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How To Choose Appropriate Repertoire For Auditions And Competitions




Rihanna sings during The Concert

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As a music performance and audition repertoire consultant, I’m always on the lookout for innovative ways to engage my clients. Recently, an idea struck me – why not use symbolism as a tool to help them choose appropriate repertoires when preparing for auditions and competitions? This approach can be used both by experienced performers who are looking for something new, or those just starting out in their musical journey.

By using symbols such as colors, images and sounds, you can tap into your creative resources to find pieces that resonate with you personally on a deeper level. The result is often more meaningful and powerful performances! In this article we will explore how you can use symbolism effectively to generate unique ideas for selecting suitable repertoire for your next audition or competition.

No matter if you’re an aspiring musician wanting to make it big in the industry, or an experienced pro looking for inspiration during challenging times – understanding the importance of choosing appropriate repertoire is essential. With this knowledge comes the power to craft inspiring performances that will capture the attention of any audience!

Goals Of Repertoire Selection

When selecting repertoire for auditions and competitions, it’s important to consider your individual goals. What do you want to achieve? Are you aiming to demonstrate a certain style or genre of music? Or are you looking to showcase your technical command of an instrument? Depending on what kind of audition or competition you’re entering, the requirements may vary significantly. Understanding the specific requirements ahead of time can help guide your selection process in choosing appropriate pieces that meet the needs of the event.

It’s also important to take into account the type of audience who will be listening. Different audiences may have different expectations about what they’d like to hear from performers. For example, if you’re playing for a more traditional crowd then it might make sense to select classical works rather than contemporary jazz tunes as these genres would likely resonate better with this type of audience. On the other hand, if you’re trying out for an avant-garde piece then you’ll need something much more modern and edgy in order to stand out among the competition.

Regardless of whether it’s an audition or competition, successful performance requires careful consideration when selecting repertoire. Repertoire selection should not only reflect individual abilities but also align with any given criteria set by organizers. With thoughtful planning and research, one can identify potential pieces that fit both their own skillset and those required by evaluators creating great opportunity for success! Moving forward, let us explore how best to understand our audience so we can craft appropriate repertoires accordingly.

Understanding The Audience

As we move from the previous section on setting goals for repertoire selection, it’s time to understand the audience. This is a critical step in determining which pieces will captivate and engage their attention. In order to make an informed decision, it helps to ask yourself questions such as: what can I expect of this particular audience? What is their age range? Are there any cultural considerations that might affect my performance or choice of music? What are the tastes and preferences of this crowd? How big is the audience size likely to be?

Answering these questions can help you tailor your musical picks so they speak directly to your listeners. You may also find that some selections work better than others depending on the event or atmosphere; lighthearted compositions can often go down well at weddings while more serious works tend to suit competitions better. It’s all about understanding who is going to be listening and ensuring you match their expectations with appropriate material. Researching the event beforehand can give you further insight into what will resonate best with your intended audience.

Researching The Event

Before deciding on repertoire for an audition or competition, it’s important to research the event. This can help you determine what type of music would be appropriate and give you insight into audience expectations. Start by reviewing the criteria set out by the event organizers – this will provide valuable information regarding performance guidelines. Additionally, looking at past events is a great way to get a feel for how previous performers have presented their material and any trends in terms of preferred genres or styles.

Next, consider the target audience. Are they likely to prefer classic pieces? Or are they more open to contemporary compositions? It’s also worth researching whether there are any particular themes connected with the event that could impact your choice of repertoire. Understanding these elements can help you select music that resonates with your listeners and stands out from other performances.

Finally, take time to assess which pieces best showcase your strengths as a performer. If you possess certain attributes such as vocal range or technical facility then find songs that fully utilize them, while still adhering to the requirements laid out by the event organizer. Knowing thyself musically is essential when selecting suitable repertoire for auditions and competitions! Ready now to move onto assessing your strengths and weaknesses…

Assessing Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Now that you have researched the event and know what is expected of you, it’s time to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. It can be helpful in creating an effective audition or competition repertoire selection process.

