Viewing: Eloisa's Likes - View all posts

College audition time: musical theater 

This week while preparing for a lesson with a particular student who loves her musical theater, I found myself exploring beyond the many beautiful songs in a style which of course, like in most other styles, ranges from the old to the contemporary. I started to think of what the audition process would look like for such a student. I love the music, and it was a requirement to perform some of it while I was in college, but it wasn't my emphasis, so I dug around.

I found some similarities, come audition time, with what most musicians must prepare with. The most important, your repertoire list: a menu if you will, that an auditor can select to hear you sing from. Include songs that fit your type but make sure these cover a variety of musical styles and time periods. This list might be one they ask for in the application itself. If not, I would recommend you contact your admissions coordinator and ask. It is better to come prepared than be surprised. If it's not a requirement, you may still choose to bring it with you. Here is how you should format it, unless otherwise requested:

  • Keep the list simple and in a format similar to a resume
  • Alphabetical in order by composer: Composer Last, First [tab] Song Title
  • Make a special notation for songs that you've performed. And asterisk or a [P] will work with an explanation at the bottom
  • Make sure you bring your music or accompaniment tracks

What should be on the list? Everything in your book. Even ensemble numbers that you've had a prominent solo in would be good to include.  If you have a huge rep list, however, you might consider taking out songs that are extremely outside your type. Other than that, any song you're still comfortable with should be fair game. Just remember, if you list it, be prepared to sing it just in case they ask.

Another question that might pop in your head is, what to wear?! In this I found a variety of answers from different professors, directors. Mainly, they want to see an honest representation of your own personal style. Dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, dress pants, button-down shirts, even nice jeans and sneakers are all acceptable. The consensus is that a suit jacket is probably too formal and a tie is not mandatory but, you can wear a tie or bow tie if, again, it suits your style. 

Note: remember this is all in relation to college program auditions. Different rules will apply when auditioning for a specific show, which brings me to my LIKE for the week:

Here's a fun YouTube video on "Beginner Musical Theater Audition Tips" by Katherine Steele. I like the way she summed it all up: be polite, be positive, be prepared. All of the above won't matter if you aren't also polite and positive. Enjoy! 

Connecting How It Feels To How It Sounds (and vice versa) 

Hi! Eloisa here! Hope you are all staying sane, safe and healthy. I sure miss having my students around. A lot of our families are being affected financially and the effect keeps trickling down. We hope everyone hangs on tight and together we can come out of this stronger than before. For now, while stuck at home, I thought I would share some of my LIKES: favorite videos, exercises, etc. I have come across in my years of teaching. From my own voice lessons with the lovely Ms Vaccariello at the University of Redlands, to all the great information you can now find all over the internet! Boy do I sound old! But yeah, the internet was a very new thing when I was in college. I'll start out by sharing a bit about what I do and end with a video by an incredible singer, performer, vocalist, and voice coach, Tyley Ross, which I think you will find fascinating. I've shared this with my students many times.

One of the most difficult things about our instrument as singers, is the fact that we cannot see what's happening within it - we can only feel and listen to whatever that feeling is producing. This is a tricky thing for a voice coach like myself, who mostly spends time with young musicians (in years of  learning their voice), because part of my job is to help my students understand that proper technique does not always "feel" right at first...and perhaps for a while. The first thing we tackle then, is the difference between what we physically feel, and those things we "feel" that are actually emotional reactions to a sound that may not be meeting their expectations. At the core, I consider my job as a coach as someone who encourages, and keeps the singer on track in their quest to find their best voice by helping him/her get rid of some bad habits and find new, better ones to take root. It's definitely a process but it doesn't have to be a tedious one. Always find the balance between the working out or studying and the singing your heart out for the sake of singing your heart out. If I'm doing my job right, my singers will discover the new habits showing up unexpectedly - when they are singing riding around in their car with friends, while dancing or the classic, the shower! Although I'll reiterate what I always tell them: the car is NOT the place to practice. You can definitely have fun singing while you drive though. :)

Anyway, here's my first LIKE on this blog: Singing in the MRI with Tyley Ross - Making the Voice Visible. Enjoy!