Music Program Requirements

Ambrose University Music Degrees

Bachelor of Music (120 credits)

Bachelor of Arts: Music Major (120 credits)

Bachelor of Arts: Music Concentration (90 credits)

Music Minor (18 credits)

Worship Arts Minor (21 credits)

Ambrose University assesses the performance level and music theory background of all applicants.  Your audition, theory placement test (or proof of level) and interview assist us in both determining admission and fostering your success as a student and professional musician.   

Materials to Submit

Resume

Please submit a resume which outlines your music background. This can include private lessons, ensemble experience, high school/church/community music, competitions, and leadership opportunities.

Ambrose Arts Mentorship Award Personal Statement

To be considered for the Ambrose Arts Mentorship Award applicants are required to submit a Personal Statement with the title ‘Ambrose Arts Mentorship Award Statement of Purpose.’  In approximately 250 words, please tell a story about who you are and discuss your educational and career goals.  Please describe how the mentorship program will help you achieve your goals. 

For more information:  https://ambrose.edu/ambrose-arts-mentorship-award

Audition Information

General Audition Dates for 2020-21 are as follows:

            Saturday, January 23, 2021 (Afternoon)

            Monday, February 22, 2021 (Morning)

            Monday, March 22, 2021 (Morning)

It is highly recommended that applicants audition before the end of March (please note University scholarship deadlines). If the applicant cannot audition on one of the general audition dates, other (earlier or later) times may be arranged, subject to Music Department approval.

It is expected that applicants within reasonable driving distance of Ambrose University will audition in person. Recorded auditions may be considered subject to approval by the Music Department. Please contact the Music Department before submitting a recorded audition: bdebruyn@ambrose.edu

In preparing your audition, please see specific instrument requirements below.

Instructions:

Please submit all of your audition materials to: Barbara de Bruyn bdebruyn@ambrose.edu

  1. Apply to the University and the music degree of your choice.  It is also possible to apply to the University following your audition, but the entrance audition will not be considered valid until a University application is completed.  
  2. Submit your resume.  If you wish to apply for an Ambrose Arts Mentorship Award, please submit your Personal Statement.
  3. Contact Ambrose Arts Assistant, Barbara de Bruyn, bdebruyn@ambrose.edu (or phone 403-410-2000, Ext. 2969) and clearly identify the following:
    • To which program are you applying—BMus?  BA (Music), Music Minor, or Worship Arts?
    • What is your instrument?
  4. Choose one of the audition dates and arrange an audition.
  5. If you require an accompanist for the audition, you may bring your own or contact Barbara de Bruyn prior to your audition.
  6. Indicate any special equipment needed for your audition. Do you require—playback system, amps, percussion instruments, etc.?
  7. Arrange for your theory placement exam, if needed. Do you plan to write the theory placement exam at the time of your audition or at a later date? We recommend that a theory placement exam be written by the end of June.
  8. Your audition visit will include an informal interview with Ambrose Arts faculty where you will discuss your career and educational goals, learn more about the Ambrose University music program, and ask questions.

Music Theory Information

A minimum theory understanding is required of each applicant.  This may be satisfied by:

  1. Showing a Level 8 RCM Theory Exam or passing a placement exam, based on the Level 8 RCM [formerly called “Advanced Rudiments”] theory requirements. Students may write the exam at the time of their audition or at another pre-arranged time.  Theory requirement must be satisfied by the end of June for a Fall entrance and the end of November for a January entrance.  Contact Ambrose Arts Assistant, Barbara de Bruyn bdebruyn@ambrose.edu  if an alternate arrangement is needed.
  2. Please note that a minimum of 70% is required on the theory placement exam. If an applicant is deficient (below a 70% mark), a plan for remedial study and/or re-examination will be established but the student cannot enter the music program until the theory requirement is satisfied. Remedial study may be met by registering for MU 026 - Introduction to Music Theory offered by Ambrose University.

