Music Department

Audition For Department of Music

Undergraduate Audition and Admission Information

Applying to the University

In order to pursue a degree in music Prospective High School Seniors and Transfer Students must apply and be admitted to Cleveland State University. Information on University admissions requirements, financial aid, and other general information may be obtained from the Cleveland State Admissions Office or log on to Freshman applicants and transfer students with exceptional academic records should consider applying for any of the University’s other generous merit-based awards.

Audition For Department of Music

Once your completed application for admission to the University has been received, you should schedule am on-campus audition on your primary instrument. Please complete and submit the Undergraduate Audition Applications for the Department of Music. In-State audition dates are posted on the Undergraduate Application as well as this page. Applications may be submitted on-line to or mailed to Kate Bill, Student Recruiter/Enrollment Administrator - 2121 Euclid Avenue MU 330 - Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214. You will be notified as to your time and date. *Note: it is best to schedule as soon as possible.

The Department of Music requires a successful audition for all freshmen and transfer students on one’s major instrument or voice in which is displayed their technical and artistic proficiency. It is important when preparing an audition to consider selecting audition pieces that best demonstrate musical and technical capabilities. The audition determines acceptance as music major. All in-state students are strongly encouraged to audition on campus. CD or DVD auditions may be accepted from out-of-state applicants (at least 400 mi.) and international applicants, where travel to Cleveland presents an extreme hardship. Please make sure the audition repertoire on the CD/DVD is in accordance with the Undergraduate Audition Requirements. To guarantee full consideration for the Music Talent Scholarship students must audition no later than last posted audition date.  Audition results are reviewed and admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

If you have questions about applying to the Department of Music, you might find your answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

2018 Cleveland State University

Department of Music Auditions

Saturday, January 13, 2018
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 2018 (Strings Only)

Music Education Interviews January 13, February 24 and March 3, 2018 only
Music Therapy Interviews February 24 and March 3, 2018 only
All students with percussion as their principal instrument must schedule an in-person audition.

Please refer to TBA

Undergraduate Requirements – Music Composition, Music Education and Music Therapy

MUSIC COMPOSITION - Students wishing to pursue the Bachelor of Music in Composition are required to meet with Dr. Andrew Rindfleisch, Coordinator of the Composition Program,  Please contact Dr. Rindfleisch directly to schedule a meeting.

MUSIC EDUCATION - Cleveland State University offers a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Program that lead to eligibility for teacher licensure in the State of Ohio. Students in our rigorous degree program study both music and education with our renowned applied (performance) and music education faculty. There are many opportunities to perform in large and small ensembles, and every year of study includes field experiences observing and teaching music, culminating in a semester of full-time student teaching working alongside carefully selected mentor teachers. All music education majors study all areas of K-12 music education (general, vocal, and instrumental; elementary and secondary), so they are prepared to pursue any employment opportunity that arises. Our graduates teach in many excellent public and private schools in Northeast Ohio.

CSU Music Education Faculty:

Application Requirements:

  • Audition with Applied Area Faculty
  • Entrance Interview with Music Education Faculty
  • Minimum ACT or SAT scores as follows:

ACT: math 20, reading 20, English 20
SAT: math 510, reading 500, writing 490

Preferred Application Materials (not required, but recommended):

  • CSU Music Education Recommendation Form (completed by a school music teacher)
    - School Music Teacher Confidential Report
  • Writing Sample (a paper from a High School course that represents an applicant's best writing)

Preferred Interview Preparation (not required, but recommended):

MUSIC THERAPY - Music Therapy is an established, evidence-based health science profession in which music is used as a therapeutic tool to treat individuals with cognitive, behavioral, communicative, social/emotional, physical, or spiritual needs. The music therapy track is a comprehensive program grounded in both the art and science of music therapy. Music therapy courses at CSU prepare candidates for a meaningful career in music therapy.

The Cleveland State University Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy is accredited by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Successful completion of coursework in the music therapy track (including internship) leads to eligibility to sit for the national board certification examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).  Once the exam is passed, the candidate receives the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified) and is eligible to practice as a music therapist. Board certified music therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, mental health settings, rehabilitation centers, hospices, and nursing homes.

All prospective students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy track must meet the following qualifications:


  • 2.8 GPA
  • 250-word typed essay that describes why the applicant selected music therapy as his/her career path
  • At least 1 music therapy observation (either in person or online), with a written summary of the observation. A high school senior project in music therapy may substitute for this observation.
  • Interview with music therapy faculty

Highly Preferred

  • 3.0+ GPA
  • 250-word typed essay that describes why the applicant selected music therapy as his/her career path
  • Basic proficiency in guitar and/or piano (i.e., 3-4 chords and accompany self while singing).  Basic proficiency song choices include "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Lean on Me," "Stand By Me," "Hound Dog," etc.
  • 2 or more music therapy observations (either in person or online), with a written summary of the observations.  A high school senior project in music therapy may substitute for one of the observations.
  • On-site interview with music therapy faculty

CSU Music Therapy Faculty:

  • Deborah Layman, MM, MT-BC – Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Music Therapy
  • Carol Olszewski, MA, MT-BC – Assistant Professor, Music Therapy
  • Lori Lundeen-Smith, MS, CCC-SLP, MT-BC - Assistant Professor of Practice, Music Therapy
  • Marcia Humpal, MEd, MT-BC – Adjunct Supervisor, Music Therapy
  • Brenda Calovini, MA, MT-BC – Adjunct Supervisor, Music Therapy
  • Ginny Kallay, MT-BC - Adjunct Supervisor, Music Therapy
  • Jessica Janaitis, MM, MT-BC - Adjunct Supervisor, Music Therapy
  • Wiley Smith, MAT, MT-BC - Adjunct Supervisor, Music Therapy

Music Theory and Musicianship Placement

All in-coming freshman and undergraduate transfer students who have not received college credit for music theory and musicianship courses are required to take the music theory and musicianship placement exam in order to be admitted into the Department of Music.


Awards for the Undergraduate Music Talent Scholarships are determined in Late March prior to enrollment at Cleveland State University. Recipients will be notified by April 1.

The Department of Music offers talent-based music scholarships to qualified in-coming freshman, transfer students, and current students regardless of major in return for participation in Department of Music ensembles. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of achievement in their performance at the audition. Competition for the Music Talent Scholarships is keen. For best consideration, one should audition no later than last posted audition date prior to your anticipated enrollment at Cleveland State University. Under no circumstance will any scholarship consideration be made for a student who has not completed the application process. Awards for music talent scholarships are determined in late March prior to the enrollment at Cleveland State. Applicants are informed of the results by April 1.

Talent scholarships may be applied as payment to cover tuition and fees with the exception of applied music fees. All questions about the Music Talent Scholarships and requirement should be directed to the Kate Bill, Recruiter/ Enrollment Administrator for the Department of Music at 216-687-5039 or

CSU Scholarships for Incoming Freshman and Transfer Students

Incoming freshman and transfer students are automatically considered for scholarships once they are admitted to Cleveland State. In some cases, individual scholarships will require a separate application. All students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

For more information on scholarships or financial aid at Cleveland State University, please refer to the following link: