How To Perform Your Best And Make A Good Impression
Many musicians know what to do at an audition, but not what they should avoid. Here are some definite "don’ts" for your audition.
Do Not Stay Up Late
Performing at a high level can be both physically and emotionally draining. But trying to do so without a good night’s rest can make it even harder. Do not stay up late, and get plenty of rest. It will drastically improve your performance level.
Do Not Show Up With Food
There is no professional environment during an interview or audition that will show favor in you if you have food. The same can be said for drinks like coffee. You may be hungry or de-caffeinated leading up to your big moment, but to present it is unprofessional. Eat a healthy meal before you leave. Drink your coffee at home. Be focused on your performance. Consider meeting an idol of yours for the first time. Would you bring a burger or slushy with you to eat in front of them? Probably not.
Do Not Memorize Your Piece Last Minute
Preparation is everything. Spend at least a couple of months practicing and memorizing before your audition. Sage Music recommends having your repertoire memorized six months in advance. Don’t sit in the hall outside your audition trying to memorize the last page of your music at the last minute. If one of the judges sees you, it could come off as you winging your performance or that you just aren’t well-prepared.
Do Not Dress Unprofessionally
When judges say you should dress "comfortably," they do not mean you should wear whatever you want like pajamas or flip flops for a beach party. They mean dress presentably but comfortably so that you can perform well. If you really have no clue on what you should wear, speak to upperclassmen or your instructors.
Do Not Pick a Piece that is Too Hard
Performing can be both fun and nerve-wracking. Perform a piece that highlights your musical ability and level of complexity. But do not pick a piece you cannot perform well because it is too complex, and the same for an easy piece. Pick something in your range, and don’t go for an accent you can’t do.
Do Not Be Unprepared for Travel Delays
The last thing you want is to arrive late or miss your audition. Monitor traffic the week prior to your audition. Consider how long it might take to arrive on site. Also, factor in additional delays such as community events going on during the day of your audition. And it would be a good idea to also know the building and room that your audition is located.
Do Not Pick the Most Popular Piece
Don’t perform something that everyone else performs, and do not perform what you think the judges want to hear. Make yourself stick out from the crowd. If you perform something that nine out of ten students perform, you must be creative to be impressive!
Do Not Be Unprepared
Be ready 100% of the time. Pretend you’re being judged as soon as you arrive on-site. Once you are in view, you can be sure that you are already being evaluated. Do not start performing without warming up. If you start singing, dancing or playing an instrument and you are a little off, your first impression could be tarnished. Have fun with it, but act as if you are auditioning for American Idol and a life-changing opportunity.
Do Not Be Discouraged
First and foremost, if you are performing and make a mistake, keep going! Professionals do not stop or walk off stage. For all you know, the audience (or judges) might not know of the mistake (just you). Act as if it is part of your performance. This is appealing to music professionals. It shows how you treat adversity and if you have what it takes to be great. Who knows, the mistake during your performance and how you improvise could impress the judges.
But if you really do poorly during your audition, it is okay. It is not the end of the world. Do not apologize over and over. And do not say you are underprepared or make other excuses. Honesty is your best defense. If it comes to it, just note you will do better next time.
If you have additional questions on what not to do for an audition, let us know. We will provide you with more resources. If you have insight into the auditioning process and have recommendations on what is missing, we welcome your valuable input!