How To Prepare For Sight Reading In Music Auditions

music auditionsWhat?  You have an audition coming up soon?  That’s great!

Are you ready for it?

The Reality

Most people are okay with the requirements of a music audition except for the sight reading portion.

That’s where they would rather crawl into a hole and hope for the best.  (Sound familiar?)

It doesn’t have to be this way, especially if you are working on it all the time.

Start Now

Sight reading is a good skill to develop on a regular basis.  Don’t wait until that looming audition approaches before you get started.

Do something now.

The more you do it, the better you get.

The better you get, the less you have to practice in order to learn the music in the first place.

Do I have your attention now?

I sure hope so.

What They’re Looking For

Why do you think they include sight reading as part of the audition process?  To see what your true skills are.  They need to know how long it will take you to learn your part.

Anybody can do anything well, as long as, they have plenty of time to practice.  BUT, major professional (and non-professional) groups don’t have the extra time to sit around and wait until you can finally master the music.

They need you to be able to do this NOW!  This is the expectation for anyone getting paid to perform.

So, let’s explore the logistics of how we can go about doing this…

How To Prepare

1.  Sight read music that is at least 1 level (or more) lower than where you are currently.

2.  Move slowly with intense focus trying to execute everything as accurately as possible.

3.  With the mistakes you make, don’t focus on them.  Immediately let go of them and keep moving forward.  Dwelling on them will cause you to keep making mistakes.

4.  Make sure you take time to look over the entire music before getting started.  Never jump in immediately without looking ahead and thinking through everything on the page.

In an audition, the judges will wait for you.  Don’t let that awkward silence bother you during the actual audition.  This is normal.  Judges would expect you to take your time and think through the music before getting started.

My Final Advice

Continue sight reading as a normal part of your practice regime even after the auditions.  Allow yourself to keep growing in your skills all the time.

If you truly love music, you will be able to do what it takes to persevere and succeed.  Keep at it and never give up.  You will be glad that you did!

photo credit: selva via photopin cc

5 thoughts on “How To Prepare For Sight Reading In Music Auditions”

  1. I am a dedicated music student, but I need to improve my sight reading with ledger lines. Any tips other than frying my skull while I stare at papers until i get “pro” with it?
    thanks 🙂

  2. Write them out on staff paper or make flash cards and practice reading them (and saying the note name out loud) away from your instrument (or don’t sing them if you are a voice student). Next, play (or sing) them moving very slowly from one note to the next. In doing both of these exercises, you are focused on accuracy, not on speed. The slower you go, the better. You need to give your brain enough time to read the notes, check for accuracy, and build an association with the note name. Unfortunately, the only way to get better at reading (and sightreading) ledger line notes is to read them more often. Make this a part of your regular routine and you will see progress in no time!

  3. i am naturally born with about musical things but i am very concerned bout how to memorize everything do u know any good resources or regimens that i can follow that will help me improve my skills along the way.

  4. This is a good reminder. I need to write a post on how to memorize your music in the near future. Memorization is nothing more than repetition. The more you repeat things, the most it moves into your long term memory and stays there. I recommend repeating small amounts at a time and testing it periodically to see if it’s in your long term memory.

  5. This website is faasnttic! I live in the UK, do you think I could still submit my resume or do you know of any similar websites for people in the UK? Also, is there an age requirement on these auditions or not?Thank you

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