Audition Tips

Here are some handy hints to help you prepare for your TYO audition. Don't forget to download the audition requirements specific to your instrument and the ensemble you have applied for.

Preparing For Your Audition

Read all information provided.

Ask your instrumental teacher to assist you in your preparation.

All areas of the audition - excerpts, technical work, your own choice piece/s, and sight-reading - are important.

Practice with a metronome for even tempo and accurate rhythms.

Prepare all excerpts assigned to your instrument in the ensemble for which you have applied (if required).

Prepare all scales required at the level for which you are auditioning. Maintain an even tempo throughout each scale.

Choose your solo work/s based on what best represents your level of ability. These will be performed unaccompanied.

Work with your teacher on a variety of sight reading materials in preparation.

Run all of your pieces/excerpts from beginning to end several times.

Do a mock performance for your family or trusted friends. This helps you deal with any nerves and they can give you constructive feedback on what to continue working on.


How To Prepare Orchestral Excerpts

It is ALWAYS recommended that you obtain, and listen to, a recording of the excerpt. An understanding of how your excerpt fits within the overall composition will assist you in your preparation.

Try to hear the rest of the orchestra in your mind before you play. This will help you to set the tempo and the mood for your own excerpt.

If your excerpt has a bracket, this indicates where you should start or finish playing.

Look at a score of the work; you can see how you fit with other ensemble lines and the harmonies that are working around you.

Translate any foreign words that you don’t already know – these might indicate tempo or stylistic changes.

Check the tempo. If it’s not listed, it's up to you to find it out.

All rests should be observed accurately, however it is traditional to count only a couple of bars where more are notated. It is important your tempo remains consistent through bars of rest.

Your excerpts should be treated as equally important to your own choice piece.

If yours is a transposing instrument, always check what key your excerpt is in. You will be expected to play the excerpt at the appropriate pitch, either on a different instrument, or by transposing the part.

What To Do On The Day

Put your best foot forward – dress professionally but make sure you are still comfortable enough to play your instrument without restriction.

Make sure your instrument is in top shape and bring extra strings or reeds, just in case.

Pre-prepare a checklist for yourself of everything you need to take with you (eg, music, instrument, accessories etc) and then make sure you pack it all.

Arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled audition to allow plenty of time to register and warm up.

When You Arrive

Visit the registration desk to ensure we know you have arrived.

You will be photographed so we can recall your audition afterwards. Don't worry - these are for internal TYO records only and won't be publicised.

You will be escorted to a communal warm up room, and then into your audition. Please be respectful of your fellow applicants and refrain from playing your instrument in the halls.

Any parents will be asked to remain in the waiting room, in respect for other applicants and to assist with limited space.

During The Audition

When you enter the room, introduce yourself to the panel members.

Before you start playing, think about the tempo in your head and hear your piece or excerpt before you play.

Don’t forget to breathe!

Mistakes happen but the best way to deal with them is to keep going.

Before starting sight-reading, take 20 seconds or so to look it all the way through. Identify tempo, accidentals, articulation and time signatures.

The panel may stop you before you complete your piece. Do not be disheartened by this – time is limited.

What The Panel Are Listening For

Articulation: Is it played clearly and as marked?

Intonation: Are pitches in tune, or is there a tendency to go sharp or flat?

Dynamics: How great are the dynamic contrasts in context of the work?

Musicianship: How well is the music interpreted and is it consistent in the context, style and period of the piece?

Rhythm: How precisely are the rhythmic figures played in the context of the work?

Tempo: Is the tempo as per the marking and is it consistent in the context, style and period of the piece?

Technique: How far advanced is your technical facility?

Tone: Is the tone focused and does it demonstrate changes in character?

Sight Reading: Are the right notes and rhythms played in the right tempo?

Transposition: May be required in some excerpts for horn, trumpet and clarinet. Has the excerpt been transposed correctly?

Other Clefs: May be required in some excerpts for strings, bassoon trombone and tuba. Have the clefs been read correctly?

Have fun preparing for your audition and good luck!

No items found.
call to action


No news found.