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Arvia Hall
Nov 10, 2019
In General Resources
A successful music audition has everything to do with whether more competitive music schools will offer you an acceptances. The college audition process can be daunting. Preparation and practice are key to hearing those magic words, “You’re accepted!” So how can you best prepare? Get an early start. Study each school’s audition requirements carefully. Decide on your repertoire about a year in advance and aim to finish learning the pieces 2 – 3 months before your first audition. Choose pieces that you can play well and that represent you in the best light. Usually, the audition committee expects to hear a variety of music: a slow piece; some Bach to see musicality and understanding of style; and a fast piece, like the first movement of a concerto, to show virtuosity. You can decide to play more of Bach if you feel really comfortable with it and love doing it, or you can play only a short movement if you feel this is not one of your strong areas. Faculty members usually communicate with their applicants, so take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and express your interest in their music program. Schedule a trial lesson far in advance. Come prepared. Perform all of your audition pieces as many times as you can before your audition. At minimum, schedule a recital for friends and family, your congregation, or people in a retirement home. The amount of daily practice time dedicated to playing through complete portions of audition pieces should increase significantly the closer you get to your audition. Students – as well as professionals – get too used to being able to stop at any time during practice when they make the slightest mistake; this will not be helpful during an audition when you have to keep going even if something happens. A habit of going through complete sections or pieces has to be cultivated before auditions. Set yourself up for success on audition day. When you arrive on campus on audition day, find the check-in table and sign in. This is important because if a student doesn’t check in, the committee will be notified and the faculty will move on to the next person on the schedule. Arrive well in advance to allow enough time to find everything, including your audition room, and to warm up. Expect the unexpected. Sometimes students don’t realize they will not be able to perform all of their audition pieces in their entirety, simply because the committee has limited time scheduled for each candidate. Be prepared for us to interrupt you in mid-performance by practicing stopping in the middle of a piece, concentrating, and starting another piece. Not taking enough time to concentrate before playing is one of the most common mistakes we see. Taking the time to imagine the mood and character of the next piece is crucial. Students who don’t do this usually make a mistake very soon after beginning. While students usually start auditions with pieces of their choice, sometimes committees will select the next piece (or even the very first one) from a candidate’s repertoire. You might not play in the order you’re used to playing when preparing for your audition, so practice performing your pieces in various orders. Don’t worry if you’re not perfect. At college auditions we’re looking for students who are good players with potential to grow as professionals. We overlook deficiencies or mistakes if we see talent, determination to succeed and a willingness to work hard. While you should try to perform your very best, remember that nobody is perfect. Information Courtesy of: Dr. Misha Galaganov is chair of strings and professor of viola at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. His former viola and violin students can be heard as principals in orchestras, university teachers, soloists and chamber music performers.
Tips for a Successful Music Audition content media
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Arvia Hall
Nov 10, 2019
In Dance
1. Start your day with breakfast! It’s true! Just like with a big test, you need to start your day with a nutritious breakfast. It fuels your body, your mind, and won’t leave you feeling fatigued at your audition; however, don’t eat a late breakfast. Eating a big meal before your audition might be a bad call, as it could give you a stomach ache or make you feel sluggish. Two or three hours before, with a small snack closer to your audition, is a good rule of thumb. 2. Look and feel confident. The first step to looking the part is wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in and are appropriate for the style you are dancing. Do not wear a leotard and tights to a hip hop audition – or baggy sweatpants to a jazz audition! Also, wear something you feel compliments your body, with the right shoes. If doing your hair and adding a little blush makes you feel more confident, go for it! 3. Don’t hide in the back. Although the back of the studio may seem like you are hiding from the judges, you aren’t! The best thing you can do for yourself and for your audition is step up to the front. You want to be able to soak in all the choreography, and being able to see the teacher is important. Audition choreography is usually taught fast with little pause time. Don’t miss a move! For more tips on learning choreography faster, read this. 4. Ask questions! The choreographer wants you to succeed as much as you do. Don’t be afraid to ask about a move or combination when you are feeling confused. The judges will appreciate your initiative to make sure you are learning the choreography correctly. Make sure you find proper times to ask politely, and never interrupt the teacher in the middle of instruction. 5. Breathe. A common practice in dance auditions is to teach the choreography to the entire group, then divide the group into smaller sections for the actual judgment process. Ugh…the phrase itself is scary: judgment process. Don’t forget to breathe. No matter what happens, you will live through this audition! Panicking will not help you succeed. While you are waiting for your group to practice the choreography, make sure to hydrate and maintain your calm attitude. You got this! 6. Recover with a smile. We all make mistakes – especially in a dance audition when you have critical eyes on you. The best way to recover from a mistake is to smile through it and keep going. Often your judges won’t even notice if you don’t show it on your face. Perseverance and endurance are two skills that dance directors will be keeping an eye out for. 7. Respond graciously. Not all dance auditions are the same, but many go one of two ways: the judges let you know that there will be callbacks within a few days, or, cuts are made directly after your audition. This can be tough if you are a dancer that was not chosen for that particular company or performance. Take a deep breath, shake the hands of your judges, and thank them for their time. If you are chosen, be wary of your celebration and remember that there are people in the room that did not receive the same results. Above all else, be proud of yourself! 8. Always try again. We all have ups and downs. Don’t let one audition defeat you. If you don’t receive the results you want, ask the choreographer, teacher, or judges, what you can improve on. More often than not, they will be happy to recommend classes, trainers, or other ways to improve your technique and/or performance.
Dance Audition Tips content media
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Arvia Hall
Nov 10, 2019
In Theater
Be Prepared If you are asked to present a song or monologue, prepare your piece well. Memorize your selection and practice it many times. Be kind to everyone and smile. Remember that your audition for every show begins the moment you walk in the door. You may be perfect in the audition room, but rudeness or misbehavior in the lobby will be noticed. Be on time for your appointment. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment so that all of your paperwork can be completed before you go in for your auditions. Arriving early also gives you time to relax and focus and not feel rushed. Use your waiting time wisely. It is great to see old friends and make new ones at an audition, but be sure to take some time to focus on your audition. Dress appropriately. At Stages theatre Company, we always ask that actors come dressed for movement. This means you should dress in clothes that are comfortable and will not impede your movement, but still be neat, clean and nice looking. (Please, no flip-flops, boots, high heels, wheeled shoes, etc. Sturdy shoes that stay on your feet are a must. Dance shoes are appropriate). Introduce yourself. When you walk into the audition room, tell us your name and the name of the piece you have prepared. This makes a good first impression. Don’t watch the directors. While doing your audition, do not look directly at the people you are auditioning for, unless specifically directed to do so. Mistakes happen. If you make a mistake, do not apologize. Remember that others may not even notice a mistake, but if you point it out to them, they will know for sure. It’s OK to be nervous. Don’t worry about being nervous. Just about everyone is nervous. Do your best to smile and have a good time.
Theater Audition Tips that Could Get You a Scholarship to a Great University  content media
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