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#570146 - 11/08/07 09:25 AM Question about auditioning
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
I was wondering what all your thought were on having to audition to become a music major somewhere if you only wanted to be a music teacher or theory or comosition major; not a performance major.

The reason I ask this is it's always been my dream to be a music teacher. I've took up to second semester theory at my Community college and loved it, it was hard for sure, but it's something I'm really passionate about and like too. My teacher is well qualified, he has studied at the Cleaveland conservatory of Music, he studied abroad in Vienna for music, and he did his graduate studies at Wake Forest in Music. So just because I'm at a Comm. College, don't think I'm not getting a proper education. It was no walk in the park but I managed to get A's in my theory classes.

But I'm not good enough in any instrument including my voice to audition. I have done chorus, but to pass audition with vocals I was told I need to learn an Aria from an Opera dating from the Classical period and also another piece dating from the Classical period. I don't have the money to get a voice coach, so I can learn to pronouce the words correctly and get everything smoothed out. I can pass theory tests all day long as long as they are not passed what I last learned in Theory (Secondary Dominants and Secondary Diminished Chords)

I have the book knowldge, better than a lot of the people I know that go to Music School and have the performance skills. I don't think this is fair, since I'm not even wanting to be a performance major; I think they can teach me to play an instrument better or sing better while I'm there; if thats what they want from me
What are your thoughts and opinions on this?
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#570147 - 11/08/07 03:01 PM Re: Question about auditioning
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The problem is, how are they to know what you are capable of? As a voice and piano teacher myself, I would say that being able to sing in at least Italian is a must, and it is something that all of my voice students are taught at the middle and high school level. I am assuming since you are posting on this forum that you also play piano? Yet you claim that you're not good enough in any instrument. Don't take this the wrong way, but how would you be able to teach someone if you cannot do it yourself? Generally, composition or theory majors as well as music ed majors all need to audtiion on their primary instrument. However, that is taken into consideration when auditioning that you are not a performance major. I would select whatever instrument interests you most, find out what the requiremtns are for auditions as a non-performance major, and then take private lessons to help you get yourself to that level.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#570148 - 11/08/07 03:22 PM Re: Question about auditioning
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
What I meant is I don't have classical training in any instruments. A little with voice. I've played guitar for almost 8 years, but it's is popular music, not something I can audition with.

I teach myself piano, so they're is no way I can be able to audition for that; I am realistic.

I have to audition in either Jazz or classical, and I don't have that background really, if auditioning in Jazz you must go through two auditions at some schools.

I'm well versed in Common practice theory, and a lot of how theory, but it's like my performance abilities are holding me back.


It's frustrating to me. Really. Honestly.
So right now, I'm planning on Majoring in French, and maybe one day when I can get money for lessons, I can practice a french aria and audition that.
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#570149 - 11/08/07 03:56 PM Re: Question about auditioning
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17672
Loc: Victoria, BC
I agree with what Morodiene has said. You need to have an instrument (or voice) that is up to audition level if you hope to go into a program that will eventually turn you out as a music teacher. While it is true that your skills on any instrument - and/or voice - will be developed while you are in a music program, most programs aren't geared for beginners; they want to work training people who have already some established technique and some basic repertoire.

If you are planning to teach, you haven't clarified whether than means you wish to teach privately or whether you wish to teach in an institution. Even in elementary schools teachers with voice training have to have sufficient piano-playing skills to be able to read music well enough to accompany choirs and/or soloists; one doesn't always have the luxury of an accompanist available for that kind of work in all schools. Nor does one have the time, with limited playing skills, to practice accompaniments; there's usually too much work to allow time for that.

Remember, too, that there are many, many students in University music programs, music schools and Conservatories who, given the extreme competition in the performance end of music, end up teaching. They will be stiff competition who may well eliminate you from consideration if you don't have the musical training we are talking about, and to get that traning you almost always have to start with an audition.

I must say that I don't know many voice teachers, but the few that I know and have known all have (have had) piano-playing skills; they can't teach without such skills. If voice was their specialty in their training program, then they had to audition with some vocal repertoire but even then had piano as the required instrument.

It's not a question of whether or not its "fair" that an audition is required; it's simply one of the demands of almost any music training program; potential students have to prove already developed musical skills and talents because at that level, training is not geared for beginners with no practical skills. Your theory background certainly is an excellent foundation for studies, but it's not enough for music traning programs that turn out performers or those qualified to each.

All that said, you may, with some research, find a program that will suit you, but I don't think it's the type of program found in most Universities, Conservtories or music programs.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#570150 - 11/08/07 09:32 PM Re: Question about auditioning
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
I understand. As Im still young, I guess my best bet is to take some voice or guitar or piano lessons or a combination and audition one day in the future; and right now just worry about being a french major
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#570151 - 11/08/07 09:43 PM Re: Question about auditioning
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
maybe some music students would give you lessons at a reduced price.

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#570152 - 11/08/07 10:42 PM Re: Question about auditioning
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I'd say your best bet is voice, for this reason: many voice majors, particularly men, come to music later in life than do pianists or other instrumentalists. The voice changes in adolescence, and many young male singers don't discover they have any potential or interest in music until they are about your age.

So I believe juries are quite used to auditioning young men who may not be as well prepared as a pianist or violinist. They may be more sympathetic to your situation than you realize.

Maybe you should just go talk to a few voice teachers in your area, tell them about your background and excitement about music, let them vocalize you a little bit, and see what they say.

They may brush you off, but then again, they may give you a few pointers, suggest an aria, or more.

