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Poor Voice Audition Experience

Elegie17Elegie17 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
So...I've been auditioning for the past month practically nonstop, and for the most part every single one went well. Unfortunately, I had a poor experience with the last two I went to. I kind of just wanted to vent and see if anyone had any advice on how to shake it off so it doesn't affect my next few auditions (the really important ones, in my opinion). Just as a disclaimer, I won't name any of the schools for fear of stressing other auditionees out. My first two auditions in January went wonderfully but my third and fourth were not quite as enjoyable. The third was a regional audition in a cramped studio with 6 or 7 other voice auditionees all feeding off each other's nervous energy. The only representatives from the school were the accompanist and the head of the voice dept. I went in for my audition and the accompanist completely bombed my second piece. I finished the song and tried to shake it off but it was definitely disheartening. Then I did pretty poorly on the sight-reading (no surprise there, it's my greatest weakness...this comes up later too.) As if that isn't enough, I also was feeling the onset of a cold. Luckily, this wasn't an audition for one of my top schools, but it definitely lowered my self-confidence. Then, my fourth and most recent audition at a local state school went even worse! I've been suffering from bad congestion and sinus pain for the past few days and did everything to try and alleviate it before my audition yesterday, to no avail. Once I got into the audition one of the professors on the panel rushed through my first piece and only let me sing one verse of my second one. Of course, I understand that they will stop you for time purposes but it was all very jarring and unlike any of my past auditions. Then, the dreaded sight-reading. The professor told me to start reading immediately after getting the starting note so I didn't really get a chance to look at the end of the phrase and did quite poorly...and as a result, two of the panelists started laughing. I tried to chuckle along with them but it was very humiliating and they continued to snicker when I was doing a rhythm test. I just felt it was very unprofessional and as a chronic over-thinker, it really crippled my self-confidence. I know I didn't sing my best due to congestion and obviously the theory didn't go well. One of my top schools is this Friday and I was already nervous before my audition yesterday, now I'm terrified. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had experiences like this and if there's a way I can kind of put it behind me so I can try to do my best and my next three auditions at some of my top schools. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much, everyone.
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Replies to: Poor Voice Audition Experience

  • Pl1277Pl1277 29 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Elegie17 don't look back. We've been there done that with the pianist...very frustrating but, sometimes how you handle it gives insight into your professionalism. Keep singing, act as if nothing is wrong and every note he/she played was perfect. If my D has learned anything it's that she is only in control of her own self and everything else is a variable. Inevitably when performing with a pianist you've never met or rehearsed with in the past, things can happen....and to be honest, I'm sure the panel could tell that the playing wasnt supportive.

    From what I have read here, sight reading is sometimes used for placement in theory classes as opposed to a make or break it regarding acceptance. My D somewhat struggles with rhythm (she has none) and sight reading as well. It all seems somewhat arbitrary to me bc some schools dont even include that as part of the VP.audition. I doubt they would deny a stunning voice with lots of potential bc of an on demand sight reading assessment. Not to mention, the sight reading most singers are accustomed to at the high school level is very basic as compared to what they will encounter in college.

    Keep your chin up! Just think, you werent happy with those auditions and now you saved your greatest audition for this weekend. Brush it off and go knock their socks off!
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  • MomOfSingersMomOfSingers 112 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited February 19
    Oh, I am so sorry, @Elegie17 you had that experience with adults (professionals, at that) who are supposed to be the mentors and the shapers of the next generation of singers. But I have to share something with you, just so you know that their behavior had nothing to do with you, but everything to do with who they are. What you experienced with them does happen. My son was at Tanglewood last summer. Boys' voices don't mature as quickly or as gracefully as girls' voices do (generally speaking, of course). My son was assigned a piece with a high-for-him note at the final recital. He was terrified, and spoke with his instructor there, who encouraged him to sing it anyway, telling him that no one expects a young male voice to be without cracks. So my son sang it, and did crack on that high note. And guess what happened? A teacher laughed. She laughed loudly. My son said he wanted the earth to open and swallow him. (As a mom, I wanted to find out who hired that teacher and tell them exactly how that teacher had behaved.) It took months for my son to feel comfy singing in public again--it wasn't until another teacher sat down with him and explained that voices work certain ways, and when they are stressed or sick or tired or changing, they often are hard to control. It took so much assurance that that one teacher's behavior was not a reflection of my son's ability, but was evidence of that teacher's unprofessionalism. Please remember that your voice is precious and you want to entrust it to instructors who will help it both when it needs TLC, and when it is healthy. I agree with other posters who say these professors' behavior was not only so wrong, but very telling: You don't want to go to a school with instructors who behave that way.

    As for the auditions, you're allowed to have a do-over. Your last audition in no way needs to influence your next audition. Your last experience never has to influence your next experience. A short memory is a very good thing for a singer to have. You got past those prescreens, which is a feat. The panel saw something in you, they heard something in your voice. They want you to succeed. Enjoy yourself--enjoy the entire experience. You are going to be great!

    edited February 19
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  • JeJeJeJeJeJe 235 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I am sorry to hear your bad audition experiences. What I want to tell you....most people have a bad audition(s) for many reasons. College auditions are for schools to hear and select incoming students but they are also opportunities for you to get feel of schools and faculty to to make a decision. It’s always both ways! My son had only 1 great audition (both ways) out of 4 auditions. Guess what? He is very happy at the school he had a great audition.
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  • Musicmom2twoMusicmom2two 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Please don’t let those instructors affect your self confidence. Their behavior was completely inappropriate. End of story. Every musician has auditions where they do not feel they performed at their best. These college auditions are particularly grueling. They are intense, at the height of flu and cold season and on top of the stress of your next four years depending on a good or bad day- you still have all your academic stuff to deal with.

    At my D’s 2nd audition the head of admissions specifically mentioned that the instructors know and understand the stresses. That they are well trained to recognize raw talent and that certainly they have heard sick, stressed, anxious, having a bad day kids auditIon. This reiterated everything one of my daughters instructors told her.

    So, take a deep breath into your belly then let it go. These two auditions are over. Those unprofessional instructors are out of your life and however you did- it’s over and you can move forward to your next audition.
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