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10 tips to Prepare for an Honor Band Audition

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When you?ve got musical talent or are a serious musician, there will probably be a time when you audition for an honor band. This can be a stressful time since honor bands are very prestigious. The key to nailing the audition is to relax and be prepared!

Here are some tips to prepare for an excellent honor band audition.

1. Know the requirements! Every audition is different, so just because one band audition didn?t require you to do something, doesn?t mean another one won?t. Different instruments have different requirements as well; make sure you are familiar with your instrument requirements, not just the general requirements.

2. Bring the piece you are auditioning with. The director might have the piece there for you, but don?t count on it. It?s better to have it and not need it than to not have it.

3. Bring extra pieces of all your equipment. Having your instrument fail you when you?re completely prepared can be about the worst thing to happen! Don?t let your instrument wreck your audition; have extra reeds etc. just in case.

4. Memorize as much as you can! Just like preparing for an exam, make sure to have enough memorized so you look prepared. You will be able to use sheet music for the audition piece, but octaves and scales will likely need to be memorized.

5. Show off, but don?t overdo it. You get points for everything you can do, but you?ll earn more points by playing 3 octaves than by playing a more difficult octave and messing it up.

6. Ask for help before the audition. If the required piece is more difficult than you anticipated, ask a musical friend or instructor to assist you with practicing. It never hurts to ask for help, especially if they can give you pointers about the piece or audition.

7. Make sure you?re instrument is in its best shape! You don?t want to get to the audition and have your instrument be what fails you. Take it to be professionally cleaned or looked at before the audition.

8. Arrive early to the audition fully prepared. Warm up and get everything together before leaving for the audition and get there early. This will give you time to calm down and scope things out before the audition.

9. Practice! Even the little things that you have been doing since you started playing an instrument can be forgotten or get rusty (sight-reading). Make sure and practice everything you can so you know you won?t make avoidable mistakes.

10. Stay calm. Nerves can wreck an audition! If you?ve practiced and are prepared, then all you can do is try your best. It?s only one audition; there will be more.

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