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Audition requirements:

In order to be admitted to the Bachelor of Music program at Carleton you must first submit an online application to the Ontario University Application Centre ( by March 1. Admission to the program also requires an audition and a theory placement test. The goal of the audition is to assess your general musicality and performance background. You may audition in any musical idiom including (but not limited to) classical, folk, jazz, singer-songwriter and popular music traditions.

After you have applied online, you will need to book your audition. To book your audition, contact the Music Administrator after January 15 at 613-520-5770 or by email at (direct email for the Music Program Coordinator is available online on our website under “Contact”). Dates are available in the order they are received.

Audition components

The audition includes:

  • Performance of two contrasting pieces; auditionees may define “contrasting” in any way they deem appropriate (e.g., lyrical vs. technical, early music vs. twentieth century, self-composed vs. a cover tune, etc.).
  • Demonstration of technical competence including scales, arpeggios, etc.
  • Performance of a piece at sight
  • Submission of a “personal statement” (see below)
  • A brief interview with the Music faculty member conducting the audition

Using an accompanist

Should you choose pieces requiring accompaniment, you must arrange to book an accompanist. If necessary, the Music Administrator can provide information about available accompanists. Payment of the accompanist is the responsibility of the candidate.

Audition dates

Auditions are held on campus in the week of Ontario’s Family Day in February; there is also limited space for some auditions during March Break. While auditionees are encouraged to book their time early, to guarantee an audition you must contact the Music Administrator before March 1 at 613-520-5770 or by email at

Recorded auditions

Applicants who reside more than 100 km from Ottawa may audition by means of a recording (on disc or electronically) with an affidavit. If the recording option is requires, you must contact the Music office by March 1 to confirm that you intend to audition by this means so that an official audition package can be mailed to you.

Personal statement

You are asked to prepare a personal statement (approximately one page in length) that answers questions about your musical experience, such as: How long have you played your instrument (or have you been singing)? Have you had private lessons? Do you play any other instruments? With which ensembles have you been involved with in the past? How did you acquire your background in music theory? What are your musical interests and goals? You need to submit your written personal statement at the time of your audition.

Online placement test (theory rudiments, ear training)

When you book your audition, or make arrangements to submit a recorded audition, you will be asked to access an Internet site (log-in/password will be provided) in order to complete a multiple-choice test on rudimentary music theory and ear training. This test will present a series of questions about scales, intervals, chords, key signatures, time signatures, rhythms, meter and the rudimentary conventions of music notation.

The test must be completed before your audition. The results of the test will be both used to determine the extent of your background in theory and ear-training, and to help us determine your course placement if you are accepted to the program.

Further details about the placement test are available on the Music website.

Do you want more information? Call, write or email us at:

School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music
Carleton University
A 911 Loeb Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Tel: 613-520-5770
Fax: 613-520-3905

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