Who can apply?
The Songbook Academy® is open to individuals between 14 and 18 years old as of January 1, 2021, who are enrolled in high school (or home school) grades 9-12 and are U.S. legal residents residing in the United States (graduating seniors are eligible to apply). Students entering high school in the fall of 2021 are not eligible to apply. Applicants may be required to provide proof of date of birth, high school enrollment and residency, upon request.
When is the application due?
2021 applications are due March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Visit our application page for more information.
How can I record during the pandemic?
Your safety is our top priority and we want you to feel comfortable recording your songs for your Songbook Academy 2021 application. We understand that you may normally perform with a live accompanist, and that due to social distancing or health concerns this may not be possible. We encourage you to find a suitable backing track or have your accompanist record a separate track to perform with. Check out our Top Ten Strategies for a Successful Self-Tape.
When will I know if I am selected?
All applicants will be notified via email or Acceptd on or before April 15, 2021.
What does the program fee cover?
The program fee for the week-long Songbook Academy experience is $900.00. The actual cost is estimated to be $3,200.00 per student. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters and sponsors, we are able to offer a more affordable experience to all students.
The Program Fee includes:
• Supervised dormitory-style accommodations (single room/double occupancy) in a Butler University residence hall;
• All meals on and off-campus;
• Commercial transportation for the week; and
• All workshops, master classes, mentor sessions and social activities throughout the Academy Week.
The Program Fee does not include travel expenses to and from Carmel, Indiana, for the Academy Week.
What kind of Financial Assistance is available?
Financial assistance is need-based and applicants must participate in the Federal or any government free or reduced meal program at their school in order to be considered. Students may request financial aid by emailing us at SongbookAcademy@theSongbook.org. The student will then be required to submit a letter from a school counselor or teacher. Students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch are welcome to submit a letter detailing their need for further consideration.
The number of scholarships available will be determined by the amount of scholarship funding that has been donated to the Songbook Academy. Our goal is to help as many students as possible. We cannot, however, guarantee financial aid for all applicants.
Current scholarships made possible by The Francine A. LeFrak Leadership Fund and The Peggy Ford Scholarship.
How should I submit my audition songs?
Audition videos will be accepted via the Acceptd application platform. See our application for submission details.
How are applicants selected?
Applications and Final Performances will be judged by a panel of qualified adjudicators comprised of music industry professionals and educators, and will be judged based upon the following equally-weighted criteria: (i) intonation; (ii) tone quality; (iii) rhythm; (iv) song interpretation; and (v) presentation. ALL applicants will receive written feedback on their submissions from the adjudicators.
What kind of songs should I choose?
You will submit performances of two contrasting songs from the Great American Songbook (written between the 1920's - 1960's) that demonstrate your vocal, physical and/or emotional range as a performer. Please select age-appropriate materials. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Great American Songbook and find helpful music resources.
For insights about selecting repertoire from Songbook Academy mentor Catherine Walker of the University of Michigan read How to Select an Audition Song: The Five Cs of Refreshing Your Repertoire.
Songbook Academy Week
Where does the Songbook Academy Week take place?
The Songbook Academy week will take place July 17-24, 2021 at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the official home of the Great American Songbook Foundation. The Songbook Academy team is monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic and notify applicants of any changes to the live program format.
Am I required to attend the entire week of events?
Yes. Finalists must attend the entire week of workshops, classes, rehearsals and performance events during the Academy Week.
Where do we stay during the week?
Dormitory housing for the finalists will be provided by the Songbook Foundation on the campus of Butler University. Staying at the dorms is mandatory for all finalists.
Can my family come with me?
Yes- however, family members are responsible for their own housing and meals. Please note: most workshops and classes are closed to the public. Families typically come at the end of the week for the final show. The Songbook Foundation will provide a list of convenient local hotels. For more information on the area: www.VisitHamiltonCounty.org
Can I bring more than my two audition songs to the Academy week?
We encourage you to bring extra music to Academy week. If you plan to concentrate on songs different than your audition songs, please get approval from the Songbook Foundation. There will likely be opportunities to work on more contemporary repertoire or other styles in workshops throughout the week, so you are encouraged to bring additional music for that purpose.
Who are the mentors?
We have been extremely fortunate to have had the participation of world-class performers who have served as coaches and mentors for the Academy. To learn more about current and past mentors, please visit our Mentor page.
What should I bring to Songbook Academy week?
You are required to bring two copies of your music in the appropriate keys. Please bring pencils and a notebook. If selected to attend Academy week, we will send you a packing list that you will need for life in the dorms, as well as for performances.
What kinds of workshops will be held during Songbook Academy Week?
In the past, workshops have included topics such as: vocal technique and vocal health; phrasing from lyrics; song interpretation; stage presence and mic technique; musical comedy; musical improvisation; Great American Songbook 101; auditioning for college arts programs; selecting the right material; the Business End of the Entertainment Business and more. You will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with your music directors and vocal coaches in coaching sessions.
I'm not a jazz or cabaret singer. Is this the program for me?
The beauty of the Great American Songbook is that it includes music from Broadway, movie Musicals, Tin Pan Alley, and more. This was the pop music of its day. Each participant is selected based on their individual talents and strengths - regardless of genre. Our participants have been classically trained sopranos, Broadway style belters, swinging jazz singers, and pop style singers. Do what you do best - and have fun!
About the Songbook Showcase and Final Show:
During Academy Week, all forty participants will perform as soloists on the Palladium stage in the Songbook Showcase. They will also perform in group numbers in the Final Show. During the showcase, ten participants will be selected to perform as soloists during the Songbook Academy Finals.
Immediately following the Songbook Academy Finals, a panel of judges will select a Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and a Songbook Inspiration Award and Songbook Celebration Award winner from the ten soloists. Outstanding Acheivement Awards will be given as well to students not featured as soloists. Visit our Alumni Network page to read more about recognition and awards for finalists during Songbook Academy week.