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HOW TO APPLY: Recorded Music Application Requirements

***Please read this entire page carefully.

The Clive Davis Institute Slideroom Application GOES LIVE for Fall 2016 Recorded Music Applicants on the following dates.

Once the application goes live, students are invited to register and begin to upload their creative portfolios after the appropriate date. 

  • Early Decision I - becomes available September 1, 2015

  • Early Decision II - becomes available November 1, 2015

  • Regular Decision - becomes available November 1, 2015

  • Internal Transfer - becomes available January 1, 2016

  • External Transfer - becomes available February 1, 2016

Deadlines are listed at the bottom of this page.

Once you have signed up to start a creative portfolio via The Clive Davis Institute Slideroom, you may step away and come back at any time, until the final deadline. Please make sure that you save your progress after each visit, and do not click to submit until you are 100% sure that you have properly uploaded the required components outlined below. Once you click submit, you may no longer edit your creative portfolio.

Do NOT wait until the last minute to sign up. And do NOT wait until the last minute to submit your creative portfolio, in case any technical issues arise.
If you have any technical issues with Slideroom, please email them directly at


There are two required steps to successfully complete your application for admission, if you do not complete both components, you will not be considered for admission:

  1. You must complete the Common App w/ the NYU Supplement via the Undergraduate Admissions website, provide the requested academic documentation and supporting credentials, and submit directly to the Undergraduate Admissions department - please note that this academic requirement is slightly different for internal transfers.

  2. You must prepare a creative portfolio (with the seven components outlined below) and submit via the institute's online application system, The Clive Davis Institute Slideroom. Please note that, upon submitting your final creative portfolio, Slideroom charges a $10 fee for applicants to use this service (you may pay this fee with credit or debit card). Read the directions for the required components below very carefully.


In preparing your creative portfolio, please note that you do not necessarily need to have experience in the music industry, nor do you need to have access to resources to demonstrate your vision, creativity and passion, and your potential for success in the music industry. Have fun! Be creative!

You must clearly LABEL and UPLOAD the following SIX (6) creative portfolio components to Slideroom:

1. STATEMENT OF INTENT.  Please read “Institute Notes On Entrepreneurship” via the link on the right.  In your Statement of Intent, clearly identify which of these seven entrepreneur types you hope to become as you progress in your career.  Based on your experiences so far, what kinds of skills do you possess - or do you hope to develop - that will allow you to succeed as your chosen type of entrepreneur [500-750 words; double-spaced; .pdf format]?

2. CREATIVE SAMPLE. All applicants are required to submit a creative sample that can be evaluated in approximately 5 minutes. Your creative sample should demonstrate evidence of the skills you possess—or evidence of your potential to develop the skills—that will allow you to achieve your career goals as the entrepreneur type outlined in your statement of intent [a complete list of accepted file formats can be found on the Slideroom application site]

Your submission may be one sample that totals five minutes of review or multiple samples that together total five minutes of review. You may submit audio, video, and/or a sample of articles you have written or published, a business plan you would like to implement, flyers or promotional materials you have designed, etc. The samples you submit for your creative portfolio should be specific to the kind of entrepreneur you are interested in pursuing while in the Recorded Music program. 

If you are applying as a Performer Entrepreneur, you must submit a sample that showcases your raw talent. If you submit a final sample of a song that is heavily engineered or produced because you feel that it best represents your style, skills and/or abilities, we ask that you also submit a sample that is not heavily engineered or produced, and that truly showcases your raw talent to the committee. This may be as simple as you sitting in front of your computer camera and performing 60-90 seconds of your favorite song or rap. Performers are also highly encouraged to submit a video that highlights your "stage presence" and live performance. Be creative and be certain to use this as a means to demonstrate your personality and level of experience as a performer.  This 60-90 seconds will be included as part of the 5 minutes for your creative sample.

Examples of past creative sample submissions have included, but are not limited to:

  • A business plan you would like to implement, or have already implemented
  • Evidence of experience with new media, music marketing, promotions, A&R, management, merchandising, online entrepreneurship as well as work on a street team or as a music stylist
  • Audio recordings of music you have either composed, produced, arranged, engineered, or performed on, and may also include multimedia recordings, music videos, or lyrics written
  • Promotional materials you’ve created showing your graphic design such as logos on a t-shirt, band or event flyers and ads
  • Evidence of live events, concert production and promotion
  • Articles you have published on music, music photography, evidence of music blogging
  • Designs you have done for a home or school studio and technology including construction and implementation of the studio with reasons for choices made
  • Films you have scored, soundtracks, or sound design
PLEASE NOTE: You may also upload any SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS you feel are necessary to share with the committee. However, please make sure that they are clearly labeled as such in order to distinguish them from your required creative portfolio components outlined above.

