Get Ready For District Auditions!
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
November is a big month for high school band and orchestra students in the United States. In Massachusetts, we are organized into districts (Texas and other states might refer to them as regions) and our auditions are usually the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We are about three weeks away from that day - November 23.
To stay motivated and prepared, I offer these tips for clarinet players:
· Don't wait until the last minute to find a reed! Open up a new box of reeds now. Break them in over the next two weeks. By the week before the audition, the third week, you should know which ones are working.
· Have your private teacher or band director play your instrument to make sure everything is in working order. Get repair done now rather than waiting until the last minute.
· Plan your practice sessions. Ask a parent or an authority figure to help you with this if you have trouble with organization. Practice sessions can be divided into smaller time frames. (Ex: 30 minutes of calculus; 30 minutes of practice; 30 minutes of required reading; 30 minute of practice)
· Practice playing through your scales and audition material for family members, teachers and friends. Make it as close to an audition scenario as you can.
· Record yourself occasionally using either your phone or computer. Send the recording to your private teacher for comments.
· For inspiration go to a professional orchestra concert or go to youtube and listen to professional clarinet players. Talk to your teacher if you are not sure who to listen to. Here are a few too look for: Sabine Meyer, Martin Frost, Ricardo Morales, Sharon Kam and there are many more.
· Need some new ideas for practice? If it is a technical piece, try playing a difficult passage forward as written and then read it backwards. If it is a slow piece, spend a session or two tuning every single note. This will not only help your intonation, but it is great for tone. This is also a great idea for your scales!
· Don't forget to have some fun with your instrument. Play music that you have never seen before. This will help your sight-reading immensely. Trade old lesson books with another instrument (flute, oboe or sax). Even piano music works because you can play the top line.
· Stay healthy by keeping your hands clean and away from your face. Drink lots of water and try to stay away from sugary drinks. Eat fruit.
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas that you would like add. You can sign up for my blog or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org