6 Tips for a Great Conservatory Audition

January 12, 2018

20120717_longy_2973_cropped.jpg

Audition season is right around the corner! Never fear, Longy is here to offer you some tips to make your experience as painless as possible.

1. Be Prepared

The best way to be confident on your audition day is to feel good about what you are presenting at your audition. Make sure you know your audition pieces inside and out, and that you have performed them in front of an audience (even an audience of one!) In the practice room, you are able to stop and start when you want, so it’s important that you get comfortable running through all of our audition repertoire – even with mistakes!

2. Get Your Logistics in Order

Along with your musical preparation, you also want to make sure all of the logistics of the day are taken care of in advance. Musicians are often so focused on performing well that they forget about addressing the other important parts of a successful audition. These small items can have a huge impact on your presentation as a conservatory-ready musician. Here are some examples of items you want to handle before your audition day:

  • Transportation – map out the location of the school and make sure you know how to get there. If you are flying, book a flight that gives you plenty of time to get to the school and/or hotel. If taking a car, is there public parking around the school? Time out how long it will take to get to your audition so you can plan your departure time accordingly.
  • Audition Materials and Music –  make sure you have all of your music in order. If you will have an accompanist, it is important that their music is organized and clearly marked. It is also helpful to bring an extra copy of your resume and repertoire list. Most schools will have all of this information from your application, but it never hurts to have extras. If you have any sort of interview in conjunction with your audition, prepare any necessary resumes or talking points for this as well.
  • Dress for success! – pick out your ideal audition outfit and have it ready to go on audition day. You want to feel confident and comfortable in what you are wearing, while still looking professional. Generally, you should stay away from jeans and t-shirts, although this may vary depending on the program and school. Your first impression is important, and remember that the judges will SEE you before they HEAR you.

 3. Arrive Early

The easiest way to feel extra stressed on audition day is having to hurry. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the school – you never know what kind of traffic or public transit problems may happen on a given day. Once you get to the school, check-in with the Admissions team so they know you have arrived. Take a walk around the school, and familiarize yourself with where your warm-up room (if the school provides one) and your audition room are located.

4. Find Your Happy Place

Now that you’ve oriented yourself with the layout of auditions, it’s time to find your happy place! Every performer is different, and you should get to know what kind of mental preparation makes you perform your best.  Do you like being quiet and by yourself, or do you like the energy from talking and being around others? Is it helpful to silently review all of your music beforehand, or do you like to distract yourself with a game or book? Does moving around and staying active boost you up, or do you prefer staying in one place to meditate?

Although the audition rooms and halls will probably be quite busy, there are always ways to find a space that will put you in the best mindset for your audition. You could sit outside on a bench or steps, or find a corner to make your own. Just be sure that you respect your fellow auditionee’s pre-audition routine, even if it’s different than yours!

5. The Panel Problem

The thing you’re probably worried about the most is what the panel of faculty will think of your audition. The biggest tip we can give you for audition day is to put that all out of your head once you enter the room. The faculty panel are not out to get you, and it’s important to remember that they WANT you to succeed. They are rooting for you! Remember, they too were once auditioning for music schools and know how stressful it can be. They are not looking for perfection, just potential. Perform like you’re in front of a supportive and loving audience, and you will assuredly do your best!

6. Take Advantage of the Day

Now that you’ve finished your audition, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! Then, take some time to explore your new potential school and the surrounding area. We know that there are lots of factors that go into selecting a school, and part of that is feeling at home in the community and city. Take the time to chat with the admissions team, faculty members, or current students about their experience at the school. If any trial lessons or class observations are offered during the audition days, take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about what it will be like as a student at the school. Walk around the area to some of the local restaurants and shops to get a sense of the neighborhood flavor. This may be your only chance to see the school before you make a decision, so you want to make it worth your while!

Use these tips to help you navigate your audition experience this season, and for seasons to come. We’re looking forward to welcoming our auditionees on campus, and wish you the best in all your auditions this year!

 - The Longy Admissions Team