The Audition Process is one that can “make or break” a musician.
When undertaking preparation for an audition too often musicians find themselves in a panic. In reality, one does not need to become frustrated or stressed out, in order to improve.
With intelligent structured, and organized preparation, an intelligent game plan will serve to increase comfort and confidence at an audition.
I. You’re not alone
- Most everyone gets nervous or has experienced dealing with nerves at some point in their life.
- The most experienced and successful musicians learn how to make their anxiety work for them.
- Accept that you may be nervous.
- Perform as often as possible.
- Being prepared is the best antidote to anxiety.
- Always memorize, but place the music on the stand at the audition.
- Don’t feel guilty for not preparing more.
- Prepare well ahead of time, let your music rest, and then come back to it.
- On the first attempt, practice performing a piece without stopping.
- Arrange a mock audition and record yourself doing practice auditions.
- Picture success! Imagine how a world-class performer would accomplish your task.
- Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s probably not too bad.
- Visualize everything in great detail: how you walk out on stage, tune, what you are wearing, how you shape every phrase, how you feel afterwards, etc.
- Create a narrative for your music. Where is it set? What emotions does it evoke? What do you see, hear, feel?
- Don’t put too much stress on one audition or performance; if you blow it, it’s not the end of the world.
- Take pleasure in your playing; focus on the music, not on technical perfection.
- The avoidance of failure is not the same thing as the pursuit of success.
- Turn off judgmental inner voices. Just play, don’t evaluate. Go easy on yourself.
- Calm your mind and focus your thoughts.
- Be energized, optimistic, alert, and self-confident.
- You can’t control what the audience or jury thinks of you, so just concentrate on playing.
- Every audience wants you to play well.
- Concentrate on what you are playing that instant. Never dwell on mistakes or fear any passage coming up.
- Challenge yourself; don’t compete against others.
- At an audition or a competition, try not to listen to the other players. Choose warm-ups to benefit you, not to impress them. Long tones will help more than a race with the musician next door.
- Don’t hold back; give 100%.
- Learn from failure.
VI. Physical relaxation
- Remind yourself to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Consciously relax all the muscles in your body, one at a time.
- Before playing, do some stretching exercises.
VII. Nutrition, sleep, and exercise
- Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar.
- Eat a light meal that is high in carbohydrates (pasta)
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Regular exercise builds up the body’s tolerance to anxiety.
Remember –YOU ARE IN TRAINING!