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Music and Academic Tips for Preparation

From the College of Musical Arts Music Ambassadors (volunteer music majors who assist prospective students)

  • Take piano lessons.
  • Learn more than one instrument.
  • Request to perform your audition repertoire in front of your school band/orchestra/choir and family and friends to make you more comfortable performing in front of others.
  • Use a recording device when you practice so that you can better evaluate yourself.
  • Develop a practice routine that is comfortable and consistent. As you learn, you can further develop your routine to be the most effective for you.
  • Be open to advice and criticism from professors and other students—it is meant to be helpful.
  • Keep an open mind to new opportunities. Don’t dismiss possibilities because you think you only want one thing (performance/education/arts management, etc.)
  • Schedule practice sessions as if they were classes. This will help you to get it done when you don’t feel like it and will create a “healthy” routine.
  • Schedule a lesson with the professor before your audition. It shows your interest, gives you an idea of what he/she is looking for, and lets you get to know each other before the audition.
  • Know your major and minor scales. This will help in your audition and future theory classes.
  • Rather than learn something new and difficult for auditions, stick with something old and perfected. That way, you have less that could go wrong in the audition.
  • Don’t make last minute changes in your audition music. Perform what you’re comfortable with.
  • Take advantage of your junior audition! Think about what the professor tells you and apply it. They will remember and notice when you make large improvements!
  • Take private lessons and continue through the summer.
  • Keep a practice journal so you can monitor your progress and what still needs improvement.
  • Take a theory class—one that includes aural skills—if possible. It will help immensely with your placement test and Theory I.
  • Don’t stop practicing over winter break, auditions are just around the corner!
  • Choose your audition music early.
  • Get used to practicing daily for 45 minutes, one hour or even two hours. A daily practice routine is essential. Don’t wait until the last minute to practice your audition music or put your portfolio together.
  • Practice a little every day instead of cramming right before your lesson.
  • Start listening and studying repertoire for your instrument. Familiarize yourself with various styles/periods of music—baroque, renaissance, classical, romantic, contemporary, etc.
  • Something my studio professor passed on to me: Don’t practice it until you get it right. Practice it until you can’t get it wrong.

  • Visit your college choices this summer. This can often help to narrow your list.
  • Learn time management; practice holding yourself to a schedule.
  • Realize that being a music major requires a lot of time and dedication in addition to a love of music.
  • Take AP classes/exams and/or post-secondary classes if possible.
  • Use a planner with hourly markings to help with scheduling.
  • Figure out what study habits work best for you.
  • When visiting a campus, take time to explore all aspects. Eat in their facilities, talk with students, etc.
  • Stay organized!
  • Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re too stressed and overworked. Ask a professor for help or drop a class.
  • Keep up your grades and apply for every scholarship you can find!
  • Always write down your assignments!
  • Maintain a balance between class work and extra activities so that your grades don’t suffer.
  • Do application paperwork as soon as it arrives. It will qualify you for more scholarships and grants.
  • When you get frustrated with your school work, remind yourself that you are studying your passion.
  • Stay on top of things and even a step ahead! Once you fall behind it’s difficult to catch up.

  • At your audition, be responsive to the professor. If he/she asks you to play/sing something differently, try to do it even if you know you cannot.
  • Don't compare yourself to other students in neighboring practicing rooms. Only concern yourself with how you are doing.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to Bowling Green—leave your home early
  • Come with questions. There are Q&A sessions for both students and parents during the audition program
  • Come to Bowling Green the night before and stay at a hotel so you can get plenty of sleep. A list of hotel accommodations can be found at www.bgsu.edu. Once there choose Future Students, Visit Us, then Accommodations.
  • Dress appropriately and remember first impressions are important