Getting past an audition is one of the hardest and most stressful parts of being a music school student. You will probably be telling yourself that your entire future rests on you being at your best and playing flawlessly. That’s a lot of pressure to be under, and that pressure gets to even the best musicians.
The most important part of passing any audition is playing your best and learning your music, but managing audition anxiety is almost as crucial. If you want to survive your next audition, here are some tips that will help you relax and play to the best of your ability.
Practice Every Day
The best way to manage your audition anxiety is to get comfortable with your audition pieces. This means practicing every day, preferably as part of a regular routine. This will help you learn your music and get to a point where you can play it comfortably and reliably without having to think too hard about it. Ultimately, you will want to get to the point where you can think of your audition as just one more run-through of the music you’ve been practicing for weeks or months.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Preparing for an audition is a lot like preparing for an important exam, and people treat it as such. They practice for hours on end, and even pull all-nighters to get their audition pieces just right. Sadly, this does more harm than good. You may know a particular piece backwards and forwards, but that doesn’t mean anything if you’re too exhausted to concentrate on what you’re doing. Practice hard, but don’t forget to get enough sleep or play to the point of exhaustion. Take some breaks and engage in activities that take your mind off of your audition.
Nobody can play a technically difficult passage right out of the gate; it takes weeks of practice to play those fast runs perfectly. More specifically, it takes weeks of practicing those fast runs slowly. Learn how to play a difficult piece slowly before you take it up to tempo. Once you have it down cold, you can speed it up and get it up to tempo. Learning how to play something to tempo immediately will just cause it to sound sloppy even when you think you’re hitting all the notes.
Don’t Give Up
Nobody passes every audition they attempt, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t go your way. There will always be other opportunities and other auditions, and they will most likely be easier. Keep practicing, auditioning and performing. As long as you don’t get discouraged and give up, you will achieve your goals.