School of Music

Admission Information

Music majors and minors must:

  1. Be academically admitted to the University
  2. Be accepted by audition to the School of Music

Note: Separate applications may be filed at any point during the school year previous to entering  

Students cannot register for music major/minor courses until they have been accepted by audition before the School of Music Auditions Committee.  

We urge students to audition on one of the specified audition dates listed on the School of Music Application to avoid unnecessary problems related to late entrance such as going through summer registration without being able to register for Music courses. In cases of a very late decision to come to WIU, application may be made during the summer prior to a fall entrance, but you will then need to audition in person just before fall classes begin and may not register for Music courses until that audition is successfully completed. There is only one audition date (usually late August) set aside for "late decision" auditions. Contact the School of Music office to be given the date and to learn if applicants are still being accepted.  

"Special Audition" privileges will only be granted to students residing outside the United States at their time of application or to those from states outside a reasonable travel distance. Such privileges must be requested through the School of Music Audition Coordinator and will be scheduled only with the approval of the Audition Committee members.

Preparing For Your Audition  

At your audition you will be simultaneously evaluated for Acceptance in Music and Award of Talent Grant in Music so you will want to perform selections that best demonstrate your technical skill and musical expression.


Candidates should prepare to perform two selections - either two solos or a solo and an etude. Select works of differing styles that will best exhibit your talent. Choose at least one solo from the classical repertoire.


If your audition calls for piano accompaniment, we will provide an accompanist for you. Music for the accompanist must be sent to the School of Music at least two weeks prior to your audition. Mark your accompaniment as to tempo, cuts, etc., and have your name and address on the first page. Photocopies are illegal and will not be accepted UNLESS the selections have to be copied from a large bound book too large to send via the postal service. Such copies will only be used for accompanists to practice from. Please be careful to copy the complete selection from edge to edge or reduce its size if larger than 8 1/2 x 11.  


Wind, mallet, and string candidates should be prepared to perform any major scale (for full playing range on wind instruments) and the chromatic scale. All scales are to be performed ascending and descending.  


All students are expected to sight-read.  

Music Placement, Theory Placement

Entering students should have a good knowledge of fundamentals including notation (treble and bass clefs, key and meter signatures, rhythm values), scales (major and three forms of minor), intervals (second through octave), chords (major, minor, augmented, and diminished), and aural skills (pitch matching, interval dictation, simple melodic and rhythmic dictation, and chord recognition).  

Piano Placement  

Students who have had several years of piano study before entering college may receive proficiency credit for advanced placement in the class piano program. Those who are not eligible for advanced placement will be placed in a beginning level piano class. Piano placement takes place at the beginning of the student's first semester.

Scholarships and Talent Grants in Music

Music Talent Service Awards are available to any full-time university student regardless of major. Awards are recommended by the Audition Committee for talented students who, in turn, fulfill a service to the university through assignment to and participation in selected School of Music ensembles. These organizations that serve the university community throughout the year include: Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Bands, Marching Band, University Singers, Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Opera Workshop. The amount of the award depends upon your talent and our need for your instrument/voice to achieve optimum ensemble balance.  

Steps in the Process  

The following is offered as a general guide and does not in any way substitute for or supercede information you may receive from the WIU Admissions Office.

  1. Apply for University Admission and Apply for Music Audition
  2. Come to campus for music audition
  3. Receive letter from the School of Music Director informing you of Acceptance Status
  4. Receive letter from the School of Music Director or Audition Committee concerning award of Talent Grant in Music
  5. Receive notice from University Admissions concerning academic admission
  6. Apply for Western Bound Registration date (January-July) and campus housing
  7. Register for classes with the assistance of music advisors at Western Bound

If you are accepted in music but denied admission to the university, let us know as we can write in support of your appeal for special admission consideration. If you are admitted to the university but not accepted for music study, we hope that you will continue your interest in music through participation in one or more of our excellent ensembles.  

If you have questions at any point in the process, do not hesitate to contact the School of Music, Trista Trone, Audition Coordinator, at (309) 298-1087 or email