We fear the unknown.
Imagine there’s a group you really want to get into, and you manage to get an audition with them. One part of the audition is to prepare a piece that they provide. Excellent! You know exactly what to do.
In the weeks leading up, you learn the piece. Note by note, measure by measure, section by section. Starting slow and gradually bringing it up to tempo. Working through the difficult passages. A little bit each day.
You’ve got this down. You’re ready. Nothing can stop you now! You’re invincible!!
Except… There’s another part to the audition.
In addition to the prepared piece, they’re going to give you one more. Which one? Oh, well you don’t get to know in advance. You’ll see it once you’re already there, in the room with the judges you’re nervously trying to impress. Don’t worry though, it’s definitely a piece you’ve never seen before. You’ll have 30 seconds to look it over, and then you’ll perform it.
Have you been there? The sight reading component – the unknown piece. Sometimes multiple pieces. It’s a critical part of most auditions. Exams too.
Auditions and exams are the gateways to amazing opportunities for us in music. But unless we can manage this part, we’ll struggle to get through. We’ll be stuck at the gate.
So that’s the secret to acing auditions and exams. It’s learning to master the sight reading component. Because the other parts are known and straightforward to manage.
Mastering sight reading prepares us for the unknown. It teaches us how not to fear it, and how to welcome it even. It helps us unlock opportunities, reach our goals and ultimately realize our dreams.