Updated: Feb 12
Let’s be honest: audition season can feel chaotic, disorderly, and even deflating. While many factors are out of our control during audition season, why not do everything you can to set yourself up for success by managing what you do have control over? Whether you’re still in school or an emerging professional singer, use the following checklist to help you kick-start the coming season with confidence and momentum!
1. Lock down your day job or part-time work.
Whether you’ve been away at a summer program for several weeks, are moving to a new city, or are just looking for a way to make some extra cash for YAP applications, the first box to check off when preparing for the coming season is work. Applying for, interviewing for, and beginning a new job can take weeks, even months depending on the job, so the earlier you start your search, the better. If you work freelance, spend some time researching potential opportunities in your city to promote your work, such as posting on local websites and databases or reaching out to companies. And don’t forget about side gigs! Some transfer really well from city to city, such as dog walking or church subbing, and are a great option if you know you’ll be moving around a lot.
2. Make a schedule with your voice teacher and coach.
Is it just us, or does audition season seem to creep up earlier and earlier each year? Get ahead of the game, and start scheduling regular lessons and coaching sessions during the summer so you’ll be prepared and confident in time for auditions and fall performances. If you’re still in school, reach out to your voice teacher to see whether they offer lessons over the summer. They often do! There’s no shame in taking some time off during the summer months to rest and recuperate; however, the earlier you can get back to regular singing, the better prepared you’ll be during audition season.
3. Organize your audition package.
This step may be tricky, as many YAPs don’t release audition requirements until well into the fall, but the best way to plan ahead is to make sure that all of your audition repertoire basics are covered. Include at least 5 arias in 3-4 languages covering several stylistic periods, one musical theatre piece, one oratorio aria, and a couple of art songs. Requirements will differ throughout the season, but securing some foundational pieces ahead of time will make adding anything new to your package more manageable. Any research about specific programs that can be done in advance will be especially helpful when choosing pieces for pre-screen recordings. For example, if you’re planning on applying to a YAP or competition that focuses on art song, make sure to polish and record at least a couple of art songs in preparation.
4. Make an application action plan.
While organizing your audition package, why not research potential applications as well? As we stated earlier, many YAPs don’t release application and audition information until the fall, but you may still be able to find information from past years or connect with program alumni to get a feel for application costs, general requirements, and so on. When creating an application action plan, start by tracking programs that you know you will definitely apply to so that you won’t miss those notifications once they arrive. Then, create a spreadsheet tracking important specifics for each program as information becomes available, such as the application due date, whether a pianist is provided, location, required repertoire, application fee, and materials needed. Keeping record of this information for subsequent years will be useful should you decide to apply to any of those same programs again.
5. Establish your daily routine.
Fend off the jarring transition from your summer to fall schedule by creating a daily routine - steps performed with consistency that will not only support your singing and audition preparation, but also your overall health and happiness. If you already know your work or class schedule for the coming season, start mapping out when you plan to practice or study each day, when you can set aside some down time, when you should go to sleep and wake up the following morning, and when you plan to exercise. How detailed you decide to make your daily routine is up to you, but starting to incorporate even just one or two of your daily tasks into your summer schedule will greatly ease the seasonal transition and keep you motivated for audition season.
Are you feeling more prepared yet? As difficult as it is to think about the fall while it’s still summer, looking ahead and making plans for your next season are the most effective ways to accomplish the goals you’ve been working towards for so long. You deserve to shine. You also owe it to yourself to do everything in your power to prepare for those opportunities to do so. Go slay those goals!