Applying to Capilano University

Click HERE for steps on how to apply Capilano University. 

Preparing for your audition

All students planning to enter the Music Diploma program must audition.  This process includes a performance of repertoire, an ear test, an interview and a theory exam.  Applicants must demonstrate a thorough and fluent knowledge of the fundamentals of music (Rudiments). 

Approximately three weeks after their audition, students will receive notification of their acceptance or nonacceptance to the Music Diploma program.


All prospective students wishing to enter the Music Diploma Program are required to audition on their primary instrument. Those students unable to attend a live audition may submit a tape/CD or video recording for assessment. Due to enrolment demands and to be eligible for entrance scholarships, applicants are strongly advised to audition as early as possible.

When filling out the application form please include which instrument(s) you will be auditioning on in the comments section of the form.

Students will be notified of their audition date in early spring.

The audition process consists of the following four parts:


Applicants must perform two contrasting selections, preferably by memory and not to exceed 15 minutes. One copy of each selection must be provided for the audition committee. A list of repertoire studied within the last two years and a letter of reference from the applicant's current teacher should be presented at the audition, if possible. Where an accompanist is needed, it is suggested the applicant provide his or her own pianist or perform without accompaniment (an accompanist provided by the university may be available on certain audition dates). 

Sight-Reading may be required at the discretion of the audition committee.

Performance Level Required:

  • Piano: Royal Conservatory of Music Level Ten or equivalent.
  • Applicants below this level may enrol in a preparatory year.
  • Voice: There is no specific grade level required. An ability to perform in a language other than English is an advantage, but not required.
  • Wind/Brass/Strings/Guitar/Percussion: Royal Conservatory of Music Level Six or equivalent.

The above grade levels are approximate guidelines and those applicants who are below the indicated level and demonstrate good potential for future growth and development will be given consideration.


  • Tap or clap a short rhythmic excerpt
  • Identify intervals within an octave (ascending and descending)
  • Identify chords (major, minor, dominant and diminished sevenths in root position)
  • Pitch Matching (match one to three pitches with the voice after being heard on the piano)


Applicants will be asked about their musical background and future music, career and personal goals.


Applicants must demonstrate a thorough and fluent knowledge of the fundamentals of music (pitch, key signatures, scales, rhythm, intervals, chords, transposition and musical terms).

Applicants who have successfully completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Level Eight Theory (Advanced Rudiments/Grade Two Rudiments) Exam will be granted exemption, however, are required to bring a copy of their RCM certificate to the audition.

A sample theory exam is available from the music office or by downloading the following PDF files:

Recommended Texts for Preparation:

  • Berlin, Boris, Molly Sclater and Kathryn Sinclair. Keys to Music Rudiments. Toronto: Gordon V. Thompson (Warner Bros. Publications), 1968-1969.
  • Lawless, James. The New Theory Workbook. 3 vols. Waterloo, Ontario: Waterloo Music, 1991.
  • Sarnecki, Mark. The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 2001.
  • Vandendool, Grace. Keyboard Theory. 3 vols. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 2001.
  • Wharram, Barbara. Elementary Rudiments of Music. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 1969.

Go to  or Music Fundamentals worksheets and answer sheets for additional music theory and ear training resources.


  1. What format should I use to record my audition?

    You can use any format that will allow us to clearly hear and see your performance. Typically applicants either send a DVD or use a website such as YouTube to post their performance online. If you send a DVD, please ensure that the file name is a standard one i.e. Mp4, which is usable by most computers or DVD players. Recordings should be in one uninterrupted take for each piece performed. Generally, two pieces in contrasting styles are sufficient.

    Submit DVDs to (please note DVDs will not be returned):
    Music Office
    Capilano University
    2055 Purcell Way,
    North Vancouver, BC V7J 3H5

    Submit YouTube auditions to quoting the exact URL link for your audition.

  2. How will I write the theory placement test?

    Please provide the name and contact information of the music educator who will oversee your writing of the theory placement test. We will email or fax them the test and they will be required to return the test to us for marking. You must write the test with the following guidelines: one-hour time limit, no help from the overseeing teacher, and no outside resources in the room.

  3. How will my interview and musicianship testing be done?

    This part of the audition is typically done by telephone or Skype. If you are able to assure us of your proficiency in musicianship skills, the test can be postponed until after you have received a letter of admittance - the musicianship test is really just a placement test. It does not normally prevent an applicant from being admitted to the program unless they have some kind of hearing disability. The telephone or Skype sessions will be arranged.