3. WRITTEN and VIDEO DETAILED STATEMENT about your creative sample. We'd like to know more about your creative process. To that end, each applicant is also required to submit a brief WRITTEN statement (100 words or less) as well as record and submit an equally brief (2 minutes or less) VIDEO statement that describes TWO things:

  • WRITTEN: HOW you made the work - identify the full extent of your creative involvement, and, if necessary, all credits due to other contributors. You must provide, as applicable, the name of the composition, composer, producer, engineer, mixer, arranger, programmer, location of recording, date of recording, full list of performers, and software used.
  • VIDEO: WHY you made the work - identify your creative process, your artistic influences, your inspiration. Using a webcam or mobile camera to record yourself, describe your behind-the-scenes process in putting together your creative sample. i.e. What inspired you to create the sample or submit the specific samples that you selected. Quality is not important, as long as we can see and hear you clearly. Just keep it simple, and talk to us about you and your sample. Show us your personality! [a complete list of accepted file formats can be found on the Slideroom application site]

In all cases, the material submitted must show evidence of your original work and you must be the primary contributor to or creator of the work. Work that involves sampling or previously copyrighted material may be submitted ONLY if your creativity is displayed through the use of the sampled material.

4. ARTISTIC RESUME. Please list your previous musical, artistic, and entrepreneurial experience. Experience may include promotional activities, internship, volunteer work experience, musical skills, church choir, school chorus, band involvement, and amateur or professional performances. It may also include formal training on an instrument, voice training, technology (such as MIDI), or technical skills in music performance and recording, such as arranging or composition, as well as DJ-ing and producing. Please include instructors, courses taken, and the duration of study or engagement [1-2 pages; .pdf format].

5. CURRENT PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPH. Please include one current personal photograph that you believe represents your aesthetic as your selected type of entrepreneur, or best represents who you are [.jpg, .png, .gif, .tif format].

6. CRITICAL ESSAY. If you were stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life, choose the ten (10) songs you would want to have on your Spotify Playlist. Tell us the titles of the ten songs in a curated sequence (in addition to sharing the titles with us, you can also include hyperlinks to those songs) and then write about any one (1) of those songs or artists. Explain why you've chosen that one song or artist and specifically address aspects of the recording that strike you in terms of production, artistry/performance, marketing, or promotion [500-750 words; double-spaced; your ten-song playlist should not be a part of the 500-750 words; .pdf format].

Your recommender must submit the following ONE (1) creative portfolio component via Slideroom:

7. ONE LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION. This letter must be from an instructor or someone who knows you creatively and can speak of your potential to succeed as a leader in the music industry. When completing your creative portfolio via Slideroom, one of the steps will prompt you to enter your recommender's email address (and an optional message). Your recommender will then receive an automatically generated email from Slideroom prompting them to click on a link to submit their recommendation for you. Their recommendation will then automatically be attached to your creative portfolio. So simple! [If desired, you may enter an email address for more than one recommender should you want to request more than one recommendation, but only one is required; .pdf format]

IMPORTANT: Please make sure that you very carefully and correctly enter the name, title/relationship, and current email address of your recommender. If the email address is entered incorrectly, your recommender will not receive your request. Once you submit your request, it is then your responsibility to follow up and make sure that they received the auto generated email request from Slideroom, and that it did not go to their spam folder. Once they have correctly received the request, you should also confirm with your recommender that they ultimately submitted their recommendation for you by the identified deadline.

*Please note that you may submit your final creative portfolio with only a "pending" recommendation. Your recommender may submit his or her recommendation after the creative portfolio deadline.

  • Early Decision I: submitted by November 1, notified December 15

  • Early Decision II: submitted by January 1, notified February 15

  • Regular Decision: submitted by January 1, notified April 1

  • Internal Transfer: submitted by March 1, notified April 1

  • External Transfer: submitted by April 1, notified mid-May

*Note:  The department does not accept any students for a spring start date. All new freshmen will start classes in Fall 2015. Transfers may elect to take our introductory Music Production courses over the summer.