Choosing the right pieces for college

  • Participant
    jordan-thomas on #146639

    I’m looking at colleges for Masters, and some of the college don’t have required repertoire. They will list either contrasting styles or one Baroque, One Romantic, and one 20th century. So my question ism how do I know what piece is right for auditioning with? Should I start learning difficult pieces since it is for Masters or should I play what I’m comfortable with?

    Participant
    unknown-user on #146640

    Jordan,
    The thing that colleges definitely don’t want to hear is an “uncooked,” per se, audition. I would advise you to learn new music only if you are convinced that you will be able to play it very well by the time your audition comes around, and if you’re applying this year, it would probably be too late (at least for me it would be). You need to show the judges that you can play solidly, accurately, and musically, so a piece that you already feel comfortable with would probably be the best bet. However, your last question confuses me: I would assume that any harpist serious enough to go to grad school for the instrument would probably have been playing difficult enough repertoire for a good while. Is the issue that you simply don’t have any significant works ready at the moment?

    As for choosing pieces in general, you need to pick ones that will show the judges that you can play solidly, accurately, and musically, but will also speak to your personal strengths. It seems standard to have at least one show piece prepared, as the overall goal is to impress the judges in some respect, and show pieces tend to require exceptional technical skill, musicianship, or both.

    You might also consider the speeds of the pieces, as the judges’ ears will become tired if you play three or four pieces at a dizzying clip. The same will happen with pieces that are too slow. It’s all a balancing act, but the most important criteria overall are that you feel comfortable playing the repertoire and that it accurately demonstrates your ability as a harpist.

    Best,
    ~Sam

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #146641

    You are already looking at graduate schools? It seems like last year you started at Peabody. You definitely want to audition with what you know best. Which schools are you considering?

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