At our Higher Education Consultants Conference last week, we heard an interesting panel discussion from faculty of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music who discussed how students should plan and prepare for auditions. The three faculty were one each from instrumental, voice, and drama/musical theater. Some advice applies to all three areas; other points differ among the artistic areas.
Advice that applies to all the disciplines:
• Start early in your planning. Deadlines for applying for auditions are usually earlier than regular admissions deadlines. Also, there might be required pieces that will take time to learn (and probably memorize). Look at the website for the requirements of the audition.
• Behave with respect towards the judges and staff.
• In person auditions are best, but they will consider electronic means if the student is quite remote from the conservatory.
• When visiting, be sure and meet the primary teacher for your art, since this teacher will be a key part of your conservatory experience.
• Instrumental auditions are typically done behind a screen so that one’s appearance is not an issue.
• Choose pieces that are “not too easy, not too hard,” and that showcase your abilities.
• Arrive early. Practice rooms are available for warming up.
• Contrary to the instrumental situation, physical appearance and one’s bearing is an important part of the audition.
• Two classical pieces are required.
• Choose two selections, one classical and one modern
• DO try to make a connection with your audience.
• DON’T try to shock your audience with extreme material. DON’T do “eating disorders.”
• Do something you love.
• Some conservatories want to see acting, singing and dance. Others just require acting and singing and expect that they can teach the dancing.
The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music is one of the countries top conservatories. It offers programs in Electronic Media; Ensembles and Conducting; Keyboard Studies; Music Education; Theater Arts, Production and Arts Administration; Performance Studies; and Composition/Musicology/Theory. Faculty number over 150 for 750 undergraduate students.
The conservatory is a part of the University of Cincinnati.