What music pieces are a good idea for auditioning for Juilliard

October 6, 2007 at 07:26 AM · What pieces are good for audition music for a advanced school such as Juilliard? I want to go there in 4 more years, and on their website they say that students will have to audition their repertoire, but they don't say anything in specific. So what are some good ideas? Also, do I play just one piece for them for do I play multiple pieces along with scales? I seriously have no clue what to play or what to expect. I am a freshman in high school and I have been playing the violin for around 9 months but I've made lots of advancement and I learn real fast and I can play good if I practice of course. I know My high school years will zip by and I don't want to wait and find out in my senior year that I should've prepared for this a long time ago. How hard are the pieces? How long are they? I seriously have no clue what's going to be thrown at me . Could someone please give me some suggestions on any tips, idea, piece ideas, what scales, etc. And where I could find these pieces in Houston, TX. I want to go to a good music school real bad, so please, any other good music school suggestions is welcome since I might not make it to Juilliard or i might not be able to afford to live in NYC.

Replies (78)

October 6, 2007 at 12:21 PM · With respect to your ambitious and hard-working atitude, I feel that if your goal is to go to Juilliard (you would have had about 3 years of instruction when you graduate), you will be disappointed at the outcome. The level of Juilliard is extraordinarily high. This is not to discourage you from trying, but to help you realistically focus your goals so you have a higher odd of achieving success than disappointment.

As far as audition repertoire, the best way is to contact the school (or better yet, visit them) and get to know the school inside out. Each school may have a little different requirement, but most auditions are usually standard.

October 6, 2007 at 03:39 PM · Brooke...

Audition requirements are quite simple.

Standard, romantic concerto

1 Paganini Caprice

2 Contrasting movements of Bach

1 Brilliant concert piece

No mystery... it's on the website.

If you want to go to Juilliard, go study with Brian Lewis at UT in Austin.

I'm also going to audition for Juilliard... well, if they give me an audition. Still have to make a CD.

October 6, 2007 at 04:57 PM · Julliard is not a realistic expectation.

October 6, 2007 at 05:04 PM · Ms. Baser, I appreciate your realism; however, I disagree with it. If I had stuck with "realistic expectations", considering that I auditioned for college on the Accolay concerto (the most difficult piece I could play at that time), I would not be finishing a Masters' degree at a major conservatory right now.

Brooke, I think it's great that you have a goal! As a teacher and as a conservatory student myself, however, what I would advise you to do now is think about where you are in your playing and what you want in the future. Is your technique solid enough to where the audition repertoire for a school like Juilliard wouldn't be a stretch for you? If you were my student (and forgive me, because I have no idea what level you're on) I would focus on scales, etudes, and exercises with you to bring you to a level to where you could be totally comfortable with the audition.

I went to a state college for undergrad, and knew that I wanted to go to a big conservatory for graduate school. However, I had only one month to prepare for my graduate audition (kind of a long story) and had planned a program of material that I had never even seen before. To give you an idea of the level of work it takes to get into a school such as my school (Mannes)--during that month I practiced upwards of ten hours a day. Five hours for the repertoire...but at least two on scales, two on etudes and technical exercises, and an hour on absolute basics (Schradieck, etc). So if you're prepared to live like that, good luck!

Don't underrate doing your undergrad at a small school, though. Not only does it give you a chance to really refine your playing without the pressures of being in a huge conservatory environment...but it saves you LOADS of money. Now, I'm only going to be homeless for my first ten years out of school, instead of the twenty I'd be homeless had I taken out loans for undergrad too ;) and you know, a lot of the time, if you look at a good violinist, you can't always tell where they went to school...all that matters is how well they play.

Brooke, it's very admirable that you have a dream like you do. Practice hard and don't let anyone talk you out of your goals!

October 6, 2007 at 07:20 PM · This will be a lot, but these are all the things I wish someone told me when I was your age...so take notes!

I would say try and make an attempt at your goals. Try and make sure you're studying with a good teacher in the next few years, that you explore topics on this site, practice about 3-5 hours a day (consistency is important!), making sure to be critical and creative with it and finding a routine that works with you, PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME!!, do score study, and LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to lots of music.

Go to concerts.

LEARN TO MEMORIZE MUSIC!!! Don't let yourself think that it's hard. There's aural, muscle, and visual memory! So three ways to really remember a piece of music.

See if you can start figuring things out by ear. Find some songs you like, anything, and see if you can figure it out without looking at any music. This will be good training for aural skills, which tends to be the downfall of some students.

You'll understand how to play a style better once you've listened to good recordings.

Find standard and great recordings at the library, find the DVDs of symphonies, Hillary Hahn, The Art of the Violin:Devil's Instrument, etc.

If you can afford it, GO to camps for musicians in the summer. Find ways to grow and go beyond. Check out the camps listed on this site even!

