Audition Preparation

Here is some helpful information on how to prepare for auditions.


Have a daily practice routine – hopefully, most of you have this already. It will help you to be more consistent with your playing (how you practice will become how you perform with the more practicing you do). Cramming is never a good idea; let me repeat, cramming is never a good idea. There is nothing you can learn the night before an audition that will truly help you and stick with you the next day.

Clarinet upkeep – If your instrument is in need of repairs, get it fixed NOW. Do not wait until a few days before your audition, as you do not know if the music store will really have time for you or not.

Play for others – friends, family, other musicians, band director, private teachers, sectional instructors, strangers, anyone with ears. It’s not always about making sure you get feedback, sometimes it’s just about having the guts to get up and play in front of someone. Remember that, and your nerves won’t bother you as much when you have to play by yourself.

Consult with everyone – ask, ask, ask! It is even possible to find a message board, blog, or forum that will allow you to upload sheet music and ask questions, and get feedback from musicians from all over.


  1. Get a good night’s sleep; if you’re nervous or feeling a bit of insomnia, at least find time to relax.
  2. Eat breakfast – anything greasy may not set well with you, so be sure to eat something that will not make you feel sick later.
  3. Water is good to have, especially right before your audition.
  4. Keep calm – it’s only one day, and it’s going to be over soon 🙂
  5. Do not practice things to death – remember, there is nothing you can learn the night before or the day of the audition that will truly stick with you later on.


  • Relax
  • Go out to eat
  • Celebrate with friends / family


  • …I’m late for my audition: Check in with the door monitor and let them know you’re there; the school will not be a stickler about making sure everyone goes in order, because things happen to everyone. Let them know you’re here, and then go warm up normally. Remember the checklist for ‚Äòtoday
  • …I’m intimidated by the person playing before me: Don’t stand outside the door; I don’t recommend it because it makes most people even more nervous. Remember that the judges are fair and objective, and they want you to do well. Believe in yourself and do not compare yourself to others; your abilities are what matter, not the person in the audition room before you
  • …The chair is crooked the stand is too low: Move the chair; move the stand, and above all, DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE JUDGE. This is your audition, not his/hers.
  • …I screw up a section in the middle of the piece: Remember that it’s not the end of the world – you did not just lose a shot to be in band. Pick up where you left off and continue as best you can.
  • …My instrument / reed breaks in the middle of the piece: Check with the door monitor – they will tell the judge (you do not). Let them know the situation, and then go find someone to help you fix your instrument, replace your reed, or let you borrow their clarinet (if it is a bad problem).
  • …My audition is over: Do not huff and puff if you think you did poorly (the judge can hear that)! Do not comment on your playing until the door to the audition room is closed (the judge can hear that, too). Lastly, remember that you’re only human, and (as was said before) you have done the best you can in that situation for that day.

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