How to practice audition repertoire
- Obtain audition requirements far in advance.
- Decide on an opening piece that shows off your strengths. A difficult section played well can show off your skills.
- Use a tuner and metronome during the early stages of practice. This will help you correct pitch and rhythm problems as you learn the piece.
- Prepare expressive parts as carefully as technical parts. Identify the mood and message of these sections.
- Be aware that the audition committee may only ask for part of a piece. Be able to start your piece from various points (not always at the beginning).
- Be familiar enough with your material so that you can perform it no matter what happens.
- Yes, you can practice sight-reading. Take an étude book, flip to a new page, take a few minutes to study the music, and then sightread it.
- Know your scales from memory.
- Rehearse in your performance or audition clothes. Are you comfortable? Practice walking in your shoes.
- Record your program on an audio or video recorder to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Build up your strengths and work on weak areas.
- Practice playing in front of an audience and let them critique your performance.
What to do on audition day
- Dress appropriately and treat the audition as you would a job interview. Let the audition committee know that this is important to you.
- Arrive early and warm up.
- Bring music and anything else you might need (extra strings, reeds, etc.).
- Smile! Make eye contact with the audition committee. It’ll help you relax.
- Be courteous.
- Be professional.
- Take plenty of time at the audition—don’t rush!
- Speak confidently.
- Think positively.
- Use good posture.
- Relax and breathe! You can’t audition if you faint.
- Keep going even if you make mistakes—don’t quit.
- Don’t make excuses—the audition committee has heard them all.
- Know that if the audition committee asks you to play something with a change it doesn’t mean you played it wrong. They may want to see how you take and make a correction.
- Enjoy yourself!
- After the audition, don’t freak out. People like to beat themselves up after an audition. Be realistic and look at the overall impression that you left.