Audition Information

We are delighted that you are applying to NEC! If you have any questions throughout the process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We strongly recommend that you contact the Admissions team member who specifically handles your major or degree program.

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, NEC will be adapting our application and admissions procedures for the Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 application periods. We hope that these changes will allow everyone to have a safe and successful application experience.

  • NEC will return to a live audition format for Fall 2022 auditions, but there is flexibility for applicants who are unable to travel to Boston due to ongoing pandemic restrictions. 

  • Due to the selective nature of our Doctor of Musical Arts, Harvard/NEC Five-Year Dual-Degree and Artist Diploma programs, applicants to those programs must present a live audition on campus.

Students interested in January admission should contact the Admissions Office to inquire about anticipated program openings before completing an application. Spring enrollment is never available in the Artist Diploma, Doctor of Musical Arts, Professional Piano Trio Training, Professional String Quartet Training, or Dual Degree programs.

Applicants to Composition must submit a portfolio of representative works (and recordings, if available). Composition applicants for DMA and Harvard/NEC will be screened for invitation participate in an interview. Composition applicants to all other programs will be reviewed based on the submitted portfolio only; an interview is not required.

Musicology and Music Theory applicants must submit materials that demonstrate preparedness for graduate studies. There is no performance audition for Musicology and Music Theory applicants, but finalists will be asked to arrange a remote interview with faculty.

Audition Repertoire:

Artist Diploma
Chamber Music
Collaborative Piano
Contemporary Improvisation (CI)
Jazz Composition
Jazz Performance
Music Theory
Vocal Performance
Vocal Pedagogy

Harvard/NEC dual-degree applicants should prepare the undergraduate audition repertoire.

Recording Guidelines

All recordings must be uploaded as part of the online application. The following digital file formats are supported, as are Adobe PDF files for composition scores.

  • Video: MPEG, MPG, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB

Video recordings are required for all prescreening. Each piece must be performed in a single, unedited take (with the exception of Contemporary Improvisation recordings). Each piece or composition score should be submitted as a separate file and clearly labeled with the composer's name, title of work, and movement (if applicable). It is not necessary to submit a professionally produced recording, but please be sure that the sound is of high quality and accurately represents your playing or singing. Applicants should make sure that proper lighting is used and that the camera shows full range of movement and use of instrument. We strongly encourage you to thoroughly review your recordings prior to submission.