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YSU Admissions info -  Admissions


Audition for Music Minor Status - A brief audition and interview is required. Please contact Dr. Schaft to make an appointment. Audition assesses rhythmic skills, aural skills, instrumental achievement, sight-reading, and receptivity to instruction via a mini-lesson. Please demonstrate whatever experience your possess on the instrument(s) you wish to study such as drumset, snare drum, keyboard percussion, timpani. 


Auditions for Music Major Status: Following admission to the University, each prospective student must demonstrate certain musical proficiency levels in a percussion audition/interview for admittance to the Dana School of Music. An on-campus audition and interview is preferred, but a pre-recorded audition is possible pending Dr. Schaft's approval. Recordings should be a high quality audio/visual file labeled with name, repertoire, composers, recording dates, and performers. 

 •Audition appointments for Music Major Status. The Dana School of Music hosts annual published entrance audition dates for admission the following academic year. The 2021-22 Entrance Audition date is February 27, 2021.  Call Dr. Schaft  (330) 518-4812 to make an appointment and you will receive a confirmation and audition day itinerary. 

    •Audition and scholarship deadlines. See YSU Financial Aids for academic scholarships deadlines. For music scholarship consideration, you must complete your audition by the last published Dana audition day, in any case no later than March 7. Entrance auditions may occur throughout the year pending studio vacancies. Current majors are automatically re-considered for scholarship renewal and any scholarships that become available.

    •Theory. A mandatory theory placement exam is designed to place you in the appropriate theory class and is administered on the Dana audition days or at the beginning of each semester. In order to prepare for this exam and develop your written and aural theory skills, Dr. Jena Root, Coordinator of the Theory Dep.t, recommends:

              1. General fundamentals (including written theory):
              2. Flash cards available on the YSU flashcard page:
              3. Teoria:
              4. Leo Kraft's A New Approach to Ear Training is a huge volume of melodic and harmonic dictation exercises, with CDs and answers included. Great for studying on your own in a methodical, disciplined way.

              •See info on theory at Dana.

   •Piano. As a music major, piano is considered your minor instrument, and four semesters of study or equivalent proficiency, is required in all Bachelor of Music degrees. The Piano Placement Exam, given on each audition day, determines placement in the appropriate level Keyboard Musicianship Class. If you possess piano experience, you should take the exam to determine if you proficiency out of any of the required courses. If you do not possess previous classical piano training, enroll in the first course, MUAC 1581. 

Undergraduate Music Major Audition Guidelines

•Each undergraduate percussion candidate is allotted a 30-minute audition/interview.

       1. Performance. Choose 10-15 minutes of music representing your highest musical achievements. We are interested in your potential, intrinsic motivation, commitment to becoming your best, and your musical achievement — especially your concept of motion/sound production, awareness of rhythm and pitch, and a sustained habit of productive practice. Memorization of repertoire is left to your discretion.

       2. At your audition please submit to Dr. Schaft your résumé including: contact info, school related musical experience, other musical experience, academic and musical honors and awards, private percussion teacher names and how long you studied with each, and three references including title/position, phone, and email. 

       3. Interview includes: our feedback about your audition, discussion of your university and career goals, and answering your questions.

Audition Repertoire for Percussion Major Status - Auditions assess rhythmic skills, aural skills, instrumental versatility and achievement, sight-reading, and receptivity to instruction via a mini-lesson. Please demonstrate whatever experience your possess on the various instruments such as snare drum, keyboard percussion, timpani, and drumset. 

     •Your audition should be prepared with the most qualified college preparatory teacher(s) available. Please contact Dr. Schaft for private lessons or teacher referrals. Private lessons of one-hour per week with someone who understands our entrance expectations help assure a well-prepared entrance audition. 

Candidates should prepare as much of the following as possible:

 Rhythm-played on drumset, hands play microbeats on snare drum, play quarter note macrobeats on bass drum and hit

       1.Pyramid of Microbeats up to 8 subdivisions.

       2.Ping-Pong Microbeats  up to 8 subdivisions.

 Pitch-aural skills

        1. Pitch matching — hum pitches played for you by Dr. Schaft on the piano. Use syllable "La"

        2. Sing, using solgege or scale degree numbers, major or natural minor scales and arpeggios one octave up and down

Snare drum

     1. Rudiments - slow to fast to slow for 30 seconds: single stroke roll, double stroke roll, alternated flams, flam tap, flam accent, alternated drags, single paradiddle, 5, 7, and 9 stroke rolls.

