How to Prepare for Your Music School Audition

Preparation is the key to nailing your music school audition

Piano keys
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One thing stands between you and your coveted music school admission: the music school audition. When you prepare for a music school audition, two things are key: learning the material inside and out and building your confidence. A music school audition can be intimidating, but don't let it shake you. You can do this.

Steps to Acing Your Music School Audition

Learn the Requirements
Every music school has its own requirements for auditions, and it is absolutely imperative that you learn the requirements front to back. These requirements will tell you important things about your audition, such as how long your performance should be and whether there are specific song or genre requirements you have to meet.

Also, pay attention to whether or not your audition will take place in front of the judges or if you will be behind a screen. This information will be important as you decide how to dress for your big day.

Prepare Your Music
If the school has assigned music to perform, start learning it—and learning it well. If you get to select a song of your own, choose carefully. Pick a song that showcases your abilities, fits the time you have for your audition and is appropriate for the environment (this is probably not the best time for a profanity-filled ditty). Most importantly, if you get to choose, choose a song that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.

If you are performing a snippet of a song, don't just learn your snippet and move on. Focus on the whole song; it will make your part feel and sound more natural.

Get Comfortable With an Audience
As important as it is to learn your music inside and out, it is equally important to get comfortable performing it in front of an audience. Get your family and friends together and play your heart out for them, repeatedly. Not only will this give you a chance to get some valuable feedback, but it will help you get used to playing in front of a crowd. The confidence you gain in these dry runs will serve you well during your real audition.

Prioritize Rest
Don't stay up all night practicing before your music audition. Going in with a well-rested mind will be much more beneficial to you.

Take Care of the Little Things
Don't derail your audition because you only prepared for the music. Make sure you know how to get to the audition room beforehand and leave yourself plenty of time. Double check that you have packed up everything you need for the audition before you leave home.

Show Up and Play!
Don't second guess your preparation or choices once you are in the music audition location. You can't change any of those things now. Get out there and play your best, and be confident while doing it.

Other Music School Audition Tips

  • If sight reading is part of your audition, practice playing random pieces of music to get into the habit.
  • Dress comfortably but nice. Think suits, dresses, skirts, etc. Even if you're behind a screen during your audition, you never know who you will bump into in the hall. Don't wear anything that could impede your performance.
  • Be prepared to take direction during your audition. Usually, this isn't an indictment of your performance but rather a test to see how you adapt. Your music teacher can help you prepare for this part of your audition.