Eight long months of preparation have now ended with the results of the Area audition being called out. Time to shove all of that in your memory box, burn your music in a bonfire, and move on, right?
WRONG! I’d argue the most important part of this season has yet to happen. And if you skip this step, you may be missing the entire point and losing out on a huge and beneficial moment.
Let’s return, shall we, to the point of the All State process. Brainstorm with me. Is the point…. A big ol’ letter jacket patch? Is it….winning? Is it… a resume boost? Is it…growing as a musician?
OK so there is probably some truth in all of the ideas on that list. But let’s focus on the bit about becoming a better musician. Whether you made an All State choir or not, this critical time is NOW to reflect on your experience and find ways to grow from it.
By taking time to stop, reflect, and assess, you will feel the full benefit of this process and grow so much more. It will also help you to come to terms with how you’re feeling about the end of this process, good or bad. We do this with our own students in their lessons after big auditions and encourage them to reflect on their own time as well.
Below is a list of questions to ask yourself or discuss with a parent or teacher. See where these questions take you in your mind or in your conversation. Good or bad, hash out these concepts and find the truth in your assessment. Now, I beg you to slow down, silence your phone, and tune out distractions. Take five minutes and ask yourself:
- How has this experience changed the way I approach music practice and performance?
- In what tangible way has my voice grown or changed through the practice and performance of this music?
- What have I learned about how I perform under pressure? How can I change this?
- How much and what kind of preparation does it take for me to feel well prepared?
- Did I do my absolute best in the audition? How could I have done better?
- Did I do my absolute best in my preparation for the audition? How could I have done better?
- What parts of this process made me happy? Frustrated? Confident? Dejected? Proud?
- What changes do I see in my personal or academic life because of it?
- How can I use my success to lift up my classmates instead of making them feel less accomplished or might be jealous of my success?
- What needs to change, if anything, so that I can feel excited for my friends who succeeded if I feel that I did not?
- What are the things that those friends do better than me, besides their natural talent? Do they practice harder? Take private lessons? Take more time to rest? Attend more camps or sectionals? Seem to care more? Are they calmer in audition situations?
- What big changes will I make in next year’s competition to make it one step farther or one chair higher? *Write down these goals*
- How can I use this experience to be a better leader and singer in my own school choir?
If you are struggling with some of these questions today because you feel sad or exhausted or anything else, then revisit it on another day. We really encourage you to grapple with this on your own time, however long it takes. You may find that part of this becomes a sort of contract with yourself or a New Year’s resolution…something to return to once you’re father from these feelings to always move forward from this experience and continue to grow exponentially. In any case, I urge and beg you to not leave this experience: hundreds of hours invested, possibly even more dollars spent on instruction, sacrifices given, and tears shed….without taking the time to talk this through and find ways to grow from it. No matter the outcome, we are so proud of you for taking part of this process!