Preparation for Music Theory Placement Exam

The applicant should know the following:

  • Music Notation: Staff systems (treble and bass clefs only), note names
  • Time Values: Note/Rest values
  • Diatonic and chromatic semitones and whole tones
  • Accidentals: Sharps, flats, naturals, double sharps/flats
  • Key Signatures: Major and minor keys
  • Major Scales: ascending/descending, with or without key signatures
  • Minor Scales: Natural, harmonic, melodic—ascending/descending, with or w/o key signatures
  • Chromatic Scales: ascending/descending
  • Intervals: Major and minor 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, 7ths; Perfect 4ths, 5ths; 8ves and inversions
  • Tritones (dim. 5ths/aug. 4ths) and inversions
  • Compound intervals and inversion
  • Meter: Simple time, Compound time, and Irregular time
  • Chords: I, IV, V, V7, Diminished, and Augmented (Write the chords—three or four-note formats— in root position or any inversions requested; or recognize them as printed)
  • Cadences (in chorale or keyboard style): Perfect, imperfect, plagal, deceptive
  • Transposition of a music passage from one key to another--major, minor, augmented, or diminished
  • Simple Roman numeral analysis of a harmonized selection
  • Simple harmonic analysis of primary chords, including figured bass (6 AND 6/4 triads and 7, 6/5, 4/3, and 4/2 chords)
  • Primary Chords (I, IV, V) V7, ii, vi, viio – major or minor modes
  • Primary analysis of given composition – terms, articulations, keys, chords, etc.
  • An awareness of church modes, pentatonic, octatonic, or blues scales

To prepare, we recommend a thorough study of The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments by Mark Sarnecki (Published by Frederick Harris Music, Copyright 2010) --2nd Edition.

Individual Instrument Audition Requirements

Please see the requirements for your instrument(s) below. Music Minor students (regardless of instrument) are asked to perform 1-2 pieces which represent their current level. 

Classical Studies

Brass excluding Trombone

  • Two contrasting pieced and/or etudes that reflect their level of performance. A grade Eight RCM level of performance is recommended. (See RCM Syllabi)
  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Sight reading

Guitar

  • Major Scales in two octaves (ascending & descending), preferably with note name recital.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in both rest and free stroke techniques using at least two different alternating finger patterns (i.e. i-m, m-a, i-m-a etc.)
  • Arpeggios; two or more contrasting arpeggio patterns from Giuliani’s 120 Right Hand studies OR from the RCM Bridges Technique book.
  • Two works demonstrating proficiency in contrasting stylistic periods. (i.e. Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc.)

Percussion

     Snare drum:

  • One rudimental solo from Wilcoxon, Rudimental Swing Solos or similar.
  • One orchestral solo from Cirone, Portraits in Rhythm; Delécluse méthode de caisse-claire; or similar.

     Keyboard:

  • One two- or four-mallet solo (single movement if from a multi-movement work) from J.S. Bach, Violin Concerto in A Minor, Suites for Solo Cello, Violin Sonatas and Partitas; Kabalevski (arr. Goldenberg), Galloping Comedians; Khachaturian (arr. Goldenberg), Sabre Dance; or similar.
  • Major & minor scales and arpeggios

     Timpani:

  • One study from Vic Firth - The Solo Timpanist; Mitchell Peters - Intermediate Timpani Studies; Saul Goodman - Modern Method for Timpani; Delécluse studies; or similar
  • Tuning tasks involving one or more pitches from a different reference pitch
  • Sight reading on keyboard and snare drum.

Piano

BMus

  • Three contrasting pieces, of which one should be a classical sonata at the Grade Ten RCM or equivalent level.

BA: Music Major or Concentration

  • Three contrasting pieces which one must be a classical sonata from the Grade Nine RCM or equivalent level.

