In the spirit of audition preparation, I've been collecting various resources on auditions, effective practice, mental skills, mock auditions, and more. There are countless resources available, but here are a few that I've found bookmark-worthy. Many of these resources contain further articles and links to even more resources that you may find useful in your own audition preparation.
UNDERSTANDING + RE-FRAMING PERFORMANCE STRESS
- "They’ve got the idea...that to perform, one should be “calm” or “relaxed.” And so when they experience *excitement, they re-interpret it as “stress” or “anxiety.”
- "Compared to those who attempt to calm down, individuals who reappraise their anxious arousal as excitement feel more excited and perform better. Individuals can reappraise anxiety as excitement using minimal strategies such as self-talk (e.g., saying "I am excited" out loud) or simple messages (e.g., "get excited"), which lead them to feel more excited, adopt an opportunity mindset (as opposed to a threat mindset), and improve their subsequent performance."
- "When you fight your performance anxiety, you actually give it strength."
- "There are four distinct phenomena that go by the name performance anxiety. Each requires a different response, so it is important to name all four and distinguish them from each other so that the appropriate response may be chosen."
- "Have you ever had a performance when everything just “clicked?" ...You may have heard of this referred to as “the zone.” Well, this magical state pretty much requires that you experience some degree of anxiety. No anxiety, no zone."
- Fourteen resources compiled by Helen Spielman, Performance Anxiety Coach
- "Think about all of this in a different way. Instead of trying to solve the problem of performance anxiety, think a little deeper and work toward putting your performance in context with your broader life. Performance anxiety may not really be a problem, but rather may be a symptom of other issues (such as insecurity, or emotional hurt, lack of preparation and dedication, etc.) which, once addressed in a straightforward, direct way, can lead to a healthier life in all areas."
PREPARING TO PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE + STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE MOCK AUDITIONS
- "Being clutch under pressure is a skill we can get better at – by practicing under pressure...What are the most effective ways of manufacturing pressure training situations in advance of a big performance or audition?"
- "In another class, he makes them do burpees until they’re sweaty and breathing hard — then asks them to play for the group. “It’s distracting when your heart is pounding,” he says, but if you practice playing while feeling that sensation, it can become a little less unnerving."
"Going through a realistic mock audition forces you to experience the full range of things that you're going to have to get used to and get comfortable with at an actual audition. If you're not practicing like this, then you're not really practicing for an audition."
- "A violist with a background in neuroscience, Molly Gebrian shares some alternative practice methods informed by studies on how our brain processes learning."
- "I want you to consider one thing: The better you get, the less often you perform for just trombonists."
- "Mockauditions.com is an online platform that connects and enables users to play for professional coaches and receive valuable feedback."
ADVICE for Advancing in Auditions + REAL AUDITION STORIES
- A free, 3-video course: 4 Reasons Why Anyone Can Win an Audition, The 3 Vital Phases of Audition Preparation, & What a Winning Audition Sounds Like
- "We all know that success requires talent and hard work, but on some level, we’re also deeply curious about the “secret sauce,” or those tiny, but significant little details that can be the difference between advancing and going home, or winning and being runner-up."
- "NWS Coaches on Auditioning with Craig Morris (trumpet), Marianne Gedegian (flute), David Allen Moore (bass), William VerMeulen (horn), Daniel Matsukawa (bassoon), Jonathan Vinocour (viola), Mark Kellogg (trombone), Robert Davidovici (violin)."
- "This is an account of a specific time in my specific life. What I did for these specific auditions worked well enough specifically for me at these specific moments. I hope you find it helpful, insightful, or at the very least, entertaining."
Have you utilized any of the above resources? Share your favorite resources in the comments!