  1. Identify Your Musical Skills: Taking a look at your background and experience can help you understand where your musical skills lie. This will provide insight into the types of music you are most comfortable with, as well as which pieces might challenge you more than others.
  2. Ability Evaluation: Evaluate your ability levels for each instrument, singing voice, composition style, etc., so that you don’t choose repertoire beyond your skill level. You want to make sure that whatever pieces you select showcase both technical accuracy and emotional depth.
  3. Performance Review: Practice performing the selected works before actually presenting them during the audition or competition — this allows for any necessary adjustments in tempo, phrasing, dynamics, etc., before entering the spotlight! Remember to focus on honing technique and developing confidence through practice – not just memorizing notes without understanding how they fit together musically.

By assessing our strengths and weaknesses we can create balance between showcasing our abilities but also challenging ourselves artistically; thus leading us one step closer towards selecting appropriate repertoire for auditions and competitions.

Creating A Balance

When auditioning or competing, it’s important to seek balance in your repertoire selection. Consider all of the options available and don’t be afraid to take risks! You should strive for a mix of familiar works as well as pieces that are unique and unexpected. That way, you can show off your ability to handle both standard repertoire and more obscure selections. Doing so will set you apart from other performers who might just stick with the same tried-and-true classics.

Ultimately, the goal is to create an interesting program that showcases your talent while still being accessible to the audience. Try to select music that demonstrates different styles and textures, allowing them to hear a range of emotions within one performance. Make sure each piece has its own character, but also fits together cohesively as part of a larger program. When done correctly, this kind of thoughtful programming can have a powerful impact on listeners and help make your audition or competition stand out from the rest.

To find success in any musical endeavor, always keep in mind what makes you special as an artist and use those skills when considering potential repertoire choices.

Choosing Unique Pieces

When it comes to auditioning or competing, having a standout repertoire is essential. As an experienced music performance and audition repertoire consultant, I recommend selecting pieces that are unique yet suited to the occasion. Of course, if you have something special in mind – go for it! However, there’s no need to overlook traditional choices when considering your selection of audition pieces. It’s important to find balance between standing out and staying within the boundaries of what works best for each particular event.

To make sure you’re ready for any situation, come prepared with a few extra selections just in case. Be conscious of how your chosen pieces show off both your technical skill and artistry – this will help boost confidence during auditions and competitions alike. Also consider the range of tempos and dynamics included in your program; variety is key for a successful performance.

It’s vital to practice all potential selections thoroughly so that you can perform them with ease on stage. Make sure every detail from articulation to dynamic changes are solidified ahead of time – then let yourself shine during the actual presentation! With some thoughtful preparation, choosing appropriate repertoire should be anything but daunting. Let’s move onto discussing how to prepare with accompaniment…

Preparing For Accompaniment

When preparing for an audition or competition, it’s important to choose the right accompaniment. Rehearsing with accompanying will help you become more confident in your performance and give you a better shot at success. Here are three key points to consider when selecting an accompaniment:

Rehearsal AccompanimentAudition AccompanimentCompetition Accompaniment
Find a pianist who is accustomed to playing your style of music.Choose pieces that showcase your talent while staying within the time limit set by the judges.Select repertoire that stands out from other competitors yet still fits within the guidelines specified by the event organizers.

Practicing with accompaniment also provides feedback on how well you’re executing certain passages and helps identify areas where improvement is needed. You can use this information during private practice sessions as well as when performing in front of an audience or panel of judges. Additionally, rehearsal accompaniments should be tailored to match any changes made during preparation so that all aspects of each piece are perfected before competing.

By choosing appropriate accompaniments, you can make sure every aspect of your performance shines through – from musicality and technique to presentation and stage presence – giving you the best chance for success!

Perfecting Your Pieces

Finding the right pieces for an audition or competition is crucial to success. With such a wide range of repertoire out there, it can be difficult to narrow down your options and find those that best suit you. To ensure the highest level of performance, here are some tips on perfecting your pieces:

Memorization is key when it comes to playing in front of an audience. It allows you to focus on delivering a powerful interpretation instead of worrying about memory slips. In addition, practice techniques like looping sections and repeating measures help with memorization and decrease anxiety during performances.

In order to make sure all details are taken into account, editing music is essential. Pay attention to dynamics control—from crescendos and decrescendos to accents and articulations—to bring each piece alive. Additionally, fingering techniques can vary from person-to-person so experimenting with different fingerings until one feels comfortable may benefit the overall sound quality as well as technical accuracy.

No matter what type of performance or audition preparation process one embarks upon, taking time for self-reflection will yield more meaningful results than simply running through notes without thought or contemplation. By evaluating personal strengths and weaknesses in advance, performers have the opportunity to create unique interpretations while still staying true to their musical vision. This ultimately leads to creating an engaging performance experience both artistically and emotionally that resonates with any audience member. As we continue our journey towards mastering our performances, rehearsing strategies become increasingly important in order refine our ideas further before heading off into the spotlight!

Rehearsal Strategies

Rehearsal strategies are an essential part of any performance preparation. Knowing the right practicing techniques, and understanding your stage presence will help you feel more confident when it comes time to perform in competitions or auditions. There are a few key tips I always recommend for optimizing your rehearsal sessions:

First, learn the music inside out. Take the time to not only understand the notes and rhythms but also the emotion behind each piece. This will make memorization easier. Secondly, focus on playing with intentionality by fully committing to every note and articulation while performing. Lastly, practice slowly at first until accuracy is achieved then gradually increase tempo as confidence builds up over time.

These rehearsal strategies will ensure that when it’s time to audition or compete, you’ll be completely prepared both mentally and musically! You should aim to create a sense of ease during rehearsals so that you can stay relaxed yet focused before taking the stage. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to give a memorable performance that shows off your skill set without sacrificing musicality or expressivity!

Building Confidence

Music performance and auditions require a certain level of confidence. It’s like an instrument you have to cultivate in order to reach your peak potential. Building confidence is the key to unlocking new levels of performance excellence. How do you go about it? Here are some tips that I use as a music performance repertoire consultant.

First, set up pre-performance rituals that work for you – ones that make you feel energized and ready for success. These could include warming up with scales or playing through songs from your audition/competition repertoire multiple times prior to going on stage. In addition, effective practice techniques can help build technique, muscle memory and mental preparation. For example, if one phrase doesn’t come naturally to you, break it down into smaller parts then slowly piece them together until they feel comfortable enough for a successful outcome when performing or auditioning.

Finally, positive self-talk is critical in building confidence – speaking words of affirmation out loud helps boost inner strength before getting onstage. Additionally, managing performance anxiety helps free up energy so we can perform our best under pressure situations; this includes taking slow deep breaths while visualizing yourself achieving success! With these steps taken care of, all that’s left to do is leave everything behind and let the music take over!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Spend Preparing For An Audition Or Competition?

Preparing for an audition or competition can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! There are many things you can do to ensure that your performance is the best it can be. First and foremost, plan ahead – know exactly how much time you need to prepare for each part of the process. Audition preparation should include researching repertoire, selecting suitable pieces, and rehearsing them thoroughly. Competition preparation should involve choosing a selection of contrasting works and spending time rehearsing them until they become second nature.

When it comes to rehearsal time, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer; every performer will have different needs depending on their level of experience, skill level, and individual preferences. However, as a general rule of thumb I recommend at least two hours of practice per piece for auditions and competitions – maybe more if you’re feeling particularly ambitious! This allows ample opportunity to work out any kinks in your playing before the big day arrives. Additionally, consider investing some time into learning new techniques such as sight reading or improvisation skills which may come in handy during the audition/competition itself.

At the end of the day, only you can decide how much rehearsal time is right for you personally. Dedicating a few extra hours towards perfecting your craft could make all the difference in your success – so don’t underestimate its importance! With proper planning and consistent effort, you’ll be well equipped to deliver an outstanding performance that will leave lasting impressions with those who hear it.

How Do I Find Accompanists For My Pieces?

Finding the right accompanist is an important part of preparing for any audition or competition. As a music performance and audition repertoire consultant, I understand that it can be challenging to find an accompanist with the right availability and resources. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help make your search easier.

First off, you should start by researching online for accompanists who offer services in your area. Look at their websites and get a feel for what they have to offer. Make sure to check out their reviews as well to ensure that they’re reliable and experienced enough for your needs. You may also want to reach out directly via email or phone call if you’re having trouble finding someone suitable.

Another option is to ask around locally – friends, family members, teachers, etc., might know someone who could assist you in your search. This would give you more personalized recommendations based on others’ experiences. Additionally, many communities have groups dedicated specifically to connecting musicians with accompanists; joining one of these could prove beneficial when searching for the perfect fit!

Once you have identified several potential candidates, do not forget to discuss availability and fees beforehand so that everything is clear from the start! Good luck in your search – hopefully you will find just the right person soon!

What Should I Do If I’m Feeling Nervous Or Overwhelmed?

