The Hartt School

Commercial Music

At Hartt, we continue to move forward with the evolving music industry and offer the commercial music concentration to composition, music management, or music production & technology majors. Our commercial music concentration offers you the chance to continue your pursuit of musical excellence while enhancing your skills to create a career-ready path into the industry.

Students interested these Bachelor of Music programs are required to successfully pass an interview and audition.


Commercial Music Audition Requirements

Your repertoire choices should be contrasting and show that you are able to demonstrate your artistic range. We want to see your musical flexibility and skill.

**For in-person auditions, please prepare to bring your own backing track(s) and a portable speaker. Should you need assistance with technology, please contact the Hartt Admission office.

**Students who wish to audition remotely should submit videos of the audition requirements to or upload them to your applicant portal. Videos are NOT necessary for students auditioning in-person.

These are the requirements, but not the limits. We want to see who you are as an artist. Don’t hold back! Be creative and share with us your best work. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Bass, Keyboard, Guitar

  • Song 1*
  • Song 2
  • Song 3, or an original song
  • Perform the following skills: Two major scales; Two minor scales; Two Major triad arpeggios, Two minor triad arpeggios, all in two octaves.

*For students entering the Composition major no more than one of the 3 songs must be an original.


  • Song 1*
  • Song 2
  • An improvised drum solo (about one minute).
  • Technical demonstration:

Each of the following rudiments should be played twice, starting with either hand, in three sets at the following metronome markings: slow: 50 bpm, medium: 70 bpm, and fast: 90 bpm. Stroke rolls should be played open, not closed.

  • 5 stroke roll
  • 6 stroke roll
  • 7 stroke roll
  • Long double roll
  • Double Paradiddle
  • Flam Tap
  • Triple Ratamacue
  • Swiss Army Triplet

*For students entering the Composition major, one of the 2 songs must be an original.


  • Song 1*
  • Song 2
  • Song 3: an a cappella song (unaccompanied)
Vocalizing: Please prepare several scales and/or arpeggios demonstrating your vocal range and flexibility

Remote Auditions

Video Portfolio Guidelines

For students choosing to audition remotely, a complete audition portfolio consists of 5 videos:

  • 1 personal introduction,
  • 2-4 Song performances,
  • 5 Technical skills.

Please see below for specific details.

In about one minute, please tell us about your overall musicianship skills. Here are some suggested questions to lead, but not limit you, as a guide:

  • Can you read music? If so, how well?
  • Have you taken music theory and/or ear training?
  • Do you have basic piano skills?
  • Can you learn music on your own without a recording?
  • Do you play any other instruments?
  • If you are auditioning on an instrument are you open to the possibility of a vocal concentration?
  • Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your musicianship.

Provide a brief introduction to each of the songs you have chosen to perform. Please include the title, songwriter, style, etc.

• You may choose to perform the songs solo, with backing tracks, or with a band/ensemble, unless instructed otherwise.
• If performing with others, your part should be heard clearly.
• The camera angle should be positioned to clearly capture your performance. 
• For all instrumentalists both hands should be visible at all times in order to clearly assess technique. 
• Similarly for singers, the torso, head, face should be clearly visible.


Provide identification for each of the elements of the requested technical skills.

• Bass, Guitar, Keyboard: announce name/type of scale/arpeggio, then play.
• Drums: announce metronome marking set, name of rudiment, then play.
• Voice: announce name of scale/arpeggio, or other vocalization, then sing.