Middle School Auditions

Audition Information

Interested in applying to middle school arts programs? The information on this page is provided to give students time to practice and prepare for auditions in advance.

  • This year, students will be able to submit virtual audition videos and materials for middle school arts programs directly through MySchools.
  • Students will be able to upload auditions in early February. More information about submissions will be available at that time. The deadline to submit auditions will be Tuesday, March 1.

Mark Twain Auditions

Mark Twain, located in Coney Island, Brooklyn, has eleven talent areas, each with its own admissions program. 

  • As part of the pause on screening for Fall 2022 admissions, the following admissions programs will admit applicants using random selection: Athletics, Computer/Math, Creative Writing/Journalism, Science 
  • Arts programs are permitted to audition applicants. The following programs will virtually audition applicants, and admissions will be based solely on the audition: Art, Dance, Drama, Media, String Instruments, Vocal, Wind Instrument.
  • Applicants may apply to one or two admissions programs at Mark Twain. This may include two programs using random selection, two programs using auditions, or one of each. 

District 21 Auditions

Students who are eligible to apply to District 21 middle schools may apply to one or two talent areas at Mark Twain, and / or one or two talent areas at other District 21 middle schools. 

  • Students can apply to one or two types of D21 talent programs across all schools including Mark Twain. For example, a student can apply to the Science and Vocal programs at Mark Twain, and also at Bay Academy.
  • Students may not have more than two types of D21 talent programs on their application. For instance, a student cannot apply to Science and Vocal programs at Mark Twain, and Athletics and Vocal programs at Bay Academy.
  • All D21 talent areas that are using auditions will admit applicants using the Mark Twain audition process. Therefore, if an applicant is applying to a talent area at any D21 school, they should submit a virtual audition using the Additional Materials option in MySchools. For example, if an applicant is applying to the String Instruments program at Seth Low, the applicant should submit a virtual audition to Mark Twain / District 21 Talent Test String Instruments.)

Audition Components for Citywide Arts Programs

Click the links below to learn more. Auditions components for district and borough programs will be available shortly. 

Mark Twain IS 239

Visit their website to learn more about Mark Twain auditions.

Art (Open to NYC Residents) 

  • Supplies needed for this application:
    • #2 graphite pencil
    • Eraser
    • 2 pieces of 9x12" drawing paper
    • 1 piece of lined loose-leaf paper
    • Set of 12 Crayola colored pencils
  1. "Observational" Still Life Drawing
    • Create a drawing with a #2 graphite pencil on 9x12" drawing paper of a multiple object still life composition. Spend approximately 30 minutes on your drawing. We will be assessing the line quality and proportions of your work. Take up the entire page and you may use shading to enhance your drawing. 
    • Choose 1 view of the still life from the photographs linked on the Mark Twain website.
  2. A Themed Drawing from Imagination using Color
    • Work on 9x12" drawing paper using a #2 graphite pencil and a set of 12 Crayola colored pencils. Choose 1 drawing prompt from the 4 different choices listed below. At least 2 people should be included in your drawing that are not stick figures and your work must include color. Spend approximately 30 minutes on your drawing.
    • Drawing prompt choices:
  • The first day of school
  • A birthday party
  • A day in the park
  • A snowy day
  1. Comparing and Contrasting 2 Artworks 
    • Students will compare and contrast 2 different artworks, writing at least 2 paragraphs. Spend approximately 30 minutes answering the following questions: How are these pictures similar? How are they different? Use complete sentences and good grammar. You do not need to know the name of the artwork or artist. 
    • Base your response on the artworks linked on the Mark Twain website.

Dance (Open to NYC Residents)

Please submit a video of you dancing. 

Your dance should be one to two minutes in length. It can be any style you feel most comfortable with. Please make sure you are recording your full body and movements. Record as if the camera was your audience. This video will be used to assess the following dance criteria: Musicality, creativity, originality, coordination, flexibility, and expression. Your dance can be accompanied by music or not. 

Perform your dance solo piece. 

Before you present your dance piece, please introduce yourself. Please provide the following information:

  1. Your name (first name, last name)
  2. Your Student ID number (OSSIS number)
  3. What style of dance you will be performing?
  4. Why is dancing important to you? Why do you want to be part of Dance Talent? (30 seconds or less)

Drama (Open to NYC Residents)

Please submit a video recording of you giving a one to two minute monologue (a speech given by one character), of your choice, from a play or book of monologues. The piece must be memorized and performed, not just read.

  1. Your official first and last name
  2. Your Student Identification number (OSIS number)
  3. Why did you select this monologue to perform?
  4. Why did you want to be part of Drama Talent?

