Professional Orchestral Players - Audition questions
Hello, I am working on my Professional Portfolio for my final year in Guildhall School of Music & Drama. For the purpose of this portfolio, I am discussing a career goal of playing in a tutti position in an orchestra.
In order to evidence and support the information that came out of my research I would like to interview as many orchestral players as possible. Is there any professional orchestral player who would be so kind and answer my question?
1)What did/do you find as the hardest thing when it comes to auditioning?
2)What advice would you give to someone for their preparation for auditions?
3)Is it necessary to have contacts/to know someone in the orchestra where would you like to apply for a job? Does it make any differences for being accepted?
4)How many auditions have you made before you’ve been offered your first orchestral position?
5)Where was it and for how long have you stayed there?
6)How many times did you audition for your current position and where are you playing at the moment?
7)How did the audition/auditions go? And do you remember how long did you wait for the results?
8)For how long have you been playing with the current orchestra now?
9)What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
10)What is the most difficult part of being a member of orchestra?
11)Is it possible to have a family and be an orchestral player? Do you have enough free time? Enough time for your family?
12)Do you travel with the orchestra a lot?
13)What was the longest tour and how did you feel about being for so many days with the same people every day?
14)Did you have any injuries cause by playing? Do you think being an orchestral player is a healthy job?
15)What do you do for staying fit?
16)How is the salary? (You do not have to be specific if you don’t wish to say)
17)Is there any career growth? Does the salary change if you are in the orchestra for couple of years or does it stay the same?
18)Do you have to do other things like teaching, playing various gigs, organising your own projects to have sufficient income?
19)If not – would you have time if you’d simply like to do those extra musical activities or orchestra takes all of your time?
20)Any wisdom note, quote, advice for the end of our interview?
Thank you very much!
I suggest that you consider doing this using a survey tool.
I would be happy to respond but not all of those questions are subjects that I want to discuss in public. Agree with Lydia about the survey tool.
Thank you very much for your suggestions! I will try to find a survey tool which allows me to ask so many questions. Meanwhile, if anyone would feel comfortable to answer my questions in private, here is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leona, since you have a gmail address, you can use Google Forms (under Google Drive) to make a form that will let you collect the information privately. You can also make multiple choice questions for items such as salary and years in current position (in ranges) and Google will tabulate the answers for you in chart form., which might make the data you collect easier to interpret. Just a suggestion.
You know, the prof for any course that ends with a survey-based research project ought to provide basic guidance about the proper conduct of such research. Anything else is academic malpractice, really.
Lydia makes a good point. Not everyone knows how to survey properly, not saying you don't, but some help from the school would be good
At my institution we'd need to get IRB approval to collect this kind of survey data.
Also be aware of the Data Protection legislation in the UK.
My reading of the OP's request was that she is doing this "research" to help her make a private decision about an orchestral career, not that she is conducting research to contribute to science (reports, publications, even a school project). If her motive is the former, she should ask current and former orchestral musicians to speak with her on the phone for an informal interview, and make purpose absolutely clear (i.e. that this is not a "research project," but she is seeking advice from people with more experience and she will keep their identities private). In this case, her ethics are those of any job seeker who might conduct an informational interview with a seasoned professional in her field of interest: she should not record discussions, but a few notes jotted down for her private use would be fine.
Thank you very much for all the suggestion mentioned above. It is very helpful.
This is what my Concise Guide says:
If you're appending notes from your interviews to a document that is getting submitted to your school, it is research and it would be unethical not to tell your interviewees you are conducting research for a school project. You also need to go through the IRB process for legal reasons.
Yep. In this context you'll need informed consent from the interviewees.
One answer: Learn R. Strauss Don Juan, 1st violin. It is the most common item on audition lists and is hard enough to discourage less-qualified violinists (like me) from applying.
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