Think back to last year’s all-region audition: you go into the audition room with your heart pounding out of your chest with anxiety, you shake while seated in the chair, your mouth is dry but your hands are sweaty. Sound familiar? If you have ever experienced any of these audition day symptoms, it’s probably because you felt you weren’t as prepared as you could have been for the audition. Here are 4 steps to audition preparation that have proved to cure the curse time and time again!
1. Planning: “There’s no way I can do this! It looks impossible!” So did landing on the moon, but with enough careful planning, mankind reached new heights, and so can you!
Get a clean copy of the music without any pencil markings- it is ideal to start fresh!
Have a pencil, metronome, and recording device at the ready.
Use a journal for logging daily tempos and creating your preparation timeline chart to be used for planning of tempo goals and checkpoints.
Preparation Timeline Chart
Begin by determining how many weeks fall in between the time you begin learning the etude and the day of the audition. Write down the date of one day from each week on your chart.
Determine your final tempo goal and what tempo you want to achieve by the end of each week. If you have more than one etude or piece, create multiple charts!
Example: your final tempo goal on a certain etude or piece is quarter note = 144. You receive the music on August 8th, and your audition is November 1st. Above is an example of a chart you might create to organize your tempo checkpoints. Note: You should plan to meet your final goal tempo two weeks before your audition.
A visual I like to use to guide my preparation is a sideways hourglass (pictured above). In the beginning, think about working the music in larger passages in order to see and hear the big picture. Then, you'll want to gradually focus on smaller sections, working out any technical and musical issues. Finally, once the mechanical kinks and artistic decisions hav