The clarinet audition: a rite of passage
A rite of passage: the clarinet audition
There is one aspect of their playing life that many students wish they could avoid – audition time. But the clarinet audition, whether to join an ensemble or to gain admission to a music school, is an important situation most clarinet students will have to go to at one time or another. With the right choice of pieces to play and some preparation, auditions need not be a terrifying experience.
The most important part of preparing for any audition is the choice of music to play. Some auditions will have set pieces that you will have to play, either after preparation or sight-read (this means you must play a piece of music that you are seeing for the first time).
Often, however, auditions will allow the player to choose suitable pieces from the clarinet repertoire that show their particular skills to best advantage. If you have this choice, speak to your clarinet teacher about what pieces of music you should consider playing.
Many clarinetists let themselves down in auditions not due to a lack of ability but because of nervousness. While some people are more prone to nerves than others, there are some things that can help. Make sure you know your pieces well – put in some extra time playing your clarinet each day to make sure you are playing to the best of your ability by the time of the audition. This will include any scales or other exercises you expected to play for your audition.
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