musings from a scholar, a performer, and a die-hard pedagogue!
Professors are always excited this time of year: our new students for the Fall are calling up and, as we say here, “Making it Miami!” Similarly, it is about this time we start getting calls from the next class of prospective students.
It is a scary prospect to face college research, auditions, and decisions. This blog is dedicated to you: the students out there looking to audition for undergraduate or graduate programs during the coming year.
1.) THE INSTITUTION.
Like reeds, no two colleges are alike. Big, small, urban, rural, commuter, residential, modern, historic: it is important to visit campuses to discover which environment is welcoming to you. In addition to physical surroundings, your interaction with the student population is key. Take campus tours (led by students). Attend recruitment days, Double Reed Days, or other events where current students appear.
2.) THE BASSOON PROFESSOR.
Your advisor and mentor will be the bassoon professor. This relationship is paramount to your development as a musician, scholar, and professional in the field. A defining decision in narrowing college choices will be the varying bassoon professors. Read their bios, check out their websites, and listen to them play (via iTunes, youtube, etc.). Most importantly, contact them and set up a lesson. The best way to determine whether a teaching style grooves with your learning style is to EXPERIENCE IT first hand.
I recommend emailing professors. Their email addresses are available on university websites. A few tips on constructing an email to a college professor:
· Always use complete sentences.
· Begin the email with Dear Dr. “Fill-in-the-Blank”
· Introduce yourself! Where do you go to school? Who is your private teacher? How long have you played bassoon? Are you in any honor/extra-curricular/summer festival ensembles?
· If possible, (MANDATORY if auditioning for graduate school), attach a resume.
· Conclude the email: Sincerely, “Your First and Last Name”
· Include contact information!
3.) THE AUDITION.
Why wait? Most university websites list audition requirements. Though you may not have your audition schedule finalized, compare their requirements. Most of the repertoire preparation can begin NOW! J Isn’t that fabulous news?!
A clean, consistent, clear, and confident preparation will result in an ideal audition season.
Questions regarding repertoire, tempos, excerpts, or audition dates can be directed to bassoon professors.
Best of luck ..and remember, MAKE IT MIAMI!