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What is Applied Music?

Applied Music (MUIVI 410) provides one-on-one specialized study in a specific instrument or vocal performance. Music majors must audition to enroll in the course.

How to Audition

Student playing the tuba

Students must pass an audition in order to take part in the Applied Music program. Auditions take place at the beginning of each semester. Students who are not selected will be encouraged to reapply the following semester and will have other options to fulfill the AA degree requirement. Please note that MUIVI 410 is necessary for those who wish to transfer to a four-year institution.

Register for Auditions


  1. You must be registered as a declared Music Major. If you have questions about the major, please email the Music Department Chair, Professor Kurt Erickson at
  2. You must be enrolled in Music Theory, or have completed the Music Theory cycle. Please be aware that the first two semesters of Music Theory require a basic piano proficiency or remedial enrollment in a piano class. You will not be allowed to remain in Music Theory if you do not meet that level of experience or are enrolled in a piano class.
  3. You must be enrolled in one of the following performance groups: Chamber Singers, College Chorus, Orchestra or Concert Band. Please note that Jazz Band and Gospel Choir are not accepted.
  4. You must take Applied Music (MUIVI 410) no less than four times. If you are accepted, you will attend a private lesson with a private instructor that CRC secures and attend a weekly recital hour class held on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 pm taught by Professor Omari Tau (Williams). You will be expected to perform in a student recital near the end of the semester which will serve as your jury to continue in the course.

Questions about eligibility or registering for auditions? Contact Professor Omari Tau (Williams) at

About the Auditions

Wind Instruments, Piano, and Guitar

  1. Prepare the D Major, B Melodic Minor and Chromatic scales from the CBDA website. Guitarists should use the Mallets scales. Many students do fine on their audition piece but poorly on the scales. Please take the time to learn these well, and perform them at the requested tempo with the correct rhythms.

    Download the scales.

  2. Prepare a short (2-4 minute) excerpt from the literature for your instrument. Students who are being asked to re-audition may use their recital piece from previous semester.

    New students should consult the CSUS Freshman Music major entrance requirements for examples of appropriate literature.

    Please limit your excerpt to no more than three minutes of music. Please find any appropriate art music (Classical) for your instrument and your current skill level. We are interested in your passion and potential.

  3. Jazz majors: The Jazz major begins at the junior level in most four year institutions and the expectation is that you master the Classical literature on your instrument during your first two years of college. (Please follow the instructions above.)

String Instruments

  1. Prepare the scale listed on the CODA audition sheet.
  2. Prepare a short (2-4 minute) excerpt from the literature for your instrument. New students should consult the CSUS Freshman Music major entrance requirements for examples of appropriate literature. Returning students may use a piece from last semester.

    Please limit your excerpt to no more than four minutes of music. For this audition your work will be performed unaccompanied. Skip any multi-measure rests.


  1. You will be directed to sing a one octave major scale a capella, starting on any pitch using any syllable. The vocal professor may work with you on additional scales during the audition to explore your voice.
  2. Perform a song or aria from the Classical art music tradition. You can also choose a song from the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre (1930s to 1950s) or the Great American Song Book (for example, Cole Porter). For live auditions, please provide a copy of the printed sheet music to Professor Omari Tau at

Audition Details

Video Submissions

Please note that for 2020-2021, all auditions will be through video submission only.
  1. Create a YouTube Account
    YouTube is owned by Google. Every user with a Google account has access to Gmail, Calendar, YouTube, and more. If you already have a Google account skip to Step 2: Create Your Audition Video.
  2. Create Your Audition Video
    Use your smartphone, tablet or webcam-enabled desktop computer to create your video. Open your camera app, set to VIDEO mode and record yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do this, do a search for "how to record a video on a [your device]."
  3. Upload Your Video to YouTube
    Once your video is complete, upload it to YouTube. This process will be unique depending on whether or not you’re using a desktop computer or a smartphone internet browser or the YouTube app. If you get stuck on this step do a search for "how to upload a video to my YouTube channel on a [your device type]."
    • Note: Make sure you set your video’s privacy settings to PUBLIC or UNLISTED. If you set it to PRIVATE, we will not be able to watch your audition.
  4. Copy Your “Share” Link
    Once your video has uploaded, look for the SHARE button. Click it and then copy the URL.
  5. Email Your Audition Link
    Email the copied URL (your audition video link) to Professor Omari Tau at You will receive a confirmation once your audition video is received.

In-Person Auditions

Please arrive 1/2 hour before your time slot. Audition times tend to move depending on the time taken for each audition, so your time may be earlier or later than the scheduled time.

  1. You will be greeted upon arrival.
  2. As you wait, practice rooms will be available for you to warm up. Once you have warmed up, please wait in the Recital Hall lobby until your name is called.
  3. Your audition will take place on the Recital Hall stage. Take a moment to get comfortable and set up. Once you are finished, you are free to go. The faculty will discuss auditions and inform you of the results usually within 24 hours.
  4. We want you to be successful, so please be aware that the professors in the CRC Music Department are here to support you as mentors. We will guide you through the audition just as we will through your time studying with us. We're on your side!