Auditions and Placement Tests
Marianopolis has a two-stage audition process. The first stage is a pre-audition at the College. There is no application fee and no obligation to apply to Marianopolis after your pre-audition. The pre-audition gives us a chance to meet you and to evaluate your level to see if we think you are ready to proceed to the audition at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, which is the second part of the audition process. The pre-audition gives you a chance to see Marianopolis and to tell us about your background and training in performance, theory and ear training. Pre-auditions last 20 minutes and take place weekdays after school hours. Classical singers and instrumentalists must prepare two contrasting pieces for the pre-audition. Singers do not need to bring an accompanist to the pre-audition. Jazz singers and instrumentalists must prepare two songs, one of which should be a jazz standard. Jazz drummers should prepare two songs, a snare study, and demonstrate the ability to play different styles (swing, Latin, funk, etc.). All jazz performers should provide a backing track for their audition. Ability to improvise is an asset, but not required. The requirements for the auditions at McGill are below.
The second stage of the audition process, the formal audition at McGill, determines whether you are accepted into the Music Program. After you successfully complete your pre-audition we schedule your audition at McGill. They last 15 minutes and usually take place around the third week of March, typically on the weekend. Occasionally they take place weekdays. The requirements for the McGill auditions in March are the same for all jazz and classical instruments and voice except pianists, who must prepare three contrasting pieces which should be memorized. Classical instrumentalists and voice must provide their own accompanists for the McGill audition. Jazz performers may bring supporting musicians or a backing track.
Theory and Ear Placement Tests
When you successfully complete both auditions you are scheduled to take placement tests in Theory, Ear Training and Sight-Singing. The tests are held at the College in mid-March, usually on a Saturday morning. You must receive a grade of 70% in order to pass. We don’t exclude you from the Music Program if you don’t get this grade. We re-test you in August to ensure that you meet the program requirements. In order to pass the tests, you should have the equivalent of McGill Conservatory Secondary V, RCM Grade 2 Rudiments or Vincent d’Indy 6e année. You must take the placement tests even if you have completed any of these levels independently.
You must get a mark of 70% on the theory test in order to be accepted without qualification. If you get less than that on any part of the test we have you re-take the test or parts of the test in August.
The skills required for the ear-training test include:
- identifying major and minor (natural, harmonic and melodic) scales
- identifying melodies for quality (major or minor) and for type of motion (conjunct or disjunct)
- identifying scale degrees (1, 2 , 3 … 7) after the scale has been heard
- identifying intervals and their qualities (major 3rd, perfect octave, etc.) and be able to write them
- notating short heard melodic fragments (two to three notes)
- simple melodic dictation
- identifying the quality of major and minor triads
- identifying the root notes of simple chord progressions
- rhythmic dictation from pitched and unpitched examples
Sight-Singing or Solfège
You are tested on your ability to:
- sing back simple melodies which the instructor will play or sing
- clap back simple rhythms
- sing from written examples of simple to more complex melodies, using solfège syllables, numbers or note names
If you are more advanced, you can write an advanced theory placement test if you want. This test includes questions on:
Your principal instrument can be:
- Any traditional Jazz instrument such as saxophone, guitar, bass, piano, clarinet, etc.
- Jazz Voice
- Jazz Drums
- Classical Piano
- Classical Voice
- Early Music Instruments