Department of Music

Admission & Audition Requirements

Admission Requirements

A solo audition (instrument or voice) is required of all intended music majors, and non-music majors wanting to participate in music ensembles. A variety of scholarships and participation grants are available that range from partial to full tuition and room and board (residence halls). Call the department to set up an audition date.

Before a formal degree program can be declared, the student must be enrolled on Applied Music-Major Instrument level and pass MUS119 Musicianship 1 and MUS106 Basic Keyboard Skills 1 (if applicable) with a grade of C or better.

For more information regarding general admission to Missouri Western, please contact Admissions.


Audition Requirements

A solo audition is required for admission into performance ensembles and for consideration for participation grants and music scholarships. We encourage you to consult with your music teacher in selecting good literature that you can perform well. Something you have performed for music festivals would be appropriate. The purpose of the audition is to determine current abilities and the potential for success in the performance organization. We look for pitch accuracy, correct and steady rhythm, the ability to make expressive musical statements and disciplined work habits. The audition includes sight-reading and pitch retention.

Since Missouri Western has an open door admissions policy, all students are allowed to enter and audition. If a student elects to become a music major, specific performance requirements must be successfully completed on the applied levels in the major area of study in order to continue the program. All students seeking education degrees must have an ACT score of 22 in order to be admitted into junior and senior teaching experiences.

Click here to register for an audition slot.


Brass, Woodwinds, and Percussion
Performers on these instruments should prepare contrasting passages of music which will display their tone quality and technique. Auditioners are encouraged to audition on solos used for the District or State solo and ensemble contest or music used to audition for all district or all state bands. These solos and etudes will display your mastery of your instrument. Piano accompaniment is optional. Auditioners will also be asked to perform major scales and sight read.

We encourage brass and woodwind auditioners to visit our campus on a Monday or Wednesday. Visiting on one of these days will allow you to attend a rehearsal of the Missouri Western Symphonic Winds or the MWSU Jazz Ensemble to gain first hand experience with our current students and organizations. Percussionists may wish to audition on a Tuesday or Thursday so they can experience the Percussion Ensemble rehearsal that occurs on those days.
Percussionists will want to display their expertise on a variety of percussion instruments. We typically like to hear snare drum, mallets, timpani, and drum set in our percussion auditions.


Pianists should be prepared to audition with a minimum of two memorized solos of contrasting styles. They will be asked to demonstrate their current level of technique with scales, arpeggios and etudes and will sightread two short compositions.
Organists should be prepared to audition with a minimum of two preferably memorized solos of contrasting styles. They will be asked to demonstrate their current level of technique with manual and pedal studies and will sightread two short compositions and a hymn.


Scales up to 4 flats & 4 sharps – contest piece or other prepared literature – sight-reading.


Perform two solos from memory, at least one of which must be in English. Both solos must have piano accompaniment. An accompanist can be provided, if requested, when making an audition appointment. It is preferred that selections be chosen from the Art Song or Aria repertoire.