The “ART” of the Audition


There is a lot at stake during the audition phase of your college application but just try to relax, be yourself and you will do great! Here are some tips, tricks and food for thought you might find helpful:

  • For Music Students:
  • For best results, try to mentally prepare so your nerves don’t interfere
  • Let your true self come out in your music. Convey meaning through your performance
  • What do you want to convey to the world through your music? Share this message with the faculty panel and let them hear it in your music.
  • Don’t aim for unattainable perfection
  • Get our of your practice room often. Performing frequently in front of teachers, friends, family, etc will help you become more comfortable in front of an audience.
  • Consider taking private lessons. You should have several years of private lessons if your desire is to audition for a conservatory. You should also have some experience performing in high-level ensembles.
  • Choose a repertoire that shows your strengths.

Making the Most of Your Audition:

  • Generally an audition will last 15-20 minutes. (time may vary based on the instrument)
  • Remember, your audition begins before you enter the room.
  • Dress appropriately and arrive well-rested
  • Prepare your music in a binder so it is clean and organized for the accompanist
  • If the opportunity presents itself, rehearse before the audition. Don’t worry if can’t, you will have time to run through your music.
  • Plan ahead – decide which piece you would like to start the audition with
  • Enter the audition space with confidence and a smile
  • Playing a few notes to tune will help you relax before you begin. Doing this will lead to a stronger audition
  • Allow yourself to participate fully in the experience
  • Settle into your audition space, get into the right frame of mind, take 10 seconds to ground yourself. Faculty wants to hear you communicate with confidence and musicality.
  • Good preparation is key!

Students in Musical Theatre and Acting

Not all theatre schools require an audition, but among the ones that do, many require that students not only apply to the school in general, but also to the individual theatre department. You need to make sure you have completed your audition successfully before you act on the school’s acceptance.

Colleges look at student with a wide range of experience and skills. Know yourself and the person you are. Yes, your coach, teacher or parent will have an idea of who that person should be but this is your time, and ultimately you will be the one doing the work, wherever you go to school so relax, take your time, and bring your best work.

Making the Most of Your Audition:

  • Students are required to upload pre-screening materials. Every college will have their own requirements so carefully check their website for details
  • Students who’s pre-screen materials pass, you will be asked to schedule an audition. One example of college audition might look like this: At the audition, students take part in a warm-up with two or more faculty, a vocal warm-up and then a 30-minute master class/workshop with faculty, usually consisting of movement work, games and partnering exercises.
  • Find age-appropriate roles
  • Choose material that you love
  • One of your pieces should be with an imaginary partner
  • Choose contrasting material that shows some range
  • Know your audition material well – Rehearse until that character feels like it has become a part of you
  • Pay attention to your volume. Screaming is never a good thing
  • Trust yourself, you are enough
  • Choose your material wisely. Profanity or sexually charged language isn’t always appropriate
  • Dress appropriately for your material
  • Enjoy telling the story
  • Be knowledgeable about the program to which you are applying – Do your research
  • Be yourself – They want to get to know you the person and you the artist through your audition

Many schools also require that applicants send a pre-screening recording that gets evaluated by faculty before live audition invitations are made. Check your preferred schools for the requirements in your area, and start rehearsing.