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How to Prep for and Survive an Audition as a Musician (5 things you need to know)

how to survive an audition as a musician

Auditions can be intimidating, but they're one of the most powerful ways to move forward in your journey as a musician whether you're auditioning for first chair in your school music program, the annual talent show, a college music program, or a symphony.

Here are 5 ways you can prepare for an audition:

  1. Find out exactly what will be expected of you

  2. Create a practice schedule

  3. Get help from your director or private teacher

  4. Record video or audio of your performances and review

  5. Try to simulate the environment of an audition

Looking for some guidance from a teacher? Check our our private lessons

student playing cello in orchestra audition

Learn more about how each of these prep tools can help you nail that audition below:

1. Find out exactly what will be expected of you: There are often specific guidelines and expectations for auditions and it's important to know how you'll be evaluated. Are there certain genres or techniques they're hoping to see? Knowing what you should be ready to showcase to the people you'll be audition for can help you select the right music.

2. Create a practice schedule: We're already a strong proponent of setting aside a few days a week to practice for 30 minutes, but when there's an audition on the horizon it's important to have focused time to work on the pieces you'll be playing, your general technique, and still have a little bit of fun time to play other pieces. Don't lose the joy of making music during the process.

3. Get help from your director or private teacher: If you're in an ensemble at school or taking private lessons you already have a valuable resource at your fingertips. Your teacher is a well of musical information who can help you decide which pieces to perform, guide you through challenging passages, and offer you tips on how to perfect your technique.

4. Record video or audio of your performances and review: Try utilizing video and audio recording. Video can help you notice how you're physically playing your instrument and what you look like. This could help you notice that you are placing your fingers in the wrong spaces or hunching over. Audio recordings can help you focus on just the music and notice where your intonation might need some work, or if you're off tempo!

5. Try to simulate the environment of an audition: Invite your family, friends, or fellow musicians to be your audience and give you feedback about your performance. This can help you build the confidence you need to walk into the audition room and provide you with some constructive criticism that lets you know what you might need to work on before the big day.

Making sure you get enough sleep, eat consistently, and stay physically active can help with performance anxiety, and are huge parts of living a balanced life as a musician. Remember: YOU GOT THIS! Have fun, and let us know how it goes!

Need some help creating a practice routine? Check out these 5 practice habits


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