Audition Tips for Singers

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Auditioning can sometimes feel scary or overwhelming.  After many years of auditioning for musical theater, opera, and operetta, I’ve come up with a routine for myself that helps me get through the audition confidently.  Try some of these ideas to make your audition experience smoother!

Before the day of the audition

Be prepared vocally

Make sure you know your material inside and out.  Whether you have a month or a week to prepare, try to be as familiar with the material as possible.  Take the song to your voice teacher.  Use a karaoke track at home to practice.  Follow through on a variety of memorization techniques.  (My favorite is to write out the lyrics several times a day!)

Figure out logistics

Know where you need to go and how you will get there.  If it’s as simple as a sort drive – great! – but if you will be travelling far or using public transportation, you want to figure this out before the day of.  Know exactly when your train leaves and where you can park near the train station.  It will save you a lot of stress!

Prep your audition bag

What’s an audition bag, you ask?  It’s where you have all your audition essentials ready to go.  The basics are:

  1. Your music binder with the sheet music to your song ready for the accompanist
  2. A bottle of water
  3. Dance attire (if your audition also includes a dancing portion)
  4. Your head shot and resume
  5. Optional helpful extras
    1. A change of shoes, if you don’t want to have to wear your heels all day
    2. Herbal lozenges (menthol-free)
    3. A cup of tea with honey

The day of the audition

Do some light or moderate physical activity

Singing is easier when the body is warmed up.  Start with some stretches to loosen up any tightness and also to energize the body.  Here is an article that provides some great ideas for stretches.  Then, try some light to moderate physical activity, like taking a brisk walk.  I like to do 20-30 minutes of yoga on the morning of an audition.  The movement and stretching help to prep the body for singing, and it also helps to calm my nerves!

Stay hydrated and well-fed

Make sure to drink plenty of water the day of your audition, as well as the night before.  Remember to do this well before your actual audition time, because it takes a while for any water you drink to actually make its way to your vocal folds.

Eat something approximately 2-3 hours before your audition. You don’t want to be starving, but you definitely don’t want an uncomfortable full feeling either. That being said – listen to your body.  This is what works for me, but your body might require something different than mine!

Warm up

Do your regular vocal warm up routine, whatever you normally do that makes you feel great.  You want your voice to feel ready but not tired from too much use.  Try a little bit of your audition piece, but don’t feel the need to run through it five times right before your audition.  That will just tire you out.

Get there early

It goes without saying, but it will save you a lot of stress!

Stay calm

If you get nervous, do some breathing exercises and some more light stretching. There are many simple ones that can have a big impact!  A quick Google search will return many results, but here is an article on simple breathing techniques to help get you started.  There are also many tutorials on YouTube that can teach you breathing and relaxation techniques.

Be confident!

You’re ready and all that’s left now is for you to show them what you’ve got!