Preparing for Performance

My April goal is to prepare for performance, which many of you might find to be a little silly since preparing for some kind of performance is something I’m doing all the time. Originally, my plan was to give a solo recital, since I haven’t performed one in a couple years now. We do have a recital in the works but it will probably be later in the year. I’ve decided to dedicate this month to a different kind of preparation, preparing for an orchestral audition. (also something I haven’t done in a couple years now) Drum roll please…I’ve decided to take the Associate Principal Flute Audition for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. (and no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke!) The truth is I applied, received an invitation to the preliminary audition and have been preparing for a couple weeks. My musician friends who are reading this probably think I’ve officially lost my mind by this point because it’s nearly impossible to win an audition with the CSO. Do I think I can win the job? No, but you never know until you try, and I have absolutely nothing to lose in this process. In order to get this audition party started, I needed to collect all of my materials and create a plan.

1) I requested the audition repertoire list (the list of pieces they will ask me to play).

2) I organized all of my music to make sure I had all of the parts I will need for the audition.

3) I downloaded all orchestral excerpts and full recordings to my iPhone so I can start listening to them on a regular basis.

4) I started a serious warm-up routine to make sure I’m in the best playing shape possible.

5) I became BFFs with my tuner and metronome and have been using them so much that I already had to replace the batteries once this week. 😉

6) I started making recordings of myself so I can listen critically and discover areas that need attention in the next practice session

7) I compiled full scores for all of the excerpts so I can practice the entire part in the event I am asked to do any sight-reading in the audition. (Although they’ve given me a list, everything is fair game.)

8) Inspired by my March YogaQuotes, I decided to download a similar app called “Daily Quote.” I’ve been starting the day off with a positive thought and I’ve also started reading (and/or listening) to “mental toughness” books. (more about those in another post)

9) I’ve committed myself to a disciplined practice routine and I’m practicing anywhere from 4 to 8 hours everyday.

10) I’ve scheduled two flute lessons, one with Randy Hester, Principal Flutist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and one with Randy Bowman, Principal Flutist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. That’s right my dear students, your teacher still takes lessons herself. We never stop learning and the older you get the more you realize what you don’t know!

Now the fun begins…stayed tuned!