I understand how intimidating it can be when you’re preparing for auditions or competitions. You have to choose the right repertoire, find an accompanist and then face your fear of performing in front of a crowd – all while managing any anxiety you may be feeling. That’s why I’m here to help! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or nervous, there are some simple steps that you can take to calm yourself down and prepare mentally for your performance.

One of the most important things is to practice calming techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Taking time out before your audition or competition gives you the opportunity to relax your mind and body, so that when it comes time to perform you’ll feel more composed and confident. Additionally, many performers benefit from talking through their fears with friends or family members who can provide them with encouragement and support.

It’s also important to focus on what really matters: preparation! Make sure that you’ve put in enough mental and physical rehearsal time beforehand so that when it comes down to crunch time, everything feels second nature. This will allow you to channel any performance stress into positive energy during your audition or competition instead of worrying about making mistakes.

By taking the necessary steps ahead of time – such as practicing calming techniques, engaging in meaningful conversations with people close to you, and putting in extra effort towards rehearsing –you’ll set yourself up for success no matter what kind of performance situation you’re facing. Ultimately, this will give you the confidence needed for optimal performance results!

Is It Better To Choose A Piece I’m Good At Or Something More Challenging?

As a music performance and audition repertoire consultant, I’m often asked: ‘is it better to choose a piece I’m good at or something more challenging?’ The answer is not always straightforward. It depends on the individual’s skill level and the challenge level of their chosen audition or competition piece.

When selecting my own pieces for auditions and competitions, I often find myself weighing up the pros and cons of each option – playing an easier piece that I feel confident in versus taking on something more difficult. Coincidentally, this can be quite overwhelming! While there are obvious benefits to honing your skills with a tougher piece selection, sometimes it pays to take into account other factors such as fatigue from rehearsal time or nerves leading up to the big day.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, choosing a slightly harder-than-normal piece may give you an edge over competitors who’ve stuck with familiar material. However, if you don’t have enough experience under your belt yet then opting for something within reach might make sense. Ultimately, when deciding which route to go down it’s important to consider why you’re performing in the first place – Is it just about getting through without mistakes? Or do you aim to wow your audience with showmanship? Your answers will determine whether you should opt for familiarity or challenge yourself with something new.

How Do I Know If The Piece I’m Choosing Is Appropriate For The Event?

When selecting a piece for an audition or competition, it’s important to consider the age-appropriateness, genre selection, level of difficulty, judges’ expectations and duration restrictions. I’m often asked by my clients how they can ensure that their chosen pieces are suitable for the event.

To begin with, you need to assess whether your piece is appropriate for your age group – this will vary depending on the type of event you’re participating in. For example, if you’re playing at a classical concerto competition then pieces written within the last few centuries would be expected; however, if you’re taking part in a jazz improvisation contest then more recent compositions may be acceptable.

Next up is genre selection: what style of music do you plan to perform? Your repertoire choices should reflect both your musical preferences and interests as well as those of the panel of judges – so choose something that speaks to them without being too ‘out there’. It’s also important to select music that fits into the category or categories relevant to your event.

Finally, when considering level difficulty and duration restrictions, take into account any time constraints imposed by the organizer along with any limits set out by the judging panel regarding length or complexity. When picking repertoire remember not just to challenge yourself but also make sure that it showcases your talents while adhering to all requirements.

In order to make sure your performance stands out from everyone else’s:

  • Aim high – have confidence in yourself and push boundaries!
    • Try new styles or genres – don’t shy away from exploring something different.
  • Be creative – think about how you could use technology (looping pedals etc.) to give an extra edge during your performance.
  • Focus on building strong relationships with audience members – strive for meaningful connections between performer and listener through captivating performances!


As a music performance and audition repertoire consultant, it’s important to remember that the quality of your preparation will be reflected in your performance. With careful selection and diligent practice you can make sure your pieces are appropriate for the event and showcase your talents in the best possible light.

The National Association of Music Parents (NAMP) found that students who prepared for their auditions or competitions by selecting one piece they were very familiar with received higher scores than those who chose more challenging works. This means choosing something you know well is key!

By taking time to find accompanists, practising regularly, and being mindful about what pieces you select, you can give yourself an edge when it comes to performing at auditions or competitions. Preparation is essential – but don’t forget to take some time out for yourself too; both mentally and physically preparing ahead of time helps reduce nerves on the day so that you’ll feel confident walking into any performance situation.

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