Audition and Interview

Berklee's unique audition and interview experience is an integral part of how we select our entering class. We design it to help you show your strengths and to help us assess your talent and potential to succeed in our dynamic environment. It's a required part of the admissions review, and allows us to consider you for scholarships.

  • Although there is a general format for the audition and interview, each experience is unique—just like you.
  • We strongly encourage you to visit Berklee's campus in Boston to participate in the audition and interview; tour our facilities; and meet with faculty, students, and staff.

If you'd like to get better prepared for applying or going to Berklee, enroll in a free online course.

Your Audition

The audition will be approximately 15 minutes long and may consist of the following parts:

  • a prepared piece of your choice;
  • an improvisation over a harmonic vamp, simple-form blues, or standard tune;
  • a reading selection; and/or
  • melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ear training exercises.

At the discretion of each audition team, a jam with the faculty and/or technical exercises might be part of your audition. Please refer to the audition checklist for further details about each component of the audition.

We recognize that it is common for applicants to have imbalances in their playing abilities, and we realize that applicants may not have advanced skills in improvisation, reading, or ear training. In fact, this is exactly why you might apply to attend Berklee: to develop your skills in these and other areas. Because we take a holistic approach in our evaluation process, each component of the audition helps the audition team assess your overall abilities as a musician and your potential for success at the college level.

Your Interview

Quite often, when people think about the application process at Berklee, they think about the audition as the most important factor in the admissions decision, but an equally important and critical factor in Board of Admissions deliberations is your interview.

Your interview provides an important opportunity for you to:

  • Express your goals and aspirations;
  • Identify why Berklee is a good fit to meet those goals;
  • Share your individual story about what drove you to music and what motivates you; and
  • Discuss your challenges and strengths and your potential future contributions to Berklee's dynamic and culturally rich environment.

There are four primary areas of discussion in your interview:

1. Are you prepared to begin studying at Berklee?

  • In addition to your musical preparation for the rigors of our curriculum, consideration will be given to your understanding of Berklee's history and mission and your affiliation with Berklee's open and inclusive approach to music, including the self-discipline needed for excellence, the empathy required of music-making, and the openness and inquisitiveness essential to creativity.

2. What are your professional/career goals?

  • Why have you chosen music as the primary focus of your college education? What outcomes do you expect as a result of your attending Berklee? What career or advanced study options might be available to you after completion of your studies at Berklee?

3. Why do you want to study at Berklee?

  • In researching your options for pursuing an education in music, what aspects of the Berklee model are most appealing to you? 

4. What will you bring to Berklee?

  • In selecting our entering class, the board of admissions must identify how each admitted student will contribute to the quality of our community. How will you contribute to the Berklee network and improve the quality of the experience for all? Come prepared to highlight your strengths and share your creative aspirations.