Music Production

Bachelor of Music (BM)

Application Deadline for Current USC Students

December 1

Not a Current USC Student?
Click here for your requirements

Undergraduate Application Requirements for Current USC Students

This section is for current USC students applying to the Bachelor of Music (BM) Music Production program, including current Thornton students wishing to add or switch their major. All required materials for fall admission must be submitted by December 1. Applications are not accepted for Spring admission to this program.

The total application fee is $25 for the Thornton Portfolio in SlideRoom. Recordings/materials must be submitted online through the SlideRoom Portfolio by the December 1 deadline and will not be accepted via mail or email for any program. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Applicants experiencing hardship or extenuating circumstances due to natural disaster or public health concerns in their local area that may affect their ability to satisfy application requirements may contact the Thornton Office of Admission at uscmusic@usc.edu to explore possible accommodations. Though we cannot guarantee that accommodations/exceptions will be possible, applicants are encouraged to contact the Admission Office as soon as possible to allow the maximum amount of time to consider the options.

Applying For

Fall Admission

Auditions Required?

Yes, 2 rounds

Questions?

Email: uscmusic@usc.edu | Phone: (213)740-8986

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

Applicants must complete the USC Thornton Portfolio for Current USC Students via SlideRoom. Applicants are only permitted to select one program through the SlideRoom application. Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to a second Thornton program must contact Brittany Jimenez at seits@usc.edu prior to the application deadline to receive instructions on how to submit a second SlideRoom application.

To access the Current USC Student SlideRoom portal to submit your application click here.

Important Note: Once in SlideRoom, make sure to select the form titled “FOR CURRENT USC STUDENTS ONLY” and the appropriate term (spring or fall). All other forms will require you to have a Common Application and current USC students do not need to complete the Common Application.

Applicants will be asked to provide the following materials in the SlideRoom portfolio:

SlideRoom Requirements

Prescreen Recorded Audition

Applicants to Music Production must submit prescreen audition materials for review by the faculty. The results of this prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to a live audition and interview.

The prescreen audition recordings should contain:

  • A 1-3 minute video introduction of yourself at your work-station. On this video, please tell us about your prior experience with musical instruments and music technology; provide a description of your private studio work-space; and relate your experience, if any, of producing recordings.
  • A 2-3 minute video of a performance of a song from existing popular music or classical repertoire. The video performance may be self-accompanied, accompanied by other musician(s) or by a band (as long as the applicant is prominently featured). Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable. If the applicant does not play a conventional instrument, a performance where the applicant manipulates sound in real time using a controller or other similar device is acceptable. The video should be unedited and the applicant should be clearly visible.
  • 3 audio recordings, of which at least one is an original work, which demonstrate the applicant’s audio recording, MIDI sequencing and production skills. In the “Additional details” section of your SlideRoom media upload, please indicate how your work is represented in the production of each audio submission. (for example: songwriter, arranger, singer, instrumentalist, MIDI sequencer, engineer, audio/MIDI editor, or mixer, ect.)

The prescreen video and audio recordings should best demonstrate the applicant’s performance, artistic and creative abilities. Videos or recordings do not need to be highly produced and should accurately represent the candidate’s abilities – avoid using corrective studio effects such as AutoTune. Applicants should not buy or borrow gear for this prescreen, but rather use the equipment they already have.

Introductory Video for All Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants to undergraduate Thornton programs are required to submit a single-take, unedited, and preferably unrehearsed 1-2 minute video that offers a brief personal introduction and answers the following question: How do you envision using your USC Thornton education to become a force for positive change in the evolution of the music profession and music as an art form?

Music Production Final Project Video

The music profession is changing, and we’re changing with it. USC Thornton’s undergraduate music curriculum maintains a rigorous foundation of the finest musical training, while also offering flexibility for students to chart their own artistic pathway. We aim to create musical leaders who can not only take advantage of traditional opportunities, but also discover new ones – and even create their own. All four years are aimed at the two things most important to musicians: taking their musicianship to the highest levels and preparing for a thriving professional life.

One of the components of this forward-thinking curriculum is the required Final Project, completed in the senior year, which allows students to develop and fully realize a unique project related to their work as musicians. This could involve developing a hybrid performance, conducting original research, exploring new technologies, or applying creative expression to a pressing social issue.

To help us get to know our applicants and their unique identity as young musicians, all applicants to undergraduate programs in the Thornton School are required to submit (via SlideRoom) a single-take, unedited, and preferably unscripted video of no more than two minutes. In this video applicants must answer the following question: If you were pitching your Final Project idea today, what is the project you would propose and why?”

Résumé

The résumé should list musical, professional, and academic experience and is generally 1-2 pages in length.

Repertoire List

This list should include works studied and performed. Etudes, scale studies, arias, art songs, chamber music, solo pieces, and original compositions are all examples of what could be included in this list.

Academic Information

Current USC students are not required to submit transcripts but will be asked to upload a copy of their “Summary of Completed Courses” and “Registered Course List” available through myUSC.

To access your “Summary of Completed Courses”, log into myUSC (my.usc.edu) and click “OASIS”. Click “Continue” to access your course information and then select “Summary of Completed Courses”, which is the history of your completed courses including units and grades. Important note: the STARS report will not be accepted in lieu of the “Summary of Completed Courses”.

  • Note: If you are currently enrolled in your first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses, upload a PDF document with the following statement: “I am currently enrolled in my first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses at USC.”

To access your “Registered Course List”, log into myUSC (my.usc.edu) and click “OASIS”. Click “Continue” to access your course information and then select “Registered Course List”.

  • Note: you only need to upload your registered courses for the current fall semester.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

Optional letters of recommendation for the Thornton School may be submitted through the SlideRoom References section. Important notes for optional letters of recommendation:

  • Any optional letters of recommendation you want reviewed by the faculty must be submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom References form by the appropriate deadline (December 1 for fall admission). We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline.
  • Any recommendations sent via mail or email will not be reviewed by the faculty.

Perform Audition if Invited

The results of this prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Notice of the results of the prescreen audition will be sent to applicants via email 3-4 weeks after the application deadline, which will include the date and time of the audition, if invited.

Applicants who live more than 100 miles from the USC campus and are unable to travel to Los Angeles for their live audition due to financial hardship can request an online audition on their Thornton SlideRoom Portfolio. Applicants who live within a 100-mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in person.

Please carefully note that a requested online audition may be scheduled on a date that does not fall on one of our regularly scheduled audition weekends, and it is not guaranteed that all online audition requests can be granted.

Live Audition Requirements

The live audition will consist of two parts, (1) an interview (approximately 15 minutes long) and (2) a sequencing exercise. For part two, applicants will be given 2 hours to create a MIDI sequence for a provided lead sheet and vocal audio file. Applicants should plan to bring their own laptop computers, software, and headphones to use for the sequencing exercise. We will provide audio interfaces and MIDI keyboards for those doing their live audition in-person on the USC campus that want to use them (both connect via USB).

Undergraduate Theory Exam

All undergraduate applicants (except in Composition and Music Industry) are required to complete a music theory examination as part of the live audition requirements. The exam will measure proficiency in basic music theory. Further details about how and when the exam will be administered will be provided in the audition confirmation sent to applicants invited for a live audition. Exam results alone will not prevent a student from being admitted to USC or the Thornton School. The Thornton Admission office cannot release exam details in advance of the exam. Inquiries regarding the content of the exam will not be answered.

Note: Current Thornton students who have already completed MUCO 132ab and MUCO 133ab are not required to take the exam.