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Does this view look familiar?
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                                                                         Photo credit: California Symphony and Sarena Hsu Giarrusso
If you're back to music school, 'tis the season for seating auditions, placement auditions or mock auditions. Not to mention the plethora of auditions that bands and orchestras are holding this fall! 
Wonderful audition resources are vast and plentiful. Just check out our list → here
All offer thoroughly solid advice about what to focus on (like the three T's of tone, time and in tune), how to get your mind right, how to practice and record, what to do before and after your audition, who to play for and how often, personality quizzes so you can get to know yourself better, the ins and outs of propranolol (aka inderal or beta blockers), adversity training... and the list goes on.
We know you're serious about your prep, and have likely heard of all these people and books and programs.... 
It's Ixi here and, having just sat through 3 hours of auditions last week and knowing that many of you have your own coming up, am offering a few thoughts that I hope can solidify all your preparation and give you a sense of grounding. Ready? 

4 Things to Bring to Your Audition 
1. The knowledge that the committee is FOR you! They WANT you to do well. They're not some sort of evil jury who is out to get you. It really truly is a supportive body of people. The cliché of "thank you, next" isn't true in 99% of cases.
2. Bring the boldest version of yourself. The most unapologetic you. The one that has conviction in your ideas, then performs with confidence of knowing your interpretation is the BEST.
3. The decision to take musical risks. This is challenging because our first instinct is to play it 'safe'. Play all the 'right notes' and we'll pass. Often playing in the box will backfire, leaving you giving the jury a monotone, I don't want to say boring, but boring rendition.  Instead, try finding your freedom of expression! Trust your prep and step out of that box.
4. Finally, don't think of the audition as a test. It's a performance, even if you start with demonstrating scales. In a performance, your goal is to communicate with, evoke emotions from, or engage with your audience. You can think of the audition as a way to make your listeners simply just have a better day. At the very least, your playing will be delivered with more joy. So, yes, bring your best “solo recital” mindset!
Bonus tip: Please, please, please, please, please, please, please. Don't suck all the life out of the music when playing at a piano dynamic.  Piano doesn't mean lifeless. Think of p being present, pleasing, polished, posh, pretty, powerful, perky... whatever floats your boat.
There you have it! 
Auditions are part of a musicians life, and can look and feel different between school and pro. You can't control how they're run, what's asked, how the judges will vote, or how others will play - - but you can learn a lot about yourself, how you react to adversity, how you best deal with scary situations, and continue to evolve your approach.
I hope these 4 things help you with the latter!
Now, what else can help you audition better? 
Our signature membership - we have polished this up, invited a new host (the brilliant Nick Photinos) and created three new exciting options starting at $9 for you to access training that addresses the whole human. We invite you to explore Thrive   → here 👀 ! Look for our emails about Thrive this week!
We're teaching live in our private online group for one more week. It's open to everyone, free, and if you missed the first 3 days, never fear, replays are up for you to watch. Here's what's coming up today through Sunday, at 4pm PT and 7pm ET. 
8/22 Day 4: BODY WELLNESS - The Embodied Musician
8/24 Day 5: MIND WELLNESS - Endless Possibilities
8/26 Day 6: HEART WELLNESS - Embracing the hard
8/28 Day 7: THE WHOLE YOU - Seeking and Creating Opportunity
We want you to feel empowered and confident in all aspects of life, whether it's being in the audition loop, or something else entirely!
Ixi, Tiffany & Ted
p.s:  It's more fun with a friend! Forward the 7-Day THRIVE Challenge to a buddy and complete it together!  There will a prize at the end for a lucky someone who finishes the challenge! 
p.p.s Another couple of GREAT audition resources live right here at Music360! 
Michael Thornton (french hornist of LA Chamber Orchestra/ Colorado Symphony) and Carolyn Christie (former Montreal Symphony flutist) are both private audition coaches - and have shared truly incredible ideas with us in Thrive 
AND OUR PERSONAL FAVORITE - THE AUDITION LAB and PODS hosted by yours truly and Ralph Skiano here at Music360! It's a complete 360 course on audition prep based on Skiano's book Behind the Screen, A Winner's Guide to Preparing for Auditions.

Don't make this mistake.
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What? Really? Why?
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