Strings

  • 3 octave scale and arpeggio (own choice) slurred and spicatto, at the fastest comfortable tempo
  • One movement from an unaccompanied Bach suite, sonata or partita
  • One movement from a concerto from the standard repertoire
  • One selection from any musical period excluding the musical period represented byt their own choice concerto movement

Trombone

  • Major and minor scales, up to four flats and sharps, legato and marcato.
  • Own choice of Bordogni Vocalise from "Melodious Etudes for Trombone"  J. Rochut ed, Volume 1
  • One solo work of own choice, one movement (examples to choose from, but not limited to:  Hasse Suite, Marcello Sonatas, Galliard Sonatas, Ropartz Andante and Allegro)

Voice

  • Assessment is based on ability and potential.
  • A minimum of two songs of contrasting nature should be prepared for the audition
  • Selections that demonstrate your vocal ability are expected. 
  • Selections should normally be from Classical or folk repertoire. Languages other than English are welcome

Woodwinds

  • Applicants will be required to play two contrasting pieced and/or etudes that reflect their level of performance. A grade Eight RCM level of performance is recommended. (See RCM Syllabi)
  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Sight reading

Jazz Studies

Jazz Double Bass:

  • Major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales in 12 keys over two octaves. 
  • Arpeggios of major and minor triads and 7th chord forms (dom.7, maj7, min7, min7b5, dim7).
  • Play a jazz standard in medium swing tempo
  • Play a second one in contrasting feel (Latin, jazz waltz jazz ballad). On each selected tunes be prepared to play the melody and at least one chorus of improvised solo.
  • In addition, be ready to perform a short classical etude of your choice.
  • Sight reading excerpts from jazz and classical styles will be provided.

Jazz Electric Bass:

  • Major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales in 12 keys over two octaves. 
  • Arpeggios of major and minor triads and 7th chord forms (dom.7, maj7, min7, min7b5, dim7).
  • A jazz standard in a medium swing tempo and
  • A second standard in contrasting feel.
  • For both tunes be ready to play the melody, at least one full chorus of improvised solo and a walking bass line. 

Jazz Guitar

  • Major Scales in 2 octaves (ascending & descending), preferably with note name recital
  • All basic 7th chords (Maj7, Min7, Dominant7, Min7b5), 2 versions of each
  • Brief reading assessment (using randomly chosen lead sheet)
  • 2 prepared jazz pieces*: 1 jazz standard (with expectation of melody, chords & improvisation in time), 1 solo jazz piece (brief chord melody).
  • examples of acceptable Jazz Standards:
    • Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, Billie’s Bounce, Take The A Train, Equinox, Tune Up

Jazz Percussion

  • Perform a snare drum solo
    Demonstrate the top 40 rudiments listed by PAS http://www.pas.org/resources/education/Rudiments1.aspx
  • Demonstrate the following styles:
  • Jazz 4/4 feel – medium and fast tempo
  • Trading 4's in a Jazz format 
  • Shuffle - Blues/Rock & Jazz Shuffle
  • Brush playing - ballad and medium swing feel
  • Brazilian - Bossa Nova and Samba feel
  • Cuban - Songo, Afro Cuban 6/8 feel, Cha-cha, Mambo
  • Funk - straight 16th note groove & swung 16th note groove

Listed below are some recommended books to help assist in the student’s development and preparation for the audition.

  • Art of Bop - John Riley
  • Stick Control - George Stone
  • Modern Rudimental Swing Solos for the Advanced Drummer - Charley Wilcoxon
  • Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset - Duduka Da Fonseca/Bob Weiner
  • The Essence of Afro-Cuban Percussion & Drum set - Ed Uribe

