TIPS FOR BETTER PLAYING TESTS AND AUDITIONS
Preparation – there is no substitute. The best way to battle nerves is preparation. Start your preparation as far in advance of the test/audition as possible.
Practice the scales that will be required. They should be perfect, especially chromatic scales. Too often, we skip practicing the scales, figuring we already know them. Then our nerves get the best of us in the audition room.
Practice rhythms and notes with a metronome. Once mastered, move on to dynamics and articulations. Be careful to play at the correct tempo.
Read and re-read the instructions for the audition/test. Make sure you know exactly what is expected.
Have high musical standards for yourself. For a judge, the difference between a mediocre audition and a good one is preparation. The difference between a good audition and a great one is attention to detail and tone quality. Be great!
No excuses! Generally speaking, speaking during your audition can only hurt you, unless a judge were to ask you a question. If you tell a judge that what you are about to play may be less than your best, you have essentially turned his/her ears off. The judge just wants to hear you play.
Be on time. Have water to fight cotton mouth. Be pleasant, but business-like. Regardless of how well you play, carry yourself with dignity at all times.
Whether you are playing for a spot in an ensemble, a chair, or a grade, GO EARN IT!