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Eastman vocal audition? Did you or your kiddo sing all three pieces?

MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
Good morning! We have an Eastman audition coming up and I have a question about the actual audition portion of the day: Did you end up singing all three pieces? All the way through? And did you get to choose the first one? MY son has done an audition at UMich and sang two of his pieces (he got to choose the first). Yesterday he had a regional audition for Royal College of Music and they had him sing all three (even though the second one was super long). We're hearing different things about Eastman from people who auditioned over a decade ago, so I am wondering if anyone has more recent experience. Thank you! Good luck everyone!
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Replies to: Eastman vocal audition? Did you or your kiddo sing all three pieces?

  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I did look through past years' threads, but found nothing specific to vocal. Thank you!
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    4 years ago, two songs. She chose first, they chose second.

    Are you concerned about one of the pieces? Don't hold me to it, but I believe you are able to change what you present and could substitute another comparable song if there is an issue, providing you forward the music to the accompanist (I think it was Eastman that wanted a copy of the accompaniment, but not 100% sure).
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    They are now asking for three pieces, one can be English, two have to be in two different foreign languages. He has an English piece, an Italian piece, and a German piece. He is concerned about the German piece---it is too high for him and he's audibly struggling. He contacted them about swapping the German piece out for a French piece and they (very nicely) said, "Absolutely no changes. We hope you understand our policy."

    He was hoping that at his audition he would be asked just to do the two that are comfy, then be done.

    This isn't my world, so when he and his teacher were choosing songs over the summer, I told him that this was an area where he would need to choose carefully. Turns out that he's been struggling with this piece since he chose it. I am annoyed, to say the least. He wanted to cancel the Eastman audition because of this. We are going, but he keeps saying this may be the piece that gets him rejected. To which I tell him this is a fantastistic life lesson! (Though an expensive one... that his mom is paying for in money and time off work!)
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited January 22
    Hmmm...that's tough. The standard protocol is that he chooses the first song and they choose the second. It's not common for a third song to be sung...but randomly my D has been asked.

    How does his teacher feel about the song? I ask bc...I didn't like my D's MT songs at UG auditions. I actually thought she sounded kind of ... bad. I didn't feel that way for the VP choices. I wondered if her teacher was going to sink her chances! I dared to question it lightly once (private teachers often have strong opinion) and she shut me down pretty quickly with lots of technical words about how the songs show specific skills and were picked purposely to show her voice yada yada yada. I scampered away...as I had no knowledge to back up my concerns. In the end, my D did very well...so good thing the teacher shut me down!

    Does he have a good teacher...with experience getting kids in good schools? If so, why would it be different for your son?

    And was that song on his pre-screen? If it was, they've heard it already and he's been passed as "of the right talent level". So again hard to think it's "bad"...maybe just challenging?

    If the answers are YES to the questions above...dare I say...

    Maybe it's "nerves"...and early excuse-mongering due to fear of failure. You may have to just "nod" through it. Let him vent. Give him an outlet for his fears...but not intervene...besides these words:

    They are not looking for perfection. They ARE looking for potential. (BTW - is he a perfectionist? That could be part of the issue. It's very common with musicians and something my D has worked through.)

    Have no doubt a teacher could think....hmm that song is a tad high for him and he's struggling...but what a beautiful voice...I know exactly what to do with that. He doesn't need to sing perfectly. At his age, he's far from it (don't tell him that...lol). He just needs for them to "hear his voice" and basic skills/abilities. That's all.

    I hope that this helps in some way.
    edited January 22
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Haha--this made me laugh. Thanks @bridgenail ! I am the same way. My kids must think I am such a tightwad, because if a fee is paid, my kids have to go through with it. So we are going! Hotel room rented, car rented, time off from my job, husband staying with our other kids, etc.

    The song.... he goes to a performing arts high school and a Saturday precollege program, so he has two voice teachers. The precollege teacher chose the Schubert song, the high school teacher (who happens to be an Eastman grad) feels it is not a particularly flattering choice for his voice.

    As you say, we'll see! I hadn't considered that maybe someone hears something that my untrained ears do not. And yes, he's a perfectionist. Fingers crossed!!!
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited January 22
    I did edit out my "fee comment" as I noted that you were going regardless. But yes I can spend any amt on coffee, wine, chocolate but if I get a late fee on a credit card statement, I go beserk...which my D has witnessed.

