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University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music

The following information constitutes a brief summary of the music program and the audition requirements and is provided by the DEN as a courtesy. Be sure to contact the school directly for further details and for all application guidelines.

The School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is proud of an outstanding international roster of faculty artists and scholars devoted to the School's fundamental mission of fostering and promoting the global cultural art of music. Our 60-member faculty maintains a unique focus on individual student achievement, utilizing the vast resources of the world-famous Madison campus

Established in 1895, the School of Music reflects the Wisconsin Idea of practical service to the state and its residents. A music degree program was organized in 1915, emphasizing training for public school music teachers. In 1939 the School gained acclaimed distinction with the creation of the first musical artist-in-residence position at any American university.

With this long and rich legacy as a foundation, the School now strives to address the real, current needs of today's musicians, highlighting the rapid changes in the competitive music scene. We are positioned to train a contemporary generation of musicians with:
  • a focus on students' personal development by faculty who concentrate on individual needs;
  • a unique outlook on career advancement using viable, real-life, professional situations;
  • an advanced technological music center for theory instruction and composition;
  • the rich and varied resources of one of the world's leading research universities.

Piano Faculty
A listing of the keyboard faculty can be found here.

Undergraduate Piano Audition Requirements
Perform an audition, up to 20 minutes, on your major instrument for the appropriate faculty. Your audition should include four memorized solos, scales and sight-reading:
  • A Bach Prelude and Fugue or other major work by Bach involving a fugue
  • A sonata-allegro movement from a work of Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • A Romantic work by composers such as Chopin, Brahms, and Schumann
  • A 20th century work by composers such as Debussy, Bartok or other major composers writing after 1900
  • Candidates will be asked to sight-read at least two passages and demonstrate knowledge of major and minor scales.

M.M. Piano Audition Requirements
Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: M.M. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation (see Uploadsfor more info). Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of their preliminary recordings and the completion of their application file. 

Audition: Candidates invited to audition should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 20 minutes of excerpts. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

D.M.A. Admission Requirements
Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: D.M.A. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation (see Uploads for more info). Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of their preliminary recordings and the completion of their application file. 

Audition: Candidates invited to audition should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 30 minutes of excerpts. Candidates who would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship may need to sight-read or provide information about teaching experience and philosophy. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

Schedule a Disklavier Audition 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to schedule a Disklavier audition.

Contact Information

  • Address: 455 N. Park Street Madison, WI 53706-1483
  • Phone: (608) 263-5986
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Url: http://www.music.wisc.edu