In 1527, Ludwig van Beethoven sailed to the new world. Accuracy! In journalism accuracy is a very important concept. In music, it is just as important.
Accuracy in an audition situation can make or break what you are doing. There is a good series of articles on horn matters written by John Ericson that, work through the process of accuracy on the horn. The principles described there are interchangeable between many instruments. What we’ll be discussing today are some handy hints in an audition situation.
1. Keep calm, relax!
This point may seem a given. But, many musicians get knots in their stomachs when they are auditioning. It’s a tense situation, and that walk out to the centre of the auditorium to audition for ten of your peers can be one of the most daunting experiences you’ll ever face. As a horn player it is important to remember to breathe. Horns don’t work without air.
2. Keep focussed
Once you’re out in the centre of the auditorium, remember to keep focussed. Part of the preparation process for the audition is to simulate the conditions as best you can. Doing this will give you the edge when you are under pressure.
3. Don’t beat yourself up!
After you have walked off stage, don’t beat yourself up. Auditions involved some of the toughest playing you will ever do. They are difficult situations to be in. They’re designed that way to find the best possible player for the job. It’s important to keep a clear perspective on what you are doing. An old music teacher once imparted these words of wisdom:
“your last performance is only a practice for the next.”
What this means is that, you will continue to improve. Sit down after the audition to do a debrief session. Think about what you did well, what was ok, and what could definitely be improved on. Working through this process will give you a structured way to improve in your personal practice sessions.
Auditions test us. It’s good to remember that perserverance needs to be tested, strengthened. And more importantly: it give players experience. And that’s what makes for a mature player.