Hey guys. I haven’t been on here in awhile. I’ve been busy with school and music and what not. I’m half way through my junior year and I’m starting to preapre for auditions at some pretty competitive schools. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions, or experience with this to help me out?
Hope your current teachers will guide you through the musical labyrinth, and keep you on track with deadlines for applications with required information. Best thing to do is “Be prepared!!!” The selections you perform should be second nature by the time you enter the hall, not new experiments! Perform your audition pieces as often as you can before going to any college auditions. And focus solely on your own performances not anyone else’s! Often the professors auditioning will ask students to stop mid-way and begin an additional piece! This can be a positive sign! So anticipate the unexpected and attempt to enjoy the process! You’ll gain experience and extra poise.
Hi Matt! Since you’re still a junior, you have lots of time for preparation and research. If you have a “top 3” or a “top 5” already in mind, now would be a good time to visit those schools and during the visit take a lesson with the main teacher or head of the performance studies program for your instrument. (Expect to pay for the lesson, and arrange those details right up front when you call to schedule the lesson so your parents have no $ surprises.) Play for them, get their input and their feedback, and ask them specifically what you would have to do between now and then to be accepted into their program on your instrument. If you feel it went well and they are interested in you and your playing, ask them about suggested audition materials for their programs. You might be surprised by how much “inside scoop” they might give you on what they’re looking for or focusing on. The idea of taking a lesson far in advance of your audition serves dual purposes. The obvious one is you get an idea if you are in the ballpark for admission for that school but - more importantly in my mind - you get a sense of whether or not you and the teacher “click” in terms of communication, approach, philosophy, etc… Someone can be the greatest teacher in the world and yet still not the right teacher for you, and the only way to find that out is to take some lessons with them. Your applied teacher should be the single most important adult in your life at college, as you are with him or her one on one for a few hours every week. When my daughter was engaged in the process of deciding on a school, I urged her to do the same. Many times, one lesson (or in one memorable case, 10 minutes of a lesson!) was all she needed to know that it was not the place for her, regardless of the pr blab on their website or the teacher’s bio, and she crossed it off the list - what we saved in application fees etc… was enough to have covered the lesson. (It helped that I am a musician and was able to sit in on the lessons to be sure she was processing the information and experience fairly and objectively.) Once she had all of her acceptances and all of her scholarship packages, I had her go back to her top three choices a few times between acceptance and decision day and take a series of lessons with the person she would be studying with. That made the decision VERY easy - she knew what the right place for her was because she knew who the right teacher for her was. (and it was not the most “prestigious” school on the list.)
These are great ideas, especially if the music schools are local. For distant applications, recordings are often sent in place of formal auditions. It’s best to obtain the guidelines as soon as you can! Good Luck! G.
Wow thanks for that great advice. I do have a “top 5” now and I realize they aren’t the most realistic schools to get into but I have to try or I’ll be wondering “what if?” all my life.
The “music hub” of choice! For back-ups you might venture South or West and out of the cold for a few years: i.e., California (several); Florida (FL State); Texas (N. TX, SMU - Meadows); Alabama (UAB,Samford) are among good music schools (with endowments). You might also consider a small liberal arts college (with an excellent music department) for undergrad. and move to the major leagues for grad. school, which is what I did and have no regrets. Lots of decisions ahead! Please keep us posted on your upcoming experiences in academia and let us hear about your progress! Best, Glo.
YOu might add a few back-up schools in your area/state…go get a lesson with the teacher there and see how it fits… also check out Univ. of Michigan, Bill Campbell teaches there, his students are winning a lot of competitions and orchestra jobs…interestingly enough, back in high school he was in the Louisiana All State band/orchestra with his Skayneness..
Yeah I definately have a list of back up schools. I live in Minnesota so there are a lot of smaller schools around with good music programs such as St. Olaf, Gustavus, Lawrence, etc.
You might contact Interlochen sometime soon about the summer music camp and the University of Michigan division. Ann Arbor profs. often teach there for a summer term! Keep us posted! Glo.
David Baldwin Univ of Minn…I have a few students and a close friend that did grad work there…great trumpet school…have you had a lesson with Manny?
What instrument? Classical or jazz focus? How long you been playing? What sort of repertoire are you dealing with now? What are some groups you’ve played with, places you’ve played, and solos you’ve performed? Private lessons? Give us some info.
I play trumpet. I play both jazz and classical but am definately more focused and trained in classical. I’ve been playing trumpet since 8th grade (I switched from Bass Clarinet). Right now I’m working through the Clark and Arban’s like any other student. I also spend a lot of time on orchestral excerpts/tranposing while touching on jazz theory. I take private lessons once a week where I work on playing music as well as the theory/history behind it. I also study with my band director at school on a regualr basis focusing on improv (he’s with the MN Jazz Orchestra) as well as playing on “high horns.” This past year I’ve gotten involved with the dramas at my school by composing incidental music for them. Right now I’m working on Sonata by Ewazen and Legend by Enesco. I have covered and touched on the basic trumpet repetoire. I know the Haydn, Hummel, and Pachmutova Concertos pretty well as well as the Hindemith sonata. I’ve performed solos such as the Carnival of Venice and Concerto by Arutunian since I’ve started playing in contest two years ago. I’ve played first trumpet with the Mankato State 9-10 honors band when I was in 9th grade, first cornet in the Minnesota Band Director’s Association Honors Band in 10th grade, first cornet in my all conference band, 3rd Cornet in the 2006 Minnesota All State Symphonic band in 10th grade, and as of this year (11th) I’m first chair in my all conference band. I’ve performed at Mankato State University, St. Cloud State University, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (Jazz), various high schools around the state, on NPR with Garrison Keeler with my marching band, and next month I will be performing with the 2006 All State groups at Orchestral Hall in Minneapolis.
I hope this helps. I appreciate all the help and support. :)
Matt: Check out http://www.music.uab.edu/site2/candelariabio.htm among… acquaintances in Alabama! Also UAB has interesting composers on faculty!
Go see Manny Laureano…he will change your life. Seriously.
I was not aware that the U of M was a prestigious trumpet school. Any ideas how to contact Manny? I’ve wanted to get a lesson with him for quite sometime now.
He has been my idol since 4th grade!