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Top 3 vocal audition tips

K8sDadK8sDad Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Music Major
As my D works with her teacher to build her repertoire list, I thought it might be a good time to pose this question: What are your top 3 audition tips/considerations when it comes to choosing which songs to have in your repertoire and, more important, which songs to pull out of the bag on audition day. Bonus points if you consider the fact that my D is focused on contemporary/commercial voice programs.

"Age appropriate" is a given, as is being aware of a school's "do not sing" lists. So what other 3 top tips do you have to share?

Total aside, D loves Regina Spektor - would a song like "laughing with" be inappropriate for auditions?

Thanks as usual!

K8s Dad
Post edited by K8sDad on

Replies to: Top 3 vocal audition tips

  • violindadviolindad Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    Two tips:
    1. Choose repertoire that the singer will be comfortable performing on audition day. Ideally, the singer should be more than just comfortable, but should genuinely enjoy performing the songs. On audition day, there may be other "uncomfortable" things going on, so the repertoire should not be one of them.
    2. Choose contrasting songs which highlight different strengths of the singer (and do not expose weaknesses). The tempi, mood, and style should differ.
  • LGSMomLGSMom Registered User Posts: 293 Junior Member
    She will need a ballad & an uptempo song at minimum. Avoid musical theater.

    Make sure to have sheet music in the right key. Bring a CD of recorded music accompaniment as backup.

    Other tips:

    Dress like you are going to a job interview - not like you are going to a party.

    Be confident, smart, and sophisticated instead of cutesie, coy, and adorable.
  • dfbmd1dfbmd1 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    OP mentions being aware of schools' "do not sing lists". I never came across such a thing when my daughter auditioned last year for classical voice programs. Is this something unique to contemporary/commercial voice programs or does it exist in classical as well (in which case we were clueless yet things turned out fine!)?
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,439 Senior Member
    @dfbmd1- "Do Not Sing" lists are primarily a function of MT auditions. They gained strength as shows like "Rent" and"Wicked" became tremendously popular and kids looked no further than that; can you imagine being on a panel and listening to 10 girls/day attempting, "Defying Gravity"?! Grounds for some sort of crime, for sure! Such lists also help to push kids to delve deeper into rep and find something different.
    While there is nothing really "official" when it comes to VP, common sense indicates that 18 year olds not walk into an audition planning on singing "In questa reggia" or " Tacea la notte placida" ( save Puccini and Verdi for the YAP auditions years down the road).
    The audition tips my D found to be the most helpful were to know the history/background of the pieces you are singing and bring extra music along just in case the panel would like to hear something else or if you're invited to return to work with a teacher later in the day.
  • SnowflakeVTSnowflakeVT Registered User Posts: 2,483 Senior Member
    For contemporary music auditions, be prepared to do at least one jazz standard. If you can improvise or scat, you may get extra consideration if you can do that well. Jazz is the root of many other contemporay styles, and this could show you are deeper than just a pop singer. When my D auditioned at Berklee, she also got a chance to sing and play piano to a song she wrote. She ended up with a scholarship in voice, but still plays piano as her own accompanist.
  • christinenc1christinenc1 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Hello K8sDad and All,

    My daughter is also looking for a contemporary voice program. I don't think there are very many out there, but we do know of Berklee, USC and UCLA. We toured Berklee (which she really liked) and will be visiting the other two in March. Would you mind sharing the names of other schools that you found with this type of program? Also, if you visited any of them, do you have any helpful info/tips from your visits?

    Thanks very much,
  • badblondebadblonde Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Sill start her audition run next week and continue for the next 5 wkends.....tips are always so useful.....one question is how to put the music together for the accompanist.....she has discussed this with many pianists and it seems they each have a preferred way to receive the sheet music.....the only common thread is ' no plastic sheets'!
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