College Auditions

From Barrick Stees (Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music):

As a teacher at the Cleveland Institute and formerly a faculty member at Michigan State University and the Interlochen Arts Academy and as well as a private teacher of high school bassoonists, I’ve had a good opportunity to observe students when they undergo the process of auditioning for music schools… My observations below are based on many years of experience, pride and frustration in preparing my high school students for auditions and listening to high school students audition for the colleges at which I have taught. I hope that my words will be helpful to those preparing for auditions this coming year.

Ask yourself questions like the following:

  • What are my goals in pursuing a degree in music?
  • What do I wish to do after graduating?
  • Is a conservatory education or university education best for me?
  • What other interests might I pursue instead of or in addition to music?

Start practicing now! When possible I like to begin work on the college audition during the student’s junior year by stressing fundamentals during that year. Along with talent, most college music professors look for someone with good fundamentals. In fact, I would dare to say that many would prefer a student with solid fundamentals who is maybe not quite polished as a performer to one who performs well, but needs some major rebuilding in the approach to the instrument.

Read the rest of this article at Don’t miss the sections for bassoon teachers and parents at the end.

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