The remaining audition days for the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola are fast approaching, and I know hundreds of high school seniors are spending hours a day practicing their talents in preparation. At Loyola, and other top notch schools, all music majors are required to either audition or interview to be considered for acceptance into the College of Music and Fine Arts and to be evaluated for a merit based scholarship.
I am a music major with a concentration in classical piano and had to go through this process when I applied to the schools in which I was interested. How nerve-racking – one fifteen minute performance would determine my path for the next 4 years and beyond! I felt as though the panel of professors evaluating me would be a human version of the Voturi from Twilight. I could not have been more wrong…..at Loyola at least.
Loyola was the first school at which I auditioned. I had the eight-hour car ride from my hometown of Atlanta to psych myself out and to think of every mishap that could possibly occur, such as slamming my fingers in the car door beforehand or meeting the professors with a huge smile…..accentuated with a huge leaf of spinach between my teeth. Of course I also worried about completely forgetting the entirety of the two pieces I worked on for months.
The first two scenarios did not occur, but the last one happened as soon as I sat down at the grand piano for my fifteen minute life-altering performance. I played the first measure but was too caught up in telling myself to not mess up, and I could not remember what came next! Panic-stricken I turned to the judges’ surprisingly patient faces and asked for a moment to gather my composure and to restart the piece. They smiled and said of course, that they have been where I was at that moment and to take as much time as I needed.
After a few short seconds I started the piece a second time, but this time it was the best performance I had ever had. It was the performance I could’ve had the first time had I not psyched myself out. I kept that in mind for my next audition at a much larger school and had yet another really good performance, but this time the judges behaved as the stereotypical fine arts professors who were inconvenienced with the many amateurs auditioning into the program who would never be as good as they. I’m pretty sure they were convinced that they were the music Volturi. It was actually quite comical; I think one actually wore a cape.
While I was accepted into both music schools, the clear choice was Loyola not only because of the professors’ impressive degrees and reputations in the music world, but also because I could tell that they genuinely wanted to train their students for the same success and more.
So here’s my piece of advice to anyone going through the intense audition process inevitable to music majors: instead of thinking of everything that could go wrong, replay in your mind everything that could go right. Picture your best performance and do it better. Whatever you envision will become reality, so make it positive!