The purpose of the placement audition is to assess your current skill level relative to the curriculum. This assessment will help the college place you into an appropriate ensemble and private lesson that will best support your educational needs, along with students of similar ability. You will audition with faculty members from your instrumental department and the Ensemble Department. While auditions differ by department, you are typically asked to perform with accompaniment as well as sight-read, improvise, and play or sing a short piece from your repertoire. Auditions will last about 15 minutes.
How to Sign up for Your Audition
Auditions will take place virtually from May 17 to May 18 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET using our YouCanBookMe site (login required). Percussion auditions will take place virtually on Thursday, May 6. Students can sign up for an audition time slot here. Audition sign-ups close on Wednesday, May 5.
Please note: The Ensemble Department holds various auditions throughout the semester, and entering students should not be signing up for additional auditions. Please only sign up for an entering student audition once the time slots open.
For late ratings auditions, send an email to email@example.com.
How to Prepare for Your Audition
- Review the preparation materials for your instrument.
- Students may perform any music for their assessment, including original songs and classical music.
Vocalists may accompany themselves on acoustic guitar or piano (this is recommended only if you are highly proficient on your accompanying instrument). Alternatively, vocalists may use a backing track that has been downloaded and does not require internet access.
- This page is updated to include links to the audition packet for each instrument. This includes the sheet music for musical examples you will be asked to perform during your audition. Download and print the packet for your instrument.
In preparation for your audition, please do the following:
- Warm up on your instrument.
- Make sure your instrument is in tune.
- Log in five minutes early.
- Ensure your internet connection is working properly.
- Test the audio and video on your computer and review Zoom Audio Settings.pdf.
- Review your audition packet from below.
Download information about what you will be asked to perform during your audition.
Select Your Instrument
Electronic Production and Design Department
Select Your Instrument
- Baritone Horn Audition Packet
- French Horn Audition Packet
- Trombone Audition Packet
- Trumpet Audition Packet
- Tuba Audition Packet
- Drum Set Audition Packet
- Hand Percussion Audition Packet
- Marimba Audition Packet
- Orchestral Percussion Audition Packet
- Steelpan Audition Packet
- Vibraphone Audition Packet
- Banjo Audition Packet
- Cello Audition Packet
- Harp Audition Packet
- Mandolin Audition Packet
- Viola Audition Packet
- Violin Audition Packet
Proficiency Assessment and Exams
Entering Student Proficiency Assessment (ESPA)
The proficiency assessment and exams enable the college to determine whether advanced levels of arranging, harmony, and ear training are right for you and to place you in classes with students of similar musical knowledge. The assessment is specifically for placement; you cannot pass or fail it, and no grade will be assigned to it.
English Proficiency Exam
All non-native English speakers are required to take the English proficiency exam, which is administered during orientation week.
The English proficiency exam is not required for native English speakers.
Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint Exam (optional)
This exam offers you the opportunity to receive credit for Traditional Harmony (CM-211 and CM-212), provided that you demonstrate strong comprehension of the subject matter. Before taking the Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint exam, you need to pick up an outline of test materials from the Professional Writing Center.
If you successfully test out of Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint and you are registered for either CM-211 or CP-211, then you will need to drop the course from your schedule by the add/drop deadline. Most students complete this credit by exam in their second semester on campus or later.
For answers to questions about the Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint exam, contact the Composition Department (login required).
Introduction to Music Technology Exam (optional)
This exam offers you the opportunity to receive credit for Introduction to Music Technology (MTEC-111), a required course for all Berklee College of Music degree and diploma students, provided that you demonstrate strong knowledge of the subject matter. View the study guide and exam schedule.
If you successfully test out of Introduction to Music Technology and you are registered for this course, it will be dropped from your schedule.
Mathematics Placement Exam
The Mathematics Placement Exam is an online assessment for undergraduate students. Students in certain majors will be required to achieve a score of 75 percent or higher on the Mathematics Placement Exam or enroll in LMSC-130 Concepts of Mathematics in order to take required courses for their major.
Learn more about the Mathematics Placement Exam (login required).