Do you have a high schooler getting ready for a College Audition? Or maybe several college auditions?! We just finished up our round of college auditions, and I thought I’d share some of what we learned through the process. My daughter was going through music auditions, but I’m sure these college audition tips and ideas are applicable across the arts.
Our college audition tips
For us, the process started over Spring Break during my daughter’s sophomore year of high school. We went on a road trip and visited what she knew would be her #1 school. Prior to our trip, my daughter emailed the bassoon professor and introduced herself and requested a lesson. That same visit we also got a tour of the music building and the campus.
The next Spring Break, we did another road trip and visited 5 colleges that all had the major she’s interested in. During this trip, she emailed each of the bassoon professors and requested a lesson. This was really important for her to get a feel for who might be teaching her for the next four years! She was able to rule out 3 of the schools pretty easily for different reasons, but it was important to meet these teachers and see how they taught.
The next really important step is to know exactly what the audition requirements are for each school. We used time during the lesson with each of the professors to find out what their requirements are and what they are looking for in potential students.
The next audition tip, and this one is more important than you might think, was sending thank you notes. She got emails back from a couple of the professors saying they had never gotten a thank you note before and it started the all important relationship.
The summer and senior year was spent practicing! She kicked up her amount of time practicing and bumped up her lessons. By the time auditions came around, she knew her music very well and had the muscle memory to help overcome the nerves!
10+ College Audition Tips from the experts
These college audition tips were sent to me from the experts: other parents who have already been through this, students in college already, and music college professors. Again, they are geared for Music Auditions, but most of them would be applicable to other college auditions.
- Compile High School resume’.
- While in your senior year, perform your piece(s) at Solo & Ensemble to get good feedback from a judge
- try to visit schools a year or two prior (sophomore or junior years)
- try to get a lesson with the professor
- tour music building & campus
- send Thank you notes to all you were in contact with!
- Complete financial aid information before auditions
- Know college guidelines for the audition – each college with have their own set of standards, find out early (a year ahead) what their guidelines are for audition
- And of course, practice! Practice! Practice!
- And, practice your scales 500% more than you do now!
- Choose the hardest piece that you know you can play well
- Know your audition piece(s) backward & forwards
- Know something about the piece(s) you are performing – composer, period, where it fits in the repertoire (?), list to the work on YouTube to hear it by several different artists
- good background in music theory (for music related audition)
- Practice sight reading
- Familiarize yourself with the piano keyboard
- See if the professor will critique a video of you performing prior to the audition
FREE Printable Copy of these College Audition Tips
If you’d like a FREE printable copy of this list, just click here or on the image below!
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Becki is the author and founder of A Book Lover’s Adventures. She has a degree in elementary education, has worked and volunteered in libraries for years, and spent several years in the travel industry. All of this has led to a love of books and travel. Becki loves to share her love by finding literary escapes to share!