Check out Strings (www.stringsmagazine.com) and the Strad (expensive, comes from Europe, better than Strings...check your library!)

I wish I had the foresight you do when I was in ninth grade. I waited, and even learned a lot at the end of my undergraduate career of things I should have done had I wanted to seriously pursue a conservatory. I ended up going to the Crane School of Music, and although it's forte is not necessarily the strings program, if you ever consider music education seriously, I'd recommend it.

So some other schools in New York besides Julliard that you should check out are (in no particular order):

* CUNY (City Univ. of NY) Queens College: Aaron Copland School of Music. Many of the teachers from Julliard, MSM, etc. will also work there, and it's still in NYC and WAY cheaper! I've heard their music education program and their sight singing/aural skills department is very challenging. This is a more conservatory setting.

* SUNY (State University of NY) Purchase: Another state school that has more of a conservatory setting. Decent Grad program.

* SUNY Stonybrook (although they're kind of better for their grad program, from what I know). Emerson String Quartet is based here.

* Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

* SUNY Fredonia (out in Buffalo)...kind of smaller, and competition with Crane, but supposedly there's a new violin teacher there that graduated from Julliard and is pretty good.

* Ithaca College

* Mannes (New School http://www.newschool.edu/mannes/)

* Eastman in Rochester, NY

* SUNY Geneseo...it never sticks out in my mind so much, but over the years I've heard good things about their program...worth checking out.

AND SERIOUSLY, since you're in Texas, check out UT at Austin...they have a PHENOMENAL strings program, and I'm applying to them for grad school (although I will be doing ethno, but their strings program is a reason why I want to go and mooch off violin learning from such a great group of people!).

Rice is another school, although expensive and competitive...

Don't feel like you have to go so far away. There are plenty of good music schools all over the place. USC in Los Angeles, Indiana in Bloomington, Hart School of Music, just to name a few.

Best of luck and I hope my lengthy post will have given you some useful advice!

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about being a music major.


October 6, 2007 at 07:01 PM · I would definitely suggest looking into other music schools besides Juilliard. Juilliard is great and has great prestige, but I've heard that it's often not the best place for undergraduate students. Plus, there are so many great conservatories and music programs out there...Indiana, NEC, Oberlin (w00t!), CIM, Rice has a good program, Northwestern is pretty good, there's some stuff in California...yeah. Look around.

October 6, 2007 at 09:11 PM · what it takes to get into Juilliard...

the advise of the people before, which means hard work and lots of discipline, but do not forget to be yourself! There are so many people auditioning for Juilliard, who all play extraordinary. When you touch them with your playing at the audition, you already accomplished so much. then it is just a matter of space, money, luck etc.

So as to choices of pieces, check the requirements and then start listening to pieces that fall within those requirements. Choose the pieces you identify most with, you feel you could play well, fit your style and character and that will offer you enough depth to be working on for a year.

Just be yourself. Maybe you can study at Juilliard, maybe not, but if you are yourself you will end up at the school most suited to you.

Good luck and don't forget to have fun!

PS: Do check out CIM. I went to both schools and had a fantastic time at CIM. It is very different then Juilliard, but it was absolutely right fo me to go there. You are offered an enviroment to really develope yourself without having to worry too much about other people. I really have ond memories of that place.

October 7, 2007 at 12:01 PM · Juilliard and Curtis are the most famous music schools and have a certain panache and prestige that attracts all aspiring musicians. It really helps to have some kind of connection to the school's faculty. There are politics involved and some who audition know before hand they will be accepted. They generally don't tell you how many students they are accepting. There could be 100 people auditioning for 2 slots. So it is an expensive crap shoot. Have fun trying out but don't be too disappointed if you don't get in. It really is no reflection on your ability and potential. There are many successful musicians that have gone elsewhere and many Julliard graduates who drop out of music.

October 7, 2007 at 03:28 PM · Josh... I think you're pretty wrong about concerto rep.

I used to think that, then I found out that many people qualify for juilliard on Wienawski 2, Scottish Fantasy etc...

If you show up and play Tchaikovsky and Brahms, you'd better be playing it at a high level because you kind of expose yourself musically, not to mention technically. I'd rather show up and nail Wienawski 2. The best advice I ever heard was that you aren't going to impress the jury. If you were the "chosen" one, the first time they'd have heard you would have been next door at Avery Fisher. So, just show up and play whatever you can play, at a very, very high level. If you can play Brahms at 17 at such a level, then my hat is off to you.

October 7, 2007 at 03:42 PM · Another idea, Brooke. If you know who you want to study with, find out if they teach at other schools! For example, I just started studying with Lewis Kaplan (who, so far, is the most wonderful teacher!) who as you know teaches at Juilliard...however, I go to Mannes. It's great because Mannes is a very small school so you just don't get swallowed up--you get lots and lots and lots of individual attention from the faculty, and everyone knows who everyone else is. You get the same private lesson education...but Mannes feels more like a big family sometimes. I also know that Sally Thomas and Ann Setzer double up at Mannes, and they're quite well-respected teachers.

