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Auditions 101: Choosing the Right Audition Song

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards auditioning for Michigan State University's collegiate a cappella groups! You’ve researched the groups, and it's time to tackle the next challenge – choosing the ideal song for your audition. Each group differs, but most MSU a cappella groups typically require you to prepare a 45-60 second cut highlighting your range and abilities. Selecting the perfect song can feel overwhelming–trust me, we’ve been there–but fear not! In this guide, we'll provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you confidently pick a song that will showcase your talents and make a lasting impression in the audition room. Let's harmonize our way to a successful audition!

Step 1: Assess Your Repertoire

Throughout your musical journey, whether in the choir, musical theatre, or talent shows, you may have already mastered a song or two. As you embark on the first stage of auditions, it's advantageous to choose a song that you are already familiar with and can sing confidently. Opting for a song that you know by heart will not only boost your confidence but also alleviate the fear of forgetting the lyrics when you step into the audition room. Moreover, rehearsing with a familiar song will help you avoid vocal fatigue that might arise from attempting to perfect a new piece through multiple repetitions.

Step 2: Keep It Simple

When a group requests that you choose a song highlighting your abilities and range, it's natural to start overthinking your selection. However, the key here is to have fun with your performance. Begin by making a quick list of songs whose lyrics you already know by heart, and then narrow it down from there. Remember, the process of selecting the perfect song can easily stretch out for days if you let it. Give yourself the freedom to choose one that feels good rather than obsessing over perfection. Embrace the joy of the music, and you'll shine brightly in your audition. Here are some examples of audition songs current members brought to their auditions:

  • “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra

  • “Listen” by Beyoncé

  • “The Only Exception” by Paramore

  • “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse

  • “All I Ask” by Adele (sung by 2 current Greeners)

  • “A Lovely Night” from La La Land

  • “Remedy” by Adele

Step 3: Be Strategic

It's important to recognize that each a cappella group on campus has its unique vibe and musical style. If you have a specific group in mind that you're eager to join, consider being strategic with your song choice. Aim to select a song that aligns with the genre or musical style the group has performed in the past. For instance, if the group focuses on pop music, singing a country song might not be the best match. By tailoring your song selection to resonate with the group's previous performances, you'll showcase your ability to blend in seamlessly with their artistic direction, increasing your chances of standing out as a potential member.

Pro Tip: Unleash Your Secret Weapon

As you prepare for your audition, you might initially feel uncertain about exploring vocal percussion. However, we're here to reveal a pro audition tip that can significantly boost your chances of getting a callback – give beatboxing a shot! Even if you don't see yourself as a beatboxer, taking a little time to watch a video or two on the basics of beatboxing can set you apart from other auditionees and put you in the spotlight. Embracing this additional skill will showcase your versatility and dedication, impressing the audition panel, and opening new doors for your musical journey. Don't miss this chance to stand out – let vocal percussion become your secret weapon to success!


Remember, this process doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following the steps we've laid out and embracing the joy of music, you'll confidently pick a song that showcases your talents and leaves a lasting impression in the audition room.


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