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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 12erlgro, Apr 8, 2011.
I assume you mean one techincal piece, one lyrical piece, and one to sight read? Use your music terms !
Rule one is do NOT over practice the day before. Good example from last week. While only for solo and ensemble competition, my son had his partner on a duet over the day before to work on piece so I could work with them. Goodness, the girl (on second part) didn't know the piece adequately and we spent at least several hours working on it (both had also played some before getting together). We had to make a decision to either keep working until she learned it or stop so as to not overpractice and not play the piece correctly. They chose the former. As the first part was high, my son really got a workout. They both had stiff, sore chops the next day during the competition. Lucklily, though not as good as they were now capable, they managed to get a superior rating on the duet. My son also received superior on his solo. They would have been much better had they done the grueling practice 3-4 days before and only had a light to moderate practice the day before.
As far as a warmup
Steve is right, don't over practice the day before. Do a bit maybe but, not a lot. If you know the piece well and are confident with it, you don't need too practice it. Also, if you know it that well, in the audition, just chill. the people watching you won't shout at you, bite or stab you, they were in your possition once too so they know what it is like (thats what im telling myself for next week anyway :S )
Hey, Garden? Lykke til..
Rule one: being prepared is the key to a successful audition. If you need to learn new skills to qualify, that can be a problem as 4 weeks is too little time to build reliable habits.
I try to have my students ready at least two weeks before the audition. Then we can work on other things and not try to pack everything in at the last minute.
If you have some weaknesses on the required material, trying to iron them out the week before the audition is bad. You concentrate too much on the weakness and that prevents you from showing your strengths.
GET PREPARED AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE!
That was really the crux of the matter for me on my failed attempt to win the slot I was going for. I had let my technique stagnate a bit too much and thought I could get it back faster than I did. Two of the tunes on the list of possible music that could be called for the audition were stretching me pretty thin technically, and I spent far too much time (in vain) trying to get my chops back to a place where I could execute material at that level. One of the tunes on the list was "The Debutante" from Clarke's Characteristic Studies. I could play it, but I never got it to where I really felt comfortable with it, simply because I wasn't able to rebuild my technique to a point where I could execute it as cleanly as I felt it needed to be played.
As it turned out, I never even got that far - neither of the tunes that I had worried over so much were even called before I got cut, but the psychological impact of knowing I wasn't as prepared as I needed to be was probably as damaging as anything else because I simply didn't have the necessary level of confidence, which no doubt contributed to the nerves that ended up really being my undoing. Everything they called for me was well under my fingers in the practice room, but the "fight for flight" instinct was going full strength when I walked into the audition area, and I couldn't get my nerves under control enough to even really begin to think about what I was trying to do in a structured way. It's got to be one of the most intense experiences of my life. I spent the rest of the day after the audition just shell-shocked, trying to figure out what had happened, because I hadn't crashed like that since I was in HS.
In retrospect, I think that there were really only two logical courses of action - the first being to have never allowed my chops and technique to degrade so far in the first place, and the other would have been to pass on taking that particular audition at that time - in the time I had available, there was just no way I could have gotten ready for it.
EDIT: I should probably say something to the effect that I know I'm not the only person to ever take an audition, and I've had other successful auditions that I took and didn't crash, and even some where I won what I was auditioning for, but that last experience I had was one of those experiences that went amazingly wrong, and I think that it would be good if I can help to prevent that from happening to someone else by re-telling my story.