Parents, are your kids heading off to an audition? You play a big role in their success! You’ve probably offered tons of support along the way, but how else can you help your child learn how to prepare for an audition? Read on for some helpful advice from Nashville & online voice teacher Heather E.:
Whether it’s for their elementary school or for a college scholarship, your kid is going to be nervous. There aren’t many other times in life when we are as totally and completely vulnerable as during an audition. If you aren’t sure how to support your kids through it, here are some tips for how to prepare for an audition:
Consider All Possibilities
One of the scariest parts of an audition for me is the fact that I don’t know what to expect. Will it be one judge, or five? Will there be an accompanist? Will we be in a classroom-type room or an auditorium? Will they ask me any questions, or will I just sing and leave?…. and so on. You can see how out of control this could become. So, talk about it with your child. Ask them how they will adapt to different situations, and talk through different possibilities. This will help them feel more confident, no matter what gets thrown at them.
Have a Routine
They should do the same thing every time before they go on stage for an audition. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with nervousness, or start to have the wrong attitude (like, ‘lets just get this over with!’) and then regret it once you finish the audition. If your child has a routine to get them focused and in the right mindset as they prepare for an audition, I’m certain it will be better. I have a phrase that I say to myself (in my head!) right before I start to sing at an audition. It helps calm me and remind me that this is my shot and I need to be in the moment, doing my best.
It seems obvious to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: practice with your kid whenever you can. They may get annoyed with you, but when they get to that audition and they know their piece backwards and forwards, they will be grateful. A teacher or judge can always tell if you’ve been singing the song for weeks, or if you tried to cram it in the last few days or hours. Kids have a natural confidence when they are sure they know what they are doing, and the judges will see it for sure.
Your accompanist lost the music? No problem, you’ve got an extra.
Your accompanist forgot her piano? No problem, you have a pitchpipe.
Your son decided to use his shirt as a napkin for his Cheeto fingers? No problem, you have a change of clothes for him.
You get my drift, be prepared.
And one more thing, parents. Sometimes it gets overlooked in the moment, but your kid needs to know that you love them, no matter what. I have seen way too many parents berating their kids after a concert where their child made a mistake. You are their cheerleader! Your kids desperately want to please you, and fear is not a good motivator. Even if they forget the words, or come in at the wrong time, or even barf all over the stage. You love them, and your love isn’t based on their performance. It’s unconditional.
Heather teaches voice lessons Nashville, TN, as well as online. She has a BA in Music from Winthrop University and specializes in classical voice and audition prep. Learn more about Heather here!
Photo by Fort Rucker