#1
So I had a test today to see if I could join the music major in my school which is one of the best music high schools around here.
I didnt really know what to prepare as they havent told me, so I went ahead and worked on Autumn Leaves for a walking jazz piece with a sax player and Laid to Rest by LoG with a guitar player to show technical proficiency.

During the exam they started asking me theoretical questions which I wasnt prepared for as I havent been studying with a teacher for over a year and I aint taking theory lessons, yet. So I was able to answer but very slowly. At this point I started to get nervous.
So they asked my to play a F# scale and I did very quickly, and they asked me to do it again slowly starting from A# to hear me play the notes...
Next they asked me to play a Gmaj7 arpeggio and I, as stupid and nervous as I was played it in a chord position at the 10th fret 2nd string - doing it in minor.
Then they asked me to play All of Me(?) with the teacher and when I read the chords, I didnt read the double chord mark. And the teacher restarted it 6 times telling me Im going too quick, not telling me to double the chord length, and then I realized the mistake and did it well - after that he gave me a bossa nova rhythm
Then he told me to play C G F in a certain sequence and I did it well.
Then they asked me to sing notes according to the notes playing, and they gave me lower register notes which I didnt do well and when they gave me a higher note I hit it correctly with a falsetto.

The head of the music major class called me and told me that the teachers didnt feel that I was good enough now, but that I should join in the beginning of the next year.
When I asked him if it was the fact that I didnt know my theory as expected he said that that wasnt the problem, it was my playing and that I didnt do well in singing the notes and recognizing them.

Now I cannot believe my playing was a problem for them since not many bassists that are in the major can play Laid to Rest and they actually accepted people who are much much worse than me including drummers and guitarists.

So my dilemma is, should I make an appeal and redo the test trying something different? (sorry for the long story).
#2
Take it again, brush up on your theory, think about what they ask before you play it. "If at first you don't succeed..." or some crap like that.
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#3
Here's the thing about band teachers and most musicians in general: their egos are the size of the moon and they do not like to be proved wrong. There's a pretty slim chance that you'll make it in if you try and go into it again. Unless this course happening this year is what your entire future relies on I would say, cut your losses, brush up on theory, practise playing over changes, singing the bass of your voice and try again next year.
#4
You have music high schools? Weird.


Basically what everyone else said already, and I personally think there are better "technical" songs than Laid to Rest (some Rush or Between the Buried and Me), but whatever floats your boat
#5
Quote by Charlatan_001
You have music high schools? Weird.


Basically what everyone else said already, and I personally think there are better "technical" songs than Laid to Rest (some Rush or Between the Buried and Me), but whatever floats your boat

How is that weird to you?

Rush is also an option if I redo the test, although Im thinking of doing a bach cello suite.
BTBAM is pretty much impossible for me to play at full speed(although selkies is fine, but fairly easy in their scale).

I have a friend guitarist who appealed and became one of their leading players.
And Im prolly better than some who are already in the major.
#6
^Cut that attitude right now. Don't think you're "better" than anyone else, musically especially. Attitude is the most important thing in being a musician. You have to be calm and easy-going. If I were you personally I would go over everything they asked you to do. Become proffecient at that, then look at what they could ask you to do next time.

Try learning all the major (importance, not actual major) modes, and play them each at least 5 times a day. Run them forward and backwards, then run their relative minors. If you do that, work on sightreading, and brush up on your theory, then you should appeal and get another try-out.

But back to attitude. I don't care if I'm playing with the greatest drummer in the world, if he's got the attitude that he's better than the rest, he's going to play like that. And he's going to expect you to play with him. Not the other way around, so you need to calm down and relax and relize that if you don't get in, it's no big deal. Attitude can make all the differance in the world, and it helps if you smile when you play. I did that last night at my concert and I personally feel that my playing was ten times better than anything I've ever done.
#7
LoG meaning Lamb of God? or what? If thats the case thats probably where you went wrong. Any high school band teacher is probably comming from a jazz or classical backround becasue frankly that is good music and far more complicated than any rock or alternative stuff. Stick with the standards if you are required to play something.
#8
I have been through many auditions for orchestra and bands over the years. My advice going into the situation is that you should always carry a sense of confidence but not entitlement.

For audition pieces, sometimes playing the hardest piece you know is not always a great idea. I always choose a piece that was "middle ground" that showed several different techniques, but which I could play with good tone, timing and emotion.

Take the constructive criticism to heart and concentrate on improving on those areas. While you can appeal the decision, I would make damn sure I was up to speed on those areas that were identified as weak by the feedback you received before I did so. You need to get out of the mindset that you deserved to get in and approach the instructor on how to work towards getting to the level they are going to expect. Yes, they may appear to be capricious and arbitrary in their selection process, but the fact is that they are the people who will decide your fate in this game.
#9
In auditions, as with interviews, it's not all about how good you are, it's about your experience and how you carry yourself. Those players that are worse than you might have much more experience in the fields the school are looking for and may have had a more preferable attitude (not saying you have a bad attitude, I don't know you).

Also, when choosing a song, it's always better to play an easier song well than a harder song OK.

One final thing, find out what kind of personal qualities/qualifications the music school likes and try to show them that you can be that person, but DO NOT LIE!

Good luck
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#10
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Here's the thing about band teachers and most musicians in general: their egos are the size of the moon and they do not like to be proved wrong. r.


And Bales is pretty much on the target here. I had a conductor once who every practice would hang a sign off of his podium that said...

Rule 1: The Conductor is always right.
Rule 2: If the Conductor is wrong, refer to Rule #1.
Last edited by anarkee at Feb 27, 2008,
#11
Quote by Waters?
How is that weird to you?

Rush is also an option if I redo the test, although Im thinking of doing a bach cello suite.
BTBAM is pretty much impossible for me to play at full speed(although selkies is fine, but fairly easy in their scale).

I have a friend guitarist who appealed and became one of their leading players.
And Im prolly better than some who are already in the major.


It's weird because I don't know if there are any music-specific high schools around here... I've never heard of that in Canada let alone North America, is all.

How do they scale the difficulty of song?


Quote by anarkee
And Bales is pretty much on the target here. I had a conductor once who every practice would hang a sign off of his podium that said...

Rule 1: The Conductor is always right.
Rule 2: If the Conductor is wrong, refer to Rule #2.



But.. Rule #2 is.... Rule.... #2....
#12
Quote by Charlatan_001

But.. Rule #2 is.... Rule.... #2....


Fixed.

And on performing arts high schools. New York City has a famous one, and I think San Francisco has one as well. They do exist in the US, but for the most part, only in major cities. With that said, some schools do have stellar programs for creative and performing arts and the bar is quite high to get into those programs. Our local high school has a highly regarded theater program and getting accepted into the courses requires auditions of a professional level.
Last edited by anarkee at Feb 27, 2008,
#14
I think (having no experience of formally studying music myself) that what they're looking for is not what you think they are. If you're applying for a course they don't expect you to know it all already. There are things that are harder to teach (a sense of timing perhaps?) that you probably didn't demonstrate you have a good handle on.