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Instrumental Music Auditions

To audition for Instrumental Music, fill out the BAA application by the deadline on January 26, 2024. (We highly suggest students attend the Audition Workshop in November to help prepare for their audition submission. More information on the workshop can be found HERE.)

Audition Requirements

Your Audition should include a performance of one selection on your instrument. This piece may be of any style and should contain elements that display the range of your developed skills. You will not be permitted to play along with recordings.

You must be prepared with all instruments and materials required for your audition, including sticks, reeds, guitar cables, etc. and must be prepared to play your selection.

*some students may find it helpful to watch last year's instrumental Music Audition Tutorial video for their chosen instrument HERE but please note that we are not accepting video submissions for the 2024 auditions-they will all be in-person auditions.*

Judging Criteria

Instrumental Music auditions are evaluated on the following:

Strings (Classical)

  • Ability to play two octave scales in three major keys

  • Sight-reading ability

  • Technique (bow, left hand, and level of sound production)

Percussion & Drum Set

  • Ability to play one prepared piece on any percussion instrument

  • Ability to read rhythms in standard music notation

  • Versatility across various styles (including but not limited to jazz, swing, funk, Gospel, and Latin)

  • Improvisational skills


  • Overall command of the instrument and dexterity across the keyboard

  • Sight-reading ability on treble and bass clef staves and/or grand staff

  • Technique (posture, hand position, and fingering)

  • Versatility across various styles

  • Aptitude and attitude toward learning classical and/or jazz/modern piano technique

Brass & Woodwinds

  • Ability to play major scales

  • Sight-reading ability

  • Technique (tone quality, accuracy of pitch and rhythm, and articulation)

Guitar & Bass

  • Ability to play (scales, basic chords, and notes)

  • Sight-reading ability in standard music notations

  • Ability to read and follow a simple chord chart

  • Versatility across various styles (including but not limited to jazz, rock, funk, and R&B)

Click here to view the full rubric used during Instrumental Music auditions.


After your Audition, you may be invited to attend a live callback either on Zoom or in person. Receiving a callback does not mean that a decision on admission has been made, it simply means the panel wants to see you one more time before coming to a final decision.

For instrumental music callbacks you may be asked to sight read up to four measures, perform your original piece, or participate in ear training exercises.

If you have any audition questions, please contact

Boston Arts Academy Foundation

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Boston, MA 02215