Wracked with stomach clenching nausea? Experiencing palpations at just the thought of going in there, let alone PLAY in front of a panel? Shaky knees and hands, sweaty palms and fingers? You are not alone!
Having myself botched plenty, and blitzed and nailed the ones that matter, I feel this is one of those topics we don’t devote enough time preparing students with. Having guided and encouraged many students over the twenty years of teaching to apply for and successfully audition for different types of music institutions, organizations, orchestras and groups, I felt it was time to condense my practical tips into one simple to read useful list..
Go on it’s worth a try. If it’s the difference between getting in and blitzing the audition to botching it and retreating in a haze of shame, I know it’s worth a quick read.
If you have a super duper tried and tested approach and swear by it to help conquer the audition jitters, then please get in touch. Basically I figure the more you practice something the better you get at it!
1 We are often more afraid of the unknown than the actual situation itself.
2 Prepare your audition early and perform it through for an invited group of trusted friends and family and invite their feedback – be open-minded!
3 Play in the special audition outfit before the big day to make sure you can play and move in it! AND very important – call me a prude but, girl’s, guess what? Panels don’t want to see your undies – so check that length of skirt before you sit down!
4 Warm-up before you go in – mentally and physically – find a routine that works for you – if you don’t have one – ask your teacher!
5 Smile and say hello as you go in – they WILL smile back and acknowledge you. It breaks the ice for you and them.
6 Don’t expect things to be perfect – go in and show your potential – what you LOVE doing.
7 Use the adrenalin rush positively by enhancing your performance. Feel your heart pounding, learn to control the shaking by breathing and relaxing – ground yourself.
8 Trust your practice and your commitment to the music – have little code words like ‘sustained sound’ or ‘elbow up’ or ‘breathe’ – create little mantras practiced into your music so you can relax and enjoy the performance and guide yourself along.
9 Eat a banana – they fill your tummy so no embarrassing growling during the polite chit chat bit and they help your brain work under stress – full of potassium.
10 Read this great read ‘The Musician’s Way – A guide to practice, performance and wellness “ by Gerald Klickstein – Oxford University Press.