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Frequently Asked Questions



Application Process

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!


Who can apply?

The Songbook Academy® is open to individuals between 14 and 18 years old as of January 1, 2024, 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 who are not entering high school until the fall of 2024 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?

Application details coming soon! Check back here or visit for updated application details for our 2024 season.


When will I know if I am selected?

All applicants will be notified via email or Acceptd in April of 2024. 


What does the program fee cover?

The program fee for the 2023 Songbook Academy experience was $900.00 (updated 2024 fee coming soon). Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters and sponsors, we are able to offer a more affordable experience to all students (the actual cost is estimated to be $3,600.00 per student.)

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. 


  • APPLICATION FEE: Students can explore how an applicant can apply for an application fee waiver via Acceptd's Support Team. Please make sure to allow 24 - 48 hours for a response to any fee waiver inquiries. This fee waiver will cover the full $80 application fee. 

  • PROGRAM FEE: Upon acceptance to the program, students who qualify for any government free or reduced meal program and/or the College Board SAT/ACT fee waiver may request a full program scholarship by emailing us at Students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch are welcome to submit a letter detailing their need for further consideration from our committee.


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.


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 1920s-1960s) 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 13-21, 2024 at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the official home of the Great American Songbook Foundation.


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. 


Are there any COVID-19 related health and safety requirements?

Health and Safety protocols for the 2024 Songbook Academy will be announced at a later date. All policies -- which may require a COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff -- will be set in accordance with the latest guidance available from local and national public health agencies.


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:


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.


About the Songbook Showcase and Songbook Academy in Concert:

During Academy Week, all forty participants will perform as soloists on the Palladium stage in the Songbook Showcase. They may also perform in group and small group numbers in the Final Show. All students will be eligible for selection as a soloist during the Final Show. This selection process will take place during Songbook Academy week.

Achievement awards and honors will be presented during the Final Performance and all finalists will be eligible for lifetime membership in the Academy alumni network, which provides continued performance and education opportunities across the country for past students. Visit our Alumni Network page to read more about our alumni.