     2. 30” Orchestral triple bounce/buzz roll soft-loud-soft, i.e. 15” crescendo and 15” diminuendo

     3. Perform traditional rudimental snare solo Downfall of Paris (download pdf)

     4. Rudimental and/or orchestral style solo(s) selected from sources such as Wilcoxon All-American Drummer or Rudimental Swing Solos, John Pratt 14 Modern Contest Solos, New Pratt Book, Alan Abel solo 2040’s Sortie, other Class A level contest solo, Cirone – Portraits In Rhythm, Peters – Intermediate Snare Drum Studies, Advanced Snare Drum StudiesEtudes For Snare Drum, Delecluse - Studio M series or 12 Etudes books.

      4. Sight-reading may be requested.

Keyboard - marimba, xylophone, or vibraphone

     1. Chromatic scales, two octaves, memorized. (download pdf)

     2. 12 major scales and arpeggios, 12 natural minor scales and arpeggios — two octaves, memorized. (download pdf) 

     3. Solo or etude of your choice — two or four mallets. Memorization of repertoire is left to your discretion.

     4. Two-mallet treble clef sight-reading may be requested.

 Drum set - Demonstrate timekeeping and soloing in styles such as swing, jazz waltz, Brazilian-bossa nova or samba, Afro-Cuban-mambo or songo, rock, and funk. For example — play an 8 measure cycle; 4 bar time-feel groove and 4 bar solo, repeating this form. 


    Two to four drum solo or etude from Peters – Fundamental Method for Timpani or similar method book such as Goodman, Friese/Lepak, Carroll, Hochrainer,etc.



     •Prospective music education majors (BME) should ideally demonstrate a balanced experience including snare, keyboard, timpani, and drumset.

     •Prospective performance majors (BM) should demonstrate instrumental versatility and substantial achievement on one instrument. 

     •Prospective majors in Jazz Studies (BMJ) or Music Recording (BMR) repertoire: similar to above with significant drumset emphasis.

     •Prospective jazz vibraphone majors BMJ) should play a solo or etude and improvise over a blues and/or standard song form.

     •Prospective Composition majors (BMC) will perform a percussion audition and submit a portfolio of scores and recordings of representative compositions (use CD format).


Audition Logistics - Auditions are held in Dr. Schaft’s studio - 2234 Bliss Hall. We provide snare drum, marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, drum set, timpani, congas. Bring your mallets and an extra copy of your music for the committee. Please check-in at Dr. Schaft's office 30 minutes before your audition – a warm-up room is provided 30 minutes before your audition and an audition proctor will assist you. Please no hard plastic or acrylic mallets on xylophone, medium or hard marimba mallets, wood mallets on timpani, or loud playing in the low register of the marimba. 

Audition outcomes — You will receive a Dana audition results notification letter (typically early March) about a week after the final published Dana audition date. Our studio enrollment is generally 15-20 students.

          1. Acceptance as a percussion major—we believe you are capable of successfully completing your proposed degree program and will email you a “percussion division letter of intent”. You should complete the letter and return it, postmarked by May 1, to indicate your attendance plans and to provide feedback about your YSU visitation day and audition experience. We cannot hold your studio position or guarantee scholarship funding beyond this national standard deadline. Once accepted as a major, please see Advisement & Registration.

          2.Denial of admission—four possible outcomes:

                A. Long-term denial. You did not demonstrate the musical aptitude or achievement necessary to pass the first semester applied percussion course and are denied admission to major and minor level applied lessons and percussion ensemble. We believe that significant deficiencies exist and that you should not re-audition for at least one year or pending significant private study and achievement.

               B. Waiting list. We believe you possess the musical aptitude and achievement necessary to pass the first semester applied percussion course and a re-audition is not necessary; we simply have no available studio openings at present. Notification of full-acceptance, pending studio vacancies, typically occurs by May 7. Upon notification of acceptance, see advisement & registration.

                C. Short-term or minor deficiencies. We recommend that you study privately to address minor deficiency(s) specified during your audition or in your audition results letter and then re-audition in late-July or early-August before the beginning of fall semester. We recommend this option if we believe you are capable of correcting short-term deficiencies before your first semester at YSU.

               D. Minor level recommendation. We believe you possess sufficient musical aptitude to be accepted at the major level pending an re-audition, but require at least one semester of minor level applied percussion lessons MUAC 1500A) at YSU with our faculty to correct specified deficiencies. You will study with the percussion faculty and receive practice room access. You must perform a jury (audition for major status) during final exam week of that semester. Pending a passing lesson and jury grade (letter grades A-C), you will be admitted to major level status. Generally, we only permit one semester of minor level study. 

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