Behind the Reeds – Episode 4 – Interview Marc CharpentierNovember 2, 2023
Behind the Reeds – Episode 5 – Interview Thierry MaisonNovember 7, 2023
For a successful conservatory audition, there are several key factors to consider. First of all, it's essential to control stage fright, even if it's normal to feel a little stressed before an audition. Secondly, it's vital to maintain regular discipline in your work. So always remember that a successful audition is more than just a "demonstration of your playing".
Practice major, minor, interval, arpeggio, chromatic, and pentatonic scales in different keys. Concentrate on regular fingering, precise notes, and smooth passages.
Work on the different articulations (staccato, legato, etc.) by playing different series of short and long notes. This will enhance your control over your embouchure and tongue.
Play exercises that cover a variety of intervals, from octave leaps to thirds, fourths, fifths, and so on. This will develop your ease in navigating the instrument's range.
Practice velocity exercises to increase your speed and agility on the instrument. Working on fast, regular sequences of notes will help develop your dexterity.
Sound control exercises
Work on expressing and controlling your sound by playing exercises that focus on nuances, crescendos, decrescendos, and dynamic control. Work on the air column, thinking of air as the fuel of a wind instrument. Learn to breathe like a singer, using the diaphragm rather than the lungs.
Be sure to practice these exercises slowly and repeatedly to perfect your technique. Gradually increase speed and difficulty as you progress.
Here's a tip from Thierry Maison, clarinet teacher and artistic consultant at Steuer: "Breathing support is essential. Without it, your sound may lack consistency and seem weak. Good support is extremely beneficial for creating extended phrases and smooth transitions between registers, especially for legato. Don't forget that the flexibility of the embouchure completes this ensemble." "When working on complex technical passages, slow down the tempo. You can gradually increase it once you feel more at ease. Ask your teacher for advice to guide you in your practice and to set exercises suitable for your level and goals. With regular, methodical practice, you will give yourself every chance of a successful audition."