Successful Audition Experience

Contributing Factors to a Successful Audition Experience

1. An audition is similar to a job interview. Appearance is important.

a. Choose a professional outfit (men – suit with tie; women – professional suit, dress, etc.)
b. Make sure you are comfortable in dress clothing
c. Try different outfits
d. Make sure you can breath properly
- Choose a shirt whose neck size is a bit larger for you
- Choose a coat in which your arms can move freely
e. Practice with dress clothing on prior to audition, including shoes
f. Consider borrowing clothes if needed
g. Other things to consider:
- Downplay any display of jewelry, body piercings, and tattoos

2. Develop a relationship with the professor/school

a. Familiarize yourself with their music facilities in a relaxed setting
b. Ask what and how to improve prior to your audition
c. Schedule a lesson, prior to your audition, with an instructor at the school

3. Applications and Deadlines

a. Fill out applications in a timely manner (include Music Resume, which is described below in section 8c)
b. Select an audition date that allows you ample time to prepare
c. Be aware of deadlines! (Music application / Scholarship application / Audition Dates)
d. Submitting recording
- Mail dvd or use document sharing (Dropbox, Youtube)

4. Music Selection

a. Refer to the university’s audition procedure
b. Appropriate material may be discovered by:
- Discussing with a music teacher or trained music person
- Viewing solo lists provided by state music associations
- Research university websites. Some private studios list for lower division college students.
c. Find recordings
- YouTube, local or music library, private instructor
d. Research the pieces that your are performing
- Composer, time period, any other pertinent information

5. Prepare scales (and arpeggios)

a. Major and Minor scales. Start with major, as many as possible. Minor is a plus
b. Types of minor scales: natural, harmonic, and melodic
c. Ask private instructor or music teacher for method books/Go to a music store and look at method books
- Choose something that gradually increases in difficuly
- Start at least a month before audition
d. Practice Sight Reading

6. Live Audition conditions

a. Research the seasonal climate during audition dates
- Humidity (East vs. West Coast)
- Temperature (North vs. South)
b. Arrive one or two days prior to audition
c. Acclimate to climate
d. Practice in music building
- Practice only what you need to practice
- Do not over-practice
- Do not “show off” ability

7. Tour (Building familiarity will reduce stress/ anxiety)

a. Meet with professors
b. Tour music facilities
c. Make connections. Ask about:
- Majors, university environment, professors, performance venues, performance opportunities in community
d. Check out the campus
e. Talk with current students
f. Remember: humility

8. What to bring to the audition

a. Music
- Your music (if not memorized), music for faculty, music for accompanist, recording
b. Instrument, metronome, tuner, accessories, pencil, paper
c. Musical Resume include
- Name and address, High School (GPA), favorite bible verse and calling, list all private teachers with whom you have studied (which instrument(s) and length of study), High school ensembles, chair placement, church ensembles, community ensembles, any musical camps attended (i.e. Camp Electric), solo experience, district/state contest ratings, honor Ensembles

9. Make a list of questions

a. Will I get to study with the main professor?
b. How often and for how long are the lessons?
c. Is there a master class or seminar?
d. What can I do to be prepared for my first lesson?
e. Should I purchase and begin practicing from certain method books?
f. Is there a basic list of equipment that I should own upon acceptance to the studio?

10. If you are doing a recorded audition…

a. Follow dress/appearance recommendations listed above
b. Make sure you have quality equipment
c. Don’t try to record in one session
d. Find a trained professional (e.g. private instructor, music teacher, etc.) to help
e. Critique recording, make sure you have represented yourself to the best of your ability. You may use the best “takes,” but do not use studio editing to correct pitch, missed notes/rhythms.|
f. Choose a proper performance room
- High School Instrumental/Vocal rehearsal room or performance venue, church, community center
g. Consult private instructor, at least one month in advance
h. Write down schedule with individual target goals
i. Set aside rehearsal time to prepare

11. Diagnostic Testing (during orientation prior to fall semester)

a. Types of testing
- Written music theory (knowledge of bass and treble clef, notate scales in various clefs, spell chords, analyze SATB music)
- Aural music theory/Ear training [pitch matching (single pitches both in and out of the student’s range); simultaneous pitch identification (sing lower pitch, sing higher pitch); identifying intervals, chords, harmonic progressions, melody, rhythm; transcription; sight-reading]
- Keyboard skills (sight-reading, transposition, harmonizing melody)
b. How to prepare for testing
- TNU Online Summer Music Theory Course (written theory concepts, aural theory concepts)
- High school music theory, community music theory courses, community centers, YMCA, libraries, search web, MacGamut CD Rom (used at TNU), Piano lessons with emphasis on theory

- Steady, consistent preparation. You cannot cram these concepts