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Be Prepared for an Audition by avoiding these 7 Deadly Mistakes - Downingtown Music Academy Skip to content

Be Prepared for an Audition by avoiding these 7 Deadly Mistakes

As a voice teacher, I come into contact with many young and beginning singers throughout the week. Performance can be a scary thing, and sometimes we can forget common sense!  So to make it easier I have compiled a list of the ways to be prepared for an audition (by avoiding the most heinous audition mistakes!):

1. Not bringing your music.

You think: "Hey my accompanist will bring a copy and I don’t need mine so it will be fine!"  Keeping your accompanist happy is the best thing you can do to be prepared for an audition! Your accompanist may make mistakes and it is your job as a singer to advocate for yourself.  How much is that accompanist going to want to work with you again if you save the day by bringing out your own copy?  Watch this video to determine everything you need to bring to an audition.

2.Wearing clothes not suited for performance.

You may be wearing clunky shoes that make thunderous noises as you step up onto the stage, a skirt that is way too short for the stage that is above your audience, a shirt that falls forward as you bow. All these are dangerous faux pas that could result in some embarrassing moments. You should use common sense and be comfortable, you’re already going to be nervous.

3.Not bowing.

Big, big faux pas.  The audience is saying “great job” when they clap and you bowing is a thank you.  You wouldn’t just stare at someone when they congratulate you and then walk away would you?  The audience claps, and you bow.

4. Not indicating to your accompanist to bow.

That’s the way you say thank you for all their hard work. They aren’t your music slave!  Give them their due, particularly if you messed up a note or a rhythm and they were able to cover for you.

5. Not giving your accompanist plenty of time to practice your music.

Don’t send them the sheet music the day before.  Give them plenty of time to get the music down.  When you’re on stage you’re going to need their help, so help them help you.

6.  Not having a clear plan for dealing with nerves before a performance.

Whether it’s thinking of your “happy place” or taking deep breathes or meditation, you need to have a plan to cope with your nerves so you can sing with proper breath control and so that you remember your notes, words, rhythms, etc.  This is vital to help you be prepared for an audition or performance. Be prepared for an audition

6. Apologizing for your performance.

Ie, saying "I have a cold today, so go easy on me." or other such like.  Likelihood is, the person will not feel sorry for you, but will be searching for mistakes in your performance, and may even feel deflated when they are expecting to be entertained. The majority of the time, if you don't mention it, and execute your performance with confidence, no one will be any the wiser.  Whether you apologize before or after you sing, you plant the idea in someone's head that you performance will not be, or was not entertaining and that you are a victim. The audience isn't interested in feeling sorry for you, they came to be entertained. Next time, if you are feeling tempted to make an excuse or apologize for a performance, remember this: it's not about you.

7. Getting hung up on a missed note or dreading the next measure.

Singers (and all musicians) need to focus on what is going on in the present.  If you are obsessing about that note you cracked on, your brain isn’t 100 percent where it needs to be for the measure you are currently on.  Do yourself a favor: make like Elsa and let it go.  Even if you forget the words-make some up!  I’m only half joking…the show must go on! Need help preparing for an audition?  Reach out to us today!