On that note--what are you looking for in a college teacher?

October 7, 2007 at 10:53 PM · Joshua, I hope you don't mean to suggest that the other concertos you nixed for auditions-- Mendelssohn, Bruch, etc-- are "student" concertos. The manifest musical significance of those pieces together with their many appearances in the discographies of major soloists should make it very clear that they are not in any way intended for students. The fact that they are often played by students doesn't make them "student concertos." Moreover, I think you'd be surprised by some of the situations in which people have played Wieniawski. While a student at Curtis, Arnold Steinhardt won the Philadelphia Orchestra's concerto competition with Wieniawski 2. Sure, that was in a different era, but if it was good enough for Steinhardt as a Curtis student, it should be good enough for just about any applicant.

That said, you are right that applicants to schools like Juilliard and Curtis should be ABLE to play Tchaikovsky or Sibelius etc. Whether or not they choose to audition with those pieces is a separate consideration.

October 7, 2007 at 11:23 PM · I know quite a few people who got into "ultra prestigious" conservatories who used "student concertos". Everyone I know who goes to Curtis and Juilliard could get into those schools again, playing Conus concerto.

But whatever...

These violinists and professionals probably consider Mendelssohn a "student concerto" as well, I suspect?

October 8, 2007 at 12:51 AM · Mendelssohn is the easiest concerto I have ever played. Calling it a student concerto is giving it way too much credit. In fact, I think I sight-read the first page perfectly. Great intonation, phrasing, everything. There's no way I'd ever audition for anything with it.

In all seriousness, though: when you get to a certain level, it's not WHAT you play, but HOW you play.

October 8, 2007 at 01:12 AM · I can't believe this is the future of our art.

October 8, 2007 at 01:12 AM · Hey Tommy, got a recording of you playing Mendelssohn? I'd be very interested to hear it!!

Brooke-keep in mind that, although you have to play at a VERY high level to get into any of the city conservatories, as well as Curtis, et al, they're not looking for sheer violinistic perfection. Instead, they're looking for someone with lots of talent and most of all teachability.

October 8, 2007 at 01:19 AM · Shannon - I'm pretty sure Tommy was being very sarcastic about his perfect Mendelssohn.

October 8, 2007 at 02:05 AM · How about Saint-Saens concerto no. 3?

October 8, 2007 at 02:22 AM · Not elite enough for the ultra deluxe schools.

October 8, 2007 at 02:22 AM · I am actually trying to find also an excellent teacher in the houston area who can help me get into one of these schools. Oh I can't drive to austin 3 or 4 hours away once a week! Like ive said i live in Houston, TX. If anyone knows any excellent teachers in houston area who could possibly help me get into a good music school, please tell me! Oh and I know, I will have to practice a LOT. Im making arrangements to where I can get in 6-8 hours of practice time a day.

October 8, 2007 at 02:34 AM · Chris - SS III is excellent and a great concerto in my opinion. If you can play it at a high level it will be a lot more impressive than someone struggling with a Paganini concerto.

I'm very tired of the Wieniawski 2nd or Lalo being classified as "student repertoire" by some of these music critics and "experts" that roam discussion boards. Until you can hit every last note in those works (which I haven't even heard the greatest violinists do), I wouldn't call it that. There are some passages in Lalo and Wieniawski as hard as the Brahms or Tchaikovsky.

October 8, 2007 at 02:40 AM · Brooke, check out Rice. There's great teachers there.

October 8, 2007 at 03:10 AM · In Houston Henry Rubin has an excellent reputation and teaches some of the best high school aged students in the area.

October 8, 2007 at 04:22 AM · they won't ask for scales, I can tell you that. 99.9% of the time they'll just ask for some Bach and some of the concerto. It's true that going to Juilliard after just 5 years of training is unrealistic, but there's nothing wrong with setting your goals high as long as you can handle the disappointment of the times you perhaps don't reach your goals.

October 8, 2007 at 04:56 AM · Elena (and Tommy)--I was joking too ^^

Brooke--you've been playing for 9 months, correct? My advice to you...scales and Kreutzer!! Don't worry about your pieces for another year or so at the VERY very very least.

October 8, 2007 at 04:55 AM · Brian,

Paganini too... never been to an audition where they didn't ask for Paganini.

October 8, 2007 at 05:13 AM · well, they didn't ask me for it and they didn't ask any of my friends here at Juilliard.

October 8, 2007 at 05:27 AM · Well, here's a question, Brooke. You want to be a seriously good violinist, right? Rather than selling yourself short and saying "I want to get into Juilliard"--you should spend the next few years simply getting as good as you can.