    At this point, he may need to do some mental gymnastics to find some sort of "peace" with the song, so that if they do request it, he can focus on "presenting it as is" and being fine with that. Let him know in the professional world, he will not always have "control"...so he needs to be able to sing in less than perfect conditions...and hold his head high. So it's good practice. And, some "bad" auditions become surprises...bc regardless of your "badness", they still see what they want. Good luck.
    edited January 22
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    They had three required songs 4 years ago too, but only listened to two at live auditions. They usually give you first choice, so pick your best. They choose what they want next, but if they have already heard your best piece, you're in a good place! Actually, this is a case for which they may request all three- He picks the first in English and nails it, they choose German and he is a little shaky, so they ask for the third piece to hear more to decide. They might stop him before the end of the third, as you have said it is long. This isn't a bad thing, just time management on their part. They are in the business of teaching, so can tell the difference between the song being a bad choice for his range and an inadequate preparation/technique.... Good luck!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thank you--that's super helpful, @songbirdmama. He's got a strategy!!
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  • khill87khill87 94 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Momofsingers If both Italian and English selections are strong, maybe one strategy is to pick the Italian one first, then hope they go to the English next. If he goes with English first, it might be more of a 50/50 choice of which foreign language song to request, but if they've already heard one non-English song, they might be slightly more likely than not to go to the English choice for the second (so they can hear him sing something where pronunciation won't be an issue at all).

    Also, he might want to have one or two sentences ready if they choose the German song and he (clearly) struggles, something a little self-deprecating or that shows his self-awareness, like, "That one's been a struggle for me, and a good learning experience... because [fill in the blank with a positive but candid observation that notes something it taught him]. "
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  • thisismynameOHthisismynameOH 55 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @bridgenail good to see someone reads these posts :)
    My D poise during the crazy wrong song on the audition I am sure is what sealed her acceptance. Its all about how you handle pressure AND take direction during the audition.
    Don't get rattled when they stop you and ask you to move on. They want to hear different parts of your voice.
    Pick your best song as your starter but to be honest I think D had at least one audition where they looked at her list and they picked her 1st song. Again don't get rattled just do it!!

    Break a leg on auditions!!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I went back to @thisismynameOH's post to take a look at her daughter's story. Wow. Yes, that kind of thing does happen! For sure! Your daughter sounds amazing, OH! So happy to hear of her happy outcome!!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, @bridgenail. Your reminder is so important. Yes, you are right. No whingeing! I wouldn't want a whinger in my program, why would anyone else? And you're also so right that a mess-up could be used as an opportunity to show off what you're made of. My kid is religious (he grew up in an Episcopal choir school and is a church singer), so he's taking the view that a higher power is doing whatever is possible to move him into the perfect-for-him situation. I am not a believer, but I do appreciate that he has this belief to fall back on, if for no other reason than it keeps him calm!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thank you, @khill87! I love the idea of a strategy. I think that's what he is going to do! Thankfully, both his other songs (an English Quilter song, and an Italian Scarlatti song), are really strong. Phew! You know, the Schubert is too.... until two different bars where there is a big jump in range and he is struggling with those two dramatic, fast, jumps. Such a learning experience this entire thing is, isn't it? Including how to choose correct-for-your-voice repertoire and handling less than stellar situations.
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  • Mamager19Mamager19 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @MomOfSingers My son is a freshman at Eastman- VP major. Like any other schools, he chose the first song then the faculty chose the second song. They did stay away from the hardest song on his repertoire!
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    Agree that the audition is a performance, and while in the throws of presenting your rep, don't make excuses. That said, there may be occasion to have conversation with the pane, if they ask something like "What are you working on in your lessons?" That is an opportunity to say "Improving my high range, or "maintaining vocal control", which illustrates he is aware of his issue and is working on it.
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @Mamager19--Thank you!!!! This brings so much comfort! We will be there this weekend (31st). Really looking forward to visiting! I've never seen the school (my kid has done AllState there--so it's not so new to him) and have heard such nice things. Thank you!
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  • thisismynameOHthisismynameOH 55 replies3 threads Junior Member
  • Mamager19Mamager19 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @MomOfSingers - You’re welcome and good luck to you and your son!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 134 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, everyone! We had the audition and he sang only the two songs that were comfy. Thank goodness! Though he used the difficult-for-his-voice German piece for his trial lesson. Phew! I appreciate all the great advice and calming words!
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