Master of Music Therapy auditions

Find out all you need to know about the New Zealand School of Music’s Master of Music Therapy audition process, including application and preparation.

Audition and interview process

Music Therapy is a demanding profession, both musically and personally. Your audition and interview helps the New Zealand School of Music determine your suitability for entry into this programme. As well as the audition, you will be interviewed and tested on abilities including sight-reading, sight-singing and aural skills.

Applicants are encouraged to attend the audition and interview in person in Wellington. Auditions will be held during September and October.

If that’s not possible (eg. if you live overseas) you can submit a recording of your audition. If the recording is acceptable, we may need to follow up with you in person for the skills and interview portions of the process.

The School will consider doing follow up skills testing and interviews via video call or telephone on a case-by-case basis.

International students should contact Victoria International before auditioning.

Prepare for your live audition

There will be three parts to your audition, spread over a day.

Music audition — morning session between 9am–12pm

Present yourself musically in your principle study and any other musical skills you intend to use in music therapy. You will be assessed on your ability to play with expression, communication and musicality; musical strengths, passions and flexibility; and your ability to listen, learn and adapt.

  • Perform two contrasting pieces on principle study (about 5-10 minutes, but you may be stopped by the panel). If you need the School to provide an accompanist, send your music with your audition application form.
  • Show any other instrumental/vocal skills you are able to demonstrate. This might include voice, piano, guitar, if not shown as principle study. You are welcome to include your own compositions if not shown as principle study.
  • Sight singing; sight reading from a lead sheet.
  • Aural tests.
  • Free improvisation and interactive exercises (no preparation needed).
  • Check on qualifications and academic readiness for Master's study.

Individual interview — afternoon session between 1 and 2pm

There will be a 25-minute discussion about your motivation and psychological readiness to train as a therapist. Therapeutic training requires the integration of academic and practical musical skills and an ability to reflect honestly and with insight on your personal experiences and on relationships with others. Your emotional and physical health will be assessed with consideration for your safety, and that of future clients and other students in this training. It's also an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Group session — all applicants together between 3 and 4pm

This is an opportunity to reflect back on your day in the department and to experiment with group improvisation and peer group discussion. Peer group learning is important in this training and interviewers will be looking at how you work with others.

Making a recorded audition

Read the recorded audition guidelines before you start filming.

  1. Introduce yourself by name and state the date of recording.
  2. Primary instrument audition:
    Play/sing two prepared pieces on your primary instrument/ voice. These should be of contrasting styles and should be about 5–10 minutes each in length. State the name of each piece and the composer before you begin.
  3. Functional guitar (if your audition instrument is not guitar):
    If you have ability/experience playing guitar, play a piece/song of your choice at your highest skill level. This is for placement purposes, as guitar skills are required for the courses and practicum. State the name of the piece and composer before you begin. If you do not have guitar skills, please state this.
  4. Functional keyboard (if your audition instrument is not piano):
    If you have ability/experience playing piano/keyboard, play a piece of your choice at your highest skill level. This is for placement purposes, as piano/ keyboard skills are required for the courses and practicum. State the name of the piece and composer before you begin. If you do not have piano skills, please state this.
  5. Functional voice (if your audition instrument is not voice):
    If you have ability/experience singing, sing a song of your choice at your highest skill level. This is for placement purposes, as vocal skills are required for the courses and practicum. State the name of the song and composer before you begin. If you do not have vocal skills, please state this.
  6. Share your motivation for applying. Answer each of the following with an approximately 5-minute response.
    1. Describe what music therapy is as a profession/career.
    2. Why do you want to study music therapy?
    3. What do you think would be the hardest thing about being a music therapist?
    4. Talk about one experience when you have seen music make the difference in another person's life.

Questions

Contact music@vuw.ac.nz if you have questions about auditioning.