The feeling of crickets hopping around in the pit of your stomach. Secretly wanting to throw your flute out. Wishing you’d miss the bus to the audition so you don’t have to play for the judges.
Sounds like the All-Region auditions are closing in on you.
Everyone goes through those nervous moments. The key to surviving and conquering them: preparation. Check out these seven tips to crush those annoying crickets. And maybe in the process, you might end up with a chair in the coveted All-Region Band.
- Practice Today: Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not when you win the lottery (wouldn’t that be awesome?). It’s always today. Procrastination never works.
- Routine Works: Set a practice schedule and stick to it. If possible, practice during the same time of day. Find a quiet room, free of distractions like Facebook, texting and TV. Use the Musician’s Practice Journal app for iPad and iPhone to help you log your time and activities. And don’t forget to use a metronome.
- Technique, Technique, Technique: Play your scales and arpeggios everyday. This will give you confidence and enhance your technique. The etudes are made up of tons of scales and arpeggios.
- Tackle the Tough Stuff: Mark the hardest measures, then practice them everyday, at least 5-10 times each. If there’s a crazy hard run, do the same thing. You can even break your etudes into manageable chunks to practice more efficiently. Check out Three Secrets to Efficient Practicing for more tips.
- Relax: Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Don’t demand perfection – allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes and keep going. If you start dwelling on the bad stuff during the audition, you’ll wind up making more mistakes.
- Give Yourself Time: Get a good night of rest. On the audition day, eat a healthy breakfast. Drink water plenty of water. Dress comfortably. And get there early to have ample warm-up time.
- Enjoy the Music: Find the beauty in the notes. Try to express the music on the page. Isn’t that what makes the flute so amazing?
“Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail.” ~ Sir James Galway
For more reading: