It’s American Idol Season on Fox, and final cuts are currently being made for the live competition shows. This brings to mind the formal vocal audition process – it was sometimes albeit painfully obvious as you watched the city-to-city auditions, that some of the singers were quite well prepared, while others simply fell apart in the heat of the moment, when it really counted the most.
If you’re a choral or voice student in an organized music program, perhaps you’re thinking about auditioning soon to get into a particular workshop event; to perform over the summer in a community theatre production; or perhaps even to get accepted into a degree program at a college or university that has a great school of fine arts.
Don’t become the American Idol statistic of unpreparedness and nervousness, or the next YouTube viral video for the wrong reasons. Find out what you can about the audition process for the specific event, production, or degree program that you’re interested in. Ask the organizer(s) lots of questions if you can, and try to find some people that have previously gone through the same type of audition, in order to get some feedback from them, too. Make sure that you adhere to their criteria and rules, whatever it may be – song choice, length of audition, dress code, etc. It’s all important, and falling below acceptable levels in any one area could make or break your success in getting what you want.
Nowadays, in many vocal audition situations, particularly in Broadway and contemporary music, you’re not expected or even required to sing a song in its entirety. You may actually be asked to sing only 8, 16, or 32 measures of it. What’s important to know here, is that you really need to select the right 8, 16, or 32 measures of the song – that magical part of it that shows off your range, musicality, versatility, etc. And that can be hard to do, especially if you don’t have much experience in it to begin with.
Luckily, there’s now a wide range of music books (many with CDs available) that can help. You can be ultra-prepared in so many ways – maybe you’ve asked many questions, practiced a lot, plan to be dressed appropriately and more – but if you’ve chosen the wrong song, you’re probably sunk, before you’ve even really begun. Don’t American Idol-ize yourself, and let that happen to you. Ask Questions. Get Prepared. And choose the right song, because success for you might be just around the corner!
Audition Songs for Male Singers:
Audition Songs for Female Singers
16-Bar Theatre Audition
16-Bar Pop/Rock Audition
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