College Preparation

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27 六 2008 20:21 #125 by Michael Reedy
College Preparation was created by Michael Reedy
As a result of my recent article, We thought it would be great to start a forum for young horn players who can spit ideas back and forth as well as share tips, advice, and news within our community. Let this be the first topic where you can ask questions or give advice based off of past experiences dealing with the topic of college auditions. I hope to see many topics come to life in this forum as well as hear the input of many young horn players!

Best Wishes,
Michael Reedy

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28 六 2008 22:36 #126 by Michael Reedy
Replied by Michael Reedy on topic College Preparation
what are the top Colleges/Conservatories you are looking to apply for?

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02 七 2008 21:23 #129 by Nicholas Hartman
Replied by Nicholas Hartman on topic College Preparation
One thing that really helped me was having a routine. I know, almost every teacher in history has said to their students to get a practice routine, but I found it very helpful on the audition days. For instance, my routine is scales. I start on a low C below the staff and play major and all three forms of minor scales in two octaves. When that was done, I would move up to C# and do all four scales in C# in two octaves, straight up chromatically until I got to high C. My routine takes about 10-15 minutes depending on how fast I play the scales and how much time I take in between, but in reality, the specific nature of my routine is irrelevant. The scales are just something I do every day before I practice, and to sit myself down in a practice room and play them right before an audition was really nice because it provided a real feeling of normalcy. College auditions are scary because there are so many things that you cannot control. Read the chapter on auditioning from Eli Epstien's book Horn Playing from the Inside Out. It's important to be able to be flexible at these auditions. For instance, at a Curtis audition, the warm up times are strictly controlled on audition days, mostly because they don't have the facilities to accommodate all of the auditioning students warming up at the same time. They take you up to your practice room half an hour before you audition. I prefer to warm up several hours before I audition and then a quick fifteen minute session right before the audition to get in the mindset. Now I had a couple of options. I could have freaked out about not being able to complete my warm up and gone into my audition tense, upset, and terrified of the sounds that were about to come out of my bell. Or I could adapt, accept it, and know that I have played this material literally thousands of times, and they just want to hear it once. It would be ridiculous to let this little setback cancel literally years of preparation for my Curtis audition, so I had to adapt. So to recap: Have a routine and make sure that routine is flexible.

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04 七 2008 22:17 #131 by Erika Loke
Replied by Erika Loke on topic College Preparation
One thing that REALLY helped me with my college auditions this past year was my teacher turning my lessons for two months into an audition boot camp!
He wouldn't let me warm up at the beginning of my lessons, so after I took my horn out of its case, I would walk around outside my teacher's house while he rearranged the chairs in his living room. I would come back inside and be in an unfamiliar environment. My teacher would then allow me to play a few warm-up notes, while he assumed a random persona (such as a strict teacher, a non-horn playing judge, etc) He would ask me my prepared solos, etudes, and excerpts in different orders and combinations. After I would play something, the "persona" would respond in a variety of ways including asking me repeatedly to play something a peticular way (usually articulation, style, or tempo) or by distracting me with a quirk like yawning. Sometimes I would have two or more of these auditions in one lesson, and after two months of this, I was very relaxed at the actual auditions.

Also, one should be prepared to play pieces that were not on the audition lists: at my regional audition for Northwestern, I was asked to play part of a Mozart concerto, even though I did not list one as my chosen audition repertoire.

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