You sound enthusiastic, and I believe you really want to do this. I wouldn't wait. Pursue it now. Voice teachers are looking for raw talent of your age, not a finished singer with perfect Italian--and say, it sounds like you have some French in your background. Maybe an aria in French?

Best wishes
Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#570153 - 11/08/07 11:16 PM Re: Question about auditioning
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thinking about it for a bit, I'm not convinced that a jury would insist on an aria, or something in a foreign language. Most young men out of high school, or even out of community college, (I don't know why I assume you're a man, but I think you are), are not ready for something as demanding as an aria usually is. Something song like is what is needed. Maybe Copeland arrangements of folk songs, like "The Boatman's Dance." Michael Head was an English composer who wrote very nice songs that are not too taxing. Something like "Sweet Chance That Led My Steps Abroad" might be just the thing. If you have a pleasant voice, and sing simple songs sincerely, any natural musicality you have will come out.

Remember, they're looking for potential. Nobody expects a 20 year old male singer to be as accomplished as a 20 year old pianist.

Best
Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#570154 - 11/09/07 09:44 AM Re: Question about auditioning
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Vanity, tomasino makes a good point, so you may want to give it a shot. When I auditioned for undergrad, I was a sophomore at my university, and they just had me do some vocalises and a little bit of a song I think. I don't recall if it was in a foreign lanaguage, but I don't think it was. I should caution you, however. I know that you are not on the performance track, but I woudl think if you are going to be a teacher in voice, you should make sure that you learn things correctly. There's a lot of misinformation in the vocal world, even in the universities. The best voice teachers are generally not affiliated with any college. When you audition, remmeber that you are auditioning them as well. Ask to listen to their students and to sit in on a lesson. If the teacher's students sound good, and if they teach according to how the voice actually works, with physiological principles (and not imagery which is solely base don how things feel and if very subjective), then I'd say you've found a good teacher. And read up yourself on how the voice works so you can make informed decisions about what you're being taught. There is a forum that I post on called the Classical Singer's Forum:
http://www.classicalsinger.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=592
and here you will find many discussions on vocal technique that may also help you prepare for auditions, in addition to giving you good information on vocal technique.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#570155 - 11/09/07 10:12 AM Re: Question about auditioning
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#570156 - 11/09/07 11:05 PM Re: Question about auditioning
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
Hey guys, here is what I'm going to do. The is a school of the arts really close to my house, all they teach there is music, art, or drama. So I guess you could say it is like a conservatory in ways, with art majors and drama majors there as well.

My music teacher told me I may be able to find someone to give me voice lessons their. If I do get voice lessons, I'll ask my teacher what he thinks I should learn to audition with, and also get to get better at sight-singing.

The only reason I said that you have to learn an aria in a foreign language and another piece in a foreign language is because my ex girlfriend auditioned for a school of music and those were her requirements plus, some sight-singing. But maybe, the guys requirements are different. Guy's aria's always sound more difficult to me.

I think voice will be the easiest to audition with, as long as I get the pronouciation right. Also, my ex girlfriend like I said auditioned voice, they also made her take a piano test (she's only a grade 4 at piano) and she passed the test; she had an easier test since she wasn't auditioning for piano.
She did tell me she had lots of piano classes at school, so she couls be able to accompany really well, as Bruce said.
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#570157 - 11/10/07 01:48 AM Re: Question about auditioning
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
This is a little off topic, and maybe of more interest to singers than pianists, but Morodiene wrote something very insightful, and it may be instructive to pianists who may at some point in their careers have to understand something of singing.

Morodiene wrote: "and if they teach according to how the voice actually works, with physiological principles (and not imagery which is solely base don how things feel and if very subjective), then I'd say you've found a good teacher."

Right on. Vocal imagery is most valid if it coordinates with what is actually happening in the throat, the head, the chest, and so on. It's quite possible to imagine that you are singing from your left ear, or your right little toe, but this kind of teaching imagery can really screw up a singer in formative years.

This post might seem more appropriate in a singer's forum, but since many pianists find themselves working with singers, it may be pertinant.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#570158 - 11/10/07 02:34 AM Re: Question about auditioning
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8696
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
tomasino: This post might seem more appropriate in a singer's forum, but since many pianists find themselves working with singers, it may be pertinent.
I work with singers on a regular basis -both at home on a non-liturgical basis, and at church on a liturgical basis- and what you say is very helpful and pertinent.
_________________________
Jason

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#570159 - 11/10/07 08:35 AM Re: Question about auditioning
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1096
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I NEVER audition. If you're good enough, they will come after you...

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#570160 - 11/10/07 11:19 AM Re: Question about auditioning
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17672
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Auntie Lynn:
I NEVER audition. If you're good enough, they will come after you... [/b]
That's all very well, but you're taking the audition question of this thread totally out of context.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#570161 - 11/10/07 07:06 PM Re: Question about auditioning
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Auntie Lynn:
I NEVER audition. If you're good enough, they will come after you... [/b]
That's all very well, but you're taking the audition question of this thread totally out of context.

Regards, [/b]
I'll agree with Bruce, music is so competitive, I'd say less than 1% of performers actually get people coming out looking for them, it's not like sports with recruiting scouts everywhere.
So that means over 99% of performers still have to audition.
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#570162 - 11/10/07 07:29 PM Re: Question about auditioning
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Since we're talking about auditioning for a school, I've never heard of a school coming to you to enroll. I do have people come to me for singing or playing at a wedding or service, and I don't audition for those things.

Vanity: I'm sure someone at the school you're talking about would gladly give you some lessons to prepare for auditions. Good luck!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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