Media (Open to NYC Residents)

  1. Photography 
    • Upload three original JPEG image files photographed by you for this examination of the following subject matter:
      • Photograph 1: Portrait of a family member using natural light.
      • Photograph 2: Still life of at least three items using a single light source.
      • Photograph 3: Landscape in daylight containing foreground, middle ground, and background elements.
    • Manipulating editing tools are not to be used, including filters and/or post-cropping.
  2. Student Introduction
    • Upload a short video about the three images submitted.
    • Begin by stating your full name and student ID (OSIS #).
    • Briefly explain why you chose to photograph these particular subjects; what they mean to you; and their significance in your life. Conclude with why you believe you would be a good candidate for the Media Talent program.
    • Your video should be no longer than three (3) minutes. 

Strings Talent (Open to NYC Residents) 

Prepare and submit BOTH videos specified below.

Video 1: Perform ONE scale. Choose a scale that shows off your range, technique, and intonation.

 Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:

  • Your name (first and last)
  • Your student ID number (OSIS)
  • Why do you want to be in Strings Talent? (30 seconds or less)

Video 2: Perform ONE prepared solo selection without accompaniment. (Performing without accompaniment means playing by yourself without a track or additional instruments.) Select a piece you feel confident performing that shows your skill level and musicality.

Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:

  • Your name (first and last)
  • Your student ID number (OSIS)
  • Title of the solo piece you will be playing

The following instruments are permitted for a Strings Talent audition: violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, guitar. 

Winds Talent (Open to NYC Residents) 

Prepare and submit BOTH videos specified below.

Video 1: Perform ONE scale. Choose a scale that shows off your range, technique, and intonation. For drummers/percussionists: Please submit a video of TWO drum rudiments, instead of a scale. 
Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your student ID number (OSIS)
  • Title of the piece you will be playing
  • Why do you want to be in Winds Talent? (30 seconds or less)

Video 2: Perform ONE prepared solo selection without accompaniment. (Performing without accompaniment means playing by yourself without a track or additional instruments.)

Select a piece you feel confident performing that shows your skill level and musicality. 

Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:

  • Your name (first and last)
  • Your student ID number (OSIS)
  • Why do you want to be in Winds Talent? (30 seconds or less)

The following instruments are permitted for a Winds Talent audition: Woodwind (flute, clarinet, saxophone, etc.) brass (trumpet, trombone etc.), percussion (snare drum, drum set, xylophone, etc.) or piano. Recorder is NOT permitted.

Vocal Music (Open to NYC Residents) 

Prepare and submit a video of you performing ONE prepared solo without accompaniment. (Singing without accompaniment means singing by yourself without a track or pianist.) Select a song you feel confident performing and that you feel best demonstrates your skill level and musicality.

Before singing, briefly introduce yourself. Please provide the following information:

  1. Your name (first name and last name)
  2. Your Student ID Number (OSIS number)
  3. Title of the song you will be performing
  4. What does singing mean to you? Why do you want to be in Vocal Talent? (30 seconds or less)

Professional Performing Arts School

Open to NYC residents. 

Professional Performing Arts School has one program, Theatrical Arts, that requires the two following audition components:

  • Acting: Students perform a one-minute monologue from memory. Choose characters that you relate to and decide to whom your characters are talking and why. Students select their own monologue to perform but are welcome to review and select a monologue from a pool of several suggested diverse pieces available here
    • Before performing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information: 
      • Your name
      • Your Student ID number (OSIS number)
  • Singing: Students sing 16 bars of a memorized song of any genre. Songs can be performed acapella or with accompaniment. Choose a song performed by a character you relate to and decide to whom your character is addressing and why. 
    • Before perfoming, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:
      • Your name
      • Your Student ID number (OSIS number)

Special Music School 

Open to NYC residents. 

Prepare and submit BOTH videos specified below. The following instruments are permitted for an audition at Special Music School: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba. 

Saxophone, Voice, Harp, Drums/Percussion, Composition, and Recorder are NOT permitted.

Video #1 

Perform ONE prepared solo selection without accompaniment.

  • Select a piece you feel confident performing that shows your skill level and musicality.
  • Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information: 
    • Your name
    • Your Student ID number (OSIS number)
    • Title of the piece you will be playing
    • Why did you choose this piece? How does this piece speak to you as a musician? (30 seconds or less) 

Video #2

Perform ONE scale of your choice at a tempo (speed) you find comfortable.

  • This is another opportunity for reviewers to learn more about how:
    • low and how high you can play.
    • comfortably and quickly you can move from note to note.
    • clean and precise your playing is.
    • well you are able to play in tune.
    • well you know what notes make up your selected scale.
    • playing the correct notes is most important.
  • Before playing, briefly introduce yourself, and provide the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your Student ID number (OSIS number)

For help preparing a scale or rudiments, please see this folder.

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