Six Mistakes To Avoid When You Audition For Music School

Posted on: 1 November 2017

An audition is generally an important step in getting admitted to a good music school. Many young musicians feel intimidated by the audition, but an audition should be looked at as more an opportunity than a challenge. Auditions give musicians motivation to practice as well as an audience to perform for.

The following are six mistakes to avoid when you audition for music school to ensure that you succeed in impressing your audience and maximizing your chances of acceptance:

Misunderstanding the basic requirements for the audition

You might perform your piece perfectly but fail to meet the audition requirements. Most auditions involve specific requirements regarding the type and number of pieces you'll be expected to perform. Some auditions will also require you to perform scales and display music theory knowledge. 

Make sure you put adequate research into the exact audition requirements before you even begin practicing for the audition.

Neglecting to practice sight-reading beforehand

Most auditions require not only the performance of prepared pieces, but also the demonstration of sight-reading capabilities.

Sight-reading is an important skill for a musician, and mastering it can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying music. Before an audition, put some time into practicing sight-reading so that you can demonstrate your ability to perform unfamiliar pieces on the spot at the audition. 

Failing to effectively engage with the audience

Remember that a musician is a performer. The way a musician engages with the audience is important. You can endear yourself to judges at an audition by engaging with your audience. Be sure to introduce yourself and explain your selection of pieces.

Practicing too much the night before and failing to rest properly

One of the most important things you need to do to ensure success is get enough sleep beforehand. Musicians are sometimes so nervous the night before an audition that they can't sleep. However, it's important to calm yourself and get the rest you need to perform as well as possible.

Ending your preparations before you've mastered the details

Mastering musical performance is all about the details. Pay attention to not only hitting all the notes, but also adhering to the dynamics notations of the music you're performing while also imbuing your performance with feeling and expression

Choosing the wrong audition piece

It's important to put a lot of thought into the selection of your audition piece or pieces. Don't choose an audition piece that's too easy. During your audition, you need to showcase your abilities. A very easy piece is not going to impress the judges. At the same time, a very challenging piece will raise the likelihood that you'll make mistakes during your audition that detract from your performance.