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Tips & Tricks for a Successful Audition

Audition Video Deadline is Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Auditions are a regular part of being a serious musician. Whether you are a youth musician, an amateur musician, or a professional musician, you've most likely heard the word audition at least once. If you haven't, that's ok. 

So what is an audition exactly?

The word audition means hearing, and it is as old as music itself. The purpose of an audition is simple; it allows ESYO to hear you play your instrument. During an audition, an independent panel of judges listens to your performance. Audition judges are specifically listening to your tone, technique, and overall musicianship.

Why do I need to audition for ESYO?

Serious musicians, like you, who invest time to practice and study music outside of an ESYO rehearsal get better, year after year. Your audition provides ESYO with the information we need to place you in an ensemble that will challenge you and nourish your growth as a musician.  

  • Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare, not only for your ESYO audition but for any audition.
  • Your song selection is key! Choose a familiar piece that makes you shine. 

  • Have a go-to collection of audition pieces. Work with your music teacher to build a collection of familiar repertoire to use at an audition. It is ok to use your NYSSMA solo(s) so long as it meets the audition guidelines.

  • Prepare and practice! Keep a regular practice schedule, but do not over practice. Work with your music teacher or coach to polish and prepare your audition piece. 

  • Use a metronome! When practicing any piece, the use of the metronome is crucial. Start with a slow tempo and increase it as soon as you feel comfortable with the initial Tempo. Using a metronome will help your practice sessions be more efficient and help you have an excellent recording. 

  • Perform "mock auditions" and critique your performance. Ask your music teacher and friends to provide feedback. 

  • Schedule a specific time to record your audition video submissions. Treat a virtual audition like you are auditioning in front of a live panel of judges.

  • Do some sound and image checks before you record. Make sure you find the best place for your phone/camera/microphone where you will sound and look your best.

  • Do your best! If you make a small mistake, keep going. Give yourself one good re-record, if needed. 

  • Do not wait to record yourself until the very last day. When you feel comfortable with your chosen piece, start recording and record multiple times over several days, then pick your favorite recording. 

Whether this is your first audition or your tenth, remember to have fun and make music.  Think of this audition as a performance.  Focus on making music and not on a specific outcome.  ESYO has numerous orchestras and ensembles suiting a wide range of skill and musical experience.  There is a place for you in ESYO, and our independent panel of judges will connect you with the best ensemble for you.