The College of Arts and Architecture


Auditionees for the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Musical Arts degrees in piano should prepare a program of at least 15 minutes of music (no popular music, please). The repertoire should be memorized and demonstrate advanced performance ability in various styles. Audition repertoire should be of comparable difficulty to the following:

  • a three-part sinfonia (three-part invention) or a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
  • one or two movements of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven (excluding Beethoven's Sonatinas, Op. 49)
  • works by Romantic, Impressionist and/or Twentieth-century composers which require technical and musical poise

Pianists intending to pursue the Bachelor of Music Education, the Bachelor of Arts, or the performance minor should prepare repertoire of at least 10 minutes of music, including at least one memorized piece (no popular music, please). The audition should demonstrate the ability to study at an advanced level, with fluent performance of works in various styles comparable to the following:

  • a three-part sinfonia or a more difficult two-part invention by J. S. Bach (exceptions: nos. 1, 8, and 14)
  • the first movement or finale of a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven. (Intermediate student repertoire such as Beethoven Op. 49 or Mozart K. 545 should be avoided.)
  • Romantic works of medium length (i.e. Chopin waltz or nocturne; Schubert impromptu; Schumann piece from Forest Scenes). A comparable Impressionist or later Twentieth-century piece may be substituted or offered in addition. At least one piece should demonstrate lyrical style and the use of the pedal.

In addition to the material above, all auditionees may be asked to perform major and minor scales, arpeggios, and sightread.

Note: Transfer students will be evaluated in relation to the standards above for entering freshmen.

All auditionees perform before a faculty committee. In addition to the audition, the faculty will provide the opportunity for a Q/A session with applicants.

For directions about formally applying to Penn State, please visit Application Process. Once the application has been submitted, please schedule an audition by completing the online scheduling form.

In special cases, permission may be granted to submit a recorded audition. For instructions, please see Recorded Auditions vs. Live Auditions.

Contact: Dr. Christopher Guzman