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About a month ago, our orchestra got our IMEA packets for Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony in F minor. For those of you who are in music, IMEA is the time where you practice, stress out every day, and mess up a lot. I’m a HUGE procrastinator; not a lot, but still a little. About a week ago was the day I actually started practicing for the IMEA piece. If you know me, I would say that I’m a bit talented on the violin. I can play sixteenth notes on a 150 tempo mark (which is faster than a sprinting tempo), and shift smoothly from first to 8th position. I may sound perfect and everything but there is one thing that always gets in the way of my talent: Auditions.

For almost any musical or sport category, auditions/tryouts are used to measure one’s performance and see if one is qualified to be in this group or rank. However, auditions, in fact, don’t make life easier. It frustrates us and makes us more nervous when all we should worry about is our performance. Auditions are best described as a waste of time and it, to be honest, almost never measures one’s performance.

The problem with auditions is the auditions itself. What’s the first feeling you get when I say “auditions”? You’ll probably have a negative feeling towards it rather than something positive. Just like you, I feel the same way. Auditions are a bad way to measure your performance because it makes you nervous. As the clock ticks, your hands get colder yet sweatier. You begin to shiver and sometimes, you get dizzy. All these unnecessary reactions eventually take a toll on you. You do worse than expected. For example, when you play the violin, you begin to shift too much or too little if your hands get sweaty (good thing that didn’t happen to me yesterday). Sweaty hands during auditions won’t let you be the in the top, even if you are considered the best in the world.

Auditions are also not useful because they pick favorites. Judges, who are probably your school’s music director or coach for a specific sport, can be very bias. Instead of picking new better members in to their group, judges tend to repack the former members. Unlike these judges, IMEA auditions are blind (this means the judges don’t know your name, the school you’re from, your age, and your gender) and are recorded through a microphone. That is one good thing about IMEA.

Finally, I don’t think auditions are useful because the type of environment you’re auditioning may be different. The audition room I was in felt like three degrees below zero. I can’t vibrato well if I’m shivering and I can’t keep a steady tone. Things like temperature and the brightness of the room should all be tested before auditioning the students. To have a better audition, people should worry about the simple things first before getting onto the big tasks.

Audition was a dreadful process for me. I was freezing cold for about ten minutes, and within that time, I almost failed my audition. In order for us to not get nervous about the audition, the judges should help us with the most basic things first before heading on to the big tasks. These little variables out of the way can help us perform better and more confidently. If the executives were able to eliminate all the unnecessary obstacles out of the way, students would stop worrying about how terrible their auditions went, but rather how successful they performed.

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