Audition Tips from the OSU Music Faculty


Choose Music Appropriately

We have provided below a list of example pieces suitable for a college audition. These pieces are of high quality and part of the standard literature for your respective instrument. However, the MOST important thing is for you to choose music that highlights your abilities, not your weaknesses. You want the audition committee to see you at your best, even if it means playing music that you think might be too easy.

Schedule an Appointment to Visit OSU Music

It is equally important for us to get to know you as a musician and for you know get to know the OSU Music Department before both auditioning for scholarships and deciding if OSU Music is the right fit for you as you continue your studies. Try to schedule a lesson a studio teacher, sit in with one of the ensembles, visit a class  and get to know the faculty before arriving at OSU.

Dress for Success

Dress professionally for your audition. Formal concert attire (like a tuxedo) is not required nor encouraged, however you should plan to wear clothes that communicate a sense of professionalism. For many students, the audition day will be your first chance to make an impression on the OSU music faculty and in addition to performing well, your demeanor and professionalism is a key component of your future success as a musician.

Warming Up on Audition Day

Get a good warm up prior to the audition, but don't push yourself. No one has ever earned a scholarship or won an audition based on "showboating" in a practice room. Don't leave your best performance in a practice room; save it for the audition.  After some basic long-tones and scales/arpeggios (for instrumentalists) and vocal exercises (for vocalists), hit the highlights of your audition pieces but do not play everything. At this point, your prearation prior to the auditon day is what you will draw upon and a full run through of all your material just before the audition will not benefit you.

In the Audition Room: Suggestions on Professional Demeanor

While auditions are a formal process, we want to you be relaxed and peform at your very best. It is suggested that you do the following, in this order:

1. Introduce yourself to the panel.

2. Set your chair (if you are using one) and stand to the correct height and set up your music.

3. Play a few notes to ease your nerves and to test out how the room feels and sounds.

4. Introduce the pieces that you will be performing and which is first. 

5. As you perform, if you make a mistake, recover and move on. There is no need to apologize for mistakes; it actually distrcts from the performance. 

6. Afer your perofrmance, please ask any questions you may have about the program and be prepared to talk with the committee. They want to get to know you!