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Applying for Music at Bishop’s – Admission Procedures

Students seeking admission must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university. See Bishop’s University Admission Process.

In addition, the Music Department requests that each applicant submit details of previous musical studies and experience. A placement audition, either live on campus or on a recording, is required. Read below for details.

As a general rule, students should possess their own instruments (with the exception of piano, harpsichord and organ).

Auditions for new Students

The Department of Music at Bishop’s requires the following supplementary application materials in order to consider a request for admission:


  • What is your instrument, or are you a singer? If you are a singer, what is your range?
  • Do you read music?
  • Are you interested in our classical or our popular music/jazz program – or both?
  • What performing experience do you have: high school band, orchestra, choir, rock group?
  • Have you taken private lessons and, if so, for how long?
  • Have you studied music theory?
  • Have you taken any music conservatory exams?


What is the purpose of the audition?
To demonstrate your preparation for study at the university level.

What should I prepare for an audition?
For classical musicians (any instrument or voice):

  • We would like to hear you play two pieces in contrasting styles (technical display, expressive musicality) that show us your present level of performance.
  • If you are preparing repertoire for a conservatory exam or are just working on some pieces in your lessons, these would be fine.

For jazz and pop musicians (any instrument or voice):

  • We would like to hear some playing that demonstrates your abilities: two contrasting pieces from the standard repertoire, one slow and the other up tempo (i.e. Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, Summertime, any Broadway, jazz, pop or rock song ):
  • If you are studying with a private teacher, enlist their help in preparing your audition.

General expectations:

While we do not demand an advanced level of performance, we would prefer that incoming students have a functional level of both reading and playing.

Where circumstances warrant, we do provide make-up courses in Music Theory Rudiments.

We would strongly encourage any student who does not read music to work on this skill before they arrive, since it will be essential for any progress through the program.

How do I complete an audition?

Prepare and submit a high-quality video file that shows you playing or singing the musical pieces requested above. In order to ensure fairness for all applicants, we accept only video-recorded auditions that meet the following technical standards:

  • Videos must be unedited performances where the piece is played from beginning to end without stopping.
  • Video must employ a camera specifically intended for video-recording (videos taken with digital photo cameras or smartphones will not be accepted).
  • Minimum video quality = HD720p.
  • Maximum length = 10 minutes.
  • The use of external microphones is recommended to ensure high-quality sound.
  • If you employ an accompanist for your recording, be sure that your own instrument/voice is clearly audible.
  • Lighting must be sufficient to provide a clear view of your hands and face.
  • Please be sure to review your video recording prior to submission to ensure that all of the above technical standards are met.

How do I submit my audition file, background letter and sheet music?
You may submit your audition video in one of the following ways:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube using the “unlisted” privacy setting, then e-mail the link to admissions@ubishops.ca.
  2. Upload your video to a file-sharing service, such as Dropbox, and send an invitation to share the file to admissions@ubishops.ca.
  3. Save your video to CD or DVD and send it by postal mail to:
    Bishop’s University Admissions Office
    McGreer 211
    2600 College, Sherbrooke, Quebec
    J1M 1Z7

You must send your musical background letter to the Admissions Office by postal mail to the above address or via email to admissions@ubishops.ca.

What are the audition deadlines?

Your letter, audition file and sheet music must be submitted to the Admissions Office by the deadlines below:

March 31 for Fall entry
November 1 for Winter entry