Trial lesson at music conservatories-- tips/etiquette?
This is my first post :)
Basically, I'm a high school senior applying to music conservatories for violin performance this fall, and I just scheduled a trial lesson with a highly respected teacher at a competitive school.
I've never had this type of lesson before, and I have a few questions:
1. What would such a teacher expect from me in terms of preparation?
2. How should I prepare/ what things should I put on my checklist to make sure I'm not showing up and embarrassing myself?
3. Are there any specific things I should or shouldn't say/do that aren't obvious no-no's?
4. Are there any particular questions I should be sure to ask?
Any answers or general tips would be appreciated. I'm not experienced with these type of lessons, but I really want to leave a good and professional impression.
Go in and play something you can play well. Make sure scales are prepared as they may ask (no guarantee they will). You could ask any questions related to the school they teach at. I wouldn't say if there was a teacher you'd rather study with somewhere else (even if there is).
I'd approach preparing for this more like a masterclass than a typical lesson, and play something you've prepared to performance level (hint: something you're playing for your auditions). Dress nicely. It doesn't have to be concert clothes, but show that you've made an effort beyond sweats and a t-shirt - something along the lines of a dressy blouse and slacks would be fine.
Everything Irene said, except that I would add that you should consider the lesson an audition as well as a master class. Bring in well prepared material and do not make any excuses--i.e. if you might on occasion apologize to your usual teacher because of a heavy academic week or other circumstance interfering with your practicing, DO NOT DO THAT.
As always, there's serious and reasonable advice from Irene and Mary Ellen. I never was and I'll never be in this situation, so there's nothing to add from my side - but I'm curious what Bruce Berg might answer. If he won't jump in by himself, you could try to pm him...
Depending on the teacher, be prepared to pay a lot. I had a lesson with one of the most prominent teachers in the world this past spring (Juilliard) and my awesome parents were willing to "invest" $350. Bring your concerto AND BACH. I had only expected to play my tchaikovsky but in the beginning i played through to the end of the cadenza and he stopped me and asked for bach. Luckilly, I had just completed my jury a few days before so i had it in my fingers, but boy if i didn't, that couldn't have been pretty. One thing you can do, it takes a lot of courage and I sucked it up and asked "what do you think my chances are of getting in?" You do not have to, but it is good because a positive answer can boost your confidence and the contrary can motivate you to REALLY push, or it's good to know earlier that you may be wasting your time.