Auditioning for ACMS

We understand that auditions can be a daunting experience, but we aim to make the process as easy as possible.

Below is a list of frequntly asked questions (FAQs), and an example of an audition day schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auditions

When should I audition?

Young musicians wishing to join ACMS can have a formal audition any time during P7 year. Please email us to request an audition.


What do I need to play for an ACMS audition?

Two contrasting pieces on your main instrument / voice, and one piece on your second instrument / voice.


What if I only play one instrument?

That's not a problem. In the audition we will be happy to hear only one instrument.


What if I play more than two instruments?

We will be happy to hear up to three different instruments in the audition.


How many people will be on my audition panel?

Usually 3. The Director of ACMS, a specialist in your main instrument, and the Head of Dyce Academy.


What else will be expected of me in the audition?

We will give you a sight-reading exercise on your main instrument / voice, some aural tests (e.g. singing back a melody, clapping a rhythm, singing the upper or lower of two pitches played at the same time). We will also talk to you for a few minutes about your instrument, your favourite music, and wider interests.


What standard do I need to be?

There isn't a set level of attainment that we look for. However, we take into account your performing, aural skills, sight-reading, and your interview answers to allow us to create a fuller overall picture of you.


Do I need to be studying Music Theory?

No, but understanding Music Theory is a huge advantage to any musician and you should make every effort to start developing your skills in the area as soon as you can.


What should I wear to the audition?

You can wear formal or casual attire to the audition. We want, above all, for you to feel comfortable. Do bear in mind that what you wear can enhance your performance and, as with any interview, looking smart can help to create a good impression with the panel.


When will I hear back?

There are a number of factors (musical / academic etc.) that need to be considered before we commit to offering you a place. You will definitely hear from us within two weeks.


Will I definitely be offered an audition?

No. We will send you an application form and we will make a decision based on your application. If you are not offered an auditio on a given occasion, you are still welcome to apply at a later date.




Prior to the Audition

A parent has emailed ACMS and requested an audition for her daughter Cassie, who is in P7.

Cassie is a clarinet player and also sings.

ACMS responds providing an audition date and time for the audition (usually in a few weeks).

Cassie's parent sends in the piano music (if required) for the accompanist in advance of the audition.


16.00 Cassie arrives with her dad at the Dyce Academy main office, with her instrument and music, and signs in. A member of ACMS staff comes to reception to escort Cassie and dad to the Music School.

16.05 Cassie and dad meet the ACMS staff, audition staff, and the accompanist. Cassie and the accompanist go off to a practice room to warm up and run through the music. Dad is shown to a waiting room. A member of ACMS staff will have a chat with dad and explain the audition process.

16.20 Cassie is shown to the audition room with her accompanist and meets the audition panel. The panel will typically consist of the Director of ACMS, a specialist in her instrument, and the Head of Dyce Academy.

16.25 Cassie plays her first piece followed by a second contrasting piece. Cassie then performs on her second instrument, in this case, on voice. Please note, the performance on a second instrument is optional.

16.35 The ACMS Director takes Cassie through some listening and sight-reading tests.

16.40 The audition finishes with the panel asking Cassie about her instrument, her practice routine, ensembles she is involved in, academic and other interests.

16.45 Cassie leaves the audition room with her instrument and music and goes back to the practice room where she puts her instrument away. Cassie and dad have a final chat with the ACMS staff and are then escorted back to the Dyce Academy main office.


ACMS will write to inform Cassie and dad about the results of the audition within two weeks.