It’s so strange to think that just a year ago, I was applying and preparing my auditions for college. As a prospective music major, I didn’t know what to expect, and because of that, my anxiety and stress levels were through the roof. But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and I’m here to tell you: college auditions are not as terrible as you think they are! I have some tips and reminders to help you prospective music majors through your college audition process.
- Prepare Early: If you have any idea as to where you’d like to apply, look into what they require for music auditions. Start practicing, or dedicating more time to practicing the summer before senior year so that when it comes to application/audition season, you’re already in a routine and a mindset and you don’t have to “retrain” yourself to be diligent in your practicing. (Unless you’re already practicing a ton, then you’ve got nothing to worry about there!) If you want to apply early action/early decision, then this early preparation will really help, as your deadlines are a lot sooner than those who are applying at the regular time. If you’re an out of state applicant like I was, make sure you email each school you plan to apply to and ask about how video or skype audition submissions work. It’s definitely a process and a half when you can’t go to campus for your auditions, but it’s not impossible! If you take careful steps to make sure all the pieces of your audition are in place, you’ll be just fine. Which brings me to my next point…
- Keep Organized: This tip is really important. Last year, I applied to three different schools, and all three of them had different audition requirements for music majors. When you’re applying, try and keep all the auditions, requirements, and deadlines straight to lessen confusion about when certain aspects of your audition are due. It definitely helps to keep either a tabbed binder, or several folders of audition excerpts and pieces. You don’t want to accidentally forget a part of an audition!
- Take Care of Yourself: I cannot stress this step enough. When I began my audition process last year, I definitely did not take care of myself in the ways that I should have. Being
unhealthy, the stress of auditions, and dealing with actual school is not good for the body – at all. Make sure you take time to actually sleep (whether it be a full night of sleep or a really dedicated nap), and eat right so you have the energy to get through your days. As music majors, it’s strange when people say, “Oh, just listen to music as a stress reliever!” because well, music is our whole life. But definitely, find a way (outside of music) to blow off steam, whether it be exercise, drawing, cooking, etc.
- Find A Support System: Along with taking care of yourself, find a circle of people who will help take care of you when you’re not necessarily able to. My friends and family were especially supportive, knowing I wasn’t always able to hangout or spend lots of time with them because I was practicing. My friend Meghan, who currently is majoring in music education/performance at DePaul University, was in the same boat as me, and it was so nice having someone who could relate. We were each other’s support system and shoulders to cry on when it got a little bit too much. I think it’s so important to find people you can trust and rely on during this stressful, but crucial time.
- Relax (this is always easier said than done): I think relaxing is the hardest part of the audition process. Once you’ve auditioned, all you can do is sit and worry about your results, but if you can, try not to! Or at least, focus that nervous energy into something productive. Last year, while I was waiting for my results, I knitted like three hats (two and a half, actually), reconnected with my friends and family I had neglected during application season, and focused a lot on school (because the senior slide is very real). Even if your audition’s a bit shaky, if you’ve put in your best effort, good things will come to you!
Honestly, auditioning through Naz as an out of state applicant was easy. I was so worried that since I couldn’t come to campus, it would be much harder of a process. Professor Nancy Strelau was so essential in making sure I had all the pieces of my audition put in place, and she is just as helpful to any prospective music majors going through the audition process. Through a series of emails, I found out I had to submit my video auditions to Nazareth’s Slideroom website, take my theory entrance exam and send that in, and do my sight singing with Dr. Reef through Skype. It sounds like a lot (and it is), but the music department at here at Naz made the process a lot less terrifying. With that in mind…
Good luck future golden flyers!