Preparing Students for Competition

In less than a week six of my young students will be auditioning for the chance to perform at Weill Hall. As the pressure mounts, I think this is one of those times where I’d rather be in the students’ shoes. However, there are a few things I’ve learned after going through this every January for the past four years…

  • Trust your instincts when deciding which students will enter the competition (no matter what the parents say.)
  • For the early grades, Vandall and Alexander have great pieces that sound big, but aren’t too difficult.
  • Students should know the piece inside out.
  • Memory should not be an issue. Pieces should be memorized months before the competition.
  • Give the students as many opportunities to perform for each other as you can in the weeks leading up to the competition.
  • Pieces peak and then get stale. Time it right and they will peak on the day of the audition.
  • Have your students bring the shoes they are planning to wear into their lesson so they can try the pedal and you can check them out.
  • Remember the judge is human and might have a headache. Who knows, they might not like the music of Vandall or Alexander.
  • A positive attitude from the teacher can make all the difference when the competition results are announced.

And, now that most of my work is done…and I wait for the students to go in front of the judge, maybe I’ll microwave some popcorn and watch a movie.

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2 thoughts on “Preparing Students for Competition

  1. Dear Cathy,

    Thanks for your post.

    Do you have any pieces recommedation which are sound big and not that difficult for my young student would like to take participate in piano competition ?

    thanks in advance

    lo yuen from hong kong.

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