Audition Tips and Advice

Thinking of joining an orchestra or an ensemble that requires an audition?

Here are some tips…

Before the Audition

  1. Be Courageous
  2. Be a Detective – find out where, when, the requirements, and read the notice carefully.
  3. Self-Assessment – Do I have a piece to play? Do I have the right scales to play? What if my sight reading is terrible? Is my equipment in good working order?
  4. Ask a music teacher, friend or grown up to help:
  • select a piece to play;
  • check if the scales are the correct ones;
  • find random pieces around to sight-read;
  • play for family, friends, pets, stuffed animals, etc. (dress up if you would like!);
  • continue to practice and repeat #3 & #4 often!

Pre-Audition Checklist

  • Do you have the sheet music that you will be playing from?
  • Do the requirements ask that you bring copies of your music for the judges?
  • Is your instrument and your body in good working order?

Day of the Audition

  • Arrive early to get settled, find out where the audition room will be.
  • Find a place to unpack, tune and focus on yourself (regardless of distractions).
  • Review your scales and piece.
  • Be in close proximity to the audition room when it is close to your appointed time.

Entering the Audition Room – “I am so nervous! What do I do next?”

  1. Walk confidently towards the adjudicators to hand them your info sheet (if required).
  2. Look for clues where to stand/sit, such as the music stand! That’s the best clue!
  3. Introduce yourself (if you would like)
  4. Introduce your scales and pieces (if you would like)
  5. Sight-reading:  Look through the music carefully, silently go through and check:
  6. Rhythm – what time values are those notes? Quarter notes? Eighth notes? Rests?
  7. Sharps and Flats, What key is the music in? Do you see any accidentals elsewhere?
  8. What’s my best guess how fast this should go?
  9. Play through the piece, silently fingering the notes and rhythms. Don’t forget to include the rests too!

Be courageous!  You can do it!

Designed for ESYO by Yvonne Hseuh