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Undergraduate Studies

YSU Admissions info -  Admissions

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Auditions: 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 recorded audition is possible pending Dr. Schaft's approval. Recordings should be a high quality DVD labeled with name, repertoire, composers, recording dates, and performers. 

     •Audition appointments. The Dana School of Music hosts annual published audition dates, typically December through February, for admission the following academic year and these dates are: 


Click online audition request form or call the Dana Office (330) 941-3636 to make an appointment and you will receive an appointment confirmation and audition day itinerary. If you cannot attend the published dates, contact Dr. Schaft directly.

    •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 new scholarships that become available.

    •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. If you have little or no theory experience you may be placed in the preparatory theory course MUSTC 1520, but you must take the placement exam regardless. In order to prepare for this exam and develop your written and aural theory skills, Dr. Jena Root, Coordinator of the Theory Department, recommends:

              1. General fundamentals (including written theory): http://www.emusictheory.com/practice.html
              2. Flash cards available on the YSU flashcard page: http://www.flashcardmachine.com/p/ysumus1
              3. Teoria: http://teoria.com/exercises/index.htm
              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 http://ysumusictheory.weebly.com/for info on theory at Dana.

   • 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 determines placement in the appropriate level Keyboard Musicianship Class. If you possess piano experience, you should take the exam to determine if you might proficiency out of any of the required courses. If you do not possess previous classical piano training, enroll in the first course, MUSAC 1581. You will be given info about the exam in the audition day itinerary sent by the Dana office.


Undergraduate Audition Guidelines

•Each 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, honors and awards, percussion teachers, 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 adaptability to instruction via a mini-lesson. We prefer you play various instruments, especially snare drum, keyboard, timpani, and drumset, but encourage you to audition even if you lack experience on some of these. 

     •Your audition should be prepared with the most qualified college preparatory teacher(s) available. Contact Dr. Schaft for private lessons or teacher referrals.


Candidates should prepare as much of the following as possible:

 Rhythm

       1.Pyramid of Microbeats Rhythm proficiency played on snare drum, up to 10 subdivisions.

       2.Ping-Pong Microbeats Rhythm proficiency played on snare drum, up to 8 subdivisions,

 Pitch

        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

        3. Interval identification — identify the distance between two pitches played on the piano. Online software programs are available to assist your aural skills development.

Snare drum

     1. Rudiments - slow to fast to slow: single stroke roll, double stroke roll, flam, flam tap, flam accent, drag, single drag tap, single paradiddle, 5, 7, and 9 stroke rolls - 30 second duration, each.

      2. Orchestral roll - Triple-bounce and/or buzz roll, gradual crescendo (soft to loud) and diminuendo (loud to soft) - 30 second duration

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

     4. Rudimental and/or orchestral style solo(s) selected from 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 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.

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 and/or four mallets. Memorization of repertoire is left to your discretion.

     4. Two-mallet treble clef sight-reading.

 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 and 4 bar solo, repeating this form.

 Timpani

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

    2. Tuning intervals may be requested.

    3. Sight-reading may be requested.

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

     •Prospective performance majors should demonstrate substantial achievement on at least one instrument. 

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

     •Composition Major Degree Audition Repertoire: Percussion audition as described below. Submit portfolio of scores and recordings of representative compositions (use CD format).

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•BM in Jazz Studies or Music Recording repertoire: similar to above with increased emphasis on drumset

•Composition Major Degree Audition Repertoire:

           •Percussion audition as described above.

           •Submit portfolio of scores and recordings of representative compositions (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 audition committee. A warm-up room is provided 30 minutes before your audition and an audition proctor will assist you when you arrive. Please check-in at Dr. Schaft's office at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time. Do not use hard plastic or acrylic mallets on xylophone, medium or hard marimba mallets, or wood mallets on timpani. No loud playing in the low register of the marimba. 

Audition outcomes — acceptance or denial. You will receive a Dana audition results notification letter about a week after the final published Dana audition date in early March. Our studio enrollment is generally 15-20 students and there are typically three to six annual vacancies.

          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” after the last audition day. 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 unless you comply with this 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 further 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 merely have no further 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  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 lessons at YSU with our faculty to correct the specified deficiencies. Minor level applied percussion lessons (1500A) are only permitted if you are concurrently enrolled in a Dana large ensemble. 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 only one semester of minor level study. We typically recommend you concurrently enroll in MUSTC 1520 preparatory theory and MUSAC 1581 Keyboard Musicianship.


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