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How to Prepare for Your Music College Auditions Now

If you're planning to attend college for music, check out these tips on how to prepare for your upcoming auditions.

The period between January 15 and March 15 is one of the most grueling for high school seniors planning to major in Music: most conservatories, colleges, and universities hold their live auditions during this time. A music-bound student, especially one majoring in Performance, should expect to make trips almost every weekend during these months to participate in auditions.

For example, if a student has applied to nine schools, then nine live auditions must fit within the 12-week window, sometimes with auditions on opposite coasts falling on the same weekend. If you don’t plan properly, this can cause intense stress for you and your family members.

So, what are some things you can do to prepare for your music college auditions?

Related: What Are Music School Auditions Really Like?


Some schools will hold multiple audition dates per instrument. I recommend using a paper calendar when mapping out your dates so you can see everything in front of you as you coordinate travel days, lessons, campus tours, and everything else. Put all audition date options for each school on this calendar, just in case you need to request to change your date because another school conflicts. Note: If two schools are holding their auditions on the same date, write or call both offices of admission to discuss the conflict.

School work

Since you may have to miss school to either appear for or travel to auditions, try to minimize your second semester class load and stay ahead on your assignments. If it’s an option, take a class block in your schedule where you can practice while at school. This will allow you to fit in more practice sessions per day and open more time at home for you to study.


As you travel from school to school for live auditions, the process can get expensive. It’s best to put aside some funding and create a budget for yourself. Include the following allowances per school:

  • Transportation to and from the audition (flight, bus, rental car, etc.)
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Possible lesson fee
  • Cost of a parent flying with you


Make sure to build a day into your schedule after each audition where you’re able to rest and recover. This rest and recovery day means a day completely away from your instrument—don’t practice or attend rehearsal. This will give you a true mental and physical break. The college music audition process is a marathon, not a sprint. Rest and recovery days are necessary to help you play your best at the right times.

Related: The Experts’ Choice: Options for the Musician Who Doesn’t Want to Attend a Conservatory

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About Annie Bosler

Dr. Annie Bosler is a horn player and teacher in Los Angeles. She coauthored the book College Prep for Musicians. She specializes in teaching private horn lessons to high schoolers and has a 100% success rate in helping students get into music schools. Annie has former French horn students in almost every major conservatory across the United States. For more info, visit collegeprepformusicians.com and anniebosler.com.


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