Pre-Screening Like a Pro

Pre-Screening Like a Pro

Shoutout to all of you who are currently preparing for your pre-screenings! For those of you who don’t know, a pre-screening is a bit like a pre-audition, so the teachers at the school you are applying to can determine whether you are at the level to be considered for a live audition. For some instruments and schools, so many people apply that it would be impossible for everyone to audition live, so pre-screenings help to narrow it down.

Here are five tips on how to prepare for, record, and submit your pre-screening audition with minimal suffering:

1.    Check the requirements for EVERY school.

Some schools require pre-screenings, and some don’t. Since I’m a flute player, and there are about ten billion other flute players my age, every one of my schools required me to submit a pre-screening audition. Some of my other friends who played bassoon or trumpet were not required to submit pre-screenings to all of their schools. The application portion of every school website specifies whether you have to send in a pre-screening or not. Be sure to make note of the deadline, the repertoire required, and whether or not an accompanist is required. If you don’t follow the requirements, your pre-screening could be

(Email the professor or the school if you have repertoire-specific questions!

(Email the professor or the school if you have repertoire-specific questions!

2.    Keep track of your requirements.

Make sure you have all of your information organized in some way--spreadsheets or Word documents are good, but something like a Google Doc is great because you can access it anyway. I kept a notebook with me, and I wrote down the specific requirements of each school, the deadlines, and just about every bit of information I could.

3.    Pick your repertoire.

A lot of my schools had similar repertoire requirements, so I tried to pick pieces that fit as many schools’ requirements as possible. This makes practicing and recording a lot easier, since you aren’t trying to prepare a ton of different pieces for every single school as opposed to just a few.

But don’t worry, the repertoire requirements are (usually) manageable

But don’t worry, the repertoire requirements are (usually) manageable

4.    (Over)prepare for disaster.

Recording sessions can be stressful--there is a huge time crunch, you want to make a perfect recording, and you are STRESSED. Don’t forget a spare SD card. And batteries. And your music. If you’re recording with a device that requires battery power, be sure to have spare batteries or an extension cord/charger on hand. For some reason, whenever I record, this magical phenomenon occurs in which any device I use, no matter how full the battery is, dies halfway through my recording. Or my SD card runs out of memory. Or my accompanist shows up late. Or I get locked out of the recording space.

5.    Double-, triple-, and quadruple-check your application.

Congrats, you survived your recording session! Now comes the “easy” part: picking and uploading your best recordings. I recommend you do this a few days before the application is due in case you realize you didn’t record a piece or you’re unsatisfied with your current recordings. Make sure you upload the right recordings to the right schools before you hit submit, and enjoy your feeling of accomplishment!

 

Do you even pre-screen, bro?

Do you even pre-screen, bro?

Preparing for the Juilliard Dance Audition

Preparing for the Juilliard Dance Audition