For the benefit of you and your student here are some helpful tips from a teacher to prepare you for Mid-State and All-State band.
We sat down with Paul Deyo, a professional trumpet player, who started his career in New York and now plays with various jazz bands around Nashville and has successfully been teaching for 37 years. Over the last 16 years, since moving to Nashville, he has taught and prepared students auditioning for Tennessee’s Mid-State and All-State bands. With over 50 students who have placed in the Mid-State band and 11 who’ve placed in All-State, he knows a thing or two about auditioning. He has shed some light on what to do in order to be prepared for your student’s big audition.
For the upcoming auditions for Tennessee’s Mid-State band, your student will be expected to flawlessly play eight to all twelve major scales from memory, as well as the chromatic scale.They will also be given 2 excerpts to learn. You can find their pieces, for their grade and instrument with their band director or at http://www.mtsboa.org/AuditionMusic.asp.
For Mid-State, your student will be expected to be able to sight read with making few or no mistakes. Sight-reading is very important in this competition. Mr. Deyo relentlessly drills his students in sight-reading until they make few to no mistakes. He uses www.sightreadingfactory.com, which is used in the audition.
1: Commonplace, “Practice makes Perfect”
Mr. Deyo says that preparation is key. For the best results your student should be practicing their scales, or prepared piece no less than 15 minutes a day 4-7 days a week. They should be working towards being able to play their pieces and scales over and over with few or no mistakes. Unexpectedly, drill them on their pieces so as not to give them a chance of anxiousness. It will help them to be more comfortable with themselves and with their music.
2: Not-so-commonplace; A healthy mind makes you healthy and kind.
A healthy mind contributes to a healthy life and that starts at home. We want our children to succeed however, we should ultimately want their happiness. Your student shouldn’t be under major pressure by this audition. Keep them accountable but don’t let them think you or anyone else will be angry or disappointed in them that they didn’t make the best score. Even though a parent might not consider it a big deal, through a child’s eyes it is a different outlook.
3: Day of the Audition
A good diet and a sufficient amount of sleep can only help. Stay away from sugars and grains the morning of, seeing as they slow down your metabolism which can create sluggishness and lack of awareness. They need all the focus they can get. Stick with bland breakfast foods.
Mr. Deyo states that the student should not over practice on the day of the audition. Fifteen minutes of warm-ups is plenty of time to get their head in the game.
“Have confidence in how much you have prepared” says Mr. Deyo. “If you have prepared and you feel good about your preparation, there is no reason to feel nervous. The less nervous you are the easier it will be to concentrate.”
I hope all of these tips are helpful, good luck!
Written by Leah Houston