Music Therapy Auditions

Music Therapy Auditions

All applicants will be offered an in-person audition. However, candidates currently completing undergraduate university programmes should be aware that the majority of successful applications come from musicians who have completed their bachelor degree and/or who have gained significant work and life experience outside of education. It is only in exceptional cases that candidates who are still completing their undergraduate studies will be made an offer on the programme. 


    Application process

    1. Submit an online application by the deadline of 4.30pm on Thursday 5 January 2023.
    2. All applicants who elect to audition in person will be offered a musical audition. Further information about auditions can be found below.
    3. Applicants who are successful at audition will be invited to the interview stage of the process. Further information about the interview process can be found below.

    Musical audition

    Live auditions in London

    London auditions are scheduled to take place on the following dates:

    • Wednesday 25 January to Friday 27 January 2023
    • Wednesday 1 February to Friday 3 February 2023

    Please note: these dates are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed. You will be advised of your audition date after the application deadline and should not book travel/accommodation prior to formal confirmation of your appointment. 

    What to expect at live audition

    At the live audition, you are expected to demonstrate a high standard in your first instrument (usually diploma/degree level or performance skill at a professional/commercial level). We are particularly interested in sensitive and expressive musical communication and the potential to develop improvisational skills, alongside technical skill.

    Your keyboard skills will also be tested. Second study and keyboard skills should be of minimum grade 5 standard or equivalent. It is generally expected that you will be able to have a basic grasp of Western staff notation in treble and bass clefs. Exceptions will be made for musicians from genres that do not use written music.

    Accompaniment and equipment

    PLEASE NOTE: We will supply a staff accompanist for your audition (if appropriate for your chosen instrument/s) and they will be prepared to accompany music from the western classical tradition. If you are presenting a piece which does not have western classical notation, you must supply your own accompanist or a suitable backing track. In either case, please email at the point of application to confirm any such arrangements.

    Please email before your audition if:
    • You will be accompanying yourself or bringing someone to accompany you
    • You are playing something from outside the western classical tradition for which you require alternative accompaniment arrangements (as detailed above)
    • You require additional musical equipment (e.g. electric guitar amplifier, drum kit etc.)
    • You require use of a Guildhall School instrument or special audition room setup, e.g. harp/percussion/harpsichord etc.

    PLEASE NOTE: We recommend you bring your own equipment wherever possible as we cannot guarantee to meet all requests. Please email if you fall into any of the above categories.

    Recorded Auditions for Overseas Applicants – Initial Assessment Videos

    Candidates located overseas may submit a recorded audition in the first instance, but all candidates who are successful in this initial review stage must travel to the UK for a live audition, group workshop and interview. Regretfully, students cannot be admitted to this programme based on remote engagement alone; this is due to the complex range of skills that must be evidenced through the admissions process, including interactive tasks, group/collaborative work and improvisation.

    If you wish to submit an initial recorded audition for consideration, please note the following:

    • Please ensure that you select ‘RECORDED’ in the audition venue field of the application form.
    • Instructions about how to upload your video will be sent to you after the application closing date.
    • The deadline for all uploaded audition videos is Wednesday 11 January 2023.
    • If you are successful following your initial recorded submission, you must be prepared to travel to London for a live audition/interview which is scheduled to take place in late March/early April 2023.

    Please prepare video recording(s) of the following items:

    (i) two contrasting pieces on your first study instrument. These should be drawn from your musical speciality, for instance classical repertoire, jazz repertoire, or folk repertoire from any tradition.
    (ii) one piece on your second study instrument - also drawn from your musical speciality.
    (iii) a short, simple song for unaccompanied voice, such as a folk song or children’s song (ideally from memory) PLEASE NOTE: If you are successful following your initial recorded submission, you must be prepared to travel to London for a live audition/interview which is scheduled to take place in late March/early April 2023. The requirements for live auditions are stated above.


    Interviews take place in London in the spring term (usually approaching Easter).

    The interview is divided into three parts. The two individual interviews are with 

    a) the Head of Music Therapy, and
    b) a qualified, experienced psychotherapist, external to the music therapy programme, who helps to assess your personal readiness to undertake training.

    Occasionally, further interviews with the Head of Music Therapy are deemed necessary before making a final decision.

    In these interviews, you will discuss your musical and family background, significant events in your life or aspects of your development, your motivation to work as a therapist, your mental and physical health, your background reading and your observation of music therapy or voluntary work in relevant areas. Importance is placed on your perception of the personal qualities needed to work as a therapist, including the capacity for personal self-reflection and the ability to communicate openly about your thoughts and emotions. Emphasis is placed on the ability to think independently and creatively, and the ability to discuss challenging issues.

    The other part of the interview involves participation in a musical improvisation group run by one of the department’s group tutors. This session gives an opportunity to assess your patterns of relating musically and verbally with peers in groups, and also provides a helpful opportunity to reflect on a challenging process. 

    English Language Requirements

    As the programme requires extensive reading and private study, as well as placements in professional workplaces, there should be evidence of intellectual stamina and a sound working knowledge of English. Speakers of languages other than English are also required to have achieved a minimum OBS of 7.0 in an IELTS test (and no lower than 5.5 in any individual area).

    Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check and Health Requirements

    All successful candidates will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service and health check.

    Following the Covid-19 pandemic, candidates accepted onto this programme will be required to supply evidence of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to taking up their place. We also require candidates to supply a full immunisation history post-offer. Both of these measures are in place to ensure that students can engage in placements in clinical settings with potentially vulnerable members of the community.