How to Ace Your Prescreening Videos


Creating a prescreening video is a crucial step in your journey toward getting admitted to your dream music college. A well-crafted prescreening video can showcase your talent and passion, making a lasting impression on the admissions team. In this article, we share insights to provide you with a starring guide to creating an impactful prescreening video.

Understanding the Importance of Prescreening Videos

Prescreening videos serve as a virtual introduction of your musical prowess to the admissions committee. They are essentially your musical resume, showcasing your skills and passion before the live auditions. Depending on the quality of your video, you might be invited to perform live at the college campus.

Knowing your Program-Specific Requirements

Each music program may have specific requirements for prescreening videos. Visit the program’s webpage to understand the specific instructions. Some programs require solo performances, while others ask for ensemble pieces. Make sure you are well acquainted with these requirements before you proceed to record your video.

Ensuring High-Quality Audio

The quality of your sound is a critical factor in your prescreening video. Choose a location with excellent acoustics and minimal background noise. Avoid spaces with high ceilings and hard surfaces that could generate undesirable echo effects. The goal is to make your music sound as clear and natural as possible.

Setting Up Your Video Shot

Your video should always capture you and your instrument in full view. Therefore, adjust your camera to ensure that the frame encapsulates both. Record in a well-lit space, as the faculty should be able to discern your technique clearly. Ensure that your video has no distractions – you should be the only person in the frame.

Your prescreening video is the first impression you make on the admissions team. Make it count!

Recording your pre-screening video
Your video should capture both you and your instrument in full view at all times.

Dressing Appropriately

While there isn’t a strict dress code for these videos, wearing comfortable clothes that do not restrict your movements is recommended. Consider your prescreening video as a rehearsal for the live audition, and dress accordingly.

Showcasing Your Passion

Remember, colleges are not merely looking for technical perfection. They are looking for passion and potential. Your video should demonstrate your love for music and your commitment to mastering your craft.

Reviewing and Uploading Your Prescreening Video

After recording your video, take the time to review it. Make sure it represents your best work and is in line with the college’s guidelines. Remember, all recordings must be unedited. Once you’re satisfied, submit them through the application.

Recording Tips from Experts

Having a coach present during the recording process, ensuring good microphone placement, and choosing an appropriate room are some of the crucial factors. Dressing neatly, avoiding shaky videos, and not overdoing with audio effects are equally important.

Cost Considerations

Creating a prescreening video might incur some costs, especially if you opt for professional recording services or decide to buy a good-quality recording device. However, these expenses could be seen as an investment in your musical career. Some schools might cover the cost of video uploads, and some recording engineers might offer student discounts.

Specific Repertoire Requirements

Depending on your instrument, specific repertoire requirements for your prescreening video might exist. These requirements are usually available on the college’s website. Memorization of the repertoire might not always be necessary, but it’s usually preferred.


Creating an impressive prescreening video is essential to your music college application process. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your video showcases your talent and passion effectively, increasing your chances of getting invited to the live auditions. Remember, technique can be taught, but passion and potential cannot. Let your love for music shine through your video, and your journey to your dream music college will become much easier.

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About the Author

Dr. David Lee Fish

Dr. David Lee Fish, Ph.D. is the founder of College Music Major. A veteran figure in music and education whose extensive career spans decades, he's known for his unique approach to music and for sharing his passion with others. His expertise ranges from performance and songwriting to education and private consulting.