Preparing Your Vocal Arts Application
It’s application season!! That phrase isn’t usually met with exclamation points, and reasonably so. Application season can be stressful and even terrifying at times. So take a breath, try to relax, and remember a few things:
1. Juilliard is a very well-known school, but don’t let the name deter you. If you want to apply, do it! You honestly don’t know whether you are what they are looking for. I definitely didn’t think I would get in; I applied to see how far I could get through the audition process!
2. The dreaded pre-screen. You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a good recording; save that money for your travel costs. That said, do the best you can with what you have. Do as many takes as you need to, but don’t wear yourself out. Don’t dwell on trying to make your prescreen absolutely perfect, because you can’t! I fretted for weeks over my prescreening recording because I thought it didn’t showcase the color of my voice, but the people listening to your recording know that nobody’s voice sounds as good on a recording as it does in person. Juilliard is just trying to see if this is the kind of place you would thrive.
3. Stay organized! I may have gone overboard and designed a checklist for each school, with a section for deadlines, prescreen requirements, essay prompts, audition dates, fees, and recommendations, but I didn’t forget a single thing. You don’t have to go into that much detail, but try to have a place where you write everything down.
4. Be yourself. For real. This was my least favorite piece of advice to hear when I was applying, because no one ever explained what it meant. It means don’t try to fit the mold that you think Juilliard is looking for. Juilliard is looking for a diverse set of people. If you’re trying to be someone else to fit what you think their ideal student is, they will miss out on what makes you unique as a singer.
5. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT compare your experience with others’. It may seem like some people are having an easier time than you, or they already passed all of their prescreens, or they’re applying to 12 schools and you’re only applying to 6. All of that may seem intimidating and it may cause you to question yourself, but don’t let it. Applying to college is a very difficult thing to do, especially since you’ve made the brave choice to study music. Don’t let other people’s experiences influence this very important decision of yours.
6. Lastly, try to have fun. You’re applying to Juilliard!!!
Best of luck,