stuffed up my audition ;(

October 14, 2017, 9:36 PM · so, if anyone one had seen my latest discussion post, i had an audition for a youth orchestra, one of the most respected and prestigious ones in our county. anyways, i was auditioning for it today for a second year. i have already played for them but ahhh how do i put this? I COMPLETLEY STUFFED UP MY AUDITION. my bow was shaky too so that didn’t help. ok i’m done ranting now...

Replies (18)

October 14, 2017, 10:16 PM · What do you mean, stuffed up?
October 14, 2017, 11:27 PM · i played about 60% of my sight reading wrong and my bow was shaking like crazy cause i was so nervous even though i seemed to be prepared :(
October 14, 2017, 11:27 PM · i guess my nerves got the best of me.
October 14, 2017, 11:28 PM · If it makes you feel any better, I never once had a good audition. Bombed every one ever.
October 14, 2017, 11:56 PM · I forgot my music for my first big audition and had to peer over the pianist's shoulder.
October 15, 2017, 12:18 AM · awwww
October 15, 2017, 12:21 AM · Camilla, Let it go. Stuffing up auditions has happened to all of us. In future, do mock auditions for teachers and colleagues. Try to make it as realistic as possible. It will help with nerves.

Cheers Carlo

October 15, 2017, 1:01 AM · thanks :)
October 15, 2017, 1:13 AM · What I do to is try to put myself in the performance situation as often as I get a chance. Sort of a self- prescribed CBT. I still get nervous but I don't loose control anymore.
It also helps off course to be "over prepared". Then you can afford to loose some to nervousness and still do OK.
Don't let it get to you. Get back in the ring.
Edited: October 15, 2017, 5:52 AM · In this context I believe "stuffed" is what is known as a euphemism.

Brush it off. Every career has setbacks. If this is your worst so far, you're very fortunate indeed. It's how you respond to them that matters.

October 15, 2017, 6:37 AM · Now go look in the mirror. What do you see? Your head is there, your body is there, your arms, legs, fingers, and toes are there. They didn't eat you, so all is good. Chin up Camilla, you'll get it next time.
October 15, 2017, 7:37 AM · We've all had those auditions.

If you haven't already read it, I strongly recommend reading "The Inner Game of Music" and taking its prescription for psychological preparation to heart before your next audition or solo performance.

Incidentally as a frequent judge for youth orchestra auditions, the overwhelmingly majority of students do not--how shall I say this?--impress with their sightreading skills. Odds are your audition wasn't as disastrous as you think.

October 15, 2017, 6:06 PM · A couple years ago I auditioned successfully for a spot in our national youth orchestra and got the position of sub-principal which was considered to be a great feat considering I was the youngest in the orchestra at the time. And the next year? I didn't even get in. I was devastated, and didn't want to touch my instrument. This year I auditioned again, and failed again. It sucked at the time, but in hindsight, it was one of the best things to happen to me as it gave me time to focus on myself, my goals, and what I could do better - and I think I have improved more significantly that I ever have. Auditions are never really the best representation of yourself as a player- and it definitely does not define you. So if you don't get in it is fine and could be good, but also, sometimes you can over think these things so much that you become overly critical of an audition that might've sounded better to the jury than it did to you! :-)
October 16, 2017, 12:28 PM · Here's some quick advice for how to perceive auditions, or really any high-pressure performance in general.

Firstly, always assume you're going to play your worst in those situations.

My idea is that if you improve enough (through careful practice), then your present-worst will eventually be better than your previous-best. So your goal should never be to gauge your overall progress by how you play when everything is going perfectly. Your gauge should be based on how much your worst has improved. Bring up the lowest factors, and don't pay attention to the highest.

October 16, 2017, 12:57 PM · Find the opportunity to play in front of as many people as possible, as often as possible. Church (playing every Sunday is GREAT practice), the mall, on your patio in the back yard--you will get less nervous over time, and you'll get more used to being in performance mode which you can then translate into making your practice more realistic to performance as well. You can never totally conquer nerves, but you can greatly reduce them through practice like this.
October 16, 2017, 3:06 PM · thanks for the advice guys :)
October 16, 2017, 6:03 PM · RIP. I'm sorry to hear that, I did that over summer and I know that kinda feeling
October 24, 2017, 2:12 PM · I remember one audition where I got so nervous I played my prepared etude so quickly and somehow didn't miss anything (adrenaline for the win!)--that was the lucky one that sort of let me know that nerves are okay as long as you don't let it cloud yourself. Fight or flight is meant to be a survival instinct so it's really the matter of how you handle it. You can be a superhuman or succumb to it and let it get the best of you.

I do it awfully, but now I just adjust my expectations so when I come out of it, I don't feel defeated; I know if I had practiced a certain amount, factoring in nerves, the outcome will be at a certain quality; going in knowing what to expect sort of helps me ease the nerve and I usually perform at least to my expectations--certainly not to the best of my abilities (or maybe it IS the best of my abilities).

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