How to Prepare for a Singing Audition

Individual Auditions, by Mike King under CC BY 2.0

The following is a post written by professional vocalist and voice teacher Anne about how to prepare for a singing audition.

Audition preparation is a tricky thing. It seems like all the preparation should take place in the few weeks leading up to the audition, right? That isn’t always the case, and if you are intending to make performing a big part of your life, preparing for auditions is also going to be a big part of that. So here are a couple of tips on how to make audition preparation a little easier.

1. Take Lessons, Not Coachings

If you have done a lot of singing in the past and are comfortable working on a song by yourself and just want someone to help you tweak it, than one or two lessons is a great way to go. However, if you have never really sung before, taking one or two lessons sometimes isn’t what is best. Learning to sing is a long process that requires learning or even relearning muscle memory, so if you know you want to be auditioning a lot, making sure you are comfortable with all the techniques of singing is important.
[NOTE: A vocal lesson focuses on techniques, such as how to breathe, how to form vowels, and how to overall sing better. A vocal coaching focuses on helping you get a piece of music performance ready, which includes working on character motivation, etc. A vocal coach is not always a vocal teacher, and even if they are, the time is going to be spent in a very different way. Read more about the difference between a voice teacher and a vocal coach.]

2. Have Materials Ready to Go

The worst feeling is walking into an audition and realizing that the song or monologue you were pretty sure you had memorized has suddenly fallen out of your head. Believe me. I know. Trying to cram something in at the last minute is rarely going to give you the results you want. If you know auditions are going to be common occurrences for you, have a list of pieces you have already worked on. Having two or three monologues and four or five songs ready to go means that you can spend your time with a teacher working on your song, instead of trying to find it. Also, you will have multiple things to choose from if you are auditioning for people who have already heard all of your current repertoire.

3. Don’t Wait For the Audition

While it is true some auditions tell you exactly what you need and provide that to you, that doesn’t mean that you need to wait for one to be announced before beginning to work on it. If you are currently taking voice lessons, discuss good songs that can be used for auditions. Pull them out periodically and sing through them, to keep them fresh in your mind. If you aren’t currently taking voice lessons, don’t be afraid to book a coaching to gain some new perspective on songs that you have already worked on or what new songs you should be looking at.

4. Know When to Decline!

Going into an audition unprepared is a terrible feeling. If you don’t feel like you have anything that you can present, and would have to cram memorization in at the last minute, it might be best to sit this one out. And that is totally okay.

5. Go For It!

However, if you are ready to go, but don’t think you have a chance of making it, do the audition anyway. All audition experience is good experience, and you will learn important things about yourself as a performer the more you audition.

Auditions can be disconcerting and scary situations. Being prepared for them way ahead of time, and knowing what you want to work on when you meet with a teacher, is a great way to take some of the stress off of an already stressful situation.

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