Contemporary Performance

Prescreening & Audition Procedures

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Information for prospective contemporary performance students applying to Manhattan School of Music.

Contemporary Performance Prescreening Requirements

There are no prescreening requirements for Contemporary Performance.

Contemporary Performance Audition Requirements

  • One work in a pre-contemporary style that demonstrates the student’s technical and musical proficiency.
  • One 20th-century work.
  • One work written since 2000. This work may be written by the performer, by a student colleague, or by an established composer. This work may incorporate improvisation.

Applicants are encouraged to submit diverse repertoire including but not limited to works by people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, genders, and/or cultures. Choosing works that represent the applicant’s own cultural background is also welcomed.

Applicants will be asked to sight read a series of rhythmic exercises during the audition. They will also be asked to participate in an informal interview with the faculty.

All works may include electronics if desired. MSM will provide production support for electronics equipment and for large percussion instruments, but providing your own equipment is encouraged.

Performing with accompaniment is highly encouraged for the pre-contemporary and 20th-century works, if you have chosen works that include accompaniment. Performing with accompaniment for the post-2000 work is optional. MSM will provide an accompanist for your audition at no cost to you, but any rehearsal time with your accompanist must be arranged separately. If you have chosen works that require extensive rehearsal time, it is highly recommended that you provide your own accompanist.

If you are experiencing any difficulties meeting the requirements of the application or audition, please contact the Office of Admissions at and we will be happy to help.