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.