Auditions are one of those things that no musician will ever be truly finished with. Unless you’re Renee Fleming, you’re going to have to audition for stuff. So with that in mind, here’s how to prepare for an audition:
Know your music. Duh. But seriously, know it forwards and backwards and in your sleep. So, know your music’s history, know its context, know its composer’s favorite color. The better you know your music, the less likely you’ll have a weird slip during the audition itself.
Research the audition itself. How many people will you be performing for? How many people are auditioning? Where will it be – can you practice in the space beforehand? Will you be up on a stage? How many people are typically called back? Do as much research as you can on the audition. It may require talking to someone who’s auditioned for the event before, and that’s okay. The more you know going in, the more likely you’ll be a smashing success.
Check any requirements for what you need to bring with you. Common things auditions might require you to bring: X number of copies of your sheet music, potentially in binders; letters of recommendation; checks; personal statements; headshots; resumes; your own accompanist. Knowing exactly what you need with you is key for you to be successful. It would suck to be the best auditionee and get turned down because you failed to have your sheet music in triplicate!
Test your audition outfit in advance. This applies primarily to vocalists, but everyone should try it. For example, does your outfit allow for free movement? Can you breath well and easily? Will it stay properly adjusted if you move around? Can you walk well in the shoes you’re wearing? I recommend practicing for your audition at least once in the full outfit you plan on wearing, any makeup you’d choose included.
Ask your teacher for advice. Your teacher knows you, and they will hopefully be able to give you context-specific advice. An orchestra audition is very different from a musical theater audition. If you ask for help, they will be able to give you tips for the specific auditions you have coming up.
Auditions are scary – I know, I have two coming up. However, if you take the time to research what you’re doing, you will feel much better going in.
You got this!