Stay in the Car, Momma

Parents, we need to talk.

When your child is ready to go to his or her audition weekend, you need to do something that might go against everything you believe or what you are accustomed to doing. Let your student walk into that audition room, perform, and receive feedback ALONE. Stay in the car.

There are two important reasons to do this:

  1. You have devoted years treating runny noses, equipping your child for performances, and making sure they’re on stage at the right time. Be confident that you have raised a responsible young adult. Let them prove you right by letting them audition alone.
  2. Consider the auditioning panel’s perspective. If you go into that audition room with your student and ask a ton of questions, what will they think? Who will attend their school, you or your child? Allow your child to appear independent.

Of course, you have a lot of questions. You want what’s best for your child. Just keep in mind the college is continually evaluating your child throughout the audition process. Being too overbearing and taking away from their moment to shine, could negatively impact the audition.

What’s the big deal?

The people in the audition room are doing more than deciding whether your student should get a seat in their studio. They are looking for someone who they can develop as a colleague; someone who they see performing at the Philharmonic; someone who can build their network of students. They are looking for someone with whom they can create a strong professional relationship. If you short-circuit that first impression, your student may not get the chance to enter that new professional network.

If you’re still not convinced, consider these consequences if you walk into the audition:

  • There may be no visible consequence, but your student could be required to do remedial work to overcome the first impression you make for them
  • Your student may not get accepted into their first-choice studio or college
  • Maybe the most heartbreaking (and the rarest) consequence, the school could rescind your child’s scholarship or even the acceptance offer

How do you get your questions answered if you stay in the car? Here are some solutions:

  • Ask your questions during the parent-student visit(s)
  • Call the admissions office or speak with the music department’s advisors
  • Prepare your child, so they know what questions to ask so they can make the right decisions for college and their future

I’ve been in your shoes and know this is a challenging thing I’m asking you to do. On the other hand, you now know what is in the best interest of your child. Don’t do anything that can deter his or her opportunity of getting the spot in a studio they would love.

Stay in the car.

Elke Ridenour
Band Mom