Today we wrapped up our second annual Taffanel & goBEARS event, where we invited seniors to spend a little extra time on campus, attending classes and rehearsals, and participating in flute studio events. Here are a few thoughts I shared with students in a discussion form, but I imagine these could be useful to others as well so here goes:
· Be prepared = practice performing, audiate exactly what you want to say to create the experience and “history of performing” – strive to be comfortable in the autonomous stage! This is not the time to be actively learning material, but rather practicing the trust that must be present in performing.
· Perform whatever you’re planning to play at an audition. Play for your friends, for your dog, for your band director, for your English teacher, or even for a photo of Emmanuel Pahud! Consider arranging a performance at an assisted living facility, bringing joy to others and surely guaranteeing a positive experience for your "performance bank."
· Take your time, breathe deeply and fully, nourish your body, and be sure to get a few days of good rest. This also implies that you are allowing your muscles to rest in between serious practicing sessions. Remember that your brain is a muscle as well so budget in down/quiet time!
· Record yourself – and try dressing up as if you are performing your audition.
· Play your strengths – if you have the freedom to choose what you play rather than required works (yet still representing contrasting styles), choose works that you LOVE and that you feel present you at your best. This may require having several pieces ready so that you have options and feel able to play in a compelling way.
· Keep rep fresh. Learn other pieces by the same composer (not just flute works), or by other composers of works in similar styles. Cycle of rep: learn new things, brush up on old, freshen up trusty works... and ROTATE these in your practicing.
· Practice introducing yourself while looking your audience in the eye in an open manner. How we present ourselves is important, especially in terms of how we relate to others. Will you be a team player? Will you be an open student and eager ensemble member? As a musician, we strive to be tireless advocates. Connect with your audition panel in simple but sincere conversation first, followed by sincere communication through music making.
· Prepare a statement regarding why you want to pursue music. This will not only help define your goals but encourage a deeper connection to what music means to you.
· Be authentic in your playing, rather than playing in a way you think will impress. Think beyond getting a job – what would your life be without music? This is your message when you play.
· Remember that the audition committee is your audience. We want to hear you and we are excited and happy to see you!