Preparing for Your Auditions

“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.”

Eckhart Tolle (Born: February 16, 1948)

“Be in the habit of experimenting with your clothing so that you don’t get stuck for life with a self-image developed over the course of high school.“

Marilyn vos Savant (Born: August 11, 1946)

Being informed paves a path to future success.

Prepare for Your Auditions

Be ready!

Help with the Application / Audition Process 1

Robynne O’Byrne specializes in preparing the performing arts student as they work their way through the college audition and application process. As a college counselor, she helps students research and narrow down their school choices, organize their application and audition materials, keep track of deadlines, and write thoughtful and unique essays. She particularly enjoys working with actors, dancers and singers, and her goal is to make the process as manageable and seamless as possible.

Robynne says that there are some important things to keep in mind as you begin your college audition/application journey. Unlike the standard college application process, applying to programs specializing in the performing arts is more complicated, time consuming and in some respects, more stressful.

• Start Early:
– Don’t wait until October of your senior year to begin researching the process. If you are interested in an audition-based program, October is too late!
– No later than the spring of your junior year, you should begin thinking about what type of program appeals to you. This will allow plenty of time for you to learn about the variety of programs available, as well as their unique application and audition requirements.

• Gather Information:
– Visit as many schools as possible. This is by far the best way to assess whether or not a program appeals to you. However there will likely be more programs you’re interested in than you have time to visit.
– Research schools’ websites.
– Read about both the university and the department.
– Look at the curriculum and the requirements.
– Learn about the faculty, as well as the alumni.
– Read student testimonials and see if there are any videos of students talking about the program.
– Pay attention to what sparks your interest. Notice what specifically appeals to you.
– This will help you narrow your search, as well as prepare for the essays you will have to write about each program.

• Get Organized: Once you have narrowed down your choices, you need to get clear on what each program requires BEFORE you apply.
– Before you apply, it’s extremely important to know what each program requires. In addition to knowing whether or not a program requires an audition, you also need to know specifically what comprises each audition.
– All B.F.A. programs require both an application and an audition.
– Some B.A. programs require an application and an interview, and some only require an application.
• Track Deadlines:
– Bear in mind that there are several deadlines throughout the application process.
– For the vast majority of programs, application must first be made to the university, and then to the specific department.
– The deadline for applying to the department is often BEFORE the deadline for applying to the university. So, if you are only paying attention to the university deadline, you may miss the departmental deadline.
– Many programs require a “pre-screen” audition, which is sometimes due even earlier than the departmental deadline.
– Sometimes there is even a deadline for signing up for an audition and this deadline may be different than any of the others!

• Prepare for your auditions:
– No matter how good your grades and test scores, or how interesting or moving your essays, you will not get into an audition-based program if you come to the audition unprepared.
– The more comfortable you are with your material, the better the audition. You will not be distracted or negatively affected if you prepare properly.
– There is no substitute for proper preparation; students should begin working on their audition material 6 months to a year before their auditions.

Robynne has the professional tools to help you successfully navigate the challenges of the application and audition process. She offers all SVS students a free 30-minute consultation. Contact her at: or 415-686-4459.

Inside College Musical Theatre Auditions by Lucy Beck 1
Preparing Music for Your Accompanist 1

Read Preparing Music for Your Accompanist

Here is one guide for preparing copies of original sheet music. Please be aware, however, that copyright law is taken very seriously. Prior to each audition, Arden suggests that you research that company or institution’s audition guidelines; for many classical vocal auditions, copies are not allowed, and singers must bring original sheet music. For example:

NATS Policy on Copyright Laws

The National Association of Teachers of Singing endorses a strict policy regarding copyright laws. The use of photocopied music is prohibited at all NATS sponsored events, from the national to the chapter level. Exceptions are:

  • Music that is out of print, still under copyright law, with permission from a publisher.
  • Sheet music or books for which the copyright has expired, but available in CD format. (e.g., CD Sheet Music)
  • A student may be disqualified if it is determined that there has been a violation of the copyright laws.
Keys to Success in Your College Audition 1

This article includes a wide range of practical ideas for ensuring success in your college audition.