Student with cello

Entrance Auditions

All new or transfer students wishing to major in music are required to audition. But first you must be formally admitted to NMU before you can sign up for an audition.

Audition dates for freshman majors entering in Fall 2024:

  • Saturday, February 17, 2024
  • Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2024
  • By appointment during your campus visit or on another pre-arranged date

Plan to audition in February or March if you wish to be considered for scholarships (descriptions below). Zoom auditions can also be arranged by contacting the music office directly at 906-227-2563 or See audition requirements below.

Register online or call us at 906-227-2563. You will receive confirmation and further important information once you have registered. We look forward to meeting you!


happy students


The Department of Music awards scholarships to music majors based on auditions. Incoming freshmen will be considered for scholarships if they audition at one of the scheduled dates listed or by special arrangement prior to the final audition date. 

Non-music majors may be eligible for Service Awards.

Continuing NMU students apply in writing for renewal of scholarships. Scholarship recommendations are made in early April and letters are mailed to students by mid-April. Students must confirm acceptance of scholarships.

There are several different types of scholarships available for music majors and non-majors at NMU—see the scholarship chart below. 

NMU also offers many other scholarships for which you may be eligible. 






Board of Trustees Scholarships $500 to $1500 Full-time Music majors, by audition  
Marcella Beaumier Scholarship Varies Full-time Music majors, by audition  
Sylvia Casper Cohodas Music Educator Scholarship Varies Full-time Music Education majors, by audition Must be a junior or senior
Hinda Cunningham Music Scholarship Varies Full-time Music majors, by audition Preference given to full time incoming freshmen from an Upper Peninsula high school
Dr. and Mrs. John X. Jamrich Music Scholarship Varies Full-time Music majors, by audition Preference given to Piano, Violin, or Clarinet students
Joseph A. Magnino '62 Music Education Scholarship Varies Full-time Music Education majors, by audition  
Alma Swinton Memorial Scholarship Varies All students actively participating in Music Department, by audition  
Julie M. Tomasi Memorial Scholarship Varies Full-time Music majors, by audition Preference given to Piano or Voice students
Mary Trolla Choral Scholarship Varies Full-time Music Education, by audition Preference given to vocal majors who are graduates of a Marquette County high school or Upper Peninsula high school

Service Awards

Non-music majors are vital to the strength of performing ensembles and to the overall music program. The department encourages participation by these students through Service Awards. At the beginning of each academic year, non-music majors (and majors without scholarships) may be eligible for Service Awards depending on available funding and the specific needs of the department.  Service Awards are given at the discretion of area faculty and/or ensemble directors with the approval of the department head.

In addition to contacting the department office (906) 227-2563, please feel free to phone or e-mail any of the faculty if you have questions about auditions or scholarships. Contact information is available on the Faculty & Staff tab. We will be happy to help you!

Scholarship and Entrance Audition Requirements

 I.  Performance


  • All major scales (one octave ascending and descending, memorized).  Percussionists may substitute drum rudiments.
  • Chromatic scale (two octaves)
  • Sight reading example for your instrument.
  • Prepared solo with or without accompaniment (comparable to a solo performed at a Solo & Ensemble Festival).  Pianists should prepare two contrasting pieces (preferably memorized, although this is not mandatory).


(An accompanist will be available upon request. Students should provide printed music for accompanist.)

  • An ascending and descending major scale (on a neutral syllable or solfege), demonstrating normal tuning and control.
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo with accompaniment (comparable to a solo performed at a Solo & Ensemble Festival).

  II  Basic Musical Aptitude (All students)

  • Identify the names of notated pitches on the clef normally used for the instrument/voice.          
  • Sing back pitches played on the piano.
  • Echo back simple melodic intervals using  a neutral syllable (“LA”).
  • Sing a simple, familiar melody (e.g. Happy Birthday, America).
  • Echo back (clapping or tapping) a short rhythmic example in both simple and compound meter.

Entrance auditions will be conducted by one or more faculty members from the student's performance area. Auditions will generally be recorded, especially if particular faculty members cannot be present.  Be prepared for a relaxed, informal dialog with faculty; they will ask questions about personal and musical background and interests, and you will be encouraged to ask questions in turn. Students are notified of results in writing. Those who satisfy all of the entrance audition requirements are accepted as music majors. 

Though students not meeting requirements are not fully accepted as majors at that time, the audition is not intended to discourage those with the potential for successA student who does not pass the entrance audition may enroll as a provisional major in specific first semester music courses designated by the department. If they successfully complete these courses with grades of C or above, they may repeat  the entrance audition at the beginning of the next semester. Since these first semester courses match  those taken by music majors and minors, students who pass the entrance audition the second time remain on track with their peers. And even if they are unsuccessful the second time, the courses have not been wasted since they will apply to the music minor.