I learned my repertoire exactly one month before my graduate auditions. If you practice your technique to a point where it feels super-comfy for you to play the violin, and get whatever sound you want out of it--it should be an absolute piece of cake to learn. Maybe get some CDs of the Paganini caprices and some concertos you might like...but DO NOT try to start working on them until they seem relatively comfortable. You could even get hurt.

Guys--none of us are taking into account that Brooke hasn't even been playing for a year yet!

Brooke-what does your current teacher have you working on? Are you in private lessons or lessons through school?

October 8, 2007 at 05:39 AM · Brian, I never auditioned at Juilliard.

For masters you have to do 2... I'm doing 11 and 6, which are both quite difficult. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about that then?

October 8, 2007 at 05:45 AM · Pieter--who do you want to study with there? Just out of curiosity ;)

October 8, 2007 at 06:46 AM · well, Brooke was obviously talking about undergrad and the topic was about undergrad so I assumed we were still talking about undergrad. But for grad school, yes, they ask for pretty much all of that.

October 8, 2007 at 02:54 PM · Brian,

I just assumed the ask Paganini because I know pretty much everywhere else they do.

October 8, 2007 at 03:12 PM · Be careful how you practice Brooke. The time means nothing if you don't practice correctly because bad habits can form. Having a GOOD teacher is really really important, I can't stress this enough. I think your goals for Juilliard are a bit unrealistic, but remember there are a ton of other schools out there that have great music programs, so don't stress yourself if you don't get in. Practice what you're comfortable with in the meantime, and work from there slowly.

October 8, 2007 at 03:37 PM · Shannon, you bring up some really great points.

Brooke, a lot of people have given some great advice, and the ones that mentioned not injuring yourself bring up a REALLY good point.

Soooo many string majors get injured and have to quit due to tendonitis or carpel tunnel.

Learning some basic stretches, LIGHT weight-training, concepts from Alexander Technique...learn not to push yourself too hard. If you're a person who tends to get anxious or stressed out easily, you may have a greater tendency towards injuries.

Be wary of how you type on the computer, how you sit/posture...what kind of job you have (bagging grocery bags, or washing dishes gave me problems!!)

Solid technique will help avoid injuries also.

Pretty much what we're all hinting at is that violin would become an essential part of your life ;) You have to live, eat, and breathe it.

And definitely heed the advice that just focus on how great you can become...getting into X school does not equal success necessarily.

October 8, 2007 at 09:39 PM ·

October 8, 2007 at 10:06 PM · I have to disagree! There IS such a thing as pushing yourself too hard: you can get injured, get so frustrated that you start going in circles and get nothing accomplished, and generally get stale.

October 8, 2007 at 10:14 PM · A person can accomplish a great deal in three years, but to achieve this level would require an extraordinary and sustained effort, and also an extremely good teacher. That said, it's a good goal. Shoot for the stars, and you'll probably at least make it into outer space.

If you are going to be a violinist, I think you have to aim extremely high when it comes to your education. Aim as high as you can, and then take the opportunities that come your way. Whether you get into Juilliard or not, that effort of aiming very high is not a waste.

October 9, 2007 at 03:15 AM · haha, i can't believe that there has been so much discussion on this topic in a day!

OF COURSE i was kidding about mendelssohn being super-easy. In fact, I'm pursuing my MM in violin performance at a good music school right now, and I'm just studying it now.

What I was trying to say (albeit through sarcasm, which obviously doesn't work so well through an online forum), is that Bruch, Lalo, Mendelssohn, etc that are generally regarded as "student pieces" are nothing of the sort. Just because lots of people for the first time at a young age doesn't say anything about their relevance to professional, performing musicians. In fact, I know people who are excellent players who HAVE gotten into great schools, won solo competitions,and won auditions in orchestras playing things like Mendelssohn, Wieniawski 2, Lalo, etc.

Also, re: pushing oneself too hard. I think that we're thinking about two meanings of pushing oneself. Obviously we don't want to practice until our fingers are bleeding and we have horrible tendonitis and overuse injuries, but if we want to achieve the highest levels of artistry, we do have to practice long, hard hours on a daily basis, which most people would call pushing oneself really really hard. In short, practice hard but don't hurt yourself. I agree with the previous posts about getting a good teacher, because they can teach you how to practice really hard and effectively without hurting yourself.

October 9, 2007 at 05:01 AM · Brooke, it is not about the school you attend, but rather the teacher (or teachers) that you study with.

It doesn't matter which institution you end up in if you can't find a teacher that will provide you the instruction, guidance, advice, and connections to help you establish a career, assuming that is your goal in studying the instrument in the first place?

October 9, 2007 at 11:40 PM · Yes, I have only been playing for 9 months, but I've advanced very speedily because of the conditions I was put under and I had to meet them. Very Long story...

Im probably going to be switching my teachers soon. My teacher I am taking lessons from now is one of the violists whom is in the Corpus christi symphony, victoria symphony, and a whole bunch of other symphonies.

