist) can be heard clearly above the rhythm section. You should review/listen (perhaps with your teacher or other experienced musician) to the entire recording before sending it, to make sure all is in order.

All other things being equal, it is probably a better strategy for you to select and play simple pieces, which are within your current capabilities rather than complex, ambitious pieces (fast tempos, many quickly-changing harmonies) that are over your head. Again, get your teacher's advice.

Jazz Drumset:

Pre-screening:Submitted online through DecisionDesk.

Perform each of the following:

One jazz piece in a trio or quartet setting with a walking bass line. Short solos ('fours') should be included.

One contemporary fusion or rock piece, played with an appropriate rhythm section.

One selection with an Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian or world rhythm.

One big band excerpt.

Since musical interaction is essential, please use a live rhythm section for your recording.

SNARE DRUM, MALLETS, AND TIMPANI ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE DRUMSET CURRICULUM AND ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR THE DRUMSET AUDITION.


On-Campus Auditions:

On-Campus auditions are preferred. You will be asked to demonstrate:

Knowledge of the jazz idiom, traditional and modern, at various tempos;

Proficiency in the rock, funk, and fusion styles;

Familiarity with Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and world styles;

Soloing in various settings: trading fours, filling, and improvising over an ostinato;

Chart reading in various styles

A visit to campus, if possible, is highly encouraged to give the prospective student the best idea of what the Drumset Program has to offer. This also allows you to get to know the faculty and students personally. These visits do not have to occur on scheduled audition days, the best days to come are Thursday and Friday. If you wish, your audition can occur during your visit if you have passed the pre-screening requirement and been approved to audition, but you must have submitted both the university application and the Frost School of Music application.

Please contact Professor Steve Rucker, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), if you want to schedule a visit or if you have any questions.


Jazz Piano:

Pre-screening (via DecisionDesk):

Pre-screening selections must be performed on acoustic piano, with bass an drums accompaniment. Ballad must be performed solo piano. Please include on selection from each category:

Ballad (standard/jazz tune)
Medium tempo Swing tune (standard/jazz tune)
Medium up/up tempo Swing tune (standard/jazz tune)
Latin/Straight eighth tune (standard/jazz tune)

At least one selection should include accompanying (comping) for a bass or other instrument solo.

On-Campus Audition:

Your audition will be performed on acoustic piano (solo, no rhythm section). Please prepare at least one from each of the following categories, and include improvisation on all selections.

Ballad (standard/jazz tune)
Medium tempo Swing tune (standard/jazz tune)
Medium up/up tempo Swing tune (standard/jazz tune)
Latin/Straight eighth tune (standard/jazz tune)

Also, you may be asked to sight-read a piece.

You are highly encouraged to bring a DVD including any other materials which you feel showcases your abilities, including playing in styles other than those represented at the audition (arrangements, compositions, accompanying, organ/electric keyboard selections, etc.).

A visit to campus, if possible, is highly encouraged to give the prospective student the best idea of what the Jazz Piano department has to offer. This also allows you to get to know the faculty and students personally. These visits do not have to occur on scheduled audition days, the best days to come are Thursday and Friday. If you wish, your audition can occur during your visit, but you must have submitted both the university application and the Frost School of Music application.

Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you want to schedule a visit/audition or if you have any questions.

Jazz Voice:

Pre-screening (via DecisionDesk):

The audition will consist of four (4) prepared selections as listed below:

Perform two (2) selections from the traditional jazz or standard repertoire at different tempos; one medium and one fast swing. One of these selections should include at least one chorus of jazz improvisation. To be performed with live accompaniment (piano alone or rhythm section).

Perform one (1) slow tempo ballad from the standard or jazz repertoire (not in a 12/8 time feel). To be performed with live accompaniment (piano alone or rhythm section).

Perform one (1) selection of your choice from the above or any other style (Latin, Rock, Pop, R&B, Fusion, original compositions, etc.). This piece may be performed with live, self or recorded accompaniment.

Helpful Hints: Recording a Successful Pre-Screening- Be sure your recording is balanced, that you (the soloist) can be heard clearly above the rhythm section. You should review/listen (perhaps with your teacher or other experienced musician) to the entire recording before submitting it, to make sure all is in order.

On-Campus Auditions:

Perform two (2) selections from the traditional jazz or standard repertoire at different tempos; one medium and one fast swing. One of these selections should include at least one chorus of jazz improvisation. To be performed with live accompaniment (piano alone or rhythm section).

Perform one (1) slow tempo ballad from the standard or jazz repertoire (not in a 12/8 time feel). To be performed with live accompaniment (piano alone or rhythm section).

Perform one (1) selection of your choice from the above or any other style (Latin, Rock, Pop, R&B, Fusion, original compositions, etc.). This piece may be performed with live, self or recorded accompaniment.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to perform different material from the pre-screening selections.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate sight-singing ability and aural memory. A short theory assessment will also be required at the audition.

An accompanist will be provided for on-campus auditions. Applicants must provide legible lead sheets prepared in his/her performance keys.