Preparing for Your University Music School Audition

Tips to Help You Nail It

a close up of piano keys
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One thing stands between you and your coveted university music school admission: the audition. When you prepare, two things are key: learning the material inside and out and building your confidence. The process can be intimidating, but don't let it shake you. You can ace your 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 music 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, on the other hand, you get to select a song of your own, choose carefully. Foremost, pick music that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Ideally, the selection should also showcase your abilities, fit the time you have for your audition, and be appropriate for the environment.

If sight reading is part of your audition, practice playing random pieces of music to get into the habit. 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.

Get Comfortable Performing By Yourself

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 by yourself.

Perhaps you are experienced playing as part of an ensemble but haven't necessarily had the occasion to perform on your own. It could be beneficial to seek out a venue or situation in which you can perform your music by yourself, maybe signing up for a spot at an open mic night or just getting your friends and family together and playing your heart out for them.

Not only will this give you a chance to get some valuable feedback, but it will help you feel more at ease playing in front of a crowd on your own. The confidence you gain in these dry runs will serve you well during your real audition.

Planning and Preparation

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.

Dress comfortably but nice. Think suits, dresses, or skirts. 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.

As for the audition itself, it is important to be prepared for more than just the music. Make sure, for instance, that 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.

Finally, 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.