I am very much going switching from her to this lady here: http://theyoungeight.com/bio_Archibald.html

Ive had one lesson from her and although she currently does viola, she knows a lot about the violin as well and teaches both instruments. Shes also in this group called "The Young Eight" you can check their website here: http://theyoungeight.com/

For right now I'm just currently focusing on my regular orchestra music and very much working on my scale sheets and im also doing some other stuff...so what else do yall think I could find to work on?

October 9, 2007 at 11:57 PM · Brooke,

I agree that it is possible for you. However, for you to get to Juilliard in 5 years, I really believe that you will need a master teacher. That is difficult since few want to take on someone in your position. I know a girl who studied with my old teacher. She started with him with a solemn promise that she'd do what he told her, and to practice as much as he said. In 5 years she was doing the Paganini concerto, and playing really, really well. So, it is possible.

October 10, 2007 at 01:13 AM · What pieces constitute "stuff"?

Here is a link to a graded sequence of repertoire.It might give you an idea about where you are technically.


October 10, 2007 at 01:20 AM ·

October 10, 2007 at 05:16 AM · Brooke -

Practice 25 hours a day. Scales, Sevcik, Schraidik especially. Never let a single note get by that's out of tune, doesn't have exactly the sound you intended, or doesn't fit into a musical idea. Perform a lot. If you can learn to play truly and consistently in tune and in rhythm, you'll have an edge over a large number of your competitors. Rembember that your sound is the first thing panel members judge you on, and they do that in about the first 30 seconds. Probably the most important thing besides practicing is to get as many lessons as possible with one or more teachers with whom you'd like to study.

Joshua, you're wrong. Mendelssohn's one of the hardest concertos to play well, and if you nailed at an audition, you'd definitely impress the judges. A violinist I know, a good friend of mine and probably one of the best violinists at Curtis right now, got in there at 15 playing E Major Bach, Paganini 13 (arguably the easiest of both their respective sets), and Glazunov concerto - a concerto which does not particularly distinguish itself musically or technically. I know personally from studying and talking with teachers from Curtis, Juilliard, CIM, NEC that they'd much rather hear a smaller (technically or musically) concerto played well and with imagination then hacking through Tchaik, Sibelius, or Brahms. Though certainly plenty of people get in with those concertos.

October 10, 2007 at 06:24 AM · I suggest you take Bruce Berg's advice. Henry Rubin is a wonderful teacher in the Houston area and he is able to take young talent and develop it into artistry in a short amount of time. I credit him with getting me into Juilliard.

P.S. He also went to Juilliard.

October 10, 2007 at 11:27 PM · Nate,

at WHAT point was I discouraging? Did you actually read the post? I was completely talking about not pushing herself too far physically...

In music, there's no such thing as no pain no gain...pain can equal debilitating injuries that will end her career.

In both of my posts I was being very encouraging, and at her age, I think she could probably meet her goal...even if it's in 6 years rather than 4...and she should definitely try.

Although some people have been skeptical, please take care in reading something carefully before you attack or bash people.

My main concern would be that Brooke would be so anxious to meet her goal she might over-exert her muscular and skeletal systems to the point of preventing her dream.

October 11, 2007 at 12:29 AM · Jessie - big misunderstanding! I never said you were discouraging. I was referring to another few comments I saw.

October 11, 2007 at 12:44 AM · Nate,

Thanks :) Just wanted to make sure because I was taken aback a bit.

October 11, 2007 at 12:51 PM · you are expected to have reached at least grade 2 standard so play the pieces you learnt for your grade 2 exam. scales - 1 octave g,d,c and a

October 11, 2007 at 01:59 PM · yes. If you want to go to Juilliard, then you must study with Henry Rubin. He is amazing and will transform your playing to new heights.

October 11, 2007 at 03:50 PM · Hi Brooke,

While being sarcastic and then explaining myself, I realized that I never really answered your original question. Anyway, perhaps a couple of stories will give you some perspective and encouragement on being a professional musician.

A very good friend of mine has her master's degree in music and is a fine violinist who plays with a bunch of DC area orchestras, teaches, and plays gigs all the time. She didn't start taking lessons until her JUNIOR YEAR of high school, and made it into a conservatory for her BM in violin performance.

And now a more personal story. I had played violin in public school from 4th grade on, but didn't start taking private violin lessons until I was in 8th grade. By most people's standards, I was a late starter: I didn't start playing until I was 10, and then didn't take private lessons until I was 14. When I started taking lessons, my teacher had me start from almost the beginning: I was playing Suzuki book 1 and stuff like that. I worked really hard, and was able to make it into a BM in violin performance program. Now I'm doing my Master's degree, and I have a part-time orchestra job, and a bunch of private students.

If you're willing to work really hard, you can accomplish anything! So, practice hard and keep your goals in mind, and you can be a successful professional musician. Just take the advice of respected teachers and colleagues, but most of all follow your heart and you can do it!

