Art Bites - Top tips for auditioning - 06. Instrumental auditions

Duration: 4:41

Play around with these top tips from Caspar, Sydney Secondary College – Blackwattle, and Julian, Petersham Public School, for your next live or filmed instrumental music audition.

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Transcript – Art Bites - Top tips for auditioning - 06. Instrumental auditions

[Intro music]

JULIAN LANG: Wow, that is awesome. I'm really going to have to step up my game.

[Laugh track playing]

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Ah, I see what you did there. How are you doing, Juju?

JULIAN LANG: Oh, hi, Caspar. I'm just a little stressed at the moment.

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Ah, stressing about the current socioeconomic climate again?

JULIAN LANG: Pff. No, I'm stressing about my upcoming Arts Unit audition. Have you auditioned before?

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Ah, you know, once or twice.

JULIAN LANG: Got any tips for what to do to make my audition be the best it could possibly be, and inspire the audition panel to weep tears of joy?


CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Well, for starters, you want to make sure you're really prepared. To make sure you know all of your set scales, slow and fast, so that when you're under pressure in the audition, you can still play them . . .


. . . perfectly. And, the same goes for your set excerpts, too. Also, I find it helpful to practise the scales descending, because that is where a lot of people tend to slip up.

JULIAN LANG: Oh, that's great advice. Well, I heard that it's a good idea to practise sight reading, too. And so, I got my teacher to give me a whole heap of pieces I've never seen before in my life so I can play a new one every day. My teacher also told me that before I start the sight reading, I should always look at the time signature, key signature, dynamics, and accidental.

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Ah, sight reading. You must have a really great teacher. And, of course, you want to make sure your instrument is in absolute top condition. So, make sure you've cleaned it thoroughly so that nothing goes wrong in the audition. Do you have a spare reed or anything else you might need with you? I have heard it's a good idea to play on your favourite reed, though. So, maybe don't use a new reed just for the audition.

JULIAN LANG: Well, my instrument doesn't have any reeds, but it does have strings. I'll make sure I don't change my strings just before the audition, because that might make it go out of tune. But, I would always bring a spare set of strings just in case.

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Oh, yeah, for sure. You're a smart man. And, you want to make sure you'll have everything you need ready for the audition as well, for example, your music, the set excerpts, your strings, reeds, leads, your brain, and even your instrument, because that has happened before. Not to me, of course. Yeah, a friend of mine.

[Eerie music]

JULIAN LANG: And, I was thinking, if I need to film the audition, I should place the camera in a position that shows both me and my instrument, so they can see my lovely face as I play.



CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Oh, yeah. Well, you can always film it a few times and then just submit the best version. Oh, and of course, you want to make sure you don't muffle the microphone as well, so they can hear your playing. And, don't have your phone just sitting on the microphone. It's crazy.


Also, another tip would be to not point your instrument directly at the microphone, because it'll sound better at a slight angle. It's all about capturing good quality sound, yeah?

JULIAN LANG: And, you're hoping to do an audio degree next year, aren't you, Caspar? Because that is all about good quality sound.

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: I sure am. If there's one thing I've learned from all the online auditions I've done is just remember to give yourself plenty of time to upload the video, because sometimes it just takes a really long, long time.


JULIAN LANG: I'd be as old as you before that happens. Well, I'll make sure to keep all of that in mind when I do my audition.

CASPAR NIVISON-SMITH: Yeah. Well, good luck with it all. What time did you say your audition was again?

JULIAN LANG: Oh, it's in . . . oh, now?


[Laugh track playing]

[Music playing]

End of transcript