Jazz Piano

  • Major scales played at minimum quarter note = 80 played in this sequence: 
    • quarter notes = 1 octave
    • eighth notes- = 2 octaves
    • triplets = 3 octaves
    • sixteenth notes = 4 octaves
  • Diatonic chords
    • Solid, hands together, one octave up and down in any key.
  • Seventh chords:
    • in all keys, maj, mi7, mi7b5, mi(maj7) and diminished 7th.
    • Play these solid in all inversions, hands together.
    • Broken in all inversions hands together.
  • Voicings in ii-V-I 
    • 3rds and 7ths in the left hand.
    • if possible, two handed voicings, major and minor ii-V-I.
  • Perform a written piece that reflects a minimum grade 8 level. Can be classical or in the jazz style (a transcription, or published piece in the jazz style).
  • one or two jazz pieces (playing melody and an improvised solo). 
    • Swing pieces can consist of a Blues (i.e. Billie’s Bounce; Sonny Moon For Two; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Au Privave etc.) or swing “standards” (i.e. Autumn Leaves; Take The “A” Train; Beautiful Love;
    • Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; So What; Solar). 

Contrasting repertoire to swing could be a

    • Ballad (i.e. In A Sentimental Mood; Polka Sots and Moonbeams; What’s New; I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Moonlight In Vermont; Stardust; I Can’t Get Started),
    • a Latin (i.e. Blue Bossa; Song For My Father; A Night In Tunisia; Desifinado; Black Orpheus; Wave),
    • or a “straighteighth” Rock, Funk,
    • or Shuffle (i.e. Watermelon Man; Mr. Clean; Little Sunflower; Sister Sadie; The Jody Grind; Sugar). 

Jazz Saxophone

  • Major scales: All major scales are in play, but, only a couple will be requested, full range of the instrument, in eighth notes, starting on the lowest root note going as high as possible within the key, down as low as possible, and then back to lowest root note (m.m.100).
  • Minor Scales: Natural minor and harmonic minor up to two flats and two sharps are in play, but, only a couple will be requested, full range of the instrument, in eighth notes, starting on the lowest root note going as high as possible within the key, down as low as possible, and then back to lowest root note (m.m.100).
  • Prepared pieces: 

Two jazz pieces of contrasting styles prepared (playing melody and an improvised solo). 

    • Swing pieces can consist of a Blues (i.e. Billie’s Bounce; Sonny Moon For Two; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Au Privave etc.) or swing “standards” (i.e. Autumn Leaves; Take The “A” Train; Beautiful Love; Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; So What; Solar). 

Contrasting repertoire to swing could be a

    • Ballad (i.e. In A Sentimental Mood; Polka Sots and Moonbeams; What’s New; I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Moonlight In Vermont; Stardust; I Can’t Get Started),
    • a Latin (i.e. Blue Bossa; Song For My Father; A Night In Tunisia; Desifinado; Black Orpheus; Wave),
    • or a “straighteighth” Rock, Funk,
    • or Shuffle (i.e. Watermelon Man; Mr. Clean; Little Sunflower; Sister Sadie; The Jody Grind; Sugar). 
  • Classical repertoire: A Classical etude; study or short work (unaccompanied or accompanied) can be substituted for one jazz piece.  

Jazz Trumpet and Tombone

  • Select one piece from each of the three categories below. For each selection, prepare the melody and an improvised solo. The tunes listed below are examples.
    • Blues (examples: Billie's Bounce; Au Privave; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Sonny Moon for Two; Blues Walk).
    • Ballads (examples: Body and Soul; What's New; I Can't Get Started; I Fall in Love too Easily).
    • Jazz Standards (examples: Blue Bossa; Solar; All the Things You Are; So What; Green Dolphin Street; What is this Thing Called Love; Stella by Starlight; Four; Night and Day).
  • Prepare Classical Studies: Two short studies or études of your choice.
  • Prepare one transcription and play it along with the original recording. For example, play along with the original recording of Charlie Parker's improvised solo on Now's the Time. The object is to evaluate accuracy, style, time concept, articulation, phrasing and sound.

 

 

 

Your Ambrose Enrolment Team

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For all enrolment inquiries contact:

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Toll Free: 800-461-1222
Email: enrolment@ambrose.edu

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