October 11, 2007 at 11:14 PM · Greetings,

Tommy, I recognized your sarcasm for what it was no problem. I think we may have been dossing around together on v.commie for too long,



October 12, 2007 at 12:33 AM · "I'm making arrangements to where I can get in 6-8 hours of practice time a day."


Although eventually aiming to do that many hours a day is good, I wouldn't jump right into that. Quality will be better than quantity.

Your body and mind have to work up an endurance to that...to avoid practicing bad habits and getting injured.

Also, please make sure that if you are doing 3-8 hours of practice, that it will be broken up with breaks, resting time and other activities to keep your mind sharp and body from fatiguing.

Another thing I thought of is what one of my professors from college told me... To be a professional violinist you can't go through school just playing a few etudes...a truly good violinist will have played hundreds and hundreds of them!

Now that might not be 100% true, I'm sure there are great violinists that don't always focus on etudes, but how he stressed the importance of the etude I think is what you need to keep in mind.

In somewhat of an order you should check out:

Wolfhart, Kayser, Schradiek, Trott, Kreutzer, Mazas, Fiorillo, Rode, Dont

Also, there are different levels of Sevcik that are really great...and so many others. Violinmasterclass.com has a list of some in a recommended sequential order, and it includes the opus numbers.

October 12, 2007 at 03:16 AM · Hi Brooke :

Something we all forgot to mention too...have you learned yet how to practice away from your instrument? As you develop, you shouldn't practice ON the violin toooo much because it will take your body awhile to prepare itself for marathon practice sessions....but.....you can train your brain too.

Learn how to read music VERY fluently. Learn to read rhythms and practice them by singing and tapping them. Learn solfege. Learn harmony and basic music theory. Learn music history. If you can go to a piece and know its background and know what it's all about, and just be able to read it without having to mentally translate the notes, you'll be much better off.

Not to mention reading the massive amounts of literature out there for the violin...I would highly HIGHLY recommend two books for you.

"Basics" by Simon Fischer

"Violin Playing-A Physiological Approach" by Isaak Vigdorchik

This type of thing will heighten your understanding of the way the instrument works. I often ask my own students to read these.

Good luck!

October 12, 2007 at 09:01 PM · Ok I know I can over-pratice, but im not going to pratice 6-8 hours a day like today or tomorrow. Im saying that Im making arrangements for the future when I do get to the level of praticing that long. Besides I got lots of homework anyways. Had to drop a few things like guitar lessons and such. Im gradually increasing my pratice time, and of course every hour I take about a 10-15 minute break and stuff. This week ive been praticing 3 hours a day, but in the next 2 weeks im aiming for around 3 1/2 and then the next 3 weeks 4 hours and so on. And if i cant pratice that long, then ill reduce it and then try again except wait for a longer time period before I increase it again.

My main question was, does anyone here take lessons from Henry Rubin? None of my teachers or my orchestra friends know him, does anyone know how I could contact him, like his phone number or email or something? Ive looked in the Houston Phone number book and he's not in there.

January 25, 2008 at 04:58 AM · I heartily agree that the Mendelssohn is not a "student" concerto. It is sad to hear it played like one, no matter how excellent the technique.

January 25, 2008 at 06:05 PM · One thing to add. Living in a city like NY is not for everyone regardless of school. I really did not enjoy my years there and slugged through school (not music) and left the minute I was finished. Other people love the vibe of a big city. Be sure to find a total envirnonment you can thrive in. Visit NYC for an extended period before you decide to move there. It is a very expensive place to live and you will need to plan to have resources to have a quality of life to take advantage of a school like Julliard even if you get in. Many students I new in NYC had parents who paid for living etc. Few could do the school work and work a job too. This is the undoing of many a talented actor, musician and artist in the city. They start needing to work and their art falls to the side. Plan for it, but keep your eyes open. Good Luck.

January 26, 2008 at 05:59 AM · Ok and everyone thanks lots for the help! Maybe getting into the top top school isn't for me but it dosen't hurt to try. Like that saying said "Shoot for the moon. if you don't reach the moon you'll at least land on one of the stars."

I will try to do everything I can to acheive my goal at this. Thanks!

January 26, 2008 at 06:05 AM · I think you mean shoot for the stars... they're a lot farther away than the moon.

January 26, 2008 at 10:47 AM · I personally would prefer stars over the moon ;P

February 26, 2008 at 02:06 AM · This is slightly off-topic, but it has to do with the so-called "lesser" or "student" concertos.

I have been playing the violin for 11 years, since I was 5. I'm now a junior in high school. I always wanted to play "advanced" pieces for my age, and I never wanted to play anything that my friends and I considered less difficult if one of them had played it before me. Being a musician can be cutthroat and competitive this way, unfortunately.

It was because of this that I constantly put off playing the Bruch concerto - I tried not to play it for years, actually, since I was afraid people would judge me for playing it at age 13 instead of at age 12 or whatever (yes, I was that ridiculous).

