Michelle Stanley_cla Music: Playing Your Best: College Music Auditions by Dr. Michelle StanleyImage of

Music: Playing Your Best: College Music Auditions by Dr. Michelle Stanley

For high school seniors who are interested in becoming college music majors, this is the time of year that’s filled with musical preparation for upcoming auditions. Much excitement accompanies this process, and many students find themselves full of worry and trepidation. I would like to share some helpful audition advice to support you as you embark on the very busy audition season ahead.

Preparing For the Big Day

1. Practice, practice, practice!
While I’m not advocating cramming, I urge you to include practice in your day-to-day routine. This includes practicing your entire required repertoire for each school. Be sure to review sight-reading and scales as well. Don’t be surprised if an audition committee requests you to play something that you weren’t expecting. It isn’t the intention to trip you up, but rather to see where you are in your musical development. Not being able to do something doesn’t mean you don’t pass an audition. It simply informs the committee of where you are in your abilities.

2. Create your own audition committee
Often the scariest part of auditioning is performing for a panel of strangers who give very little feedback during your audition. Re-creating that atmosphere can help control your nerves on the day of your audition. Create an audition committee that will listen to you play through your music prior to your auditions. Pull in classmates, teachers, and friends to listen to you perform. The more strangers, the better! Have them ask you to play certain scales or different repertoire than what you have prepared. Act as you would at your audition. Practice smiling, thanking the committee, and playing your best.

3. The non-musical side
Often your audition begins the moment you walk into the room. Present your best self by being well-dressed, full of poise, friendly, respectful, and confidant. Mistakes are ok – even expected. How you recover, and how you perform overall, are what a committee will remember.

Read Dr. Stanley’s entire article on MajoringinMusic.com