Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tipo mastr, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. tipo mastr

    tipo mastr New Friend

    Jun 6, 2009
    Hey all. I just had an audition today, and I have a couple coming up in the near future (college auditions).

    How does your body respond to auditions or high pressure situations? How do you deal with it? Any specifics techniques you use?

    At this point, my basic philosophy is that auditioning, like any other skill, needs to be practiced. Either way, what's your opinion on the subject?
  2. erd402

    erd402 Pianissimo User

    Mar 21, 2009
    West Virginia
    I personally believe that auditions suck, but that is just my opinion ;-)
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I agree that they "suck", but if you are going to be in the business you have to audition. If you can go in and just say to yourself that you will play the best you can and if they like it fine and if not **** them, it will be easier.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    High-pressure situations make me feel like I am going to die. Nasty. Usually I get ticked off, and play the page to death in front of me.

    Having survived, I treat myself to pizza.
  5. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Well as our trumpet section continuously exploits, its that we get "pissed off" as in that we're mad as a hornet with its nest knocked down. Its controled anger and it always works in high pressure situations. It helps. The younger kids in our section when they get nervous it helps them focus. Personally for tryouts of nonrelation to marching band I just accept the fact that im nervous and ive realized the sooner you accept these feelings then the sooner youll be able to cope with them and get your mind set. I typically will accept that I cant get out of this and I have to do it + I get a touch mad at them, it helps.
  6. mush-mouth

    mush-mouth Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2009
    I think you are right about needing to practice auditions, just like anything else.

    I think a certain amount of "situational arrogance" may be in order. Most people call it confidence, but I say take it up just another notch.

    Walk into the audition like you own the place. You're there to do *them* a favor, not the other way around. They are asking *you* for something, not the other way around!! Get it in your head that even if you play mediocre, you're still better at something than most of the other people auditioning. Furthermore, you will walk out a winner, even if you don't get the part. It's a win-win situation!

    Once you have your mind set in a confident fashion, then *let* all your practice, training, and hard work work for you! It's like walking in to work to pick up your paycheck :)
    tipo mastr likes this.
  7. ccb_22

    ccb_22 Pianissimo User

    Jan 12, 2010
    Well said, Mush-Mouth. I've always struggled with nerves at auditions, but never thought of it that way before. I think that's something that will stick with me for a while. I'll let you know how it goes at my next round of auditions.
  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Mush-Mouth is right, to a point. I'm not so sure you're there to "do them a favor," but most of the rest of that reply is right on the money. I tell my private students that they are going to the audition for one purpose only -- to entertain the auditioning panel. It's a very narrow kind of entertainment -- you're not there to make them laugh or to recite poetry. You have to entertain them by playing the trumpet. And the way to set yourself off from all the others, is that most people taking an audition look at it like taking a test, like the SAT or ACT or some such thing. Nothing is further from the truth -- you're at the audition to entertain the panel, and you need to do that by playing your trumpet and playing the music the best *you* can do. You have to remember that nobody else can play the trumpet like you do, and you just need to convince them that your way is one of the best ways.

    Also remember, the auditioning panel is *not* looking for the world's best trumpet players. They're looking for people who have a solid foundation in the basic skills of playing the trumpet, who have confidence in themselves, who have learned much about music, and most importantly, who can be taught and molded by the music department the audition is for. They're not thinking about how great you are now -- they're thinking about how great you can be when you graduate. Will you be an honor to the department or an embarassment? A perfect trumpet player with an arrogant chip on his shoulder appearing as if he's not about to take advice from anybody because he already knows everything won't be accepted, while a trumpet player who fluffs a few notes, whose tone might be wobbly in places because of nerves but who appears to really care and to be teachable will be accepted.

    The other thing to remember -- you can't look at it as a "guess what's on the panel's mind" sort of game. There's no way to know for certain just what they're listening for, so play the music the way you and your teacher have determined is best for you, at the tempos you can play it best, and let the chips fall where they may. My son walked out of every one of his trumpet auditions for college feeling horrible, thinking they for certain weren't about to accept him because had had made so many mistakes. He was accepted into all four schools he applied to!

    So walk into the room with confidence that you're going to give the auditioners an experience that nobody else on the planet can give them, do so with humility but with strength.

    Nerves are something which can rear their ugly head at any time, causing a tremor in your hands or your jaw or your breathing muscles, and the only way to fight them, in my experience, is to not put pressure on yourself over any playing situation, whether an audition, a recital or a wedding, whatever.

    And remember, if nerves are a problem for you, don't practice your music until you can play it right -- practice it so much that it you can't possibly play it wrong, no matter what.

    Good luck! You'll get into at least some of the schools you audition at, if your guidance counselor, parents and music teachers have advised you properly as to the schools you are auditioning at. I hope you have a stretch school or two, a couple of comfortable level schools, and at least one guaranteed school that you know you can get into with not much effort.

    Also remember, that if your nerves take over too much and you play horrible auditions and only make into your guaranteed school, you can do your freshman year there, practice your butt off, get great grades and then transfer to one of your more preferred schools if you're not happy at your guaranteed school.

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