Auditioning at the Royal College of Music

As soon as I entered the Royal College for my audition it was really well organised, I felt at ease, I was really well guided. I got an email that said I was up for an interview. I was very nervous and excited to be auditioning to the Royal College of Music. When I arrived at the warm-up room I was introduced to the accompanist, who was very friendly and helped calm me down. It was really nice to have 15 to 20 minutes’ rehearsal with our accompanist. I felt nervous, but I was ready to just show them what I had because what they’re looking for is potential. The most important thing is that the music you choose is music you’re confident in and music that you know will show off the best of your ability. Make sure you go onto the website or contact a member of your faculty to find out the exact requirements of pieces to be performed. The Royal College provides accompanists for London auditions, but if you feel more comfortable bringing your own accompanist, that’s fine. You don’t need to submit music beforehand or provide copies for the panel, but you do need to remember to bring hard copies for your audition. Royal College of Music hosts auditions all around the world. I chose Shanghai because it’s very close to my city in China and it’s easy to travel. Composition and Composition for Screen auditions are a little bit different. They can be arranged for Skype interviews if you’re overseas and they can also take place in London. I know for me what calmed me down was I had a list of notes and things I wanted to talk about that I posted on the wall right behind my computer camera. Budget yourself enough time to get there. You’ll have so much more time to relax, to think about the music you’re about to perform, to take a few deep breaths. And then that’s you, into the room. After you’ve performed your pieces in your audition you might be asked to do a short piece of sight reading. The conversation with the panel’s also very important. They want to know your potential or what you want to be in the future. If the panel stops you midway through one of your performances don’t panic. It’s normal – it happens all the time. If you audition in November/December time you will find out your results before Christmas. Everybody who auditions in person will be considered for a scholarship at the audition. You will be notified if you are given a scholarship shortly after you’ve been given a place. My audition was in the Britten Theatre and when you are confronted with this beautiful old theatre you just think ‘Wow, I just better give this my all’ and all the nerves went and I just thought I’m just going to do my best, sing like I know how to. I really got a sense that I’m getting the highest quality education. This is one of the best conservatories in the world. I really feel my dream came true.

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