Graduate Music Therapy Admissions and Auditions
This page is for Graduate Music Therapy admissions. Click here for Undergraduate Admission and Audition information.
General Information about Auditions
Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently offering only remote auditions.
Prospective Master of Science in music therapy students should first apply to Molloy College at https://www.molloy.edu/admissions/apply-now. Once Admissions processes your application, your complete file will be sent to the Music Department. We will contact you to schedule an interview and audition if you have met the basic requirements for eligibility for our program. We are offering rolling auditions throughout the year.
We look forward to meeting with you and hearing you play and sing at your audition. Our aim is to help you feel welcomed and as comfortable as possible during our time together. Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently offering only remote auditions.
Remote auditions will take place entirely over synchronous video conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Skype) or using a combination of live video conferencing and pre-recorded videos.
Here are some of the possibilities for what the remote auditions can look like, however we encourage you to contact us so we can help you determine what might be the best and most feasible option for you.
Audition components that need to be completed over live video conferencing:
- Play 2 guitar and 2 piano songs (See Guitar/Voice/Piano Proficiency section).
- Improvisation with panel member(s)
Audition components in which pre-recorded videos are accepted:
- Two contrasting pieces on primary instrument (See Primary Instrument section)
- Play 2 guitar and 2 piano songs (See Guitar/Voice/Piano Proficiency section). If it is not possible to perform guitar or piano songs live due to time zone differences or your environment, you may submit them via recording ahead of the date of the audition.
The recording(s) can be uploaded to YouTube and a link will be shared with panel members. You can set the link to "Unlisted," so that only those with a link can view the video. Your video will not be shared outside of Molloy Music faculty. If you need assistance with uploading a video recording, please contact us at email@example.com and we can send instructions.
Materials required for remote auditions:
- Computer/laptop/tablet/phone with working video and audio
- Headphones with a built-in microphone is recommended for the interview portion of audition
Helpful tips for remote auditions:
Set up your space for success. This includes:
- Placing the computer/laptop/tablet/phone where you and the instrument you are playing can be seen AND heard. This includes angling your video so it is possible to see both of your hands on the keyboard and on the guitar as you play.
- Have the source of lighting directed towards you or from above. For example, a ceiling light will work or sit in front of a window/lamp with the camera not facing the window.
- Be aware of your surroundings in knowing that the faculty will see what is in the background.
Practice your audition by recording yourself to test your lighting and audio.
You will perform two pieces or songs in two different styles/genres on your primary instrument. Your primary instrument is the main instrument you play with comfort and competency. This may include: piano, voice, guitar, percussion, or any wind or string instrument. If you have questions regarding your primary instrument, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of contrasting pieces or songs:
- Different tempi (Fast and Slow)
- Different time periods (Baroque and Romantic; 1940s and 2010s)
- Different levels of expressiveness (Upbeat and Dramatic)
- One pre-composed and one self-composed, if you are a songwriter
- One song from your culture and one from another culture
- Different styles (Jazz and Gospel; Broadway and Pop; Hip Hop and Reggae; Hard Rock and Bluegrass; Country and R&B; two contrasting cultural pieces)
More Information about Primary instrument:
Repertoire choices for the audition can be in sheet music form and memorized if possible, especially for vocalists. Memorizing music is a necessary skill in order to remain present in sessions while attending to a client's needs. If you are bringing sheet music, please email two additional copies for the audition panel to email@example.com. If there is no score for your song, please provide an mp3 or YouTube link with good audio quality prior to your audition.
Guitar, Voice, and Piano Proficiency:
You will demonstrate basic proficiency by singing while accompanying yourself on piano and guitar. Be prepared to sing and play two different songs for piano and for guitar (for a total of 4 different songs prepared). We will choose a minimum of one of your prepared songs for each instrument. Please choose your songs from the following song list. These are examples of music that might be used in music therapy sessions with a variety of clients: Here is our song list. If you have a song in mind that is not in the list, please let us know ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After playing your two pieces or songs for the faculty, you will be asked to sight read and sight sing with your choice of accompanying instrument (either piano or guitar).
Sight reading is when you are asked to read and perform music without any previous preparation. The melody will be written out on the staff and there will be chord names above the staff. You will be asked to sing the words of the song and provide the chordal accompaniment on your choice of piano or guitar. The song you will sight read will be chosen by the Molloy Faculty Audition panel. You will be given a few moments to look over the song prior to playing for the panel. You will be asked to play and sing one verse/chorus of the song.
In music therapy sessions, clients often request songs that are meaningful to them. Therefore, sight reading is an important skill to obtain.
- Be mindful of the time signature and the key signature
- Find your starting note
- Look over the chords to ensure your readiness to play each chord
- No matter what happens, keep going!
Please see the below for an example of a lead sheet with chords and melody:
Reading musical notation:
Music therapists play and sing a wide variety of music from various cultures and traditions that is important to their clients' lives. Assessing your familiarity with Western musical notation is one way we will assess your overall musicality.
- We will ask you to identify treble and bass clef notes on the musical staff and play them on the keyboard.
- An audition panel member will ask you to repeat two musical ideas: 1) a short rhythmic pattern and 2) sing a short melodic phrase
- We will also ask you to read a short rhythmic phrase and clap it back.
Improvisation with Audition Panelist:
You will be asked to engage in improvisational music-making with one of the audition panel members. You may choose either playing a drum or singing. The faculty panel member will begin by playing a harmonic progression on the piano or guitar and singing a short phrase. The panel member will leave a space for you to sing and/or play a percussive instrument in response. The goal is to assess how you are able to naturally engage in musicing and "have a musical conversation." We understand that you may not have improvisational training and that's absolutely ok and not expected! Improvising during your audition will help us understand how you make music with and potentially for others, as this is what we do in music therapy. Please view this YouTube video example of what "improvisation with audition panelist" may look like.
We will interview you to assess your compatibility for Molloy's music-centered psychotherapy graduate program. We encourage prospective students to research the field of music therapy, specifically music psychotherapy, prior to their audition/interview and/or observe or speak with a music therapist. We also encourage prospects to ask questions regarding the program during the interview.
If you are interested in learning about the use of music therapy in different communities and settings, you can look at our International Open Access Journal, Voices, A World Forum for Music Therapy, and search this website with keywords to locate articles that may be more tailored to your interests: https://voices.no/index.php/voices/search
We will ask you to write a short essay in response to a given text. Our administrative assistant, Coleen Petersen, will send you a short music therapy reading with some questions either immediately following your audition or at a time that is more convenient for you. You will have 30 minutes to write this essay.
The purpose of the essay is to get an idea about your writing in response to a given text. Your acceptance into the program will not be based upon your submission. The essay will give us ideas about how we can support you as a writer & scholar. We ask that you do not consult any references, seek editing help, and to please write in your own words.
For prospective students whose native language is not English the TOEFL exam will be required, with a minimum score of 500. Students will be tested on the English language competency and need to score a 90 percent to pass.
International Student Admissions Contact Faye Hood at 516.323.4009 or FHood@molloy.edu.