Just recently (a couple months ago), I realized that if I didn't play the Bruch now, I would have to do it in college, and that would be more "embarrassing" than just biting the bullet and doing it. By this time, the "major" concertos I had already done were the Lalo, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens 3, Barber, and the Goldmark. In my opinion, waiting to do the Bruch until after I had played these other concertos turned out to be the best thing I have ever done.

The Bruch has beautiful, soaring melodies and so many opportunities to be as expressive as possible. I have the maturity in my playing now to be able to play it at a much, much higher level than I could ever have hoped to do at age 11 or 12. (I'm 16 now, by the way.) I would never have been able to play it at the level I'm playing it at now had I not waited (or rather, stalled, in my case). It is because of this that I am now reluctant to call any concerto a "student concerto"; everything can always be played at a higher level than you think. It is much better to play something that might be considered "easier" with supreme expressiveness and beauty and your own interpretation than it is to be a technical robot plowing through it.

In that vein, my advice to Brooke would be this: work hard (but don't injure yourself), be determined, but be realistic - play what you can play well, not what you think is more difficult or what you want to play because you're embarrassed to play something "easier." If there's anything I've learned from the amazing people here at V.com, it's that you should play what you can play to the highest ability.

Best of luck! :)


February 26, 2008 at 02:37 AM · I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about... On the Juilliard site, it states that violins will have to play from memory One complete Mozart concerto, One complete mov't from a Romantic violin concerto, one contrasting mvm't from a Contemporary concerto. One Paganini caprice, and A complete Sonata by Bach. and they might ask a scale or two.

February 26, 2008 at 05:15 AM · Concerti by Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Shostakovich

February 26, 2008 at 06:18 AM · Madeline -

I'm almost 30 (well, another year and a half to go), and tackling the Bruch g-minor for the first time - and finding that maturity certainly does make up for age :) Of course, it's also where I should have gone instead of trying to take on Mendelssohn a decade ago, but... hindsight is 20/20!

February 26, 2008 at 01:52 PM · At age 14 I picked up the violin for the fist time. I immediately ran to a teacher (thank God she was a good one) and said "I want to go to Juilliard"

It was a lot of hard work I admit, but I got in with the Mendelssohn Concerto (sticking my tongue out) I went to Mannes ultimately to study with the teacher I wanted, but whoever says you can't do it just hasn't been able to do it themselves.

Check out Andrej Grabiec, I think he's in FortWorth? He's a fantastic teacher. Also, put your summers to good use and go to summer camp. It's where you'll find your passion and that's what it takes PASSION!

February 26, 2008 at 02:23 PM · Well if you wanna get picky...

Straight from http://www.juilliard.edu/pdf/MusicAudRequirementsLinks.pdf


Bachelor of Music and Diploma Live Audition Repertoire

• Of Nos. 1 and 4 below, one must be a contemporary selection

composed since 1939.

• All compositions must be performed from memory except for

duo sonatas. Memorization of music since 1939 is encouraged

but optional.

• Please minimize piano accompaniment interludes.

1. A slow and fast movement from a 19th or 20th-century concerto.

2. Two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied Bach sonata

or partita. No repeats please, unless ornamented. A dance movement

and its double constitute one movement.

3. One Paganini caprice.

4. A piece or movement written since 1939 other than a concerto

(include the date of composition with the title). If the concerto

selected for No. 1 above was composed after 1939, present an 18th

or 19th-century concert piece.

5. Major and minor scales and arpeggios in three octaves with

double stops.

March 21, 2008 at 07:26 PM · Hello!

With practicing it is always quality, not quantity. Don't try to press so hard for a fat killer concerto. Learning it too soon will probably just injure you, or you will either be technically sloppy or musically stiff. Practice consistently, gently, and with a lot of variety and when it gets closer to college time, you will be able to make a better choice at what repetoire you should consider. Auditioning at multiple schools is also a good choice, and audition requirements are always very similar, so the practicing won't be five times as much or whatever. Remember to work very close to your teacher throughout all of this, and to take their advice and think it through.

Good luck!!!!!! :)


March 21, 2008 at 08:57 PM · Hi Brooke! How exciting! I pray success for you!

March 22, 2008 at 02:17 AM · I am glad you realized that, Brooke!

It reminds me of what my mind used to tell me when I was applying for schools--"The worse they can do to you is say no. That's it; that's all. It's not like they're gonna kill you. Recover from the blow of that one word, which is easy to do, and keep movin' in another direction towards your goals."

Thank you, mommy. :)

Because of her advice, I never let an opportunity pass me by, no matter how unrealistic it might seem to others or myself.

Also, as I am sure some stated above, because there are so many aspiring violinists, you never know if you have the unique spark that Julliard is looking for!

