Here are some particulars:
1. We announced the audition time-frame in August.
2. We encouraged all students to print out the scale sheet and etude from the website (or from the GMEA website) from August until the audition dates (approximately 11 weeks)
3. We played the scales in class almost daily for the entire semester. (12 major scales required)
4. We practiced sight reading in class on over half the days through the semester
5. We encouraged students to work together and do "mock auditions" to help them prepare and get over the jitters that come with tryouts
6. We discussed the necessity of advance preparation and clearly stated that they should at least attempt all the materials on the tryout.
When auditions rolled around, most students had done at least an acceptable job getting ready. An alarming number, however, came into the audition room, played 2-3 out of the 12 scales and said "that's it". Several said that they hadn't printed or practiced the prepared music....despite having 11 weeks and being prompted in class dozens of times.
The audition is a major grade in our classes. In some sections (based on the number of scales possible), the top score(s) was in the range of 135-145, while the bottom score(s) ranged from a 3 to a 10. When we converted these numbers into grades, the curve necessary to keep from having numerous students fail the assignment resembled a spiral staircase loaded with pretzels.
Please keep up with your student's assignments and encourage regular, systematic practice at home. Private lessons are also a possibility. We want to see our students succeed, but they can not if they do not even possess the materials or practice anything before they are evaluated. Thank you for your support.