logo aim black

6 May 2022

How to Audition at AIM

Woman singing

5 TIPS TO NAIL YOUR AUDITION.

If you’ve recently applied to study at the Australian Institute of Music, you’ll need to audition or submit a portfolio to be assessed for admission. Here is everything you need to know to prepare for your AIM audition and what to expect when you get on campus (or submit your works online). 


Academic lecturers (and audition supervisors) Chris Fields (Bachelor of Music; Contemporary) and Mark Oliveiro (Bachelor of Music; Composition and Production) share their advice on AIM’s audition process in the short video below.

Prepare two contrasting pieces for your audition

If you’re applying for a performance-based degree, performing two songs that demonstrate the breadth of your musical skills is a crucial part of your audition. 

If you’re auditioning for the Bachelor of Music (Contemporary), you could potentially choose one upbeat song and a ballad. Instrumentalists could choose one song that showcases your soloing skills, and one song that shows your ability to keep time. You can use a backing track, or bring your own accompanist – just let us know ahead of time if this is the case.

For Bachelor of Music (Composition and Production) applicants, diversity in your pieces is key – everything from a film score to a country track is welcome. A video or audio recording of your performance or even your ideas sketched out on paper add more weight to your audition. Composition and production is all about the creative process and communicating your ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your creative process!

Practice, practice, practice! 

Be diligent in your practice and you’ll nail your tunes ahead of time. Don’t come in and riff on something that you’ve just started learning. The confidence you build from knowing your songs will amplify the energy of your performance. And make your audition so much more fun!

Passion & preparedness are what we’re looking for (not perfection).

A successful audition does need to be technically sound. You need to be in tune, and know your songs. More than that, we want your passion and love for music to shine through. 

Remember, perfection isn’t real. As any musician knows, every time you improve, the goal posts shift. Even if you make a couple of mistakes, but you’re passionate, there’s a great chance that we can do something with you. 

Ask all the questions!

Nothing is a silly question. If something is confusing, reach out ahead of time. Our friendly team is here and happy to help with anything you need to know along the way. Whether it is about the audition itself, what to include in your portfolio or any question at all regarding your course, we’d love to field your queries ahead of time or on the day. You’re also welcome to come into campus before your audition and check out the space. There’s a great vibe at a music college – it is worth experiencing it before you start your course! 

Arrive early and breathe. 

Audition anxiety is something we are aware of. Our friendly staff will have a relaxed conversation about what you love the most about music before your formal audition starts. If you are auditioning in person, arrive early so that you can take a moment to take in your surroundings and get comfortable with the space. Take three slow, deep breaths and remind yourself that you have already taken an amazing step by showing up. Good on you!  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What should I prepare for my audition?  

You should have two music items prepared from the list of options below: 

  • A live performance (at your audition)
  • A recorded visual or audio performance 
  • A recorded original composition 
  • A PDF score of an original composition or arrangement 
  • A handwritten score of an original composition or arrangement 
  • An audio mix of a musical work 

You can choose two of the same options. You do not need to provide one of everything. 

I’m performing, can I bring someone along to accompany me? 

Yes! You can bring one friend with you to help support you during your audition. Let us know ahead of time so we can prepare any equipment you might need. 

Do I need to bring my own instrument?  

If you are not playing the drums or singing, yes, please bring your instrument so that you are using something you are comfortable and confident using. If you are unable to bring something with you, give us plenty of notice so that we can arrange something for you. We may need to reschedule your audition if you tell us upon arrival as instruments are possibly in use by students.  

What do I bring if I’m auditioning for Contemporary Drum Kit? 

You should bring along your drumsticks and your cymbals. We love to see a variety of feels performed on the kit, but you are also welcome to play along to a backing track if you wish. 

Do I need to bring an amp or a microphone? 

Nope! We have plenty of amplification equipment ready to go. Singers, you won’t need to worry about bringing a microphone.  

How should I bring my backing track? 

You can use your phone and will be able to stream it straight to our in-room PA systems. Another alternative is to pop it onto a USB.  

Where can I find backing tracks? 

Record someone playing live or head to YouTube. YouTube has some great instrumental tracks online. You can also ask your music teacher to help you track down a backing track. 

What does a successful audition at AIM look like?  

A successful auditionee will demonstrate a sound ability using their chosen instrument or voice. They can keep in time, have good basic rhythm and are in tune with their chosen song. If they have provided an original composition, their song will demonstrate good basic song structure and other basic key concepts. 

BENEFITS OF AUDITIONING ON CAMPUS:

  • You’ll meet our industry experts and receive instant feedback. 
  • You’ll get to check out our campus facilities and see student life in action! 
  • You’ll have a chance to ask questions about your chosen course and be able to make sure it is the right option for you. 
  • We’ll be smiling at you the whole time because we know this is a big step.

BENEFITS OF APPLYING ONLINE:

  • You can take your time if you need to. 
  • You don’t have to wait for any audition dates to be released. 
  • If you are performing, you don’t need to use any professional filming equipment, you can film yourself using your phone. 
  • We will provide you with a personal submission link which is private and not accessible by anyone else other than your friendly AIM recruitment buddy and our industry staff.
Maria Patterson

Maria Patterson

You might be also interested in

RELATED COURSES

  • As a Bachelor of Music (Composition and Music Production) student, you’ll learn the craft of songwriting, composition and audio recording. You’ll develop your unique sound in your chosen musical genres. Through a combination of one-on-one tutoring and group master classes, you’ll study composition, arranging, orchestration, recording, digital audio and post-production.
  • Launch your career journey in the music industry with a Bachelor of Music (Contemporary) at AIM. This course is perfect if you’re an instrumentalist or vocalist looking to take your technical, performance and musicianship skills to a professional level. The degree combines core topics such as theory, musicianship, arts management and recording to help you develop your knowledge and technical ability.