March 23, 2008 at 12:08 AM · I was reading privious posts and you, ,Brooke, looking for a good teacher and I agree with Pieter... I use to live in Houston and worked for H&H music, and at one time in Sharpstown mall, and the Old Katy Freeway store and Rice does have very good teachers. They were great customers to work with too!

March 23, 2008 at 12:40 AM · Good luck to you if you're still reading this

thread. I agree with don't let "no" bother you.

As a pilot I was turned down by every airline several times and TWA three times. TWA hired me on the fourth try. The Tulsa Philharmonic turned me down twice, made it on the third try.

If you know you have the talent equal to those that have been accepted into the schools you want just keep knocking on the back door when they show you the front door. If the talent is there, never give up.

November 13, 2009 at 12:23 AM ·

Would the second and third movement of Barber violin concerto be appropriate for the audition?

January 17, 2010 at 01:46 AM ·

Well now,

I've read through this entire thread, and what a discussion this has been! I see it has been quite a while since you've last posted Brooke. I am very interested in hearing about your progress. What are you playing these days? Do you feel you have accomplished alot in the past two years? Have your goals shifted or changed at all? Please do tell.. I'm interested in hearing from you.

Since this thread is kinda dead, I might see if there's some way I can provately message you.

Best regards,


August 20, 2010 at 04:33 AM ·

Hmm I just read through this whole thread.. and it's been a while since the last discussion. I agree with the last poster. I wanna hear about your progress!
I'm like you. I started with private lessons with an amazing teacher who also graduated from Juilliard in the beginning of my freshman year of high school. Now I haven't told my teacher my ambitions yet during this time because I didn't want her to rush my progress (best decision I ever made other than becoming her student), but I ended up speeding through a bunch of intermediate repertoire. The Seitz pupil concertos took over my freshman and sophomore year basically, but she had me focus more on scales than anything.

Now I'm an upcoming senior, and I spent the last summer going from Wolfhart to Kreutzer. And I'll be playing Bruch for my college auditions with the number 1 goal of Oberlin Conservatory. My teacher acknowledged that Bruch is a huge risk, but both her and I are willing to take a gap year if need be.

Now i want you to know, don't be disappointed with your results. The end of my freshman year we were both saying how if I keep being as dedicated as I was, that maybe i can even get into top conservatories by my senior year. Of course I slacked a little, but whatever :) Now I understand I didn't quite meet my expectations, but I've tasted achievement and it's an amazing feeling. Everyone here gave you good advice I wish I adhered to the beginning of my high school career, but it's not the end yet so best of luck!

July 22, 2015 at 07:16 PM · It is best to play pieces that you play well (in this case perfectly) rather than something flashy. Julliard professors have played and taught just about everything in the standard rep. so don't try to impress them with your choices. Anything that fulfills the requirements that also allows you to show off what you can do when you really know the music will be more impressive.

Bruch is always a good choice for a concerto, the phrasing is what makes it difficult, so you won't have to work as much on notes compared to Tchaikovsky or Beethoven (but don't be lazy, still 4-5 hours of focused practice each day to get there). You could also play Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps 4 or 5. Really anything that shows how well you play.

For Bach anything goes as long as it's one slow and one fast movement. You could even consider playing movements from different sonatas or partitas.

For Paganini no. 20 is the easiest, but watch out for the slow section, the intonation in the chords is what they will be listening for. No. 16 isn't terrible either. The nice thing about Paganini is that for the most part playing it thousands of times works.

You can always feel free to email the department director or any of the professors at the school if you are afraid your selections will not be acceptable. At schools like Julliard they might not get back to you, but try asking around. Indiana and Curtis have the same audition, and CCM, CIM, Peabody, and the Shepherd school of music all have very similar auditions. The professors at most of those schools went to Julliard so they could also tell you that way (you might even get in with some of them, which is a great backup plan).

When you audition make sure your top school is last on your list so that you have a bunch of auditions as practice before the big event.

There are also some Julliard auditions on YouTube that are helpful. They usually tell you whether or not they were accepted in the description.

July 22, 2015 at 07:34 PM · It would be far better for you to have a conversation with your violin teacher about your aspirations, and then simply work as hard as you can to get as good as you can. Please don't email a faculty member at Juilliard, Curtis, Indiana, etc. You will either get no response, or you will get a response that you will not like. Your chance of gaining admission to Juilliard or any equivalent music school in 3 1/2 years from the place you describe yourself now is pretty much zero.

Edited to apologize because I did not realize how old this thread was.

July 22, 2015 at 07:49 PM · Brenden- not sure how you found it in the first place, but are you aware that you're responding to a post from 2007??

July 23, 2015 at 12:14 AM · There are two Brooke Washburns in the v.com directory, one from Houston TX and one from Sugar Land TX.



July 23, 2015 at 03:05 PM · A quick Google search suggests that this individual went to college but did not major in music. Hard to be sure though, going on relatively weak data here.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine