In a post last week, I detailed 3 reasons why I believe choir conductors should hold auditions. They were:
- To neglect auditions is to neglect merit.
- Auditions prepare singers for the real world.
- Auditions confront the director’s preconceptions.
I am going to deal with the second point today. Simply put, auditions prepare singers for the real world. How so? You may ask.
Here are six ways auditions prepare singers for the real world.
- It gives them objective feedback.
- It teaches them that they will be judged.
- Sometimes they will have a crumby audition.
- Sometimes they will not be good enough.
- Sometimes they need to work harder.
- Sometimes they are that good.
Auditions give objective feedback.
In our life, we need feedback. We have to have objective critiques of ourselves and our actions. If you are the type who is never at fault or never has a fault, you will never improve as a human being. You will repeat and repeat the the same same mistakes over and over again. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not learn from their personal history are in for a rough ride through life.
Sometimes you will be judged.
Auditions are like vaccinations. They are a weaker form of the real thing. If you treat them like this, they will prepare you for the times in life when it really matters. There are times in your life where you will need to apply for something you really want or need. That might be a favorite college, a good job, the lead part in the school play, etc. If you learn that you can survive a measly choir audition, it will strengthen you so that you can survive a job hunt.
Sometimes auditions are unfair.
We’ve all been there. There are times when nepotism, favoritism, and general butt-kissery rule the day. You were passed over for the top choir again, even though you were better than the ones who made it in. The son or daughter of the director got the solo when they just don’t have the voice or the skills.
That’s life. It is unfair. The sooner you realize it, the better you will be able to handle it. The better you handle it, the more easily you will be able to move on to the next opportunity.
Sometimes you will have a crumby audition.
There are times when you have an off day. You didn’t get enough sleep. You’re battling a cold. You’re stressed out from a fight with parents, siblings, friends, classmates, coworkers, et al. All of that negative bleckiness can force you to perform poorly. If you have this happen in an audition, it won’t surprise you when it happens at a job interview.
Sometimes you will not be good enough.
You will not always have the skills (yet) for a position. In the perception of the auditioner, you might not be exactly what they want or you need more training. Failing an audition can be a good thing, if you learn from it. Maybe you need to get more training to make you more appealing, versatile, or whatever. Maybe you need a little more time to develop your abilities.
Also, it’s okay to not be the best. There was only one Pavarotti or Robert Shaw or Leonard Bernstein, and you ain’t him. Sing because you love singing. Be the best that you can be because you want to be the best you can be.
Sometimes you need to work harder.
There are times you did not prepare enough. You didn’t study. You didn’t practice. You didn’t take the time to learn what you needed to. When you fail, you need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and see if you need to fix anything. Rejection is painful and challenging, but it is also extremely beneficial in the long run.
Sometimes you are that good.
Auditions are great because they help you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and life in general. You really do have a talent, but you didn’t know it until you worked hard and prepared. The reward for that preparation was an aced audition. That led to more training, more opportunities, and more rewards. Success is built on attempting. Go for it. All that can happen is that you fail, and that’s not the end of the world.