Audition and Theory Placement Test Information

All students interested in entering one of the programs offered by the School of Music must submit a vocal or instrumental audition to the SOM.  School of Music students must declare a primary/major instrument of study.

The auditions are designed to demonstrate that the students possess exceptional talent, the potential to develop high levels of musicianship, artistic sensibilities, and a strong sense of commitment to calling. The audition can be held either on campus at the School of Music (at designated times of the year or by appointment) or off-campus by a video submission.  Live audition dates for the School of Music are scheduled in conjunction with the College for a Weekend (CFAW) events or by appointment with the coordinator of the appropriate applied discipline.

This placement audition enables faculty to evaluate the skill, tendencies, and overall strengths of the student.  It does not by itself secure entrance into a music degree program (that decision is made at the end of the sophomore year; see section entitled Sophomore Review in the student handbook).  As a result of this audition, the student will be placed in a studio for music instruction appropriate to his or her skills and aspirations.

All School of Music students must declare a primary/major instrument of study. For those students who have not yet completed a live audition for placement into your private lessons, you will need to submit a video audition:

If you have any questions, please contact som@liberty.edu.


General Guidelines for Audition Repertoire

For worship or commercial music degrees, the following are the audition guidelines:

Voice:

  • Two contrasting pieces of your choice, including:
    • One Hymn
    • One Upbeat Worship/Christian Contemporary song, and if possible, a sacred classic like "The Lord's Prayer" by Malotte, Ave Maria, or a similar song.  
    • A classical song would also be an option for the second piece   
  • For commercial music, choose songs in at least two styles from the following list:
    • Musical Theater
    • Jazz
    • Rock/Pop
    • worship/Christian Contemporary
    • Country

Guitar, Brass, Strings, Woodwinds:

  • Two contrasting pieces of your choice (drawn from a sheet music publication or fake book/chart rendition).   
  • At least one piece in:
    • Modern Worship/Christian Contemporary
    • Rock
    • Folk, or country style
    • A classical piece would also be an option
  • In addition, demonstrate skills according to the choice of the auditioning instrumentalist among the following:
    • Scales and Arpeggios
    • Improvising Over Charts 
    • Composition/Songwriting
    • Media production with a component featuring their instrument

Drums: 

  • Three contrasting styles of your choice
  • One of these styles or approaches should include a swing component (from blues, jazz, or gospel swing), a three-, six-, or nine-beat pattern, or a Latin/Afro-Cuban groove presentation. 
  • Demonstration of classical percussion skills is also an option

Piano: 

  • Two contrasting pieces from the following categories (either derived from a fake book or chord chart rendition):
    • Christian Contemporary/Worship
    • Jazz
    • Rock/Pop
    • Country
    • Blues
    • Gospel/R&B work
    • A Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century classical work or virtuosic hymn arrangement could be an acceptable second audition work
  • Skills according to the choice of the auditioning pianist among the following:
    • Scales and Arpeggios
    • Chord Progressions
    • Improvising Over Charts
    • Composition/Songwriting/Media Production with a component featuring piano or synth (a synth keyboard must be provided by the auditioning student when doing a live audition).

In-Person Audition Dates

Auditions dates for the Center for Music and Worship are scheduled in conjunction with the College For A Weekend dates. Fall CFAW is open to only high school juniors, seniors and transfer students between the ages of 15-24.

Basic Schedule for Auditions:

  • FUSION event on CFAW weekends.
  • To schedule an audition time, please contact the appropriate individual below:

Vocal – Vocalists interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Coordinator of Vocal Studies, Dr. Mindy Damon, to arrange an audition time.

Keyboard – Pianists interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Coordinator of Piano Studies, Dr. Tad Hardin to arrange an audition time. 

Guitar - Guitarists interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Coordinator of Guitar Studies, Dr. Michael Brennan, to arrange an audition time.

Strings – Strings players interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Coordinator of Strings Studies, Dr. Luca Trombetta, to arrange an audition time. 

Woodwind and Brass – Woodwind and brass players interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Coordinator of Wind Instrument Studies, Dr. Cassandra Hibbard, to arrange an audition time.

Percussion – Percussionists interested in scheduling an on-campus audition should contact the Chair of Applied Studies, Dr. Mark Greenawalt, to arrange an audition time.


Music Theory Placement Test Information

All incoming students should enroll in MUSC 105, Harmonic Practices and Theory I.  When the school year approaches, you will be contacted about taking the online Music Theory Placement Test. 

*Exceptions to this rule:  

  • A.P. Music Theory:  Incoming students who have taken the Music Theory Advanced Placement (A.P.) Test and received a composite score of 4 or above are automatically eligible for the Advanced Section of MUSC 105 and therefore are exempt from taking the placement test.  Find the meeting day and time for the advanced section by checking ASIST.  Students should request that their score report be sent to Liberty University directly from the College Board Website (use Liberty's school code: 5385).  Contact the Music Theory Coordinator to be added to the class.  *A.P. testing does not qualify students to test out of Music Theory courses here at Liberty. 
  • Transfer Students:  Students transferring from music programs at other colleges or universities should first visit the LU Transfer Office webpage for instructions on how to proceed with the transfer process.  Once this process is completed, transfer students need to take a transfer student theory test to determine music theory placement.  Students may take this test between the hours of 8:30 am - 4:30 pm in Music Building 8.