February 14, 2023

Admission Blog:
Composition Interview Tips

We asked Reiko Fueting (DMA ’00), Dean of the Academic Core and Head of Composition, to share tips and insights on what MSM applicants can expect at interviews, along with helpful tips from students from our composition program!

For more information about auditions, visit the Audition Information page, or contact the Office of Admission at admission@msmnyc.edu.

Reiko Fueting, Dean of the Academic Core and Head of Composition, shares audition tips and insights!

What will the interview day be like?

Fueting: Auditions for composition applicants consist exclusively of the interview, that lasts, if I’m not mistaken, about 12 minutes. What we will do is we will ask you questions about your portfolio in specific but also about other aspects of your practice as a composer in general.

Please expect an informed and prepared panel of composition faculty at MSM. We will have looked at your portfolio beforehand, and we will have prepared questions. These questions are simply out of curiosity. We’re interested in getting to know you who you are as an artist, as a person, and we are also interested in you getting to know us through our questions. So this is not a test. It is basically some time that we spent in order to become more acquainted with each other.

What advice can you offer for a successful interview?

Fueting: My top tip for a successful interview will sound like a cliché, because I know everybody else says exactly the same thing, but there’s really nothing else to say: be yourself. This is the most honest way you can present who you are as a person and as an artist. And since we’re really interested in getting to know who you are, there’s no reason to be nervous. You will not have prepared for this audition for just a week, but for your entire life, so therefore be the person that you are.

“The supportive atmosphere that the professors foster in the interview room makes it a unique audition experience where one can feel comfortable sharing one’s most representative music.”

.What would you recommend applicants do while in NYC?

Fueting: There are too many things to do in New York City for me to recommend! Maybe if I had to pick one, simply walk around. New York is a city that you really get to know when you walk, and it’s extremely diverse. The more you walk, the more you will see how different it can be. At any moment, it can change, and that’s what makes the city so exciting.

If you want a specific list, please send me an email (rfueting@msmnyc.edu), and I have one already prepared with certain museums to check out or restaurants or neighborhoods to see and streets to walk. But, other than that, why don’t you discover the city yourself?

Is there anything else applicants should know?

Fueting: If you happen to interview at MSM in person (and in my experience, by the way, there is no difference whether you interview on Zoom or in person) on Tuesday, February 28, at 6pm, we have an event — a reception for applicants who are around. Besides simply socializing and talking to current students and faculty, some of our current composition students will have also prepared a performance specifically for you. I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but this is exactly why I’m looking forward to it! So please come and see the performance.

Click through to see some highlights from MSM composer projects!

Performances include both small and large ensemble opportunities.

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