I have never enjoyed piano and violin auditions. Through my college auditions, however, I have learned a lot about myself as a player. Here are the three major lessons I learned from the long and tiring process:
1) It is important to thoroughly research the college and its professors before visiting campus. Having background knowledge about the professors and the programs really helps when you are auditioning or taking a master lesson. When you research, you learn about the programs in which you might be interested, the faculty’s professional experience, and the types of performing opportunities offered at the college or conservatory.
2) Entering auditions with an open mind can help improve my performance. Normally at an audition, I have my heart set on a chair or a part. However, I have noticed I actually do a lot better when I enter my auditions with an open, relaxed mind. If I end up doing really well, I am surprised and proud of myself. If I do not perform as well as I had hoped, I try to find the good in my playing and take the mistakes as a learning experience.
3) No one is perfect. Going into sample lessons with professors with whom I could possibly work in the future was probably the challenging part of the auditioning process. In this situation, instead of the teacher evaluating you, you are responsible for evaluating if the chemistry works between you two. Basically, the teacher is auditioning for you. Three out of five lessons, I completely disagreed with a teacher on his/her teaching style. Through these private lessons, however, I learned a lot both about myself and techniques I did not know about before. Finding a new teacher after studying with someone you have had an emotional connection with since Lower School can seem difficult, but just know that you are building off of what you know already and you can always keep in contact with your past teachers.