The Process Of Auditions

(and the Imperative of Deliberate Practice)

NYU Course numbers: MPAPS-UE 1131.005, MPAPS-GE 2131.005
Spring Semester, Variable Credit (0-3)

NYU Course Description:

The Process of Auditions is formulated for the ambitious instrumentalist intent not only on refining their audition-taking skills, but also employing the foundational skill of “deliberate practice” in all areas of their music-making. We proceed from the axiom that “auditioning” cannot be defined as a discrete goal-based event, but rather as a process incorporating many events over a long period of time. We will explore the best process for honing those skills, enhancing musicianship, and making your practicing the smartest and most efficient it can be (i.e. “deliberate practice”). In short, we will cover all aspects of the audition process from start to finish.

The first part of the course will explore the right attitude with which to approach auditions (the “philosophy” of auditioning), and the reality that nearly all musicians will end up in “audition situations” regardless of whether they are orchestral players, freelancers, Broadway stalwarts, or session players. We will extensively detail the concept of deliberate practice, designating it as an imperative – a necessity that any serious musician should embrace, regardless of their goals, career path, or auditions planned.

The second part of the course will focus on implementation: how to employ deliberate practice, manage your time, structure practice sessions, and form good practice habits. We will discuss methods of feedback – e.g., self-recording, archival databases, mock auditions – and how you ultimately must become your own best teacher. We will also address how to dissect excerpts for best practice methods, and guidelines for making smart musical decisions.

The final part of the course will be dedicated to achieving peak performance. We will delve into performance psychology, “state of mind,” and mental conditioning…all of which will be tested via mock auditions. Undergirding this comprehensive approach, we will be reiterating the necessity of embracing good process rather than focusing on specific outcomes.

Classes meet Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p, 13th floor (penthouse).

Download Spring 2020 Course Syllabus (pdf)